English Occupations Vocabulary

A collection of all of the icon illustrations of different people wearing uniforms for the occupations listed on this page.

This occupations vocabulary will be useful when you introduce yourself and meet others.

To hear the words pronounced in American English, please check out the video below. There is a pause after each occupations vocabulary word so that you can practice.

Hear the occupations vocabulary pronounced

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Talking about Jobs and Occupations

In English we can use the word "occupation" or "profession" to describe our work:

  • What is your occupation?
  • What is your profession?
  • What do you do for work?
  • Where do you work

All of the above are acceptable ways to ask someone what they do for their job. Probably the most common way to ask someone what they do for work is to simply say:

  • What do you do?

Illustration of an architect wearing a yellow construction hat and a suit.

architect:  a person who designs buildings, houses and other structures (e.g., bridges)

Illustration of an artist (painter) wearing a beret and holding a paintbrush and watercolor paint palette

artist: (1) a person who creates works of art (e.g., paintings, drawings, films, graphic designs); (2) a professional entertainer (e.g., singer, dancer, actor)

painter: creates paintings using paint (usually on canvas or paper).

Illustration of an astronaut wearing a uniform

astronaut:  a person who travels to outer space in a spacecraft.

Illustration of bartender holding a cocktail.

bartender:  a person who serves drinks in a bar (especially drinks containing alcohol, like beer, wine, cocktails).

Illustration of bellhop with a suitcase

bellhop:  a person who brings the luggage and suitcases of hotel guests to and from their rooms.

Illustration of a boxer wearing boxing gloves and shorts

athlete:  someone who does sports (see below)

boxer: an athlete that does the sport boxing (fighting another person using one's hands while wearing thick gloves).

Illustration of a businessman in a suit and carrying a briefcase

businessman:  a man who works for a business, usually in a high-level position

(also businesswoman).

Illustration of a construction worker wearing an orange safety vest and yellow hard hat holding a tool.

construction worker:  someone who helps builds things, especially roads, bridges, buildings and houses.

Illustration of a chef in a uniform holding a wooden spoon

cook/chef:  a person who cooks and prepares foods.

Illustration of a detective holding a magnifying glass

detective:  a person who solves crimes or investigates to get information about people.

Illustration of a doctor wearing a white coat and stethoscope

doctor:  a person who has received medical training to treat sick and injured people (patients).

Illustration of a flight attendant in uniform

flight attendant:  a person who helps passengers and follows safety procedures on an aircraft

Note: sometimes called a stewardess (female) or steward (male).

Illustration of a handyman holding a wrench in his hand

handyman:  a person who does repairs inside and outside the house.

Illustration of a mailman in uniform wearing a letter carrying bag and holding a letter in his hand.

mailman:  a person who delivers the postal mail.

Illustration of a female nurse in a white uniform holding a clipboard

nurse:  a person who helps sick or injured people (and often helps to assist a doctor in the patient's care).

Illustration of a pilot in uniform

pilot:  a person who flies aircraft (e.g., airplane, helicopter).

Illustration of a policeman in uniform

police officer: a person who makes sure people obey the law, arrests criminals and solves crimes.

Note: sometimes called a policeman or policewoman.

Illustration of a female secretary pointing at a clipboard she's holding

secretary:  a person who helps another person with office work (e.g., typing letters, answering phone calls, keeping records, arranging travel and meetings).

Illustration of a surgeon wearing green scrubs and a face mask.

surgeon:  a doctor who is specially trained to do operations (where the patient's body is cut open).

Illustration of a teacher in front of a chalkboard.

teacher:  a person who teaches or helps others (students) learn something.

Illustration of waiter carrying a covered food tray

waiter/server:  a person who takes orders from customers and serves food at a restaurant.

Note:  Also called a waitress (female)

Other occupations vocabulary

Although I don't have pictures of these jobs, there are some other occupations vocabulary words that you might like to know:

athlete:  someone who does sports.


  • Add -er for some sports to get the name of the type of athlete (e.g. boxer, ice skater, runner, skier, javelin thrower, high jumper, car racer, golfer).
  • Use the name of the sport + player for most sports that use a ball (e.g., tennis player, hockey player, soccer player, football player, volleyball player).

administrative assistant:  a person who does administrative or clerical work.

manager:  someone who supervises other workers or is in charge of a department.

pharmacist:  a person who sells the drugs that doctors prescribe to patients.

student:  someone who studies a subject and/or goes to school.

farmer: a person who grows crops (e.g., vegetables, wheat, corn) and raises animals to provide food for eating.

lawyer (attorney):  a person who acts on behalf of (or helps a client) in a court of law.

judge: a person who makes legal decisions in court and decides punishment for people found guilty of crimes.

musician: a person who makes music by singing and/or playing a musical instrument (e.g., guitar, piano, saxophone).

reporter: a person who investigates and writes articles for a newspaper.

writer: a person who writes fiction or non-fiction articles, stories and/or books for magazines, the internet, etc.

actor: an artists that performs on the television, stage or in movies. (Also sometimes actress  is used for female performers).

plumber: a person who repairs and unplugs toilets/sinks and pipes related to plumbing.

scientist: a person who studies science (e.g., biology, chemistry, physics).

seamstress (tailor): a person who makes custom clothing or makes alterations to clothing so they fit better.

driver:  a person who drives a vehicle (e.g., bus, taxi, limousine)

dentist:  a medical professional who fixes teeth and helps people with illnesses related to teeth.

cashier:  a person who processes the payment of goods and services using a cash register and/or credit card machine.

programmer:  a person who writes software programs for computers.

engineer:  a person who designs, builds or repairs machines and equipment, engines, roads, bridges, etc.

I hope this list of occupations vocabulary has been helpful. So... what do you do?

Feel free to introduce yourself and let me know why you are learning (or teaching) English and what you are trying to improve.

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