Jobs and Occupations in Spanish: a Complete Guide

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Talking about your Profession in Spanish

“En qué trabajas?”
“Soy profesora de inglés.”

Asking someone about their profession or occupation is a common conversation starter in many cultures. Can you talk about your job in Spanish?

With our complete guide, you will be able to engage in a conversation about your profession in Spanish in no time. Learn the different expressions, the conjugation of the two most important verbs, and the different Spanish nouns for professions.

1. ¿En qué trabajas?

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When getting to know someone, it is likely that they will ask you about your job. In this section, you will learn to ask for someone’s job in Spanish and answer this question for yourself.

When you ask for someone’s profession, you will probably ask one of the following questions:

The answer to these questions is very straightforward:

Another question people could ask you is:

The answer is very simple. You just use the verb TRABAJAR + en:

In the following section about the verbs we use to talk about professions, you will learn how to conjugate TRABAJAR.

For more information, you can also ask someone what their job is like and if they like it.

Other questions and their respective answers you can use in a conversation are:

2. What verbs do you use to talk about your job in Spanish?

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In Spanish you will mostly use the verbs TRABAJAR or DEDICARSE to talk about your profession. These verbs are both regular and end in -ar. To conjugate these verbs, we just remove the infinitive ending (-ar) and add the ending that matches the subject.

TRABAJAR DEDICARSE

Yo

trabajo

me dedico

trabajas

te dedicas

Él / Ella / Usted

trabaja

se dedica

Nosotros / Nosotras

trabajamos

nos dedicamos

Vosotros / Vosotras

trabajáis

os dedicáis

Ellos / Ellas / Ustedes

trabajan

se dedican

Of course, you can also keep it simple and use the verb to be, SER, to state your profession:

✏️ Test Your Knowledge

3. How do you form the masculine and feminine of nouns for professions in Spanish?

First, have a look at this video, where you will find a list of professions in Spanish, how to pronounce them and how to form the masculine and feminine forms.

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Play Video

The Spanish nouns that describe your job follow basic Spanish grammar rules. Normally, the noun changes according to the gender of the person referred to, but of course, there are exceptions.

3.1 Masculine nouns that end in -o

Masculine nouns that end in -o can be made feminine by changing the ending to -a. The most common are:

Masculine Feminine English

El peluquero

La peluquera

The hairdresser

El médico

La médica

The doctor

El cirujano

 La cirujana

The surgeon

El architecto

La architecta

The architect

El abogado

La abogada

The lawyer

El biólogo

La bióloga

The biologist

El carpintero

La carpintera

The carpenter

El farmacéutico

La farmacéutica

The pharmacist 

El bombero

La bombera

The fireman/firewoman

El bombero

La geóloga

The geologist

El secretario

El secretario

The secretary

El bibliotecario

La bibliotecaria

The librarian

El mecánico

La mecánica

The mechanic

El músico

La música

The musician

El fotógrafo

La fotógrafa

The photographer

El psicólogo

La psicóloga

The psychologist

El camarero

La camarera

The waiter

El ingeniero

La ingeniera

The engineer

El maestro

La maestra

The teacher

El arqueólogo

La arqueóloga

The archeologist

El peluquero

La peluqueraThe hairdresser

The hairdresser

El carnicero

La carnicera

The butcher

El payaso

La payasa

The clown

El químico

La química

The chemist

El jardinero

La jardinera

The gardener

El ginecólogo

La ginecóloga

The gynecologist

El joyero

La joyera

The jeweler 

El cartero

La cartera

The mailman/mailwoman

El ministro

La ministra

The minister

El enfermero

La enfermera

The nurse

El político

La política

The politician

El científico

La científica

The scientist

El cocinero

La cocinera

The cook

  • There are a few exceptions where the -o ending doesn’t change. The best thing you can do is to learn them by heart:

El piloto → la piloto – The pilot
El modelo → la modelo – The model

  • Some nouns always end in -a, regardless if they are masculine or feminine. (Most of these end in -ta).

El/la atleta – The athleta
El/la psiquiatra – The psychiatrist
El/la poeta – The poet
El/la terapeuta – The therapist

‼️ Because gender equality is becoming more and more important, a lot of nouns that only used to have a masculine ending now also appear with a feminine one.

El presidente → la presidenta – The president

3.2 Masculine nouns that end in a consonant

Nouns that end in a consonant in the masculine form can be made feminine by adding an -a at the end of the word. We have made a list of the most common ones:

Masculine Feminine English

El traductor

La traductora

The translator

El profesor

La profesora

The teacher

El administrador

 La administradora

The administrator

El director

La directora

The director

El programador

La programadora

The programmer

El agricultor

La agricultora

The farmer

El investigador

La investigadora

The investigator

El investigador

La investigadora

The researcher 

El pastor

La pastora

The pastor

El bailarín

La bailarina

The dancer

El embajador

La embajadora

The ambassador

El entrenador

La entrenadora

The trainer

El redactor

La redactora

The editor

El pescador

La pescadora

The fisher

El capitán

La capitana

The captain 

El vendedor

La vendedora

The salesperson

El escritor

La escritora

The writer

3.3 Nouns that don’t change

In this case, the noun stays the same in the masculine and feminine, only the article changes to match the person’s gender. These nouns mostly end in –ista, -e or -ía. Here are some of the most common nouns that follow this rule:

Masculine English

El/la dentista

The dentist

El/la policía

The police officer

El/la contable

The accountant

El/la ayudante

The help

El/la detective

The detective

El/la agente

The agent

El/la cantante

The singer

El/la estudiante

The student 

El/la estudiante

The student

El/la esteticista

The beautician

El/la electricista

The electrician

El/la periodista

The journalist

El/la recepcionista

The receptionist

El/la guardia

The guard

El/la presidente

The president 

El/la asistente de vuelo

The flight attendant

El/la intérprete

The interpreter

El/la asistente social

The social worker

El/la artista

The artist 

El/la oficinista

The office worker 

El/la florista

The florist

El/la psicoanalista

The psychoanalyst

El/la taxista

The taxi driver

The most common exceptions to this rule are:

el dependiente → la dependienta – The salesman / the saleswoman
el alcalde → la alcaldesa – The mayor
el duque → la duquesa – The duke / the duchess

3.4 Exceptions

Spanish wouldn’t be Spanish, if there weren’t exceptions. Some job nouns have an irregular feminine form:

El actor → la actriz – The actor / the actress
El emperador → la emperatriz – The emperor / the empress
El rey → la reina – The king / the queen

✏️ Test Your Knowledge

4. Complete List of Occupations

You have now been introduced to a few professions in the grammar section, but, of course, there are many more jobs. Take a look at the following video to learn more Spanish professions, their pronunciation, and how to form the masculine and feminine versions.

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Play Video

Do you want more examples? You can watch part 3 and part 4, for the intermediate level. Live Lingua made a list of 99 professions in Spanish. Check it out!

5. And if you don’t have a job?

Of course, not everyone has a job. This can be for several reasons:

With this blogpost, you are fully prepared to have a conversation about jobs and occupations in Spanish.

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Want to improve your Spanish in a fast and easy way?
This topic is part of Level 1 of our COMBI Spanish Course.

We teach you according to our “24 Level System to Spanish Fluency®”. We clearly define your next goals so that you stay motivated all the way to Spanish fluency. 

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