Peace and Conflict Resolution Careers

  • Are you passionate about social justice?
  • Do you want to gain a greater understanding of conflict?
  • Do you enjoy helping people work together to resolve conflicts?

If so, then you might want to consider a career in peace and conflict resolution.

Career Tracks

This field has no direct or specified career path. Acquiring essential skills in the peace and conflict resolution field can be initiated through involvement and concern with the social issues affecting most communities. An understanding and knowledge of history and how it applies to a conflict situation as well as strong cross-cultural interaction skills are valuable assets in this field.

Full-time mediation positions are rare. Mediators often work at non-profit organizations, universities, and international development organizations. The U.S. government recruits conflict specialists to work in alternative dispute resolution programs. Those interested in restorative justice will find many opportunities with social service departments.

Application Process

Entry-level positions in this field are highly competitive. Prior experience in international development and education in conflict resolution is a plus. Language abilities can also give an applicant an edge. The United Nations and USAID also recruit specialists in peace and conflict resolution. A graduate degree is almost essential to progress in the field because of the functional expertise it demonstrates. Securing internships in the field while still a student can be a great way to get your foot in the door.

Entry Salaries and Benefits

Salary levels range from low twenties to mid-thirties at entry level depending on the size of the organizational budget, number of staff, and qualifications. The functional titles will include analyst, program associate/assistant, education coordinator, research assistant, public relations liaison, regional monitor, etc.

Fast Facts
  • Peace studies is an interdisciplinary academic field that analyzes the causes of war and systemic oppression, and explores processes by which conflict and change can be managed so as to maximize justice while minimizing violence.
  • Peace and conflict resolution is a broad field. Career-related activities within this field include policy research, legislative lobbying, public education, petitioning and protest action, community service, and intercultural diplomacy.
  • A strong commitment to social issues and interest in international relations are necessary to build a career in conflict resolution. Educational background should emphasize research and analytical methods. Enthusiasm and flexibility is very important.
Useful Links

Center for Peacemaking and Conflict Studies at Fresno Pacific University: http://peace.fresno.edu/

International Peace and Conflict Resolution jobs from American University: http://www.aupeace.org/jobs

Conflict Resolution Center International: http://crci.crinfo.org/action/search-portal.jsp?pid=5022&nid=1050