professions-in-spanish

Get Down to Work with These 87 Professions in Spanish

According to Reference, there are over 5 billion jobs in the world.

That is a whole lot of jobs!

Just for fun, I tried to find out how many different types of jobs and careers there are in the world.

I could not come up with an exact number, but the guys at CareerPlanner.com list over 12 thousand individual job titles!

It would probably take me 500 posts in order to mention all the possible jobs you can get around the globe, but let’s be honest, most of us will never be in need of looking for a job as a hairspring assembler or a varnishing-unit tool setter, just to name a couple.

The present post deals with those everyday kinds of jobs we all know, those jobs that the majority of us have heard of a thousand times and some of us even perform.

But before we go into detail, allow me to be myself and unleash the grammar nerd I have inside me.

Let’s talk about the grammar rules behind Spanish jobs and go over some useful phrases for talking about professions in Spanish.

Then, I will teach you 87 professions in Spanish!
 


 
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The Quick Grammar Guide to Professions in Spanish

Generally speaking, the vast majority of Spanish occupation names have a masculine form ending in -o and a feminine one ending in -a:

el arquitecto / la arquitecta (the architect, male / the architect, female)

el panadero / la panadera (the baker, male / the baker, female)

el maestro / la maestra (the teacher, male / the teacher, female)

However, this is not always the case.

There is a fairly big group of masculine occupations ending in a consonant, which tends to be -r or -n. In these cases, we do not have an -o that we can substitute with an -a, so we simply add the latter to the word:

el profesor / la profesora (the professor, male / the professor, female)

el escritor / la escritora (the writer, male / the writer, female)

el capitán / la capitana (the captain, male / the captain, female)

Sometimes, we have occupations that do not distinguish between the masculine and the feminine. The only way to tell if you are referring to a man or a woman is by having a look at the article, the name of the person or the context.

There is not a defined list of endings that behave like this, but if an occupation ends in -ista, -ante, -e or a in its masculine form, you can be almost sure the feminine will look exactly the same:

el artista / la artista (the artist, male / the artist, female)

el estudiante / la estudiante (the student, male / the student, female)

el contable / la contable (the accountant, male / the accountant, female)

el psiquiatra / la psiquiatra (the psychiatrist, male / the psychiatrist, female)

Of course, Spanish would not be itself if it did not include some exceptions to this rule. The most common ones are:

el dependiente / la dependienta (the salesman / the saleswoman)

el alcalde / la alcaldesa (the mayor, male / the mayor, female)

el duque / la duquesa (the duke / the duchess)

And, we cannot forget about the word piloto (pilot), which despite ending in -0, remains unchanged:

el piloto / la piloto (the pilot, male / the pilot, female)

Finally, there is a very small group of occupations that have an irregular feminine form. Three of the most common ones are:

el actor / la actriz (the actor / the actress)

el emperador / la emperatriz (the emperor / the empress)

el rey / la reina (the king / the queen)

We can even treat alcalde and duque above as irregular, but since they end in -e, I have decided to include them in the previous group of exceptions.

Talking About Professions in Spanish

Chances are that sooner or later you will have to talk about your job in Spanish, be it with your Spanish friends, your future employer or your significant other.

There are many different ways to talk about occupations in Spanish, but there are also a couple of expressions and constructions that tend to appear more often than others. Here, you have some of them.

First, some questions about work:

¿En qué trabajas? (What do you do?)

¿A qué te dedicas? (What do you do?)

¿Cómo es tu trabajo? (What is your job like?)

¿Qué tal va tu trabajo? (How is your job going?)

¿Te gusta tu trabajo? (Do you like your job?)

¿Qué es lo que más te gusta de tu trabajo? (What do you like the most about your job?)

¿Qué es lo que menos te gusta de tu trabajo? (What do you like the least about your job?)

¿Cuál es tu horario de trabajo? (What are your working hours?)

¿Qué te gustaría ser de mayor? (What would you like to be when you grow up?)

¿Qué te gustaría hacer en… años? (What would you like to be doing in… years’ time?)

And, here are some possible answers and ways of talking about your job:

Soy…, ¿y tú? (I am a…, and you? — informal)

Soy…, ¿y usted? (I am a…, and you? — formal)

Me dedico a… (I work in…)

Trabajo en… (I work in…)

Trabajo de… (I work as a… — normally used when talking about temporary jobs)

Estoy de… en… (I am a… in…)

Trabajo de… a… (I work from… to…)

Siempre quise / he querido ser… (I have always wanted to be a…)

Me gusta mi trabajo. (I like my job.)

Me gusta mucho mi trabajo. (I like my job a lot.)

No me gusta mi trabajo. (I do not like my job.)

No me gusta nada mi trabajo. (I do not like my job at all.)

Me gustaría ser… cuando sea mayor / cuando sea grande. (I would like to be a… when I grow up.)

Quiero ser… (I want to be a…)

Here, you have an example of a person talking about their job:

Hola, me llamo María. Soy enfermera. Trabajo en un hospital de lunes a viernes de 7 de la mañana a 3 de la tarde. Me gusta mucho mi trabajo. Desde que era niña siempre quise ser enfermera.

(Hi, my name is María. I am a nurse. I work in a hospital from Monday to Friday, from 7 a.m. to 3 p.m. Ever since I was a child, I wanted to be a nurse.)

So, now that you know all about the grammar behind Spanish occupations and how you can talk about your job, let’s learn the names of the professions in Spanish.

The following list is by no means a comprehensive one, but it includes the most common occupations one might have nowadays.

Happy working!

Let’s Get Down to Business! 87 Professions in Spanish to Boost Your Vocabulary

Here you have a list of occupations along with their English translations. I have added the feminine forms and explanations when necessary.

professions-in-spanish

If you want to keep practicing professions in Spanish, try watching videos with FluentU!

FluentU takes real-world videos—like movie trailers, music videos, news and inspiring talks—and turns them into personalized Spanish language lessons.

Use the interactive captions to learn more about vocabulary—like professions—and to see words used in example sentences and more videos.

With FluentU, you can also practice profession words and other Spanish vocabulary with customized vocabulary lists, dynamic flashcards and fun quizzes.

And now, let’s get started on our Spanish professions list!

1. el actor / la actriz (actor / actress)

2. el administrador / la administradora (administrator)

3. el agricultor / la agricultora (farmer)

The feminine agricultora is seldom used.

4. el albañil / la albañila (builder, bricklayer, mason)

Although the “Diccionario de la lengua española” (“Dictionary of the Spanish Language”) accepts the feminine albañila, this term is very seldom used. People prefer la albañil or la mujer albañil. However, you can see this term very often when referring to bees: abeja albañila (mason bee).

5. el arquitecto / la arquitecta (architect)

6. el artista / la artista (artist)

Remember the ending -ista makes the name of the profession invariable. The only thing that changes is the article.

7. el astronauta / la astronauta (astronaut)

This is a perfect example of an occupation ending in -a in the masculine, which makes it invariable.

8. la azafata / el azafato (flight attendant)

You may have noted that I have written the feminine term first, and this is not random. The word azafata, when used to refer to female flight attendants, exists only entirely in its feminine form, possibly due to the fact that male flight attendants have only started to commonly exist in the past couple of decades.

Much has been said about the terms azafata and azafato, and people in this profession tend to not like being called that, so the trend now is to call them el auxiliar de vuelo / la auxiliar de vuelo (flight attendant).

9. el barbero / la barbera (barber)

Even though the term barbera exists, this profession is almost exclusively a male domain. Women are normally referred to as peluqueras (hairdressers).

10. el bombero / la bombera (firefighter)

This is an example of an occupation that has a feminine noun that is almost never used. We normally say la bombero or la mujer bombero (firewoman).

11. el botones / la botones (bellboy / bellgirl)

The word botones means buttons in Spanish. Despite being a plural noun, it is used in the singular to refer to the occupation.

12. el cajero / la cajera (cashier)

13. el camarero / la camarera (waiter / waitress)

14. el cantante / la cantante (singer)

Here’s a job ending in -ante, thus invariable.

15. el carnicero / la carnicera (butcher)

16. el carpintero / la carpintera (carpenter)

17. el cartero / la cartera (postman / postwoman)

The word cartera also means wallet when not referring to the occupation.

18. el científico / la científica (scientist)

Even though the feminine científica exists, we normally say la científico or la mujer científico, using the word científica (scientific, feminine) as an adjective.

19. el cirujano / la cirujana (surgeon)

20. el cocinero / la cocinera (cook)

21. el conductor / la conductora (driver)

This is an example of a false friend. The English word conductor is translated as director/a de orquesta in Spanish.

22. el consejero / la consejera (counselor, advisor)

23. el contable / la contable (accountant)

The ending -e makes the noun invariable.

24. el dentista / la dentista (dentist)

The ending -a makes the noun invariable.

25. el dependiente / la dependienta (salesboy / salesgirl)

Remember, this is one of the exceptions for words ending in -e with two different forms.

26. el diseñador / la diseñadora (designer)

27. el director / la directora (director, principal)

28. el electricista / la electricista (electrician)

Just as with artista, the ending -ista makes this term invariable.

29. el empleado / la empleada (employee)

30. el encargado / la encargada (supervisor, manager)

31. el enfermero / la enfermera (nurse)

32. el escritor / la escritora (writer)

33. el estudiante / la estudiante (student)

The ending -ante makes the term invariable.

34. el farmacéutico / la farmacéutica (pharmacist, druggist)

35. el fontanero / la fontanera (plumber)

36. el gerente / la gerente (manager)

Example: Necesito hablar con el gerente. (I need to talk to the manager.)

37. el granjero / la granjera (farmer)

38. el herrero / la herrera (blacksmith)

39. el ingeniero / la ingeniera (engineer)

The term ingeniera is more and more commonly used, although a lot of people still incorrectly say la ingeniero.

40. el jardinero / la jardinera (gardener)

41. el jefe / la jefa (boss)

Here is another example of a word ending in -e that has two different forms.

42. el joyero / la joyera (jeweler)

43. el juez / la jueza (judge)

44. el lechero / la lechera (milkman / milkwoman)

I miss this. Do you still have milkmen and milkwomen where you live?

45. el librero / la librera (bookseller)

46. el maestro / la maestra (teacher)

47. el marinero / la marinera (sailor, seaman / seawoman)

48. el mecánico / la mecánica (mechanic)

49. el médico / la médica (doctor)

50. el mesero / la mesera (waiter / waitress)

51. el minero / la minera (miner)

52. el modelo / la modelo (model)

This is an example of a word that ends in -o but is invariable.

53. el monitor / la monitora (monitor, teacher)

54. el niñero / la niñera (babysitter)

While I have personally never seen the masculine word niñero in use, it definitely exists.

55. el obrero / la obrera (worker, laborer)

Here is another example of an occupation you will commonly see when referring to bees: la abeja obrera (the worker bee).

56. el oficinista / la oficinista (clerk, office worker)

The ending -ista makes the term invariable.

57. el panadero / la panadera (baker)

58. el peluquero / la peluquera (hairdresser)

59. el periodista / la periodista (journalist, reporter)

Here is yet another example of an occupation ending in -ista, which makes the term invariable.

60. el pescador / la pescadora (fisherman / fisherwoman)

Do not mistake this job for the very similar el pescadero / la pescadera, which means fishmonger.

61. el piloto / la piloto (pilot)

Here is another perfect example of a job ending in -o that remains unchanged in the feminine.

62. el pintor / la pintora (painter)

63. el político / la política (politician)

The term política exists and it is commonly used, but you may be surprised to know that it tends to be avoided when referring to a female politician. We normally call a female politician la político, and the only reason is that there are some sciences whose names coincide with the feminine occupation.

For example, we have la política (politics), which is why we tend to avoid referring to a female politician as a política. To make things worse, the word política can also be used as an adjective (relating or related to politics), so my little piece of advice is to avoid this word when referring to a female politician.

64. el policía / la policía (policeman / policewoman)

This is an example of a word ending in -a in the masculine, which makes it invariable. As with el político / la política, the feminine noun policía has another meaning (the police force in general). In this case, we still use la policía if it is clear we are referring to a female police officer. In cases of doubt, you can use la mujer policía.

65. el portero / la portera (janitor, porter, goalkeeper)

This occupation is variable when it refers to the doorkeeper of a building. However, portero can also mean goalkeeper, and a lot of people tend to say el portero / la portero in this context. According to the “Diccionario de la lengua española,” though, this is incorrect.

66. el profesor / la profesora (professor)

67. el programador / la programadora (programmer)

68. el psicólogo / la psicóloga (psychologist)

The terms el sicólogo and la sicóloga are also correct.

69. el psiquiatra / la psiquiatra (psychiatrist)

Here is an example of a word ending in -a in the masculine, which makes it invariable in the feminine. The terms el siquiatra and la siquiatra, although less frequently used, are also valid.

70. el químico / la química (chemist)

Similar to el político / la política, we tend to avoid referring to a female chemist as a química because of the fact that química also means chemistry in Spanish. You can choose the terms la químico or la mujer químico to refer to a woman who studies or works in chemistry. Additionally, química can also be an adjective meaning chemical, as in una reacción química (a chemical reaction).

71. el quiropráctico / la quiropráctica (chiropractor)

This profession falls into the same situation as el político / la política and el químico / la química.

72. el recepcionista / la recepcionista (receptionist)

Here is a term ending in -ista, thus invariable.

73. el relojero / la relojera (watchmaker)

74. el reportero / la reportera (reporter)

75. el revisor / la revisora (reviewer, inspector)

76. el sacerdote / la sacerdotisa (priest / priestess)

Just like their English counterparts, this pair of words is irregular.

77. el sastre / la sastre (tailor)

Here is a word ending in -e in the masculine, which makes it invariable in the feminine.

78. el secretario / la secretaria (secretary)

79. el soldado / la soldado (soldier)

Here is another example of a word ending in -o that remains unchanged.

80. el soldador / la soldadora (welder)

81. el taxista / la taxista (taxi driver)

Here is a word ending in -ista, thus invariable.

82. el técnico / la técnica (technician)

This word behaves like el político / la política, el policía / la policía and el químico / la química. La técnica as a noun means the technique and as an adjective, technical.

83. el trabajador / la trabajadora (worker)

84. el traductor / la traductora (translator)

85. el vendedor / la vendedora (seller)

86. el veterinario / la veterinaria (vet)

This word behaves like el político / la política, el policía / la policía, el químico / la química and el técnico / la técnica. As a noun, veterinaria means veterinary and as an adjective, veterinarian.

87. el zapatero / la zapatera (shoemaker)

 

And that is all for today, kiddos!

Now you have all the necessary tools to talk about your job properly in Spanish. You have learned the secrets behind the regularities and irregularities of Spanish occupations, and you can now ask about other people’s jobs without breaking a sweat.

Consider this list as the beginning of a much bigger list you can make on your own. Look for other jobs and occupations not covered here, and try to find out if they are irregular or not. It will be fun!

Keep working, my friends, and as always, happy learning!
 

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