Before you Apply

Staffing principles

UNRWA invites applications from candidates who fully meet the requirements of the post stated in the vacancy announcement. Employment opportunities at UNRWA are available for international and area posts.

A. International posts

For professional category posts a university degree (preferably an advanced degree) from an accredited educational institution and several years of job-related work experience are required. Senior level posts require solid managerial experience in a large commercial, governmental or international organisation. All international professional posts follow the International Civil Service Commission (ICSC) regulations for job classification and compensation. 

Click for more details on post classification and salary conditions for international civil servants. 

General Service

UNRWA offers a limited number of international posts in the general service category. 

Click for more details on general service staff post classification and salary conditions

All international staff are subject to international staff regulations and rules (PDFs).

B. Area posts

Area staff (local) posts can range from labourers to field programme department heads. Priority consideration for area staff posts is given to applications from registered Palestine refugees.

All area staff are subject to the area staff regulations (Arabic version) and area staff rules (Arabic version) [PDFs].

Recruitment procedures

Vacant posts are advertised through UNRWA’s online recruitment system ORIS and on the UNRWA intranet. Vacancy announcements are also circulated in the UN system of organisations and among UNRWA's major donors. 

Occasionally, vacancies for higher level international posts are advertised in international press. Vacancies for area posts are also advertised in the local press for the respective duty station location.

Click here for current international and area vacancies

After the closing date for applications, a shortlist of qualified candidates is established. 

International posts

Shortlisted candidates for international posts are initially interviewed by telephone. Candidates under close consideration proceed to the next step which is usually a personal interview. Candidates may also be required to sit for tests and/or to provide work samples. Employment and social references are obtained as part of the assessment process. 

Area posts

Candidates for area posts in a higher category are initially required to sit for a test. Shortlisted candidates are subsequently invited for a personal interview. 


The recruitment process includes the following steps:

  1. Publication of vacancy announcement
  2. Screening and shortlisting applications
  3. Interviewing (telephone, personal, tests)
  4. Interview panel recommendation
  5. Review and confirmation of the selection
  6. Appointment

This process may take two to three months.

Employment policy

Initial appointments for international fixed-term posts are normally for one year which is also a probation period. Depending on the performance of the incumbent and the continuing need for the post, the contract may be extended.

Initial appointments for area staff are normally for three years, with the first year being the probation period. Depending on the performance of the incumbent and the continuing need for the post, the contract may be extended.

UNRWA is an equal opportunity employer and welcomes applications equally from men and women.

It is Agency policy to give full consideration to candidates with disabilities whose disability does not militate against the effective performance of the duties of the post.

UNRWA is a member of the UN Dual Career and Staff Mobility and the UN Cares programmes.


The retirement age for international staff entering or re-entering service in the UN Common System after 1 January 1990 is 62 and 65 after 1 January 2014. 

The retirement age for area staff is 60 years of age.