UN Jobs

Everything about the Volunteer programme at the United Nations

If you are encouraged to take definite movement for global peace and development, take a look at the United Nations Volunteers (UNV) programme.

Every year, up to 8,000 skillful and experienced women and men of some 160 foreign nationalities volunteer at least six months of their lives to assist others. These UN Volunteers work in some 130 countries advancing peace, responding to disasters, empowering communities, and aiding to build sustainable livelihoods and lasting growth.

UN Volunteers come from dozens of skilled backgrounds but all of them are triggers of positive modification. They are inspired to be creative and entrepreneurial and foster volunteerism for peace and growth both within and beyond their studies. They work at the heart of neighborhoods in partnership with governments, United Nations commodities, and civil society.

You can find the United Nations Volunteer programme here.

Being a UN Volunteer is not a job (you are currently limited to four years of service), but it is wealthy with chances and experience and provides huge personal rewards.

As a UN Volunteer, you acquire a Volunteer Living Allowance (VLA) which covers basic needs, housing, and utilities. Additionally, UNV will offer a settling-in-grant, life, health, and permanent disability insurance, return airfares, and a nominal resettlement allowance.

UNV is looking for a diverse cross-section of volunteers: just like you. Be our motivation in action. Join this team of amazing people and make a real difference happen.

You may like this: Ultimate guide to UN Volunteer Programme application process

Eligibility criteria for the United Nations Volunteer programme

Women and minority nominees are encouraged to apply. UNV Field Units will ensure that advertisements and application forms are accessible to women and minority nominees (e.g. not only through the internet) and that management measures help the inclusion of applicants from marginalized groups.

  • Age limits and ranges: To ensure the needed level of professional and personal competency, the minimum age of an international UN Volunteer has been set at 18 years of age, with the knowledge that nominees must demonstrate the required education level, relevant professional experience and requisite maturity, character and strengths needed for UN Volunteer assignments. The age range for UN Youth Volunteers and UN University Volunteers is 18-26 years, for UN Volunteer specialists it is 27-80 years of age, while for UN Expert Volunteers the age range is 35-80 years.
  • Education requirements: A higher technical diploma, Bachelor’s or Master’s degree is needed for most assignments (credentials will be requested).
  • Professional experience requirements: Work background requirements differ depending on the volunteer category and assignment. UN Youth Volunteers and University Volunteers are needed  to have 0-3 years of experience, UN Volunteer specialists 3-15 years, and UN Expert Volunteers 15 years of experience and above. Prior volunteering and/or working experience in a developing country is an asset. Kindly refer to the specific Description of Assignment for details.
  • Language requirements: Good working understanding of at least one of UNV’s three working languages: English, French, or Spanish.
  • Personal competencies: UN Volunteers must illustrate a strong dedication to the values and principles of volunteering and respect for diversity. They should bring strong interpersonal and organizational skills. UN Volunteers should have the capability and willingness to work in a multicultural environment and to draw upon synergies between proposed solutions and local expertise. They must also be able to adjust to changing, and at times difficult, living and working conditions.

Interview process for UNV

All nominees experience a competitive interview process. In the interview process, the UNV Field Unit pays precise attention to the candidate’s track record, motivation, and attitude towards volunteerism, as well as other personal qualities, such as team spirit and leadership, that are likely to make them thrive in their assignments as UN Volunteers. The Host Entity representative will evaluate the technical skills of the nominee.

Need help for interview: Guide for preparing to UN jobs interview – Question and Answers

UNV Salary

As UN Volunteers, individuals obtain a Volunteer Living Allowance (VLA) rather than a traditional salary. The VLA is intended to cover basic living expenses, such as accommodation, food, and transportation. The amount varies depending on the country and location of assignment, taking into consideration local living costs.

International UN Volunteers obtain a monthly VLA ranging from $1,500 to $2,200, while national UN Volunteers receive an allowance in line with local salary scales. It is significant to note that the VLA is not deemed a salary, and thus, volunteers are not formal employees of the United Nations.


  1. Travel Expenses: UN Volunteers are reimbursed for travel costs connected to their assignment, such as airfare and visas. If required to travel on duty, they receive a Daily Subsistence Allowance (DSA) to cover expenses.
  2. Annual Leave: Volunteers are entitled to annual leave, accruing at a rate of 2.5 days per month, with a maximum accumulation of 30 days per year.
  3. Insurance Coverage: UN Volunteers are covered under the UN’s life, health, and disability insurance policies at no cost to them.
  4. Settling-in Grant: International volunteers gain a one-time settling-in grant to help with the costs of relocating to their assignment location.
  5. Learning and Development: UN Volunteers have access to many training opportunities, including online courses, workshops, and seminars, aimed at improving their professional and personal development.

You may like this too: Junior Professional Officer Programme at the United Nations


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