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Staff members

Staff members are permanent employees of the United Nations who have access to all the benefits.


There are different categories of staff in the UN system. Within each category there are different levels with various levels of responsibilities and requirements.

In total, there are five different categories of staff at the United Nations:

  • Professional and higher categories (P and D);
  • General Service and related categories (G, TC, S, PIA, LT);
  • National Professional Officers (NO);
  • Field Service (FS);
  • Senior Appointments (SG, DSG, USG and ASG).

A detailed description of these categories may be found on the official UN Careers website.

Options for young professionals

Young professionals are able to apply to positions under three categories – Professional categories, General Service categories, and National Professional Officers – since entry-level posts there do not require significant work experience. The main differences between these categories are summarised below.

Professional category General Service category National Professional Officers
Performed functions Perform functions at the professional level Perform administrative, secretarial and clerical support as well as specialised technical functions Perform functions at the professional level, which have a national context
Recruited Internationally Locally Locally
Nationality Any Any Nationals of the country in which they are serving
Location Any Any Non-headquarters duty stations only
Relocation to different duty stations Expected Not expected Not expected

Young professionals interested in developing an international career in the United Nations should carefully consider entering the Professional category. Moreover, employees in this category normally have higher benefits compared to the similar level positions in other categories.

Jobs in the Professional category

The Professional category includes a wide range of jobs in fields related to the work of the UN.

All the jobs are divided into eight job networks:

  • Economic and social development;
  • Management and operations support;
  • Political, peace and security;
  • Information systems and communication technology;
  • Legal;
  • Public information and external relations;
  • Conference management;
  • Safety and security.

A detailed description of each category can be found on the UN Careers website.

Entering the Professional category

Today, an entry-level post in the Professional category is P-2. These posts are normally filled through the Young Professionals Programme (YPP). The YPP is a highly competitive recruitment initiative that brings talented young professionals to the United Nations through an annual entrance examination. This examination is built upon the national competitive recruitment examination (NCRE) which was held for the last time in 2010.

The YPP annual examination is the key option for young professionals willing to enter the United Nations system. Information on the requirements and examination procedure is presented separately in the YPP section of our website.