French Jobs Vocabulary

In this lesson you’ll learn how to say different kinds of jobs and professions in French. At first glance this vocab list should be pretty easy as a lot of the words are similar to English. However, they are a bit tricky and require some extra attention. In French, each profession word much correspond in gender (masculine or feminine) with the person it’s describing.

For example, a male waiter would be “le serveur” while a female waitress would be “la serveuse”. However, here’s where it gets tricky. Some of the words are the SAME in both the masculine and feminine form. Examples of this are “le dentiste” and “la dentiste” and “le journaliste” and “le journaliste”.

In the table above I’ve included a “m/f” to indicate words that are exact same in the masculine and feminine forms. Furthermore, there are some words which are always written in the masculine. Two examples are “le gendarme” (the policeman) and “le pompier” (the fireman). This is because these professions were traditionally done by men in the past.

But, times are changing as certain words finally evolving. For example, in the past the word for politician was, “l’homme politique” (political man). However, now people are finally saying, “la femme politique” (the political woman).

Vocabulary List

l'acteur/l'actrice actorl'artiste (m/f) artist
l'athlète (m/f) athletele boulanger/la boulangère baker
le boucher butcherle charpentier carpenter
le caissier/la caissière cashierle fonctionnaire (m/f) civil servant
le cuisinier cookle dentiste (m/f) dentist
le médecin/le docteur doctorl'électricien/l'électricienne electrician
l'ingénieur engineerle pompier fireman
le journaliste (m/f) journalistl'avocat/l'avocate lawyer/barrister
l'ouvrier/l'ouvrière manual workerla femme de ménage/la domestique maid
le gérant/la gérante managerle mécanicien/la mécanicienne mechanic
l'infirmier/l'infirmière nursel'officier officer
le peintre painterle pharmacien/la pharmacienne pharmacist/chemist
le pilote (m/f) pilotle plombier plumber
le gendarme policemanl'homme politique/la femme politique politician
le réceptionniste (m/f) receptionistle chercheur/la chercheuse researcher
le secrétaire (m/f) secretaryl'étudiant/l'étudiante student
le professeur professorl'enseignant/l'enseignante teacher
le serveur/la serveuse waiter/waitressl'écrivain writer

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