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:
“We have been weakened in our resistance to the professional anti-Communists because we know in our hearts that our so-called democracy has excluded millions of citizens from a normal life and the normal American privileges of health, housing and education.”
—Agnes E. Meyer (18871970)
“The professional must learn to be moved and touched emotionally, yet at the same time stand back objectively: Ive seen a lot of damage done by tea and sympathy.”
—Anthony Storr (b. 1920)
“So-called professional mathematicians have, in their reliance on the relative incapacity of the rest of mankind, acquired for themselves a reputation for profundity very similar to the reputation for sanctity possessed by theologians.”
—G.C. (Georg Christoph)