Every job is not a profession, but every profession is a job.

We often confuse jobs with professions even though the latter involves specialized study and training. For instance, if Ritu works as a marketing associate, that’s her job. But if she’s a lawyer then that’s her profession and her job may be something specific to her profession like a real estate attorney or a company secretary.

A profession is wider in scope than a job as it includes any work that you do to make a living in your daily life. A profession requires years of education, training and experience. If you’re a veterinary doctor, you need the proper training, qualifications and experience to practice. For a job, on the other hand, you may not need that level of training such as for clerical roles in an organization.

Let’s discover more about the difference between a job and a profession.

Job Vs. Profession

The chief difference between a job and a profession is the nature of work. A doctor by profession can’t start operating on patients without formal education. But, if your job is to create content for YouTube, you can easily start today, even without going to school for it.

Here are some points to highlight the difference between a profession and a job:

  1. Scope Of Work

What you do defines whether it’s a job or a profession. A job is where you’re employed by someone to perform certain tasks for a salary. Your job as an employee of an organization may vary but as a profession, it remains fixed. As a doctor, for instance, you can only do what you’re trained in. A neurosurgeon can’t do what a dental surgeon is equipped for and vice versa. The scope of work defines the tasks performed for which you need a fixed set of skills and training along with years of study.

  1. Training and Education

Training means formal training conducted by recognized organizations. You can practice in your profession with certification from these organizations. You must have seen certificates and diplomas in a doctor’s clinic. These are professional qualifications that permit them to practice their skills and offer their services. For a job, however, you may not always need professional training. If your job is to conduct research for an organization, you can do so even without formal training.

  1. Flexibility

In a job that’s not a profession, you have a lot more flexibility to switch roles, job types or industries. You may be working in sales today, but switch to technical tomorrow. But as a professional, your training and education only allows you to practice in that field—unless you have more than one professional certification. Flexibility in terms of job roles is higher when you’re not bound by a profession.

  1. Specialized Skills

Professionals enjoy specialized skills that set them apart. An architect needs the right knowledge of the sciences to practice professionally. You need to be well-versed with certain aspects of physics and chemistry. However, when we’re talking about working in an organization’s product team, you may even get the chance to switch roles and acquire skills on the job.

  1. Learning And Development

Being in a profession encourages you to study and keep learning even if you have a job. Medical professionals have to stay up to date with the latest in the medical community be it medicine, vaccinations or procedures. Doing your job well relies on how willing you are to enhance your skills.

The difference between a profession and a job is that a job is specific to what you do as a professional. It’s a wider term that comprises distinct job roles. How you define your job or profession depends on what skills you need and how much experience you have.

You can take this opportunity to seek professional education and training to get a job that’s specialized to become the best at what you do. Professional training is more curated and specific, making you easily distinguishable from others. There may be a difference between a job and a profession, but at the end of the day, if you can learn to put your best foot forward, you can excel in your career.

Harappa’s Learning Expertly course will teach you how to recognize your strengths, weaknesses and acquire new knowledge. In the learning process, it’s important to be self-motivated and agile so you can use every opportunity to grow. If you want to pursue a profession that requires rigorous or microscopic training, you can prepare yourself with our frameworks like Gibbs’ Reflective Cycle and how to develop a Growth Mindset. Make the best of your learning experiences and give your career a boost!


Explore topics such as Study Tips For Students, The Cycle Of Continuous Improvement, Stages Of Learning ProcessHow To Memorize Faster & the Difference Between Occupation And Profession from Harappa Diaries to upgrade your knowledge and skills.

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