Difference Wiki

Occupation vs. Career: What's the Difference?

Edited by Huma Saeed || By Sawaira Riaz || Updated on September 18, 2023
Occupation refers to a specific job or task someone performs for pay, while a career encompasses a long-term professional journey, often involving multiple jobs and growth.

Key Differences

Occupation generally refers to the job or activity that you do regularly to earn money. It's more about the here-and-now aspect of work. Career, on the other hand, is a broader term that encompasses your entire professional life, often extending over many years or even decades.
Sawaira Riaz
Sep 18, 2023
In practical terms, an occupation could be working as a cashier at a store. A career in retail, however, could involve starting as a cashier, moving up to a supervisor, then a manager, and perhaps even becoming a regional director. The occupation is a single role, while a career is a series of connected occupations.
Sawaira Riaz
Sep 18, 2023
When considering education and training, occupations may require very specific skill sets and might not always involve long-term growth or advancement. Careers, by contrast, often involve a trajectory that may include education, specialized training, and various milestones or accomplishments.
Sawaira Riaz
Sep 18, 2023
People often have multiple occupations throughout their careers. For instance, someone might start their career in education as a classroom teacher (an occupation), later become a school principal (another occupation), and finally work as an educational consultant (yet another occupation). In this scenario, all these occupations make up a single career in education.
Sawaira Riaz
Sep 18, 2023

Comparison Chart

Timeframe

Short-term
Long-term
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Sep 18, 2023
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Growth Potential

Limited
Often involves growth
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Sep 18, 2023

Skill Requirements

Specific to the job
Can be more varied
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Sep 18, 2023

Number

Singular
Can involve multiple
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Sep 18, 2023

Scope

Job or task
Professional journey
Janet White
Sep 18, 2023

Occupation and Career Definitions

Occupation

The act of occupying a space.
The occupation of the building lasted for weeks.
Janet White
Sep 18, 2023
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Career

A lifelong professional journey.
She had a long and successful career in law.
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Sep 18, 2023

Occupation

Military control over a territory.
The occupation of the city was controversial.
Harlon Moss
Sep 18, 2023

Career

The speed or progress of something.
The car careered down the hill.
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Sep 18, 2023

Occupation

A way to spend time.
Fishing is his favorite occupation.
Sara Rehman
Sep 18, 2023

Career

A specific occupation for which you train.
His career as a surgeon was prestigious.
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Sep 18, 2023

Occupation

A job one is currently doing.
His occupation is a software developer.
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Sep 18, 2023

Career

A general course or progression of one's working life.
His career took unexpected turns.
Janet White
Sep 18, 2023

Occupation

The act of engaging one's attention.
His main occupation is painting.
Janet White
Sep 18, 2023

Career

To move rapidly and uncontrollably.
The vehicle careered off the road.
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Sep 18, 2023

Occupation

An activity that serves as one's regular source of livelihood; a vocation.
Sawaira Riaz
Dec 25, 2022

Career

A chosen pursuit; a profession or occupation.
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Dec 25, 2022

Occupation

An activity engaged in especially as a means of passing time; an avocation.
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Dec 25, 2022

Career

The general course or progression of one's working life or one's professional achievements
An officer with a distinguished career.
A teacher in the midst of a long career.
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Dec 25, 2022

Occupation

The act or process of holding or possessing a place.
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Dec 25, 2022

Career

A path or course, as of the sun through the heavens.
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Dec 25, 2022

Occupation

The state of being held or possessed.
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Dec 25, 2022

Career

Speed
"My hasting days fly on with full career" (John Milton).
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Dec 25, 2022

Occupation

Invasion, conquest, and control of a nation or territory by foreign armed forces.
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Dec 25, 2022

Career

Doing what one does as a permanent occupation or lifework
Career diplomats.
A career criminal.
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Dec 25, 2022

Occupation

The military government exercising control over an occupied nation or territory.
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Dec 25, 2022

Career

To move forward at high speed, often with minimal control
"that lordly car ... How smoothly it ran. In what style they had come careering along the country roads!" (James Joyce).
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Dec 25, 2022

Occupation

An activity or task with which one occupies oneself; usually specifically the productive activity, service, trade, or craft for which one is regularly paid; a job.
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Dec 25, 2022

Career

One's calling in life; a person's occupation; one's profession.
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Dec 25, 2022

Occupation

The act, process or state of possessing a place.
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Dec 25, 2022

Career

General course of action or conduct in life, or in a particular part of it.
Washington's career as a soldier
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Dec 25, 2022

Occupation

The control of a country or region by a hostile military and/or paramilitary force.
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Dec 25, 2022

Career

(archaic) Speed.
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Dec 25, 2022

Occupation

The act or process of occupying or taking possession; actual possession and control; the state of being occupied; a holding or keeping; tenure; use; as, the occupation of lands by a tenant.
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Dec 25, 2022

Career

A jouster's path during a joust.
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Dec 25, 2022

Occupation

That which occupies or engages the time and attention.
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Dec 25, 2022

Career

(obsolete) A short gallop of a horse.
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Dec 25, 2022

Occupation

The principal business of one's life; the principal work by which one earns one's livelihood; vocation; employment; profession; calling; trade; avocation; as, these days many people continue to practice their occupation well into their seventies.
Absence of occupation is not rest.
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Dec 25, 2022

Career

(falconry) The flight of a hawk.
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Dec 25, 2022

Occupation

The principal activity in your life that you do to earn money;
He's not in my line of business
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Dec 25, 2022

Career

(obsolete) A racecourse; the ground run over.
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Dec 25, 2022

Occupation

The control of a country by military forces of a foreign power
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Dec 25, 2022

Career

To move rapidly straight ahead, especially in an uncontrolled way.
The car careered down the road, missed the curve, and went through a hedge.
Sawaira Riaz
Dec 25, 2022

Occupation

Any activity that occupies a person's attention;
He missed the bell in his occupation with the computer game
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Dec 25, 2022

Career

Synonym of serial
A career criminal
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Dec 25, 2022

Occupation

The act of occupying or taking possession of a building;
Occupation of a building without a certificate of occupancy is illegal
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Dec 25, 2022

Career

A race course: the ground run over.
To go back again the same career.
Sawaira Riaz
Dec 25, 2022

Occupation

The period of time during which a place or position or nation is occupied;
During the German occupation of Paris
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Dec 25, 2022

Career

A running; full speed; a rapid course.
When a horse is running in his full career.
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Dec 25, 2022

Career

General course of action or conduct in life, or in a particular part or calling in life, or in some special undertaking; usually applied to course or conduct which is of a public character; as, Washington's career as a soldier.
An impartial view of his whole career.
Sawaira Riaz
Dec 25, 2022

Career

The flight of a hawk.
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Dec 25, 2022

Career

To move or run rapidly.
Careering gayly over the curling waves.
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Dec 25, 2022

Career

The particular occupation for which you are trained
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Dec 25, 2022

Career

The general progression of your working or professional life;
The general had had a distinguished career
He had a long career in the law
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Dec 25, 2022

Career

Move headlong at high speed;
The cars careered down the road
The mob careered through the streets
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Dec 25, 2022

FAQs

Can you have multiple Occupations in a Career?

Yes, a career often includes multiple occupations.
Sawaira Riaz
Sep 18, 2023

What is a Career?

A career encompasses one's entire professional life, often involving growth and multiple jobs.
Sawaira Riaz
Sep 18, 2023

Do Careers always involve advancement?

Not necessarily, but careers often involve some form of growth or advancement.
Harlon Moss
Sep 18, 2023

Can an Occupation become a Career?

Yes, an occupation can evolve into a career with growth and advancement.
Sawaira Riaz
Sep 18, 2023

What does Occupation mean?

Occupation refers to a specific job or task that one performs for pay.
Sawaira Riaz
Sep 18, 2023

Is an Occupation always paid?

Generally, occupations are paid, but some may be volunteer-based.
Aimie Carlson
Sep 18, 2023

Can a Career involve varied skills?

Yes, careers often involve a range of skills across different occupations.
Sawaira Riaz
Sep 18, 2023

What education is required for an Occupation?

Education for an occupation varies and may range from none to specialized training.
Sawaira Riaz
Sep 18, 2023

Is Occupation the same as Employment?

Occupation refers to a specific job, while employment is the condition of having a job.
Aimie Carlson
Sep 18, 2023

Can Occupation refer to non-work activities?

Yes, in broader terms, occupation can refer to any activity that occupies time.
Sara Rehman
Sep 18, 2023

Can a Career be short-term?

Generally, a career is considered long-term but can be shorter depending on circumstances.
Janet White
Sep 18, 2023

Do Occupations require special skills?

Occupations often require specific skills related to the job.
Harlon Moss
Sep 18, 2023

Do Careers require education?

Careers often involve some form of education or training but it's not always mandatory.
Aimie Carlson
Sep 18, 2023

Can Career be used metaphorically?

Yes, career can be used metaphorically, such as in the phrase "a career in crime."
Sawaira Riaz
Sep 18, 2023

Can you have a Career without an Occupation?

Generally, a career involves at least one occupation, but some may have periods without active employment.
Harlon Moss
Sep 18, 2023
About Author
Written by
Sawaira Riaz
Sawaira is a dedicated content editor at difference.wiki, where she meticulously refines articles to ensure clarity and accuracy. With a keen eye for detail, she upholds the site's commitment to delivering insightful and precise content.
Edited by
Huma Saeed
Huma is a renowned researcher acclaimed for her innovative work in Difference Wiki. Her dedication has led to key breakthroughs, establishing her prominence in academia. Her contributions continually inspire and guide her field.

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