- Help communities across the globe with emergency relief from natural and man-made disasters
- Opportunities to travel and visit remote, rural areas
- Use your friendly people skills to provide reassurance to those most in need
This role is incredibly rewarding, and will allow you to provide help in areas all around the world, providing emergency support to those who need it.
- Providing emergency aid like food, shelter and medical supplies
- Organising transport, sorting and handling deliveries
- Overseeing the distribution of goods
- Recruiting, training and organising local people to work as staff and volunteers
- Writing reports, monitoring budgets and doing general admin
- Networking with other organisations and government officials in affected areas
- Working with communities longer term, such as rolling out healthcare or education programmes
- Working on building or engineering projects
You might be based overseas or in remote rural areas and your working environment could be physically and emotionally challenging.
For this role, you'll need sensitivity and understanding; the ability to work well with others, accept criticism, work well under pressure, and understand people's reactions; excellent verbal and written communication skills; patience and the ability to remain calm in stressful situations; and good thinking and reasoning skills.
You'll need to pass a medical check and enhanced background checks to become an aid worker.
A variety of degrees at university can enable you to become an aid worker. You can do a degree to give you specialist skills, such as medicine/healthcare, education, languages, or engineering; or take a subject that will give you a wider understanding of global issues, like economics, international development, law, or social policy. After completing a degree, you can study for a postgraduate course in international development, humanitarian aid, or disaster management.
Experience is crucial to become an aid worker. Most people start out as an unpaid volunteer (such as with a charity in the UK). Volunteering vacancies are advertised on Do-it, or you can go directly to the websites of charities and non-governmental organisations (NGOs). You can also apply for internships with charities and NGOs while you're at university, for which competition is high.
Direct application is possible if you are an experienced professional. As well as professions like nursing, healthcare, teaching and engineering, organisations often look for experience in admin, project management, and logistics.
This role is great for developing your own unique career path, working with a variety of organisations in different parts of the world. With experience, you can move into senior management or advisory positions.