HOME

TheInfoList



A professional is a member of a
profession A Profession is a disciplined group of individuals who adhere to ethical standards and who hold themselves out as, and are accepted by the public as possessing special knowledge and skills in a widely recognised body of learning derived from re ...

profession
or any person who earns a living from a specified professional activity. The term also describes the standards of education and training that prepare members of the profession with the particular knowledge and skills necessary to perform their specific role within that profession. In addition, most professionals are subject to strict codes of conduct, enshrining rigorous
ethical Ethics or moral philosophy is a branch of philosophy that "involves systematizing, defending, and recommending concepts of right and wrong action (philosophy), behavior".''Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy'"Ethics"/ref> The field of ethics, al ...
and
moral obligation An obligation is a course of action that someone is required to take, whether legal Law is a system of rules created and law enforcement, enforced through social or governmental institutions to regulate behavior,Robertson, ''Crimes against hu ...
s. Professional standards of practice and ethics for a particular field are typically agreed upon and maintained through widely recognized
professional associations A professional association (also called a professional body, professional organization, or professional society) seeks to further a particular profession A profession is an occupation founded upon specialized educational training, the pu ...
, such as the
IEEE The Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) is a professional association for electronic engineering and electrical engineering (and associated disciplines) with its corporate office in New York City and its operations center i ...
. Some definitions of "professional" limit this term to those professions that serve some important aspect of public interest and the general good of society.Sullivan, William M. (2nd ed. 2005). ''Work and Integrity: The Crisis and Promise of Professionalism in America''. Jossey Bass.Gardner, Howard and Shulman, Lee S., The Professions in America Today: Crucial but Fragile. Daedalus, Summer 2005. (pgs. 13–14) In some cultures, the term is used as shorthand to describe a particular social stratum of well-educated workers who enjoy considerable
work autonomy Job control is a person's ability to influence what happens in his or her work environment, in particular to influence matters that are relevant to his or her personal goals. Job control may include control over work tasks, control over the work pa ...
and who are commonly engaged in creative and intellectually challenging work.Gilbert, D. (1998). ''The American class structure: In an age of growing inequality''. Belmont, CA: Wadsworth Press.Beeghley, L. (2004). ''The structure of social stratification in the United States''. Boston: Allyn & Bacon.Eichar, D. (1989). ''Occupation and Class Consciousness in America''. Westport, CT: Greenwood Press. Ehrenreich, B. (1989). ''Fear of falling: The inner life of the middle class''. New York: Harper Perennial.


Trades

In narrow usage, not all expertise is considered a profession. Occupations such as skilled construction and maintenance work are more generally thought of as
trades
trades
or
craft A craft or trade is a pastime or an occupation that requires particular skills and knowledge of skilled work. In a historical sense, particularly the Middle Ages In the history of Europe, the Middle Ages or medieval period lasted ap ...
s. The completion of an apprenticeship is generally associated with skilled labour, or trades such as
carpenter Carpenters in an Indian village Carpentry is a skilled trade A tradesman, skilled tradesman, or tradie refers to a skilled worker who specializes in a particular occupation that requires work experience, on-the-job training, and often fo ...

carpenter
,
electrician An electrician is a tradesman A tradesman, skilled tradesman, or tradie refers to a skilled worker who specializes in a particular occupation that requires work experience, on-the-job training, and often formal vocational education V ...

electrician
,
mason Mason may refer to: Occupations * Mason, brick mason, or bricklayer, a craftsman who lays bricks to construct brickwork, or who lays any combination of stones, bricks, cinder blocks, or similar pieces * Stone mason, a craftsman in the stone-cutti ...

mason
,
painter Painting is the practice of applying paint Paint is any pigmented liquid, liquefiable, or solid mastic composition that, after application to a substrate in a thin layer, converts to a solid film. It is most commonly used to protect, ...
,
plumber A plumber is a tradesperson A tradesman, skilled tradesman, or tradie refers to a skilled worker who specializes in a particular occupation that requires work experience, on-the-job training, and often formal vocational education Vocati ...

plumber
and other similar occupations.


Theory

Although professional training appears to be ideologically neutral, it may be biased towards those with higher class backgrounds and a formal education. In his 2000 book, ''
Disciplined Minds Jeff Schmidt is a physicist A physicist is a scientist A scientist is a person who conducts Scientific method, scientific research to advance knowledge in an Branches of science, area of interest. In classical antiquity, there was no real ...
: A Critical Look at Salaried Professionals and the Soul-Battering System that Shapes Their Lives'', Jeff Schmidt observes that qualified professionals are less creative and diverse in their opinions and habits than non-professionals, which he attributes to the subtle indoctrination and filtering which accompanies the process of professional training. His evidence is both qualitative and quantitative, including professional examinations, industry statistics and personal accounts of trainees and professionals. A key theoretical dispute arises from the observation that established professions (e.g. lawyers, medical doctors, architects, civil engineers, surveyors) are subject to strict codes of conduct. Some have thus argued that these codes of conduct, agreed upon and maintained through widely recognized professional associations, are a key element of what constitutes any profession. Others have argued that strict
codes of conduct A code of conduct is a set of rules outlining the norms Norm, the Norm or NORM may refer to: In academic disciplines * Norm (geology), an estimate of the idealised mineral content of a rock * Norm (philosophy), a standard in normative ethics ...
and the
professional associations A professional association (also called a professional body, professional organization, or professional society) seeks to further a particular profession A profession is an occupation founded upon specialized educational training, the pu ...
that maintain them are merely a consequence of 'successful' professionalization, rather than an intrinsic element of the definition of professional(ism); this implies that a profession arises from the alignment between a shared purpose (connected to a 'greater good'), a
body of knowledge A body of knowledge (BOK or BoK) is the complete set of concepts, terms and activities that make up a professional A professional is a member of a profession or any person who earns a living from a specified professional activity. The term also d ...
, actual behavior in terms of actions and decisions, and expectations held by societal stakeholders.


Etymology

The etymology and historical meaning of the term professional is from Middle English, from ''profes'', adjective, having professed one's vows, from Anglo-French, from Late Latin ''professus'', from Latin, past participle of ''profitēri'' to profess, confess, from pro- before + ''fatēri'' to acknowledge; in other senses, from Latin ''professus'', past participle. Thus, as people became more and more specialized in their trade, they began to 'profess' their skill to others, and 'vow' to perform their trade to the highest known standard. With a reputation to uphold, trusted workers of a society who have a specific trade are considered professionals. Ironically, the usage of the word 'profess' declined from the late 1800s to the 1950s, just as the term 'professional' was gaining popularity from 1900–2010. Notably, in American English the rise in popularity of the term 'professional' started at the beginning of the 20th century whereas in British English it started in the 1930s and grew fastest in the 1960s and 70s.


See also

*
Amateur An amateur (; ; ) is generally considered a person who pursues a particular activity or field of study independently from their source of income. Amateurs and their pursuits are also described as popular, informal, self-taught Autodidacticism ...
*
Centre for the Study of Professions Oslo and Akershus University College ( no, Høgskolen i Oslo og Akershus, abbr. HiOA) was the largest state university college In a number of countries, a university college is a college institution that provides tertiary education but does not ...
*
Organizational culture Historically there have been differences among investigators regarding the definition of organizational culture. Edgar H. Schein, a leading researcher in this field, defined "organizational culture" as comprising a number of features, including ...
*
Professional boundaries Professional boundaries are an important consideration in the relationship between any professional A professional is a member of a profession or any person who earns a living from a specified professional activity. The term also describes the s ...
*
Professional services Professional services are occupations in the service sector The tertiary sector of the economy, generally known as the service sector, is the third of the three economic sector Image:Economic sectors and income.JPG, 250px, This figure illustr ...
*
Professional sports Professional sports, as opposed to amateur sports Amateur sports are sport Sport pertains to any form of Competition, competitive physical activity or game that aims to use, maintain or improve physical ability and skills while providing ...
*
Semi-professional Semi-professional sports are sport Sport pertains to any form of Competition, competitive physical activity or game that aims to use, maintain or improve physical ability and skills while providing enjoyment to participants and, in some cas ...


References


External links

* * {{Authority control Occupations