NGO JOB PROFILES
For anyone seeking a career that makes a difference in the world and improves the lives of other people, animals or the environment, a role with an NGO can be extremely rewarding.
Featured here is a selection of NGO job descriptions for some of the most common roles available with NGOs, but this list is not exhaustive.
Depending on where and how they operate, NGOs may have the following NGO positions:
- Medical staff (doctors, nurses, midwives, nutritionists, physiotherapists, pharmacists) to train local medics or run emergency response clinics
- Mental health support staff (psychologists, psychiatrists, play therapists, counsellors) to help people overcome trauma in conflict zones or refugee camps
- Engineering staff (water engineers, civil engineers, mechanical engineers) to build local capacity, oversee large infrastructure projects and provide technical expertise
- Logisticians – to source and maintain project vehicles, telecommunications equipment, electricity supply and warehousing
- Volunteer managers – organising inductions, training and support for volunteers is a common aspect of many NGO roles
- Teaching staff (teachers, teaching assistants, youth workers) to support local schools in improving their education provision
It is common for candidates to start their NGO career as a volunteer to gain experience, moving onto project staff level and ultimately management if desired. In some high stress settings there can be a fast turnover of staff, so candidates may be asked to step up a level more rapidly than in other sectors. This can be both exciting and stressful!
It is important to remember that NGOs seek to boost, rather than replace, local capacity so NGO staff may find themselves frequently involved in planning and delivering training sessions or workshops, helping to “upskill” the local population.
As this article shows, the NGO sector offers an exciting and varied selection of jobs with interesting opportunities for specialising and career progression