What is a Professional?

On a daily basis, we are constantly told in advertising and by individuals that they are professionals and that their occupation is a profession. So, what is a Professional?

A professional is a member of a vocation founded upon specialized education and training and, therefore, that individual is an expert who is a master in a specific field.

The word professional traditionally means a person who has obtained an advanced degree and a license in a field that is state regulated. The term commonly describes highly educated, licensed, mostly salaried workers, who enjoy considerable work autonomy, a comfortable income, and are commonly engaged in creative and intellectually challenging work.

Because of 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 held up to strict ethical and moral regulations.

The main criteria for a professional includes the following:

Specialized Knowledge:  A professional is in a vocation that requires the possession of theoretical and specialized knowledge in the field in which one is practicing by obtaining a college degree after a long period of education and enduring a long and arduous training period.

Codified Body of Knowledge:  A professional is in a vocation with a codified body of knowledge that is unique to that vocation and is examined by statute regarding that theoretical body of knowledge.

History of Profession:  A professional is in a vocation that has a history of that vocation that is critical to understand in order to be a member of that profession.

Licensed:  A professional possesses a state-issued license that is obtained through a rigorous examination process. The professional is typically regulated by statute, with the responsibilities of enforcement delegated to the respective regulatory bodies, whose function is to define, promote, oversee, support and regulate the affairs of its licensees.

Ethical Standards:  A professional has a higher standard of professional ethics, behavior and work activities while carrying out one’s profession (as an employee, self-employed person, business, company, or partnership/associate/colleague, etc.). The professional owes a higher duty to a client, often a privilege of confidentiality, as well as a duty not to abandon the client just because he or she may not be able to pay or remunerate the professional. Often the professional is required to put the interest of their clients ahead of their own interests.

High Quality Work:  A professional produces high quality work in, for example: design, services, presentations, consultancy, research, administrative, marketing or other work endeavors.

Independence:  A professional tends to be independent and autonomous meaning that they have a higher degree of control of their own vocation and business.

Professional Associations:  A professional has a professional associations organized by their members that are intended to enhance the status of their members and have carefully controlled entrance requirements.

Thus, by the above definition, a professional is limited to accountants, architects, attorneys, dentists, engineers, nurses, pharmacists, physicians and professors.

As Professional Architects, we strive to fulfill the above definitions of a Professional.   Please contact us at:  ArchCJC@aol.com .


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