There are currently an estimated 389,800 humanitarians in the United States. The humanitarian job market is expected to grow by 16.4% between 2016 and 2026.

How employable are humanitarians?

CareerExplorer rates humanitarians with a B+ employability rating, meaning this career should provide good employment opportunities for the foreseeable future. Over the next 10 years, it is expected the US will need 71,000 humanitarians. That number is based on 63,800 additional humanitarians, and the retirement of 7,200 existing humanitarians.

Are humanitarians in demand?

Sadly, natural disasters, conflicts, disputes, crises, and persecution worldwide are perennial. As long as people around the world need help and support, there will be a demand for humanitarians. In particular, non-governmental organizations (NGOs), the Red Cross, and the United Nations will need aid professionals to fill leadership roles such as program directors, coordinators, and planners of humanitarian response efforts. While many humanitarian organizations operate on a non-profit basis and rely on a largely voluntary workforce requiring limited experience, CEOs, recruiters, managers, trainers, and translators are also employed by these associations and generally get paid for their work. The most employable humanitarian aid program directors possess a number of functional competencies in the areas of foundational knowledge of humanitarian work, protection, and human rights. The demands of the role include defining strategies and setting clear goals; identifying and adjusting priorities; allocating appropriate time and resources; foreseeing risks and allowing for contingencies; and monitoring and adjusting plans and actions. These requirements call for candidates with organizational, analytical, negotiation, management, budgeting, partnering, and leadership abilities. Job seekers increase their prospects if they are adaptable to unstable and undesirable environments. It is also not uncommon for career humanitarians to speak more than one language and have a Bachelor’s Degree in international relations, global affairs, public administration, sociology, or political science. Individuals considering a humanitarian career should start by volunteering with aid organizations to determine their geographical preferences and the type of work they wish to do. New entrants with travel experience in less developed countries and who show a willingness to work under difficult conditions may open additional doors to employment.

What’s the supply of humanitarians?

The humanitarian industry is concentrated in California, New York, New Jersey

Humanitarian job market by state

State Name Employed Humanitarians
California 55,880
New York 34,760
New Jersey 25,810
Texas 18,460
Pennsylvania 17,510
Massachusetts 15,580
Ohio 15,180
Minnesota 15,060
Wisconsin 12,760
Illinois 11,340
Michigan 10,710
Florida 9,040
Maryland 8,670
North Carolina 8,030
Connecticut 7,300
Washington 7,120
Arizona 6,750
Indiana 6,680
Georgia 6,640
Virginia 6,450
Oregon 6,280
Utah 5,840
South Carolina 5,300
Puerto Rico 4,870
Iowa 4,310
Nebraska 4,180
Kentucky 4,160
Kansas 4,100
Missouri 3,850
Louisiana 3,790
Arkansas 3,340
Maine 2,980
West Virginia 2,910
New Mexico 2,790
Idaho 2,740
Colorado 2,460
Mississippi 2,340
Vermont 2,290
New Hampshire 2,210
Rhode Island 2,160
Tennessee 1,980
Hawaii 1,890
District of Columbia 1,880
Nevada 1,800
North Dakota 1,470
Montana 1,380
Alabama 1,360
Oklahoma 1,040
Alaska 1,000
South Dakota 860
Delaware 830
Wyoming 820
Guam 90
Virgin Islands, U.S. 80