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The difference between a Job, a Career, and an Occupation

Updated: Mar 14, 2023

The terms "career," "job," and "occupation" are frequently used interchangeably. A job is what you come to work for; a career is what you do for a living and includes your education, training, professional memberships, volunteering, and your entire history of paid work. An occupation is a type of work that includes tasks, education and training, typical wages, work settings, and other factors.


For example, you may choose to get trained for the occupation “electrician”. Then, apply for a job as a residential electrician at a local residential construction company. Your career may eventually involve that initial experience in addition to having further commercial and industrial experience after a number of years.


In general, we refer to "job" as a specific arrangement with an employer, while "career" and "occupation" refer to a particular line of work.


How do I get started finding a career?

The Virtual Career Center can help you find a career that’s right for you. Get started with the steps below:

  1. Learn about yourself by visiting O*NET INTEREST PROFILER

  2. Find details about nearly 900 careers at MY NEXT MOVE

  3. See what options there are for educational and occupational training


What occupations have the most jobs?

To learn more about job trends, the fastest-growing industries, the occupations with the most opportunities, and other information, check out our In-Demand Industries and Labor Market information for Central Arkansas.



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