In Nigeria, there are numerous forms that one must fill at one point or another in his life.  They often have the column that reads ‘Occupation.’ Well, do not be confused; what they are asking you is what you do for money. Many of the younger generation who may be reading this may not know what to answer, and this may be because they have not made a definite choice about what to do, and how they intend to earn money.

In this post, we will give you some helpful insights so as to understand the kinds of occupations that are available for you as a young Nigerian so that you can make better decisions as to how you are going to spend your time, and how you can better take care of yourself and your responsibilities.

It’s all about earning money, no doubt about it,  and so when people engage themselves in such activities on a regular basis and are said to be engaged in their occupations they do not do it for fun only, but for the money that comes out from it. That notion is supported by the definition of the word ‘occupation’ which you will find below.

What Is An Occupation?

An Occupation means an economic activity with which one is engaged or occupied. Economic activity is that activity that generates money. That is the standard definition of an occupation, however that word can be expanded so as to encompass or include some activities that do not naturally produce or generate money by themselves but which help in maintaining the balance of society, and so are rewarded with money which is sourced from the state purse, and generated by other activities.

Types of Occupations In Nigeria

Occupations may be classified into four broad categories:

  • Profession
  • Employment
  • Business
  • State Service

Let us now break down the types of occupations in Nigeria so as to understand each of them in detail:

  • Profession

Unless, an extraordinarily gifted genius, a person cannot be an expert in every field, but you can be an expert in one field, and so offer specialized services to the general public in exchange for money. Such specialized service is generally highly sought after and can usually command very high fees. Another factor to consider is that professionals are usually few and far between and so they are often highly sought after. Professionals may choose to work in already established organizations or decide to and open their own practice in which case they become the boss and even employ other people to help them run their establishment.

For example, we need the services of doctors for our health treatment, lawyers to get legal defense, and so on. They are professionals and are very well respected individuals. Professionals do not go about canvassing for jobs or begging for employment. The people need them, and so the people go to them.

Professions are occupations that take a lot of time and training to become proficient. These trainings are carried out at institutes of higher learning. Examples Include Medical Doctor, Dentist, Lawyer, Teacher, etc.

Below are some characteristics of a profession:

    • Specialized knowledge

Persons must first go to school in order to acquire the specialized knowledge and training that will later qualify them to be professionals. They will also need to acquire some certifications that come from taking and passing some exams that are set by special regulatory bodies.

    • Regulated by Professional body

A professional body regulates every profession. This is to ensure that the reputation of the profession remains intact. They do this by screening intending people who want to become members of their profession, and also by enforcing the ethics and working practices. These professional bodies usually have a set of rules or a ‘code of conduct’ which has been developed by the concerned professional body over time, and which serve to guide the behavior of all who would be and remain members of the professional body.

  • Employment

Most people think that employment and occupation mean the same thing. Maybe because most people who have an occupation are employed. The truth is that employment is a type of occupation. In this type of occupation, the person works for another person, or for a company. People who fall into this category are company executives, bank officials, factory workers, and so on.

Let us now learn about the characteristics of employment:

    • Work for others:

People who are employed generally work for someone else, or make money for someone else. They are then paid a fraction of their earnings in what is called a salary, wages as well as some other bonuses or benefits.  They are not free to decide the work to be done or even the way to do it, or the time it is to be done. They have to follow the instructions of their boss, supervisor, or employer.

    • Terms and conditions:

In employment, there are always certain terms and conditions that are agreed, and they include work to be performed, hours of work, amount of money to be paid, and with what frequency it is to be paid, as well as other facilities if any. The employer who offers employment normally decides these conditions and is said to be an employment offer. The person seeking a job must accept the terms and conditions in order to join the company’s work-force.

    • Fixed income:

The person who is in employment receives a stipulated salary at a stipulated time. That means that his income is fixed. He can tell with a great amount of certainty how much he will receive in a year. If there is to be any addition it may be in the form of a bonus given at the end of the year, or a stipend earn for overtime. These are usually small amounts of money and do not really change the overall look of the yearly pay-packet. All these are predictable, and make up a part of the terms and conditions of employment.

  • Business

Business refers to an occupation in which a person invests his own money into creating an establishment in which goods and services are produced, sold, and exchanged in return for money. In business, the businessman is the one who employs others and pays their salaries. The businessman also carries the risk of the business failing.  Mining, manufacturing, trading, are all types of business. Business can be sole proprietorship, partnerships, or Limited Liability or Public Liability Companies, in order of their size respectively.

  • State Service

State Service in this context refers to those occupations that do not by themselves fit into the economic activity categorization. They are still important because they help society remain balanced, free, and civilized. Examples are the Police, Army, and Fire Service departments. These are activities that do not generally generate any money by themselves, but they are vital non-the-less. That is why the government supports them heavily and rewards those who engage in these activities handsomely.

That’s all on the list of types of occupations in Nigeria.


Tag: Types of occupations in Nigeria.