Is Student an occupation: ( Solved and explained)

If you are wondering if a student is an occupation or not, this post is for you.

In this post, we will respond to this question in detail and explain why a student is an occupation or why not?

Is a student an occupation?

According to the U.S. Department of Labor, officially, a student is not considered an occupation. Because it is not a compensated occupation, neither is “housewife” or “family caregiver”. But, out of financial comparison, a student is a process that prepares the next generation to take occupation and participate in society.

We can consider a student like a person having an internship in a company that trains him to apply for a job or take specific tasks. So it is the preparation phase before taking the occupation of a profession.

So studying is an investment in your occupation to take or to develop a group of skills. In other words, become an active individual in society by working for some organization or becoming an entrepreneur yourself solving other people’s issues.

In most cases, when they ask you what your occupation?., you should say I m a student.

You are the future project that a state invests in to get its fruits in the next years.

Because education is a form of engagement in life, you engage and have responsibilities when you work for a company. For a student, the game is similar. You have to engage every day to attend classes so you can succeed.

Is the student a profession?

Officially there isn’t something or an official organization that considers the student as a profession. The principal reason is that students don’t make money or income, which is an important pillar in the profession definition.

But at the same time is a profession if we consider it as a general or specific task people have to do. So it depends on the definition of a profession that we adopt in our society.

But if we look at this simple definition of profession below, we can analyze this subject.

This a definition is from Wikipedia

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 recognized body of learning derived from research, education and training at a high level, and who are prepared to …

To start discussing the term profession, we have to split it into 3 principal parts, as mentioned in the Wikipedia definition above, and compare them to student terms. So in the Wikipedia definition, we find that profession has 3 conditions:

so the profession is:

  1. a disciplined group of individuals
  2. adhere to an ethical standard
  3. accepted by the public as possessing special knowledge and skills driver form education and training

So let’s make a projection of these 3 pillar definitions of a profession to a student term. As a result, to verify if a student is a professional or not.

1 – Can students be disciplined groups of individuals?

Students are divided into two categories minor students who study in high schools or elementary grades like middle and elementary school, and adult students who study in colleges. So if we look into these 2 these categories, we find:

  1. the adult categories who are college students
  2. minor categories such as teenagers who are still in school

These categories are disciplined groups who need to show up every day to school or college. So in the case of discipline, we can’t deny that being a student means being excluded from one of the profession’s characteristics.

So, according to the Wikipedia definition, there is no difference between student and profession in terms of discipline. Both of these occupations require discipline.

2 – Do students adhere to an ethical standard?

Ethical standard is the value that any organization has, which is the rule and value that should be respected. For instance, each company has its inner law guidance that employees should respect. So as well as schools and universities.

So as the same as employees respect and adhere to ethical standards or the company’s rules. Also, student respects the school or universities guidelines that could not surpass them.

So the terms student and profession have the same values. Both students and professionals have some ethical standards they should respect.

3 – Are students accepted by a public possessing special knowledge and skills?

In the 2 previous definitions, we found that student obligation and profession have big similarities. Therefore we can automatically consider a student as a profession. But in this last or third pillar, we find the point of revolution or change.

Students aren’t accepted by the public possessing special knowledge and skills simply because they are in the phase of formation that will get them later to this phase.

To simplify, more students still learn and hone their skills in school and universities. While the people who are working in companies taking occupations already have the skills or the special knowledge that the Wikipedia definition talks about.

So this is a principal point that makes a society and official organizations not recognize a student as a profession which is the income that students don’t drive.

Sum up

So to summarize if we compare theses both terms students and profession, we find them similar and close each other by 75%. But still, some differentiation that makes official governments not consider a student as a profession or occupation.

Is a college student an occupation?

Officially, being a College student is not an occupation. It is a phase of preparation to take occupation. In other words, as a college student, as long as you don’t make money from this task, you won’t be considered doing an occupation or profession.

But going out of official definitions. College students and workers have common tasks and obligations. In other words you:

  • wake up early and go to a school or college in a time
  • follow the instructions
  • do the homework while employees do that in the company

The only exception or difference between students and employees is employees are getting income or making money from their activities while students don’t.

So if students were getting paid for studying, they would be automatically considered people who have an occupation.

you can read this article: Working while in college for stem major(5 tips to know)


Yassin ajanif is a physics graduate and electromechanical engineer width more than 5 years in the field. My goal and my team are to share our experience to help you succeed in your career as a stem major. we talk about all tips, problems, and struggle STEM students face in their career and how to overcome them.