Occupation can be defined in different ways. For instance.

  1. Occupation can be defined as any economic activity in which a person is fully engage in order to earn a living.
  2. Whenever man does in order to earn a living.
  3. Occupation can be defined as a profession or anything that occupied one’s time in order to earn a living.
  4. It can also be defined as any legal work that people engage in to earn a living.

There are several things people do to earn a living. However, some of them are not legal e.g. stealing and cybercrimes are illegal e.g. of legal occupations are carpentry, fishery, mining, doctor, tailoring, teaching, engineering etc.


Types of occupation

There are basically three types of occupation. There are:

  1. Industrial occupation
  2. Commercial occupation
  3. Service/services occupation


  1. Industrial Occupation: This refers to any form of work that involves the production of raw materials or transformation of raw materials into semi-finished or finished goods. This types of occupation can also be classified or divided into three groups, which are:
  2. Extractive Occupation: This class of occupation involves obtaining, taking, extracting or digging out raw materials from the soil, sea, forest, earth. Examples of extractive occupation are: mining, fishing, farming, hunting, timbering, quarrying, tiling etc.
  3. Manufacturing Occupation: This is an occupation which involves changing or transforming or turning of raw materials extracted from the extractive occupation into finished goods to be more useful to man. Examples of manufacturing occupation are: shoe making, cloth weaving, food canning, bread baking, tailoring, plastic making etc.
  4. Constructive Occupation: This is the form occupation that involves the building of roads, building of houses and bridges e.g. road construction, bridge construction, carpentry, bricklaying, engineering, welding, architecture and any other form of construction.
  5. Commercial Occupation: This is an occupation which involves the buying, selling exchange and distribution of goods or products and services made available by the industrial occupation together with other activities which aids or helps trade. Examples are banking, transportation, trading, insurance, advertising, warehousing etc.
  6. Service/Services Occupation: The word service is used to describe any work that does not lead to the manufacturing of products. It is usually done for the benefits of others. The service occupation involves rendering different kinds of services e.g. clearing and forwarding, barbing, teaching etc.


The school cleaner that is employed to keep the school compound clean is expected to render services to the school. There are two types or categories of services occupation. These are:

  1. Direct service occupation
  2. Indirect service occupation
  3. Direct Service Occupation: This is the service rendered directly to those who enjoying and pay for it. It is a form of service that is paid for by the recipient. For instance, when a barber cuts the hair of his customers, the type of services rendered by the barber to his customer is a direct services simply because the customer is the recipient and be makes payment for the services.


Example of direct service occupation are: barbing, hair dressing, clearing and forwarding, law service, teaching servicing (for teachings in private schools), medical doctors (for doctors in private hospital), house maid, cooks, gateman/gate keepers etc. they are not being paid by the government with the tax payers money.

  1. Indirect Service Occupation: This is the service that is paid for by the government through the tax payers’ money. Examples of indirect service occupation are; civil servants, policemen/women, customs officers, army officers and naval officers. They are paid with the tax payers’ money.


Differences between direct and indirect services

Direct ServiceIndirect Service
  1It is paid for by the recipientIt is paid for by the government
2It does not require a high level of formal educationIt involves a high level of education
3It is mostly rendered to private individualsIt is rendered to the public


Factors that affect the choice of an occupation

The following are factors that affect the choice of occupation.

  1. Personality: it is important to note that anyone seeking a job must have a second knowledge of himself or herself.

There are jobs that are meant for extroverts, the outgoing type of people (e.g. music, journalism) while there are some that are mainly for introverts, they are generally shy (e.g. office job)

  1. Interest: Anything that takes the attention of people can also determine their choice of occupation. It is obvious that whatever one is interested in, one would be committed to and this would lead to a high level of productivity.
  2. Education: The level of education acquired by an individual is very important in choosing an occupation. A person who intends to be a lawyer cannot be a primary school dropout.
  3. Salary and other benefits: A lot of people consider the salary to be paid for their services before they eventually settle down for an occupation. Other benefits such as leave bonus, health allowance, furniture allowance are also given due consideration.
  4. Parental influence: There are some parents who want their children to continue with their investment. Therefore, they send them (children) to schools where they can acquire knowledge about their occupation.
  5. Natural resource: people in the riverine area, for example, take fishing as occupation while those who are blessed with land take farming as an occupation, hunter take advantage of forest that are available in their environment.



  • What is occupation?
  • List three major classes of occupation

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