Work and Employment vocabulary in English

When we learn a new language, it’s important to ensure that we build up a good level of vocabulary in addition to just learning the grammar rules. In today’s post, we are going to focus on vocabulary related to the work and employment sector in English so that you have a greater knowledge of specific vocabulary used in that sector in English.


Union Vocabulary

Demonstration – an act of showing someone how something is used or done.

Reforms – an action, plan, rule, etc., that is meant to improve something.

Strike – a period of time when workers stop work in order to force an employer to agree to their demands.

Boycott – to refuse to buy, use, or participate in (something) as a way of protesting.

Employment Vocabulary

Employee – a person who works for another person or for a company for wages or a salary.

Employer – a person or company that has people who do work for wages or a salary : a person or company that has employees.

Worker – a person who does a particular job to earn money.

Apprentice – a person who learns a job or skill by working for a fixed period of time for someone who is very good at that job or skill.

Trainee – a person who is being trained for a job.

Intern – a student or recent graduate who works for a period of time at a job in order to get experience.

Full-time job – working the full number of hours considered normal or standard. Normally 8.

Part-time job – working or involving fewer hours than is considered normal or standard.

Shifts – the scheduled period of time during which a person works.

Overtime – time spent working at your job that is in addition to your normal working hours.

Flexitime – a system in which employees are required to work a certain number of hours but are allowed to choose their own times for starting and finishing work.

Occupation – the work that a person does : a person’s job or profession.

Profession – a type of job that requires special education, training, or skill.

Earn your living – to get (money, a salary, etc.) for work that you have done.

To get a raise – to receive an increase in the amount of your pay.

Promotion – the act of promoting someone or something: such as a : the act of moving someone to a higher or more important position or rank in an organization.

Maternity leave – not going to work for a specific period of time since you have just given birth.

Salary – an amount of money that an employee is paid each year.

Wage – very similar to salary: an amount of money that a worker is paid based on the number of hours, days, etc., that are worked.

Unemployment Vocabulary

Period of notice – a statement telling someone that an agreement, job, etc., will end soon.

To be unemployed – to be without a job.

To be out of work – to be without a job.

To be on the dole – money that a government gives to people who do not have jobs or who are very poor.

To fire somebody – to dismiss (someone) from a job.

To sack somebody – to dismiss (someone) from a job.

To make somebody redundant – dismissed from a job because you are no longer needed.

To hand in one’s notice – to give your boss a statement telling someone that an agreement, job, etc., will end soon.

To resign – to give up (a job or position) in a formal or official way.

To quit – to leave (a job, school, career, etc.).

Unemployment benefit – money that is paid by a company (such as an insurance company) or by a government when someone dies, becomes sick, stops working, etc.

With all this new vocabulary, you should be able to better understand working in English and the terminology that goes along with it. In addition to this post and many of the other great vocabulary posts we have on the ABA Journal, we also offer a free online English course which gives you access to 144 free video classes ranging from beginner to advanced as well as other great language learning resources.

Start learning with ABA English today.



  1. Yes, I’ve seen on TV the great demonstration in Barcelona…what can I say? The vocabulary is very useful and I’m going to learn by heart it all, because these are important words and sentences. But on TV for Spain, Italy and all the other countries in Europe I’d like to watch only some of them, as: trainee; full- time/part -time job; overtime; salary/wage; occupation; promotion; to get a raise; profession. For over 20 years I was the Human Resourses Director of big international companies and this was my daily job!! I hope that these beautiful words will come back soon on TV…Peace and Love

  2. Profession is “career”

  3. George Talbot


    Thanks for your feedback. Keep up the studying 🙂

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