Humanitarian Careers: 10 Jobs that Help People

Woman meeting with coworkers in a nonprofit setting raises her hands in celebration.

What if your work was a satisfying career and one that helped people? Humanitarian careers allow you to effect change and better people’s lives. Humanitarian careers aren’t just the jobs that directly help people in need. They may focus on education, the arts or health — all things that people need to achieve their best quality of life.

There is an array of opportunities in the job market to earn money while doing good, including these 10 jobs that help people.

Humanitarian Careers

Executive director of a nonprofit

An executive director at a nonprofit is the equivalent of a CEO at a business. This is the top position in the organization. The executive director is responsible for daily operations of the nonprofit and reports to the board of directors. Most nonprofit employers require an executive director to have an advanced degree. Leadership and interpersonal skills are essential for this position. According to Payscale, the real-time median pay for an executive director is $64,300.

Diversity manager for a business

Diversity manager is an in-demand job in a growing market. It’s usually part of the human resources department at larger businesses. Diversity managers are often involved in hiring new employees. He or she creates and executes a talent acquisition process to attract, invite and retain applicants with diverse backgrounds. Diversity managers also work within a company to make sure policies and practices are respectful of race, gender, sexuality, ability and other differences. The median pay for a diversity manager is $77,233.

Public policy advocate for a cause

Advocacy involves lobbying and public education. Advocates spend their time educating decision-makers and lawmakers about issues. They may host community forums to educate others. They create awareness and seek to change or make new policies that effect their community. Median pay for a public policy advocate is $57,325.

Learn More About Careers That Help Others

Learn more about the many career options in the private, public and nonprofit sectors available in our free 2018 MPA Career Guide.

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Director of development for a nonprofit

The director of development of a nonprofit is the primary fundraiser for the organization. They oversee developing and implementing a strategic plan to raise funds for their nonprofit. A director of development may write grants and good communication skills are essential for this position. They also need to be aware of the legalities surrounding nonprofit fundraising techniques. Median pay for a director of development is $61,957.

Logistics manager for relief agency

An important part of relief work is making goods and services available to people in need when disaster strikes. A logistics manager is an expert at getting things from Point A to Point B in a timely, cost-effective way. They plan how to move people and things to where they are needed most and communicate these plans to the people involved. Median pay for a logistics manager is $63,509.

Community liaison officer for a city

This government position works as a link between community residents and their government officers. Liaisons solve problems and bring needed programs to communities in the city. Diplomacy is a key skill for liaisons. Median pay for a community liaison officer is $40,098.

Health promotion officer

Like a public policy advocate, a health promotion officer advocates for good health practices to community groups, public policy makers, educational health programs or for the public in general. They may seek funding for programs, like those advocating healthy eating habits or drug abuse education. This job requires frequent interaction with people. A background in health, psychology or biology can up your earning potential. Median pay for a health promotion officer is $48,599.

Volunteer coordinator for an arts organization

Volunteer coordinators recruit, train and manage volunteers for the organization. They determine the need for volunteers — How many people? How many hours? What skills do they need to have? Volunteer coordinators also keep detailed records. Many volunteers need service hours tracked and verified. A volunteer coordinator needs good people skills and be organized. Median pay for a volunteer coordinator is $36,702.

Program director for a community center

Community centers offer a diverse array of programs and services, depending on community needs. A program director determines those needs and devises ways to serve them. This involves fundraising, creating budgets, hiring and managing staff, and building awareness of the center’s programming. A program director for a community center must have good knowledge of the community that he or she serves and the ability to build and maintain relationships with ease. The median pay for a program director is $52,847.

Grant writer for a museum

Grant writers solicit funding on behalf of nonprofits. Museums rely heavily on grants to fund new projects. Grant writers help an  organization raise funds so that it can do good in the community. Excellent communication skills are critical to this position, with an emphasis on writing and research skills. According to PayScale, median pay for a grant writer is $45,685.

Education Requirements

There’s no one degree required for the career positions listed above, but if you’re thinking about a humanitarian job, you might consider earning a Master of Public Administration. An MPA is similar to an MBA with an emphasis on governance. An MPA is not just for people seeking work in the public sector. MPA graduates go on to work at nonprofits, non-governmental organizations and other public-facing workplaces.

Aurora University’s online MPA degree helps students develop the knowledge and skills to take leadership roles in jobs such as these. Graduates receive instruction from faculty members with real-world experience. AU’s online MPA features interdisciplinary coursework in community relations, budgeting, public policy and nonprofit management.

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