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What is a profession? We are all familiar with doctors, solicitors and accountants but the list of professions runs into the hundreds covering a huge range of sectors including building, engineering, business, education, technology, hospitality, sciences, the environment, finance, research, information, health, and culture.

A profession is a job or an occupation that requires a certain level of specialist training. Professions rely on expertise and specialised knowledge, as well as ethical behaviour.

Professions are almost always regulated, either by law or through membership of a professional body. Regulation ensures that professionals provide a quality service to the public.

Most professions are represented by a professional body, and professional bodies are responsible for providing a code of conduct for their members which guides their professional behaviour so that the public can be assured of being treated properly.

Why become a professional? At a basic level, you’ll earn more money! And you’ll have an interesting, worthwhile and challenging career in an area where you’ll become an expert. Total Professions offers professional career advice from the professional bodies as well as information on the top professions.

Take a look at these resources for some insights into what being a professional means:

Want to learn more? Check out our Career Videos or search for "Young Professional" on YouTube and lots of interviews will come up.

The UNA-UK Young Professionals Network is a collaboration of young professionals with an interest – whether personal or professional – in peace, justice and sustainable development. They have around 2,500 members, based mainly in the London area. Their membership covers the vocational spectrum, encompassing individuals working in politics, finance, the NGO sector, fashion, CSR, academia, law and much more.