U.S. Agency for International Development

  • Do you have a passion for international development?
  • Are you an American citizen with a master’s degree?
  • Do you enjoy living and working overseas?
Career Tracks

USAID provides leadership, resources, and technical expertise in economic growth, agriculture, trade, democracy and governance, conflict mitigation, humanitarian assistance and global health. USAID operates in over 100 countries in Latin America and the Caribbean, Sub-Saharan Africa, Europe and Eurasia, Asian and the Near East.

USAID personnel work in the following areas: Humanitarian Assistance, Democracy and Governance, Economic Growth and Trade, Education, Global Health, Environment, Agriculture, and Global Alliance Development. Global Alliance Development refers to USAID’s partnership with private organization that help spur development around the world. Each of the career areas is interrelated and interdependent.

Application Process

Prospective applicants to USAID should first check USAID’s website. Many positions are advertised on the USAID’s career page. USAID positions are also frequently advertised on USAJOBS. Graduate students should strongly consider first applying to the Presidential Management Fellowship (PMF). PMF finalists often have an advantage when applying for positions at USAID. Graduate students should also consider USAID’s opportunities abroad in the Foreign Service Junior Officer program. The agency typically hires new candidates based on the candidate’s strong skill set in a particular sector (ex. political party training, child nutrition, micro-finance) or regional specialization (consisting of language skills, regional work experience, or area studies). USAID offers paid and unpaid internships.


Entry-level employees with an MA can expect starting salaries from the high 20’s to mid 40’s, depending on the organization, the level of responsibility, the experience of the applicant, and the size and funding base of the institute. Other benefits such as attending events and corresponding with professionals and experts in a certain field are great opportunities to form contacts that may be useful for future jobs.

Fast Facts
  • USAID is the premier international development agency for the United State Government. USAID’s goal of international development is to alleviate poverty among the citizens of developing countries. Strategies for improvement include investment in the economic, political, and social arenas.
  • As more than one billion people live on less than $1 a day, the imperative to address global poverty is ever present. Opportunities for careers in development are extensive in all sectors. However, competition for positions is fierce and the selection process can be lengthy.
  • A graduate degree is essential to pursue a career at USAID. A master’s program with a strong applied curriculum is valuable. Sound training in economics and public administration, including policy monitoring and evaluation, may be broadly applied.
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