Difference Between Job and Career

Main Difference – Job vs Career

Although job and career are often used to mean the same thing, they often have different meanings. Career generally refers to an occupation undertaken for a significant period of a person’s life and with opportunities for progress. In contrast, job refers to a paid position of regular employment. The main difference between job and career is that career is a long-term pursuit whereas a job is a long term pursuit.Difference Between Job and Career - infographic

What is a Career

Career is an occupation that needs a special training or education and is followed as one’s lifework. It is a long-term pursuit of a lifelong ambition. Career is undertaken for a major period of a person’s life, and it offers opportunities for progress.

Career can also refer to a series of related employment opportunities, where you can move to higher paying and higher prestige employment opportunities through developing skills and gaining experience. For example, medical students peruse a career in medicine. They receive special training and education at medical colleges. Then they work as a resident or house officer at a hospital or a clinic. All these steps are necessary in order to progress in their career.

Difference Between Job and Career

What is a Job

Job, unlike career, is a short-term pursuit. It is an activity through which a person earns money. It is filling a role in exchange for money. A special training or formal education is not usually required to do a job. For examples, students, retired people do part-time jobs to earn money. None of them consider these jobs as their careers. They might not enjoy their jobs or have no real interest in the field, but they would still do it because the main purpose of a job is earning money. Convenient store clerks, gas station attendants, dog walker, newspaper delivery, etc. are all jobs. Individuals do these jobs to earn money; they usually have no intention of pursuing a career out of these jobs.

However, some people may start a job to gain experience for their career. For example, an individual interested in a career in preschool education may take a job as a babysitter.

Main Difference - Job vs Career

Difference Between Job and Career


Job refers to a paid position of regular employment.

Career refers to an occupation that needs a special training or education and is followed as one’s lifework.


Job is a short-term pursuit.

Career is a long-term pursuit.


Jobs often do not require special training or experience.

Career often requires education, training or experience.


Job is undertaken to earn money.

Career is not undertaken to earn money.


Job examples include gas station attendant, dog walker, babysitter, etc.

Career examples  include teacher, doctor, architect, writer, musician, etc.

Image Courtesy:

“Doctor greeting patient” by Vic (CC BY 2.0) via Flickr

“Dogwalker” by Jen (CC BY 2.0) via Flickr

About the Author: Hasa

Hasa has a BA degree in English, French and Translation studies. She is currently reading for a Masters degree in English. Her areas of interests include literature, language, linguistics and also food.