Occupations and Jobs English Vocabulary

reviewed byIryna Andrus / more about Editorial Process

Navigating the world of work in a new language can be a daunting task. In this guide, you will find helpful occupations vocabulary to equip you in English-speaking professional environments. 

Master Professional English: Occupations and Jobs Vocabulary Guide

Job Names

Let's begin with an important aspect of jobs - job titles. These words will help you understand and talk about different professional roles.

  • Doctor: someone who is trained to help sick people.
  • Engineer: a person who plans, builds, or takes care of engines, machines, or buildings.
  • Tutor or teacher: someone who helps students learn information, skills, or morals.
  • Chef: a professional cook, usually the head cook at a hotel or restaurant.
  • Receptionist: a type of job where someone works in an office and meets people, and answers the phone.
  • Lawyer: a person who works in the legal field as a lawyer, counselor, or barrister.
  • Accountant: a person whose job it is to keep or check financial records.
  • Librarian: someone who works in a library and runs it or helps people who use it.
  • Photographer: someone who takes pictures for a living.
  • Journalist: someone who writes news stories or pieces for a newspaper or magazine or shares them on radio or TV.
  • Salesperson: someone who sells things or services for a company, either in a store or directly to customers.
  • Electrician: a person whose job it is to install, manage, and fix electrical wiring, equipment, and fixtures.
  • Architect: a person who plans buildings and gives advice on how to build them.
  • Plumber: someone whose job it is to put in or fix water lines, bathrooms, and other things like that.
  • Dentist: a person who is trained to treat tooth and gum illnesses and conditions.
  • Software engineer: someone who makes programs and apps for computers and mobile devices.
  • Barista: someone who works in a coffee shop and makes and serves coffee.
  • Mechanic: fixes and takes care of machines, especially cars.
  • Firefighter: someone who puts out fires and helps people when there is a fire.
  • Nurse: someone who has been trained to care for sick or hurt people, usually in a hospital.
  • Graphic artist: a person who makes different kinds of images for print or digital media.
  • Pilot: the person in charge of an airplane's controls.
  • Pharmacist: a person who is trained and licensed to make and sell medicines.
  • Real estate agent: a person who works as a business to help people buy, sell, or rent homes.
  • Scientists: people who study or are experts in one or more of the natural or physical sciences.
  • Editor: a person in charge of writing, like a newspaper or magazine, who decides what it will say in the end.

We've covered a wide range of types of professions. Practice these words, and you'll become more confident in discussing professions and roles in English.

9

Job Application Terms

When you're ready to apply for jobs in English, it's vital to know key application terms. This vocabulary will guide you through the job application process.

  • Resume: a document that provides an overview of your skills, work history, education, and achievements.
  • Cover letter: a letter you send with your resume to provide more information about you.
  • References: people who can vouch for your skills, experiences, and character, usually former employers or colleagues.
  • Interview: a formal meeting in which one or more persons question, consult, or evaluate another person.
  • Job description: a written statement that describes the duties, responsibilities, required qualifications, and reporting relationships of a particular job.
  • Portfolio: a collection of work samples that can demonstrate your skills and qualifications to a potential employer.
  • Background check: a review of a person's criminal, commercial, and financial records typically conducted by an employer before making a job offer.
  • Probationary period: a span of time after you start work during which your employer can monitor your performance and determine whether you are suitable for the job.
  • Job offer: a formal proposal from an employer to a potential employee to work for their company.
  • Salary expectations: the amount of money an applicant expects to be paid for the job they are applying for.

These application terms are just a start; knowing them will help you better understand job applications. Keep practicing these words until they become a part of your active vocabulary.

Workplace Lingo

The English-speaking workplace has its own unique set of jargon and phrases. Understanding these will help you navigate the day-to-day conversations at work.

  • Telecommuting/remote working: working from a location outside of the traditional office environment, usually from home.
  • Deadline: the last time or date something should be done.
  • Teamwork: when a group of people work together to reach a common goal.
  • Manager: someone who is in charge of running a company or group of employees.
  • Brainstorming: a way for a group of people to come up with a lot of ideas for how to solve a problem.
  • Feedback: information about how people feel about a product, how well someone did on a job, etc., that is used to make things better.
  • Out of office: a phrase often used to describe a period where an employee is not present in their usual work location, usually due to travel or vacation.
  • Onboarding: the process of bringing a new employee into a company or getting a new customer or client used to your goods or services.
  • Micromanage: control every part, however small, of an enterprise or activity.
  • Delegate: to entrust a task or responsibility to another person, typically one who is less senior than oneself.

With these workplace terms, you'll be able to understand and participate in English work conversations more effectively.

Employment Status Terms

When talking about occupations, it's often important to mention your employment status. Here are some common terms you might use:

  • Full-time: working the entirety of the standard workweek, typically 40 hours in the United States.
  • Part-time: working less than the standard workweek, often without receiving benefits such as health insurance.
  • Freelance: working for different companies at different times rather than being permanently employed by one company.
  • Unemployed: not having a job but actively looking for one.
  • Contractor: an individual or company that performs specific tasks based on a contract with a set fee and timeframe without being a regular employee.
  • Intern: a student or trainee who works, sometimes without pay, in order to gain work experience or satisfy requirements for a qualification.
  • Retired: having left one's job and ceased to work, typically due to age or after a long period of employment.
  • Seasonal: a person who is employed on a temporary basis, typically for certain times of the year when demand for a certain product or service is high.

Knowing these terms for employment status can help you clearly communicate the job situation and requirements.

Conclusion

Learning job names can be a game-changer in your journey to mastering English. By familiarizing yourself with these terms, you will not only feel more confident in professional settings, but you will also be better equipped to handle various work-related situations. Remember, continuous practice is key to retaining these new words.

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