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A semiprofession, in the United States, means something someone does partially for financial support, but also as an avocation—such as a semiprofessional musician. Another use is to mean an occupation that some might regard as not a true profession. One group especially tied to this emerging term, the American Association of Colleges for Teacher Education (AACTE), published a list of twelve checkpoints they believe help define this neologism.
- Lower in occupational status
- Shorter training periods
- Lack of societal acceptance that the nature of the service and/or the level of expertise justifies the autonomy that is granted to the professions
- A less specialized and less highly developed body of knowledge and skills
- Markedly less emphasis on theoretical and conceptual bases for practice
- A tendency for the individual to identify with the employment institution more and with the profession less
- More subject to administrative and supervisory surveillance and control
- Less autonomy in professional decision making, with accountability to superiors rather than to the profession
- Management by persons who have themselves been prepared and served in that semiprofession
- A preponderance of women
- Absence of the right of privileged communication between client and professional
- Little or no involvement in matters of life and death
The use of comparative adverbs such as "more" and "less" indicates an evaluation of the semiprofessional life against that of the "true" professional. It is therefore important to establish which careers are unequivocally professional. This exemplar can be found in the two occupations widely considered true professions—law and medicine. Noting the publisher of the checklist printed above, those in the educational field are perhaps themselves wrestling with whether their line of work can be considered professional, or is perhaps something more closely resembling a semiprofession.
- Howsam, RB et al (1976). "Educating a Profession."