Professional performances, as opposed to amateur performances, are those in which performers receive payment for their performances. Professional performances are engaged in creative and intellectually challenging work. A professional actor is someone who derives income by participating in professional performances. A professional theatre company auditions actors to perform in their professional theatre. The company sells tickets; actors receive payment for their performances. This is the same for musicians, dancers, comedians. Also see: professional sports.
A professional performer is a person in a profession that requires certain types of skilled work requiring formal training or education. In western nations, such as the United States, the term commonly describes highly educated, salaried workers, who enjoy considerable work autonomy, economic security, a comfortable salary, and are commonly engaged in creative and intellectually challenging work. A professional athlete is someone who derives income by participating in competitive sports. Sometimes also called "commercial grade".
A professional is a worker required to possess a large body of knowledge derived from extensive academic study (usually tertiary), with the training almost always formalized. Professionals are at least to a degree self-regulating, in that they control the training and evaluation processes that admit new persons to the field, and in judging whether the work done by their members is up to standard. This differs from other kinds of work where regulation (if considered necessary) is imposed by the state, or where official quality standards are often lacking. Professions have some historical links to guilds in these regards.
Professionals usually exercise autonomy in the workplace, and are expected to utilize their independent judgement and professional ethics in carrying out their responsibilities. This holds true even if they are employees instead of working on their own. Typically a professional provides a service (in exchange for payment or salary), in accordance with established protocols for licensing, ethics, procedures, standards of service and training / certification.
The above definitions were echoed by economist and sociologist Max Weber, who noted that professions are defined by the power to exclude and control admission to the profession, as well as by the development of a particular vocabulary specific to the occupation, and at least somewhat incomprehensible to outsiders.
|This section does not cite any references or sources. (September 2008)|
A 'true' professional must be proficient in all criteria for the field of work they are practising professionally in. Criteria include following:
- Academic qualifications - i.e., university college/institute
- Expert and specialised knowledge in field which one is practising professionally
- Excellent manual/practical & literary skills in relation to profession
- High quality work in (examples): creations, products, services, presentations, consultancy, primary/other research, administrative, marketing or other work endeavours
- A high standard of professional ethics, behaviour and work activities while carrying out one's profession (as an employee, self-employed person, career, enterprise, business, company, or partnership/associate/colleague, etc.)
- Also taking into consideration natural & harnessed talents integrated & used with qualifications & when doing work in professional capacity.
In narrow usage, not all expertise is considered a profession. Although sometimes referred to as professions, such occupations as skilled construction work are more generally thought of as trades or crafts. The completion of an apprenticeship is generally associated with skilled labor or trades such as carpenter, electrician, plumber, bricklayer and other similar occupations. A related (though not always valid) distinction would be that a professional does mainly mental or administrative work, as opposed to engaging in physical work. Many companies include the word professional in their company name to signify the quality of their workmanship or service in exchange with payment.
In sports, a professional is someone who participates for money. The opposite is amateur, meaning a person who does not play for money, but in an academic (e.g. college football) or other private setting. The term "professional" is commonly used incorrectly when referring to sports, as the distinction simply refers to how the athlete is funded, and not necessarily to what competitions he engages in or what results he achieves.
Sometimes the professional status of an activity is controversial; for example, there is debate as to whether professionals should be allowed to compete in the Olympic Games. The motivation for money (either in rewards, salaries or advertising revenue) is sometimes seen as a corrupting influence, tainting a sport.
|Look up professional in Wiktionary, the free dictionary.|
- List of occupations
- Professional sport
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- Glossary (from the Business Fast Start project of Rhode Island authorities)
- Professional (definition via the WordNet, Princeton University)
- "What are Professional Grade Parts?" (example from the watertips.com website).
- Definition of Terms to Support the ECSA Standards and Procedures System (from the Engineering Council of South Africa)