How Do I Become a Humanitarian?

how do i become a humanitarian

A humanitarian is someone who promotes the well-being of other people, and a person might want to know how to become a humanitarian to fulfill this calling in life. There are a few ways that a person could go about becoming a humanitarian, and those include:

  • a willingness to serve others
  • the ability to put oneself in harm’s way
  • the art of communicating in a way to convince others to provide material and financial assistance to the cause

Here are some of the key steps to become a humanitarian.

Serve in Areas of Need

People as young as high school students can begin volunteering in areas where humanitarian help is needed. This type of experience sets a person up for a full-time job in humanitarian work. Many religious organizations, national non-profit groups and international organizations offer these types of opportunities. A volunteer might help:

  • rebuild a bridge
  • set up tents in a refugee center
  • serve meals

Those with specific expertise, such as construction workers or dentists, might offer their services on a humanitarian basis. Some people choose to retire from their paid work in these occupations and devote the rest of their career to humanitarian efforts that make the most of their skills or expertise.

Earn a Degree in Social and Human Services

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, a person can work as a human services or social services assistant with a high school diploma. However, a college degree could make it easier to get a job doing this work. Those with a degree could also move into leadership roles in an organization. Some on-the-job experience as a volunteer, intern or aid worker is also helpful for becoming a humanitarian. On-the-job training helps workers handle different types of clients and a wide range of situations.

Consider Gaining Medical or Technical Expertise

A person who wants to work as an international humanitarian could benefit from some medical training or technical expertise. For example, a person who is a trained medic or licensed and registered nurse could work as a humanitarian at a refugee intake and medical treatment center. A person with technical skills could help set up communications equipment in places that lack reliable internet and electricity services. Some skills in these areas could open up more opportunities for humanitarian positions.

Learn Another Language

Many people who need human services do not speak English. A person who wants to become a humanitarian would do well to learn at least one additional language. This would help communicate with people who are unable to read or write. Fluency in at least two languages is also helpful in:

  • translating information
  • explaining processes
  • directing people to where to go

When a person is bilingual or knows several languages, their opportunities to work as a humanitarian will grow, especially if they also have medical or technical expertise.

Becoming a humanitarian may not take one on the road to riches, but it could bring much personal fulfillment in life. The rewards of helping others and seeing that their needs are met allow a person to see the good in the world. These steps to become a humanitarian could help a person find a path to a meaningful life.

Related Resources:

Brenda Rufener

Julie McCaulley

Carrie Sealey-Morris