Difference Between Profession and Occupation

Profession vs Occupation

Since time immemorial, profession and occupation have meant the kind of work that provides a means of bread and butter for men. A person sweeping toilets and floors in a mall says that he is working as a cleaner in the mall while a doctor proudly claims that he is in the medical profession. Both people are working and earning, and it would not be wrong to say that both have different occupations. However, there are subtle differences between profession and occupation that will be highlighted in this article.


Since ancient times, there have been certain professions that were well delineated and respected. For example, men who cured ailments of other people in the society were respected as having magical power to cure others. Medicine has all along been a respected profession. Even before medicine, divinity was considered a noble profession that earned a lot of respect for men as they were considered men of god having divine powers. These two were termed as high professions. Later in the times of kings and royalties, there emerged a lot of other professions that gave people jobs in royal courts. There was also profession of fighting for the royal army.

With the passage of time and advancement, many more professions emerged that required higher studies and specialization. Even today, however, the professions associated with medicine, law, engineering and administration are considered above others, and require people to undergo higher studies to earn a job and high salary.


Any job, manual or involving you to use your brain can be termed as occupation. Occupation is a term used for a job that provides the means to make a living. Mostly, people doing jobs that are not very noteworthy are referred to as occupations. In general, when a man is asked about his occupation, he is required to tell about the job he is doing or the business he is involved with. In short, he has to tell the activity that earns bread and butter for him and the family.


What is the difference between Profession and Occupation?

• Profession is more respectable and higher earning than a mere occupation.

• Profession requires earning a degree through higher education that imparts specialized knowledge.

• Occupation could be anything from driving a truck to working as a wood cutter in a factory while profession could mean being a doctor, lawyer, engineer or an administrator.

• Profession is a subset of occupation.