The difference between Occupation and Profession in English


Requires a degree or completed studies at a university (or higher education). It involves extensive training and special knowledge.

Examples of professions are accountants, architects, doctors, engineers, lawyers, teachers.

Notice how you need a degree (higher education) to be able to work in these professions.


The way you earn a living. It is the job you are paid to do. Think of it as the activity that “occupies” your time and from which you receive money for doing it.

Occupation is a formal word for job.


In a perfect world, your profession and occupation (or job) are the same thing. Unfortunately there are people that have a profession but work in something completely different.

Compare the difference

I studied teaching at university and I am a teacher right now. My profession and my occupation are the same.

I studied teaching at university but now I am an actor. My profession is teacher though my occupation (or my job right now) is actor.

Summary Chart

The difference between Profession and Occupation in English.

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