10 Crucial Difference between Occupation and Profession with Table

What is the difference between occupation and profession?

Occupation and profession have some close similarities and it is the reason why people find it difficult to make a distinction.

The main difference between occupation and profession is that occupation is a neutral term which is used broadly while profession refers to an occupation that requires formal qualification or long training.

The lesson provides detailed insight into the difference between occupation and profession with examples.

Difference between Occupation and Profession

What Is  Occupation?

Occupation is an activity undertaken by an individual to earn a living. It can be in the form of employment and business activity to make money.

Examples of occupations are driver, civil servant, shopkeeper, clerks, and accountants among many others.

Occupation does not require an individual to school though it involves mental and physical kinds of jobs.

Main Divisions of Occupations

  1. A business where an individual engages in trade or commerce
  2. Employment where ones work to earn a living
  3. A profession where one render services to others

What Is Profession?

The profession is an occupation where an individual undergoes training to specialize in a certain area. It requires an individual to gain high degrees in education and have expertise.

The main function of the profession is to render services to those in need of them. It is normally governed by professional bodies or statues.

Examples of professions are chartered accountants, engineers, lawyers and doctors among many others.  Each profession has a certain code of ethics to ensure uniformity

Comparison Chart: Occupation Vs Profession

Basic Terms Occupation Profession
Meaning Refer to the work that people do. Refer to the occupation that requires educational training before offering services
Nature The neutral and generic term Intellectual pursuit
Qualification No need for educational qualification Educational and training qualification is a must
Code of Conduct Absent Present
Statutory Regulation Absent Present
Basis of Payment Depend on produce Depend on skills and knowledge
Respect and status No Yes
Higher education No Yes
Responsibilities No Yes
Interdependency Absent Present

Main Difference between Occupation and Profession

  1. Occupation does not need special training whereas profession need special training
  2. Occupation has no code of conduct while the profession has a code of conduct
  3. The profession is governed by statutory bodies while the occupation is not
  4. The nature of occupation is neutral and generic while the profession is an intellectual pursuit
  5. The basis of salaries under occupation is low while the profession is high
  6. Occupation has several opportunities whereas profession is limited to one
  7. Occupation has no responsibilities whereas the profession has a lot of responsibilities
  8. Professions get respected by people and have a high profession in society, unlike occupations.
  9. Occupation tend to lack independent whereas profession has independence
  10. Statutory bodies offer guidance to professions unlike occupation

Read More: Difference between Information and Knowledge

Comparison Video


There are a lot of similarities between occupations and professions but the slight differences make them stand apart from each other.

The core difference between occupation and profession is that occupation does not require higher learning whereas profession requires higher learning.

More Sources and References

  • https://www.coursehero.com/file/26147886/Difference-Between-Occupation-and-Professiondocx/
  • https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Profession
  • https://pdf.sciencedirectassets.com/

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