Difference Between Profession and Career

A profession and a career are related to an individual working to earn a living. The two terms are similar but have some distinguishable differences.


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In that, a profession requires formal qualifications after undergoing training in a recognized institution. In contrast, career refers to the various jobs an individual has served.

It shows the positions occupied in the various organizations and the projects done. Notably, the terms are often used interchangeably; however, it is essential to learn the key differences to avoid confusing the two.

Key Takeaways

  1. A profession is a specialized occupation requiring advanced education and training, while a career is an individual’s work journey over their lifetime.
  2. Professions often have established regulatory bodies, codes of ethics, and licensing requirements, whereas careers are broader and encompass various jobs and roles.
  3. A person’s career may include multiple professions or a single profession with various positions or organizations.

Profession vs Career

A profession requires specialized education, training, and expertise, while a career encompasses all a person’s jobs. Professions include medicine, law, and engineering, while careers can be more flexible.

Profession vs Career

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A profession is to be oriented toward service, but a career is to be oriented toward growth.

Comparison Table

Parameter of ComparisonProfessionCareer
MeaningIt is an activity that requires an individual to apply learned skills and knowledge in an occupation.It is the life of an individual in the job. The critical issues are the work profile, salary and growth, and development.
OccupationThe profession is the occupation.It might be a business, employment, or a profession.
Based onIt is mainly centered on the educational background and the training undergone by an individual.It solely depends on an individual’s ambitions on what he/she wants to achieve.
OrientationIt is mainly concerned with the services offered to the customers in line with the acquired knowledge and skills during the training.It is all about the growth of an individual over the years.
Code of conductA professional body is responsible for setting the rules and regulations on how operations are to be done.There is no code of conduct, and an individual will shift from one job to another while gaining the skills needed to earn higher pay and achieve personal growth.

What is a Profession?

It is an economic activity done by a person with the required skills and knowledge obtained after training in a recognized institution for a given period.

There are various professions, such as the medical profession for doctors, a technical profession for engineers, and the legal profession for advocates.

The professionals are responsible for delivering services in a given profession. The needed knowledge and skills to practice a profession can be obtained from a college, university, or any vocational institution.

Other professions require extra expert training to be considered professional. A professional body is available to set the rules and guidelines to be followed during service conduct.

Practicing professionals do not rely on employment but offer their services to customers at a fee.


What is a Career?

It refers to all the activities an individual does in his/her life, ranging from education, training, jobs, work experiences, and work profile. It mainly depends on personal decisions concerning knowledge, professionalism, and personal and social development.

The determination of an individual to work leads to personal growth and development. Careers are different for every individual since it is a life journey in the education and work field.

It concerns various jobs an individual has done, the roles and responsibilities in multiple positions, and the movement from one organization to another.

It also outlines the satisfaction of the individual in various jobs. People have different career goals and use different measures to determine their success.

Some individuals consider themselves successful by gaining high salaries and occupying top positions. Others believe in themselves through the satisfaction and happiness they gain in their jobs.


Main Differences Between Profession and Career


A profession is an occupation that requires formal qualification after undergoing training in a recognized institution. On the other hand, career refers to the various jobs an individual has served over the years.

It shows the positions occupied in the various organizations and the projects done.


The profession is considered the occupation. Careers, however, outline occupation in various ways. A person can engage in multiple occupations and roles in his life.

In careers, an individual can be an entrepreneur, a doctor, or working for a given organization.

Based on

A profession requires an individual to undergo formal education and gain specific skills and knowledge. It is also necessary for a person to belong to a professional body to conduct and deliver the services required.

A career, on the other hand, depends on an individual’s ambitions. The skills and knowledge are acquired throughout the practice.


A professional is service-oriented in the area of knowledge that his profession covers. Professionals are paid, but they do not intend to exploit their clients.

In a career, however, an individual is growth-oriented and looks for ways to get better pay and occupy top positions. The various jobs might require different skills and knowledge.

Code of conduct

A profession has a regulatory body responsible for setting the code of conduct. The professionals must observe the rules and regulations stipulated by the professional body.

On the other hand, a career does not have a regulating body, and an individual is free to venture into any field.

Difference Between Profession and Career
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