Professional staff

Professional staff members of the IAEA are experts in their fields who carry out the functions of the IAEA through two different means. First, they contribute as individual experts. Second, they organize input from experts to deal with specific tasks, such as preparing standards.

IAEA professional staff work in international and multidisciplinary teams. The skills needed by the professional staff are usually very specific to the nature of the IAEA's work. 

Staff members are international civil servants subject to the authority of the Director General. As such, they may not seek or accept instructions in regard to the performance of their duties from any government or other authority external to the Agency. While all staff members are subject to the laws and regulations of the duty station country, they are entitled to certain privileges and immunities in the interests of the IAEA.

Professional Staff positions are advertised through online vacancy notices.

Post grades

Similar to other United Nations agencies, the IAEA offers its international professional staff the following career steps:

P-1 to P-3 levels

At the P-1/P-2 junior/entry level, the principal goal of staff members is to demonstrate expertise by participating in the execution of programmes and projects, moving in the course from apprenticeship to higher levels of responsibility.

As a P-3 professional, staff members launch and develop particular facets of the IAEA programme and gain further professional experience.

Necessary qualifications:

  • University degree (or equivalent graduate degree)
  • No/two/five years of experience in a field of relevance to the post, respectively
  • Strong analytical skills
  • Computer skills: standard Microsoft Office software
  • Languages: fluency in English. Working knowledge of other official languages of the IAEA (Arabic, Chinese, French, Russian, Spanish) is advantageous
  • Ability to work effectively in multidisciplinary and multicultural teams
  • Ability to communicate effectively

P-4 to P-5, D levels

Two paths are open at the P-4 and P-5 levels: taking on managerial responsibilities or carrying out functions in a highly specialized field of expertise. Those with managerial responsibilities function as head of a unit or section, or as director (D level) of a division. They directly participate in the preparation and execution of the IAEA's strategy, manage a budget and assume a leadership role.

Necessary qualifications:

  • Advanced university degree (or equivalent post graduate degree)
  • Seven/10/15 years of experience in a field of relevance to the post, respectively
  • Resource management experience
  • Strong analytical skills
  • Computer skills: standard Microsoft Office software
  • Languages: fluency in English. Working knowledge of other official languages of the IAEA (Arabic, Chinese, French, Russian, Spanish) is advantageous
  • Ability to work effectively in multidisciplinary and multicultural teams
  • Ability to communicate effectively

Rotation policy

For professional positions, the IAEA follows a policy of rotation out of the organization. This policy allows Member States to benefit from the return of their nationals after gaining expertise at the IAEA, and it allows the IAEA to have a continuous influx of fresh knowledge and experience at all levels. This increase in international capacity is also of benefit to staff members, who have an opportunity to be part of a dynamic team facing the IAEA's challenges.

Regular fixed-term appointments are typically made for an initial three-year period. Based on programme requirements and work performance, the Agency may offer an extension for a period of two years, bringing the total service to five years. As a rule, five years constitute the normal period a staff member can expect to be employed by the IAEA.

Temporary assistance assignments

Applicants interested in short-term staff assignments or consultancies, ranging in length from one month to less than one year, may submit a general application in the administrative or scientific or engineering fields by filling out an on-line job application.

When a division has a need for specific skills, the IAEA’s recruitment unit runs a query among those applications. This is an excellent opportunity to be exposed to an international environment and work with specialists from various countries in one's field of work.

Verification of applicant’s data

Appointment as a professional staff member at the IAEA is subject to verification of academic qualifications and employment background to the satisfaction of the Agency. Only applicants with academic qualifications from accredited or officially recognized universities or institutions are considered eligible. The accreditation status of an educational institution is verified by the Agency.

For candidates under closer consideration, reference checks will be conducted. They will be notified accordingly. If candidates have indicated in their application that they have objections to contacting their current employer, this employer will not be contacted without their prior agreement.

Application status

As is the case for other international organizations, including those in the United Nations System, the IAEA is not able to provide application status updates while the recruitment process is ongoing. All candidates are considered in the running for the position until the vacancy closes.

In general, selected candidatures will move forward and may receive an invitation for pre-screening and/or assessments within the first three months upon the application deadline. All candidates will receive an update at the end of the process. On average, vacancies are processed approximately between six to nine months after the application deadline.