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Top 10 Humanitarian Jobs That Pay Well

Humanitarian jobs focus on helping others and making the world a better place, but many fear that they won’t make enough money. This is especially a concern if you live in an area with a high cost of living, you have a family to support, or debt. Do you need to sacrifice your financial well-being to have a career that helps others? Thankfully, no. There are many well-paying jobs available. Here are ten of the best examples:


There are many areas of law that focus on helping vulnerable groups, such as immigration law, human rights, refugee law, and domestic violence law. Lawyers in these fields work with clients to help them achieve justice and support. To become a lawyer, you must attend law school and pass the bar exam. If there’s an area of law you want to specialize in, consider the schools known for those specializations and then later seek out jobs at law firms that focus on your area of interest. In the United States, a human rights lawyer makes a median salary of $122,268. The more experienced you are, the higher the salary.

Registered nurse

Nurses are an essential part of the medical community. Their work includes updating medical records, monitoring patients, assisting with tests, and providing important advice to patients and their families. To become a nurse, you will need to earn an associate’s degree, bachelor’s degree, or nursing diploma. To enter a graduate program, you will likely need a bachelor’s first. After your schooling, you’ll pass a certification exam to get a license. Salary varies, but in the United States, the average is just over $70,000 a year.

Civil engineer

You may not think of civil engineering as a humanitarian job, but the work focuses on improving quality of life. Society needs good infrastructure like roads, bridges, and water supply systems. Civil engineers can also lend their skills after natural disasters and war. You will first need a civil engineering degree, as well as accreditation and licensing depending on where you’re working. When you’re first starting your career, the average salary is almost $51,000. Principal civil engineers and civil engineering managers make about $110,000 and $105,000 respectively.

Social impact consultant

Social impact consultants work with organizations like nonprofits to develop strategies for success. They help them increase their productivity, expand their reach, and boost their positive impact. Organizations often want consultants with doctorates as well as years of experience. You can work on your own or with a social impact consulting firm. While the average salary for a social impact consultant is around $77,000, experienced consultants with strong portfolios can expect to make much more.

Technical advisor

Humanitarian tech is a vibrant, challenging field. To continue expanding what’s possible and increasing technology’s effectiveness, organizations want technical advisors. Responsibilities include working on the tech, coordinating teams, and offering expert advice. You will likely need at least a bachelor’s degree in computer science, as well as experience working in technology. Advising is like consulting in that the salary can vary widely. In the US, the average annual salary for a tech advisor is almost $84,000.

Supply chain manager

For organizations to find success with their aid programs, they need supply chain managers. This job oversees all the logistics, procurement, warehousing, and transport of essential supplies. Because the job has so much responsibility, it’s considered specialized. Specialized jobs tend to pay very well. You’ll need a master’s degree in supply chain management or a related field (many places won’t accept only a bachelor’s) and experience working in leadership roles. The average supply chain manager salary in the US (which includes supply chain managers for corporations) is about $111,000.

Data analyst

Data is very important for organizations and governments wanting to make a difference. Without data, it’s impossible to know what’s working and what needs improvement. A data analyst’s work reveals what’s going on, finds patterns, and helps organizations track progress. You’ll need at least a bachelor’s degree in math, statistics, or a related field. Previous work experience with stats, software, and databases is also necessary. In the US, senior data analysts have a base salary of almost $83,000.

Grant specialist

Grant specialists are responsible for finding donors, reporting donations, distributing grant money, and more. They are essential to the sustainability of any organization that depends on grants. A bachelor’s degree in accounting or a related field is usually desired. Organizations also often want a specialist with experience in the area the organization focuses on. As an example, if the org focuses on education programs, they will look for grant specialists with experience and/or knowledge of the education field. In the US, a grant director makes just over $80,000 on average, while a grant management specialist makes just over $74,000.

Social media director

Social media directors are responsible for an organization’s social media strategy. For humanitarian organizations, social media is a powerful tool for raising awareness and bringing in donors. A director plans the content (often with a team depending on the organization’s size) and monitors the impact of the strategy. There are many social media tools available, so a director is also responsible for choosing the right ones for their organization. You’ll need a degree in business, marketing, or a related field, as well as experience. In the US, a social media director makes between $67,000 and $76,000 a year on average, though it varies widely.

Public health specialist

Public health specialists can be found in many places, including hospitals, schools, and government offices. Their work includes running public health programs, working with individuals, and educating communities on health and nutrition resources. Careers within public health include case managers, family services specialists, school health educators, and more. You will need at least a bachelor’s degree, though higher-up roles may require a graduate degree. Certifications may be needed, too. The median pay for a health education specialist in the US is just over $48,000 a year. For a job like an emergency management director, the pay is about $74,500.