Become a Foreign Aid Worker: Step-by-Step Career Guide

Learn how to become a foreign aid worker. Research the job description and training requirements and find out how to start a career in this profession.

View 4 Popular Schools »

Do I Want to Be a Foreign Aid Worker?

Foreign aid workers are employed abroad to provide assistance to the underserved and displaced. These workers travel extensively, allowing them to meet and help a wide variety of people. However, depending on the area they are assigned to, foreign aid workers could deal with dangers from disease or violence.

Job Requirements

Obtaining a position in this field requires focused motivation, education and international experience. Prospective candidates must also meet specific requirements for the job. Review the requirements and steps necessary for this career.

Step 1: Identify Motivation

Foreign aid workers are needed on every continent in nearly every field. Work can include disaster response, embassy work, unmet need fulfillment or other tasks. Prospective aid workers must determine what area of focus motivates them and where they would like to be placed. Individuals can select a country where they know or are interested in learning the language, have a cultural interest or wish to find work in the future.

Step 2: Earn an Education

Educational requirements for foreign aid workers vary depending on the desired field of focus. Those wishing to teach abroad, for example, can seek a degree in education. Students who want to study social science, economics and information technology might find job opportunities with non-profits and international aid organizations. Other degree options could include agronomy, engineering and business. Prospective foreign aid workers might consider pursuing a bachelor's degree or higher in their field. A degree in international affairs offers a diverse background and can benefit students intending to work with government organizations.

Step 3: Work or Study Abroad

Many work abroad and study abroad programs are available to university students. Positions can be paid or unpaid and in a variety of fields and locations. Some students may choose to participate in independent programs or find international work on their own. International programs allow students to experience cultural immersion and prepare them for foreign aid work. International internships with the U.S. Department of State provide first-hand experience with foreign aid and affairs. Students benefit from working in the region where they plan to seek future employment.

Step 4: Volunteer with an International Organization

Prospective foreign aid workers can consider volunteer work, which can help them make connections in their field and gain experience. Many international non-profits seek volunteers and place them in communities where they have an established presence. This allows prospective aid workers to gain language, community building and diplomatic experience with the guidance of seasoned individuals.

Step 5: Meet Basic Requirements

Foreign aid workers must meet basic medical and age requirements. Many organizations, including the U.S. State Department, also require a background check. Candidates with foreign language skills, experience or advanced education could have an advantage over competitors.

Show me popular schools

Related to Become a Foreign Aid Worker: Step-by-Step Career Guide

  • Related
  • Recently Updated
  • Popular
Is IT Ever Too Late to Start a New Career?

Is it ever too late to start a new career? Well, that depends on what career you're thinking about. But if you're dissatisfied...

Generation Limbo Survival Guide

A May 2011 piece in 'The Huffington Post' reported the troubling statistic that as many as half of all college graduates under...

Career Outlook Good for Green Jobs

The Obama administration just announced a multi-billion dollar award for clean energy manufacturing projects. Funding 183...

Service Members: Choose a Career That's Right for You

Few decisions in life are more defining than the career path you choose to follow. What you decide to do for a profession can...

A Guide To Advanced Placement Courses

Popular Schools

  • Minimum eligibility requirements:
    • Must be a high school graduate or have completed GED
    • Eligibility and relevancy of sample programs below will vary by article and program
    School locations:
    • Online Learning
    • Arizona (3 campuses)
    • California (16)
    • Colorado (3)
    • Florida (6)
    • Georgia (5)
    • Illinois (7)
    • Indiana (2)
    • Maryland (1)
    • Michigan (1)
    • Minnesota (1)
    • Missouri (2)
    • North Carolina (2)
    • New Jersey (3)
    • Nevada (1)
    • New York (2)
    • Ohio (4)
    • Oklahoma (1)
    • Oregon (1)
    • Pennsylvania (4)
    • Tennessee (2)
    • Texas (7)
    • Utah (1)
    • Virginia (3)
    • Washington (3)
    • Wisconsin (1)

    Online and Classroom-Based Programs

    What is your classroom preference?

  • Minimum eligibility requirements:
    • Must be a high school graduate or have completed GED
    School locations:
    • Online Learning

    Online Programs

    Which degree level do you plan to pursue?

  • Minimum eligibility requirements:
    • Must be a high school graduate or have completed GED
    School locations:
    • Online Learning

    Online Programs

    What is your highest level of education?

  • Minimum eligibility requirements:
    • Must be 18 years of age or older
    School locations:
    • Online Learning

    Distance Learning Programs

    What is your highest level of education?

Other Schools:

  • School locations:
    • California (1 campus)
    Areas of study you may find at Stanford University include:
      • Graduate: Doctorate, First Professional Degree, Master
      • Undergraduate: Bachelor
    • Liberal Arts and Humanities
      • Cultural Studies
      • Ethnic and Gender Studies
      • Liberal Arts, Humanities, and General Studies
      • Philosophy
      • Political Science
        • International Relations, General
      • Public Administration
      • Religious Studies
      • Social Science and Studies
      • Social Studies and History
  • School locations:
    • Pennsylvania (1 campus)
    Areas of study you may find at University of Pennsylvania include:
      • Graduate: Doctorate, First Professional Degree, Master
      • Post Degree Certificate: First Professional Certificate, Post Master's Certificate, Postbaccalaureate Certificate
      • Undergraduate: Associate, Bachelor
    • Liberal Arts and Humanities
      • Cultural Studies
      • Ethnic and Gender Studies
      • Geography and Cartography
      • Human and Social Services
      • Liberal Arts, Humanities, and General Studies
      • Philosophy
      • Political Science
        • International Relations, General
      • Public Administration
      • Religious Studies
      • Social Science and Studies
      • Social Studies and History
  • School locations:
    • Rhode Island (1 campus)
    Areas of study you may find at Brown University include:
      • Graduate: First Professional Degree, Master
      • Undergraduate: Bachelor
    • Liberal Arts and Humanities
      • Cultural Studies
      • Ethnic and Gender Studies
      • Human and Social Services
      • Philosophy
      • Political Science
        • International Relations, General
      • Public Administration
      • Religious Studies
      • Social Science and Studies
      • Social Studies and History
  • School locations:
    • Columbia (D.C.) (1 campus)
    Areas of study you may find at Georgetown University include:
      • Graduate: First Professional Degree, Master
      • Non-Degree: Coursework
      • Undergraduate: Bachelor
    • Liberal Arts and Humanities
      • Cultural Studies
      • Liberal Arts, Humanities, and General Studies
      • Philosophy
      • Political Science
        • International Relations, General
      • Public Administration
      • Religious Studies
      • Social Science and Studies
      • Social Studies and History
  • School locations:
    • Florida (1 campus)
    Areas of study you may find at University of Florida include:
      • Graduate: Doctorate, First Professional Degree, Master
      • Post Degree Certificate: Post Master's Certificate
      • Undergraduate: Associate, Bachelor
    • Liberal Arts and Humanities
      • Cultural Studies
      • Ethnic and Gender Studies
      • Geography and Cartography
      • Human and Social Services
      • Liberal Arts, Humanities, and General Studies
      • Parks, Recreation and Leisure Studies
      • Philosophy
      • Political Science
        • International Relations, General
      • Religious Studies
      • Social Science and Studies
      • Social Studies and History
  • School locations:
    • Massachusetts (1 campus)
    Areas of study you may find at Boston University include:
      • Graduate: Doctorate, First Professional Degree, Master
      • Post Degree Certificate: First Professional Certificate, Post Master's Certificate, Postbaccalaureate Certificate
      • Undergraduate: Associate, Bachelor
    • Liberal Arts and Humanities
      • Cultural Studies
      • Ethnic and Gender Studies
      • Geography and Cartography
      • Human and Social Services
      • Liberal Arts, Humanities, and General Studies
      • Philosophy
      • Political Science
        • International Relations, General
      • Public Administration
      • Religious Studies
      • Social Science and Studies
      • Social Studies and History
      • Theological, Religious, and Ministerial Studies

Popular Schools

Avg. Wages For Related Jobs

Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics

Copyright