¿Qué haces? – Saying your Job in Spanish

There are two basic ways to ask “what is your job” in Spanish: ¿A qué te dedicas? and ¿Qué haces? This lesson will introduce the vocabulary to say what your job in Spanish is and how these words are used with the correct sentence structure. We have included a lot examples and simple explanations on the topic as well.

Vocabulary introduction: A list of common jobs in Spanish

First, we will ask you to take a minute to check the picture below and see how many of these job names in Spanish or occupations you can recognize. As you can see, each photo has represents a different occupation and they are used in short sentences as well. One more thing, think of people you have met that have these occupations so you can associate the new vocabulary with memories. This way it will be easier to remember.

What is your job in Spanish - Common jobs and occupations in Spanish
Los trabajos y las ocupaciones

How to ask “What is your Job ?” in Spanish

In the first place, to ask about jobs in Spanish you can use different questions: ¿En qué trabajas (tú)?, ¿Cuál es tu trabajo? (what’s your job?), ¿Qué haces(tú)? (what do you do?), and ¿A qué te dedicas? (what do you do?). Most of the time the verbs TRABAJAR (to work), HACER (to do) and DEDICAR (to do for this purpose) will be used when someone asks about your job in Spanish or when you do it. To ask in a more formal way, we simply change the pronoun TÚ for USTED and the verb forms as in ¿En qué trabaja usted?

Notice that the preposition EN will be placed before the word QUÉ in the question ¿En que trabaja…? and the preposition “A” is needed before QUÉ in the question “¿A qué te dedicas?”. Unlike English, questions in Spanish will place the preposition at the beginning not at the end.

Ways to ask what people do in Spanish

¿Usted es ingeniero?
Are you an engineer?
¿En qué trabaja usted? – Yo soy pescador
What do you do? – I am a fisherman
¿A qué te dedicas? – Yo soy secretaria
What do you do? – I am a secretary

Talking about your job in Spanish: vocabulary and sentence structure

SER + Job names in Spanish

In order to make sentences about your job in Spanish, you will need to use the irregular verb SER (to be) in its forms SOY, ES and SON. Most of the time the structure to follow will be:

Subject + SER + occupation or job in Spanish (trabajo u ocupación)

Since Spanish verbs change depending on the subject, it would be incorrect to say “Yo ser contador” because the verb SER must change to SOY to fit YO resulting in “Yo soy contador”. In English, it is possible to use the indefinite articles (A/AN) before an occupation, but this rule does not apply in Spanish. It would sound strange if we said “Yo soy un contador“. Besides, we only use UN or UNA before names of occupations when an adjective is added to describe the person, for example: Es un fotógrafo amable (he is a kind photographer) and Es una secretaria ocupada (she is a busy secretary). Both “amable” and “ocupada” are adjectives you can use to describe people in Spanish.

The chart below includes a vocabulary list for common jobs in Spanish with their respective audio for you to listen, check the sentence structure and practice pronunciation.

Marta es contadora en una compañía.
Marta is an accountant in a company
Carla es administradora de empresas.
Carla is a business manager
María es oficial de policía.
María is a police officer
Él es fotógrafo profesional.
He is a professional photographer
Alex es un buen intérprete.
Alex is a good interpretor
Él es el alcalde de nuestra ciudad
He is the mayor of our city
El señor Gómez es carpintero.
Mr Gomez is a carpenter
Los campesinos son muy trabajadores.
The farmers are very hard-working people

Other ways to say what you do in Spanish

Sometimes you can use the verb TRABAJAR plus the word COMO instead of SER to say your job in Spanish, basically adding TRABAJA COMO (works as) after the subject, for example: “Él trabaja como bombero” (He works as a firefighter). The last way to talk about someone’s job is by saying the field they work on instead of their profession, being these fields or CAMPOS words like Mercadeo (marketing), Construcción (construction), Ventas (sales) and others, e.g. “Ana trabaja en mercadeo” (Ana works in marketing) and “Ellos trabajan en construcción” (They work in construction).

Here you can listen to more examples using some other job names in Spanish

La enfermera es muy amable.
The nurse is very kind
El doctor de la clínica es muy bueno.
The doctor of that clinic is very good
Carlos trabaja como Cajero en un banco.
Carlos works as a cashier in a bank
Él trabaja como bombero.
He works as a firefighter
Él trabaja en construcción.
He works in construction
Las trabajadoras de la fábrica están de vacaciones.
The workers of that factory are on vacations

Vocabulary and grammar quiz: Jobs in Spanish

This short quiz will test if you can recognize the vocabulary presented in the lesson and also if you understand the basics on how to form sentences with jobs and occupations in Spanish. It will be easy to complete. ¡Buena suerte!