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UN salary schedules: A primer

By Eliza Villarino06 August 2012

The United Nations headquarters in New York. Photo by: Tomas Fano / CC BY-SA

When it comes to salaries, the United Nations is as transparent as they come. It has in fact a dedicated website for information on the pay and perks of its employees in all duty stations around the globe.

As we’ve reported, the United Nations pays its people well. For professional staff, the remuneration is on par with what employees from the highest-paying civil service receive, and according to the United Nations, today that is the U.S. federal government. For local hires, compensation is based on the best prevailing rates for similar work where they are posted. Read UN salaries: What you need to know to learn more.

Below we’ve linked to salary scales for U.N. professional and field service staff as well as general service employees at so-called headquarter cities – Geneva, London, Madrid, Montreal, New York, Paris, Rome and Vienna. Click here to download a listing of all available U.N. salary scales, which are updated periodically.

Note: The amounts given reflect annual gross pay before staff assessment, an amount that the United Nations deducts from and adds to the Tax Equalization Fund. The fund reimburses staff members when they have to pay national income taxes on their U.N. earnings. Member states that don’t levy U.N. earnings get a portion of the fund to offset certain amounts that, based on assessment, they should contribute to the U.N. regular, peacekeeping and tribunal budgets.

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About the author

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Eliza Villarino

Eliza Villarino currently manages one of today’s leading publications on humanitarian aid, global health and international development, the weekly GDB. At Devex, she has helped grow a global newsroom, with talented journalists from major development hubs such as Washington, D.C, London and Brussels. She regularly writes about innovations in global development.


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