Understanding UN job categories

Photo by: Kim Haughton / U.N. / CC BY-NC-ND

One of the first challenges of landing a job with the United Nations can be understanding the organization’s job categories and levels. These are indicated by a combination of letters and numbers, which reflect the responsibilities and requirements of the position.

Jobs are organized into five categories: professional and higher categories; general service and related categories; national professional officers; field officers; and senior appointments.

About the author

  • Emma Smith

    Emma Smith is a Reporter at Devex. She covers all things related to careers and hiring in the global development community as well as mental health within the sector — from tips on supporting humanitarian staff to designing mental health programs for refugees. Emma has reported from key development hubs in Europe and co-produced Devex’s DevProWomen2030 podcast series. She holds a degree in journalism from Glasgow Caledonian University and a master's in media and international conflict. In addition to writing for regional news publications, she has worked with organizations focused on child and women’s rights.