Careers Working With Refugees

Aug 06, 2021

Career Options for Working With Refugees

Refugees are people who have been affected by tragic circumstances that have prompted them to leave their homes. They may be persecuted due to their race or religion or may go to another country to escape from war. Refugees face a number of challenges as they try to rebuild their lives in a new country.

Job Title Median Salary (2020)* Job Outlook (2019-2029)*
Adult Literacy and High School Equivalency Diploma Teachers $55,350 -10%
Lawyers $126,930 4%
Interpreters and Translators $52,330 20%
Community Health Workers $42,000 15%
Social Workers $51,760 13%
Childcare Workers $25,460 2%
Social and Human Service Assistants $35,960 17%

Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

Career Information for Working With Refugees

Adult Literacy and High School Equivalency Diploma Teachers

Adult literacy and high school equivalency diploma teachers provide academic instruction to adults who need help mastering English or basic academic skills. These educators are required to have a bachelor's degree and may also need to have a teaching license. It's common for these education professionals to work with immigrants, including refugees, to help them learn to communicate in English.


Lawyers are required to have a law degree and law license. There are many areas lawyers may specialize in, and some spend their careers focusing on immigration. They can help refugees navigate the legal process so that they can legally live and work in a new country. Lawyers provide their clients with legal information, file legal documents for them and may also represent them in court hearings.

Interpreters and Translators

Interpreters and translators take information presented in one language and present it in another language. They must be fluent in a second language and have a bachelor's degree. They may work with refugees during the legal process, in healthcare settings and in other environments where refugees need help communicating. They play an important role by helping refugees communicate effectively as they adapt to their new environment.

Community Health Workers

Community health workers are tasked with learning the medical needs of people in their community, helping people access healthcare services and providing counseling when needed. They typically learn once hired and only need a high school diploma or GED. They can help ensure that refugees learn of healthcare services that are available to them and ensure these people access the services that they need.

Social Workers

Most social workers can start their career with a bachelor's degree in their field, although some roles require a master's degree in social work. Social workers can provide counseling to people or help them access services that they need and advocate for services that meet the needs of their clients. Social workers contribute to the lives of refugees by providing them with trauma counseling, assisting with housing and other practical needs, and helping them adjust to the new country and culture they're now living in.

Childcare Workers

Childcare workers look after children; their duties involve planning activities and looking after the basic needs of the children. Qualifications can range from a high school diploma to completion of some postsecondary courses or certification. Those who work in areas with high immigration may work with children who are refugees that need help adjusting to their new country and may also need extra help learning the language so that they can communicate.

Social and Human Service Assistants

Social and human service assistants can begin a career with a high school diploma and on-the-job training. They help families and individuals by determining which type of assistance they need and helping them get the appropriate help. It's common for these professionals to work with immigrants so they play a role in helping refugees find the services they need. This can include legal help, assistance finding work, access to education and housing.

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