A professional is a person who is paid to undertake a specialized set of tasks and to complete them for a fee. The traditional professions were doctors, engineers, lawyers, architects and commissioned military officers. Today, the term is applied to nurses, accountants, educators, scientists, technology experts, social workers, artists, librarians (information professionals) and many more.
The term is also used in sports to differentiate amateur players from those who are paid—hence "professional footballer" and "professional golfer". Many companies include the word professional in their store name to imply the quality of their workmanship or service.
In some cultures, the term is used as shorthand to describe a particular social stratum of well-educated, salaried workers who enjoy considerable work autonomy and are commonly engaged in creative and intellectually challenging work.
Due to the personal and confidential nature of many professional services, and thus the necessity to place a great deal of trust in them, most professionals are subject to strict codes of conduct enshrining rigorous ethical and moral obligations.
Famous quotes containing the word professional:
“Men seem more bound to the wheel of success than women do. That women are trained to get satisfaction from affiliation rather than achievement has tended to keep them from great achievement. But it has also freed them from unreasonable expectations about the satisfactions that professional achievement brings.”
—Phyllis Rose (b. 1942)
“The relationship between mother and professional has not been a partnership in which both work together on behalf of the child, in which the expert helps the mother achieve her own goals for her child. Instead, professionals often behave as if they alone are advocates for the child; as if they are the guardians of the childs needs; as if the mother left to her own devices will surely damage the child and only the professional can rescue him.”
—Elaine Heffner (20th century)
“... a supportive husband is an absolute requirement for professional women.... He is something she looks for, and when she finds him, she marries him.”
—Alice S. Rossi (b. 1922)