Working at CERN: how to make your dream come true

How can I apply for a job position at CERN? What should I study to get to work there?

I get questions like this all the time.

Well, I understand your concerns because I wondered the same thing for years until the magic day arrived and I was able to get a job here at CERN.


Therefore, I decided to jot down some helpful information that will perhaps address all of your queries.

The first thing I want to say is that you don't have to be Einstein to get a job here, and you don't even have to have three master's degrees and two Ph.D.s.
Loving Science, being curious and ready to learn new stuff every day is what you really need.

So are you ready to discover the extraordinary?

What should I study?

CERN is more than Physics (in fact, only 3% in CERN’s entire staff are physicists). We are scientists, engineers, IT specialists, human resources specialists, accountants, writers, technicians and many other kinds of people working together to break barriers to achieve the seemingly impossible.

Of course, a scientific degree is a plus, but don't be afraid if you have a different background; simply look through all of the open positions and apply to those that best match your professional skills. Engineer and technician opportunities abound at CERN, which is at the cutting edge of technology and engineering in fields ranging from radiofrequency, electronics, mechanical and civil engineering, to electrical, computing, and materials science.

Who works at CERN?

Based in Geneva and sitting across the French and Swiss border, CERN employs around 2500 people  from the 22 Member States but its facilities are available for use by research institutes all over the world. In total, almost 11000 scientists of more than 100 different nationalities use CERN’s infrastructure. CERN also hosts several hundred students, fellows and scientists coming from other institutes.

kateryna tropnikova

Kateryna Tropnikova visiting the CERN Globe

Are you afraid to move abroad?

Don't be too scared! CERN assists all newcomers in integrating and settling in the region, and you will quickly discover that the work, environment, and location provide a one-of-a-kind experience that you will not regret. Contracts are typically offered for five years at CERN. Although there are opportunities for long-term contracts, the culture is one of knowledge acquisition and transfer. Many people come for five years and then leave with a fantastic addition to their work and life curriculum.

Are you now ready? Check out the links below

Job Opportunities for Professionals

We’re not just world-famous for science. To conduct experiments of this scale and importance, we need the very best talent in every part of our organization. Which means, if you’re interested in joining our Technical or Support teams or if you’re an engineer or professional in any area from mechanics to accounting, this is more than an opportunity to develop your career: it’s an opportunity to develop knowledge and science on a global scale. In fact, it’s an opportunity like nowhere else on Earth. Read more

Job Opportunities for Graduates and Technicians

If you’re a recent graduate from university or a technical institute, you’re no doubt looking for the chance to make your mark. Here it is: you could spend up to three years working right at the forefront of scientific research. As a Fellow, you could join us for research work in particle physics; or you could join a project of advanced development work in a broad range of applied science, engineering and technical fields. Whichever route you take, it will be an extraordinary experience. An experience like nowhere else on Earth. Read more

stefano meroli

Stefano Meroli in the CERN Computer Centre

Job Opportunities for Students

Is applying to the Student opportunities best suited to you? Check below to see which programme would best suit your profile.

Doctoral Student Programme

This is a chance to work on your thesis while spending 6 to 36 months at the forefront of science. Whether you’ve already chosen a subject or are still making your decision, if your specialism is Applied Physics, Engineering or Computing, this is an invitation to further your knowledge in a truly unique organization. In fact, it’s an invitation to get involved in world-famous experiments of unprecedented scale and scope. An invitation to join an environment like nowhere else on Earth. Read more.

Technical Student Programme

There’s no better way to learn than on-the-job. When that job happens to be in a world-famous organisation and centre of scientific excellence, even better. If you’re an undergraduate in Applied Physics, Engineering or Computing and are looking for a practical training period or a place to complete your final project, you could spend 4 to 12 months at CERN during the course of your studies (Bachelor or Master). An extension of up to a maximum of 14 months may be given. Read more.

Administrative Student Programme

The Administrative Student Programme is aimed at undergraduate students specializing in administration, to spend a training period of 2 to 12 months during the course of their studies (Bachelor or Master). An extension of up to a maximum of 14 months may be given. Read more.

Summer Student Programme

How do you plan to spend your summer? How does getting involved in some of the world’s biggest experiments sound? This is more than summer work. It’s the chance to join CERN in Geneva – getting involved in the day-to-day work of our multicultural teams. Attend lectures, visit CERN facilities, take part in discussions and workshops with people who are leaders in their fields. In fact, it will be a summer like nowhere else on Earth. Read more.

Short-Term Internship Programme

Are you looking for a short training period? If you're an undergraduate student in a technical or administrative field, you might be interested to spend a practical training period of 1 to 6 months, in the framework of your studies. Take a look at our programme. Read more.

So after all this information are you ready to start this amazing experience? Do not wait any longer and send your application because at CERN, you’ll have an opportunity to work on unique and challenging projects that truly make an impact on humanity.

Science NEEDS your fresh perspective and new ideas, so please ask for the help you need and pursue your dreams with ferocity.

Not sure yet? Plan a visit at CERN

CERN offers amazing tours from Monday to Saturday. You will get the change to see the Accelerators (LHC Large Hadron Collaider, SPS and others), the main experiments (CMS, ATLAS), the computer centre where the world wide web (www) was intevented, the Shiva statue and many other exhibition stands which can give you an idea of how life at CERN looks like.

Anything missing? Write it here