After graduating from the HBS in Zierikzee she attended the social academy in Driebergen between 1967 and 1972. In 1972 she began to work as a youth worker. In the mid 1980s she began to work for the Education Trade Union and she began to study education studies at the University of Amsterdam specializing in education policy and law. In 1987 she graduated from the University of Amsterdam and in 1988 she became chair of the Trade Union for Education. During her period as chair she prepared the merger between the social-democratic ABOP education trade union and the liberal NGLOA education trade union . In 1994 she became vice-chair of the Federation Dutch Labour Movement, as such she was member of the Social Economic Council and the Foundation of Labour. Between 1997 and 2000 she was project manager at the Ministry of Social Affairs and Employment. Since 2000 Vogelaar works as an independent advisor and interim-manager, as such she has coordinated the projected Integration Task Force at the Ministry of the Interior and Kingdom Relations. She advises governments, organisations and companies on employment policy, social security, education and integration. She has also been on the board of VNO-NCW, the largest Dutch employers' federation.
Currently she is on the advisory board and the board of directors of several companies, including the Amsterdam Municipal Transport Agency, the Harbour of Rotterdam and Unilever. She serves on the board of the Nederlands-Vlaamse Accreditatie Organisatie, which inspects the quality of Dutch and Flemish universities and on the board of the Dutch Center for Foreigners. From 2004 through 2007, she was chair of Oxfam Novib, the largest Dutch international development organization.