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A professional career at UNESCO

An international professional career at UNESCO may be open to you depending on your level of expertise in the field of education, culture, science or communication or in management and administration.

You will be providing expert opinion on global issues and handling the planning and execution of UNESCOís programmes and projects, at the centre of the Organizationís intergovernmental activity.

Your responsibilities will be exclusively international and, accordingly, you will be under the authority of the Director-General and may not receive instructions from any government or from any other authority outside of the Organization.

It is your skills which will qualify you for a vacant post. Given equally qualified applicants, the degree of representation of your country may be a determining factor since staff at UNESCO are recruited on as wide a geographical basis as possible.

Like the other United Nations agencies, UNESCO offers to its international professional staff the following career steps:

  • Junior professionals (grade P-1/P-2)
    Your principal goal will be to demonstrate your expertise by participating in the execution of programmes and projects, moving in the course of your apprenticeship to higher levels of responsibility.

  • Middle-ranking professionals (grade P-3/P-4)
    As a project leader in charge of a small team, you will launch and develop particular facets of the UNESCO programme and gain further professional experience.

  • Management professionals (grade P-5 and D)
    Your responsibilities as head of a section, director of a division or director of a UNESCO field office will include direct participation in the preparation and execution of the Organizationís strategy. You will manage a budget and assume a leadership role.

    When thinking about a professional international career at UNESCO, check first to see if your skills and qualifications match the job profile and read up on UNESCOís activities by visiting the website.

    National professionals reinforce the skills and competencies available in the UNESCO Field Offices.

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    Have you got the right profile?

    Before applying for a Professional post at UNESCO, assess your eligibility: have you got the right job profile?

    To guide you in this process, the necessary qualifications are listed below:


    How to apply

    All international Professional posts open to recruitment are in the list of vacancies. UNESCO particularly welcomes applications from women and individuals from unrepresented and under-represented countries.

    Guide for applying online and off-line


    Recruitment step by step

    Once you have applied for a Professional post, your application will go through the various stages of the recruitment process.

    It may be several months after the closing date for an application before you are informed of our final decision.


    The status and entitlements of professionals at UNESCO

    Because international professional careers at UNESCO are international appointments, the Organization pays professionals a salary corresponding to the special status of United Nations staff, together with other benefits which take account of international mobility and family responsibilities.
    The following information is provided by way of indication. However, actual employment contracts of staff are based on the UNESCO Staff Rules and Regulations, which remain the definitive source of any legal and administrative interpretation.





    How to do


  • First, assess your skills: have you got the right profile?
  • If so, see how to apply
    with the guide for applying online or off-line,
  • If you succeed to go through the recruitment process step by step,
  • Youíll obtain the status and entitlements of professionals at UNESCO.

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