I am a beginner of English and my native language is Chinese. I just wonder why I can't use high-paying occupation?

My teacher suggests that using high-paying job or position is much more appropriate. Those words are very similar when translated to my native language.

Please help me to tell the difference between them.

2 Answers 2


A job can last one day.

A position can be occupied for a week.

One's occupation, on the other hand, is a long-term project. It's something one does for years and years. It can be financially rewarding at some point, and six months later - not so much. Of which fact your teacher is probably well-aware, hence the comment.


In addition to the distinctions listed by Ricky here, I would also add that occupation is slowly drifting away as common usage, at least here in the United States. Although 'occupation' is still a perfectly valid thing to say, the prevailing idiom leans toward what your teacher said. This is just a nuance, but I think it's relevant.

Additionally, I think there might be a bit of a sour taste in how some (many?) people currently associate the word 'occupation', due to various world events of the last several years (regardless of where those people might stand on any political issues). Again, this is a nuance, but language use is built upon such inscrutable things -- and avoiding negative associations when discussing your job is never a bad goal.

All the best, and good luck with your further studies. :o)

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