For the life of me I can't recall or even Google the proper term to describe the levels of experience for a given trade.

For example let's say there are 5 levels of experience to trade x:

  • Rookie
  • Journeyman
  • Veteran
  • Craftsman
  • Luminary

What hypernym would describe these levels of experience?

  • If in any way this can help you narrow down your query, what I recall are apprentice, journeyman and master craftsman. This checks out well on a Google search as to the traditional structure of guilds. Commented Jan 23, 2012 at 22:36
  • 2
    Are you asking for a category word that includes all of "rookie", "journeyman", etc., or some sort of canonical listing of guild/trade ranks, or something else?
    – Marthaª
    Commented Jan 23, 2012 at 22:39
  • @Marthaª, yes I'm looking for a category word that would include all of those ranks
    – Jesse
    Commented Jan 23, 2012 at 22:41
  • @TomRaywood However, apprentice, journeyman and master were not levels of experience or skill but economic roles. Commented Oct 7, 2012 at 2:29

5 Answers 5


I doubt there's any generally-accepted terminology, but in context, grade, level, or (more formally) competence would all be understood and accepted.


This article on medieval guilds calls them stages.


I have heard them called ranks when talking about guilds (medieval and modern).


[Based on innumerable and readily searchable examples from within online sources, e.g. "journeyman class",] the answer appears to be classes.

[Recommended edits in brackets]

  • This answer could be improved by a reference to a source where the word classes is used to describe some of these levels of experience. That is, why do you say it "appears to be" - where does it appear? (Because your answer was brief, it showed up automatically on the "low quality posts" area for review; you can avoid this by providing a little more information in your answers.)
    – aedia λ
    Commented Jan 24, 2012 at 15:30

You might use rank

For example in the United States Navy:

Enlisted: E-1 Seaman to E-9 Master Chief Petty Officer

Officer via Enlisted Rank: Chief Warrant Officer 2-5 CWO

Officer: O-1 Ensign to O-11 Fleet Admiral

  • Hey Melissa, I've edited your question to better formatting. The Stack Exchange formatting can take getting used to.
    – dwjohnston
    Commented Aug 8, 2014 at 8:18

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