How to Become an NGO Area Coordinator

How to Become an NGO Area Coordinator: Career Path Guide

If you want to become an NGO area coordinator, you first need to determine if this career path is a good fit for you. If the following description sounds like you, then you’re probably well suited for a career as an NGO area coordinator:


Those who become NGO area coordinators have a passion for making a difference, and enjoy being involved in relief, restoration or development work, regardless of the financial compensation. They must have the patience for committing to long-term project goals, even when project financing is questionable.


Those who become NGO area coordinators typically enjoy meeting a variety of people, and enjoy having their views and understanding of the world expanded. NGO area coordinators also need to have the intellectual and emotional capacity to effectively navigate the cultural, legal and logistical considerations of working and living in a foreign country. 


Below we've outlined what you'll need to begin a career as an NGO area coordinator. We've also included helpful information for this career, such as job description, job duties, salary expectations, a list of possible employers and much more!



Education Needed to Become an NGO Coordinator

The educational requirements for becoming an NGO area coordinator (or working for an NGO in any capacity for that matter) depend on such factors as what the specific responsibilities of your job will be, where you will work, and many others.


Most NGO’s prefer to hire candidates that have some type of formal education, such as an undergraduate degree in the Humanities and Social Sciences, Science, Education and Business, or in specific fields such as Engineering, Nursing, Medicine and Law.


Those who have master’s or doctorate degrees in a field such as the humanities or business administration are considered highly valuable to NGO’s, as they are able to apply advanced knowledge to their work as an NGO area coordinator.


Success Tip: In addition to educational qualifications, many NGO’s are particularly interested in hiring candidates that have practical experience in the field in which you will be working.





Non-Governmental Organization (NGO) Area Coordinator Job Description

An area coordinator for and NGO is responsible for developing strategies and programs in support of the NGO’s mandate, which are usually aimed at uplifting society. They must ensure that there are healthy, reciprocal relationships between the different bodies of government and other sectors which influence their organization. A non-governmental organization (NGO) is an organization is a non-profit or not-for-profit organization that exists at the local, national or international level for the purpose of addressing issues in support of the public good.



Non-Governmental Organization (NGO) Area Coordinator Job Duties

• Oversee the recruitment and training of volunteers

• Oversee the creation of fundraising ideas and fundraising efforts

• Create, implement and monitor development programs for staff

• Prepare and deliver correspondences on behalf of the organization

• Schedule and attend meetings with relevant organizations

• Ensure the policies and procedures of the organization are adhered to

• Submit periodic activity, status and summary reports to the director

• Ensure a good flow of information within the group



Skills and Attributes Needed to Work as an NGO Area Coordinator

In order to become an effective NGO area coordinator, you need to posses a certain set of skills and personal attributes; without them, the job may be emotionally and intellectually overwhelming. These skills and traits include:


• Speaking a second language, or partially speaking several languages

• Having experience in the field

• A willingness to endure harsh living conditions

• The ability to work on a team composed of diverse individuals

• Emotional stability

• Excellent inter-personal skills

• Cultural and gender sensitivity

• Must be committed to represent your NGO and what you stand for





Who Hires NGO Area Coordinators?

NGO area coordinators are hired by non-governmental organizations (NGO’s) that operate on a local, national or international level for the purpose of addressing issues that support the public good.


NGO’s are typically involved in work related to relief, restoration or development in a certain region, or across many regions. The issues they may work to support include:


• Food security and agriculture

• Health

• Water and sanitation

• Capacity building

• Responding to large scale emergencies

• Education

• Commerce and job creation, including micro-enterprise development

• Peace and justice issues



How to Get a Job as an NGO Area Coordinator

If you want to become an NGO area coordinator, you will need to find work with an NGO that suits your interests, beliefs and career aspirations. Below are some of the methods you can use to help you find that perfect NGO job.


Start off as a volunteer: Volunteering with an organization is a great way to break into work as an NGO area coordinator, as it will allow you to gain in-field experience, and also allow you to network and meet people involved in NGO’s at various capacities. When the opportunity for a paid job with your NGO becomes available, you may be first in line if you have proved yourself to be a valuable asset to the organization.


Intern with an organization: This is a great way to determine if you want to become an NGO area coordinator, as it will allow you to get on-the-job experience, while simultaneously earning you school credit. Speak to your university professors and your school’s career counselors to see if they can point you in the direction of any legitimate internship opportunities.


Apply through your undergraduate program: A great way to get a job as an NGO area coordinator is to gain an education and apply with an organization that suits your interests, beliefs and goals. An undergraduate education in an area such as political science, international development studies, nursing, sociology, and many others, will help you become qualified for entry and mid-level positions with many NGO’s.


Network: Be sure to let members of your community know that you are interested in working with an NGO, as some of them may be connected to an NGO and be able to introduce you to an opportunity to become involved. Sports coaches, teammates, teachers, professors, church members, co-workers, family members, friends and their families may all be able to potentially help you get a job with an NGO.


Success Tip: Most NGOs have websites with sections dedicated to posting job descriptions and open positions



NGO Area Coordinator Salary: How Much Do They Earn?

There are many factors that influence the salary level of NGO Area Coordinators, including what region of the world they work in, the level of funding their NGO receives, their specific job responsibilities, their level of experience, their level of education, and many others. 


The salary level for NGO Area Coordinators can vary widely; some individuals don’t earn salaries and work as volunteers; others may work for modest wages that are provided by private donors and sponsors; while some may earn salaries that are competitive with the salaries of public sector employees.


We can get a good idea of what the salary levels are for those who earn a living comparable to public sector employees by looking at the salary level of the closely related career of Community and Social Service Workers and Managers are.


NGO Area Coordinator Salary Alberta: According to the 2011 Alberta Wage and Salary Survey, Albertans working in the Community and Social Service Workers occupational group earned an average wage of between $18.53 and $23.12 per hour.


NGO Area Coordinator Salary United States: According to the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median annual salary of workers in the Social and Community Service Managers occupational group is $57,950 (2010 figures). 



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Positive and Negative Aspects of an NGO Area Coordinator Career

Working as an NGO area coordinator has its share of challenges and rewards. Below are some of the positive and negative aspects of becoming an NGO area coordinator.


Positive Aspects:


• The work of NGO area coordinators brings essential solutions to communities and effects many lives

• You get to meet a wide variety of people, who can expand your understanding of the world

• In many cases, you have daily interactions with the beneficiaries of your work

• The ability to see the impact of the work you do, such as reforesting areas, providing disaster relief, or seeing jobs created

• Gain a wide variety of transferable skills, knowledge and competencies as a result of the work


Negative Aspects:


• The communities you within may not be receptive to your efforts

• Communicating with other workers who may be from around the world, and with the local population can be difficult

• Those who enjoy fieldwork may be disappointed in the amount of administrative work they must do (varies by job)

• Navigating culture, legal and logistical considerations can be very difficult

• Emotional cost of work (success and failure can have a big impact on people)



Careers Similar to NGO Area Coordinator

Listed below are careers in our database that are similar in nature to NGO Area Coordinator, as they may involve many of the same skills, competencies and responsibilities.


Community Service Organization Manager

Community Services Director

Director of Volunteer Services

Project Supervisor

Volunteer Coordinator



References: How to Become an NGO Area Coordinator

Please consult the references below to find more information on the various aspects of a career as an NGO Area Coordinator.



Occupations in Alberta:Manager of Volunteer Resources.” (March 16, 2016). ALIS website - Alberta Learning Information Service. Retrieved January 5, 2020.

Management:Social and Community Service Managers.” (September 10, 2019). Occupational Outlook Handbook - United States Bureau of Labor Statistics website. Retrieved January 5, 2020.


Please Note: Some of the information for this career guide was gathered from actual job postings, which due to the brief nature of their online presence, are not listed here as sources.




Scholarships for Becoming an NGO Area Coordinator

Scholarships listed for majors that apply to becoming an NGO Area Coordinator can be found on our All Scholarships by Major page.


Success Tip: Be sure to apply for any scholarships that you even barely qualify for, as there are millions of dollars of scholarships that go unused every year due to a lack of applicants!



Becoming an NGO Area Coordinator: Applicable Majors

Studying one of the university majors listed below is an excellent starting point to becoming an NGO Area Coordinator. Click on the links to find out what else you can do with these majors!


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