Occupation vs. Profession: What is the Difference Between Occupation and Profession?

This article will give you the basics of what an occupation is and what a profession is. You'll find out that the two are similar but have some key differences. Read more here.
Occupation vs Profession: 10 Key Differences, Pros & Cons

The terms occupation and profession might be used interchangeably but they are not the same. The major occupation vs. profession difference lies in their scope. Occupation is a broader term that encompasses a profession within itself. So all professions are occupations but all occupations are not professions.

Let’s take a closer look at profession vs. occupation here:

ScopeOccupation is a broader term than the profession
Code of conductA profession has a code of conduct unlike an occupation
Higher educationA profession involves higher education but an occupation does not
TrainingA profession involves training compulsorily unlike an occupation

What is an Occupation?

What is an Occupation? An occupation is an activity that one undertakes for earning money or livelihood.

An occupation is an activity that one undertakes for earning money or livelihood.

What is a Profession?

What is a Profession? A profession is an occupation involving specialized education and training.

A profession is an occupation involving specialized education and training.

Occupation vs. Profession Pros and Cons

Occupation Pros and Cons

Occupation Pros and Cons

Pros of Occupation

  • It provides a source of livelihood to people.
  • It provides a sense of satisfaction to many.

Cons of Occupation

  • It might not bring respect for the person involved.
  • It keeps one busy throughout which might not be preferred by many. 
  • The compensation received in an occupation is usually less.
  • An occupation might take away one’s independence.
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Profession Pros and Cons

Profession Pros and Cons

Pros of Profession

  • It improves one’s efficiency levels.
  • It brings respect for the person involved.
  • It increases the sense of responsibility in people.
  • It imparts specialized skills in people.
  • A profession involves independent working.
  • It helps one make more money.

Cons of Profession

  • It involves specialized training.
  • One needs to go for higher education that might seem tough to many.

Occupation vs. Profession Examples

Let’s explore some occupation vs. profession examples for a deeper understanding of the two terms:

Examples of Occupation

  • Driving
  • Trading
  • Running a shop
  • Clerical job
  • Government job

Examples of Profession

  • Chartered Accountancy
  • Medical
  • Engineering
  • Law

Bringing out the Similarities between Occupation and Profession for Better Understanding

  • Both occupation and profession help people earn money.
  • Both demand our time and effort.
  • Both can bring a sense of satisfaction for the person involved.

10 Key Points of Difference Between Occupation and Profession

Here are some top differences between profession and occupation that will provide a better understanding of these terms:

Basis Occupation Profession
MeaningIt is an activity that one undertakes for earning money.It is an occupation involving specialized education and training to earn money.
ScopeIt has a broader scope with the profession being a part of it.It has a narrower scope since it is a type of occupation. 
Involvement of skillIt does not involve any specialized skill.It always involves a specialized skill.
EducationAn occupation does not necessarily require education.A profession always demands a specific type of education.
RegulationIt is not regulated by any authority.It is regulated by a professional body.
TrainingAn occupation does not necessarily involve training.A profession always involves training to acquire the necessary skill.
Code of conductIt does not have a code of conduct compulsorily.It has a code of conduct compulsorily.
IncomeIt can result in low or high income depending on the occupation one takes up. It offers high income because of specialization.
RespectAn occupation might or might not lead to societal respect for the person involved.It always leads to societal respect for the person involved.
IndependenceIt generally offers less independence.It offers more independence for the professional.

Comparison Chart

This article will give you the basics of what an occupation is and what a profession is. You'll find out that the two are similar but have some key differences. Read more here.

Comparison Video

Profession vs. Occupation – What is the difference?

Occupation and Profession FAQs

What is the Difference Between Profession and Career?

The difference between career and profession lies in the scope of these terms. A career includes all types of work undertaken by an individual in a specific field. It can include a profession, employment, or business. So considering career vs. profession, the term profession has a limited scope than the term career.

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Is Profession a Type of Occupation?

Yes. A profession is a type of occupation and helps one earn money.

What is the Difference Between Profession, Career, Occupation, and Job?

  • A profession is an occupation involving specialized education and training. 
  • A career is a long-term work journey of an individual involving all types of activities he undertakes in a specific field.
  • An occupation is any activity undertaken by an individual to earn money. It includes employment, business, and profession.
  • A job is a task performed by an individual to earn money. It is also a part of occupation like the profession. 

What are the Types of Profession?

There are many types of professions like law, chartered accountancy, medical, et al.

What is the Difference Between Career, Field, and Occupation?

Career and field are the same things. They represent the life-long or long-term journey of an individual in a specific type of work. Occupation, on the other hand, represents the activity undertaken by an individual for the current period to earn money. So considering career vs. occupation, an occupation undertaken by an individual for a long term becomes a career for him.

What is the Difference Between Profession and Business?

The primary difference between a profession and a business lies in the activity involved. A profession involves the use of knowledge and skill to earn money while a business involves the selling of goods and services for a profit.

Conclusion

Both occupation and profession help to earn money but are two different terms. Any activity undertaken to earn one’s livelihood is an occupation. It does not necessarily involve any special knowledge. On the other hand, an occupation with specialized education and training becomes a profession. Undertaking special knowledge is necessary for a professional. Additionally, occupation is not regulated by any authority whereas a profession has a ruling authority that sets uniform standards for all professionals. At the same time, a profession attracts more societal respect than an occupation for the person involved. The term occupation has a broader scope and encompasses a profession within itself. So all professions are occupations but all occupations are not professions.

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