Jargon Buster - Definition of Occupation

Please select your letter of choice below to see the list of terms:


is the job, career or profession that an individual does for a living. It is a term used to summarise the work, tasks and activities that you do for your job. Many people's occupations change during the course of their lives and are often guided by their education, personality, past work experience and training.

For insurance purposes, occupation can play a part in determining the risk of your policy and therefore can have an effect on the premium. For Life Insurance and Critical Illness Policies (without Total Permanent Disability and Waiver of Premium), most occupations are acceptable and don't cause higher risk unless any of the following is true:

  • Working at heights over 40ft.
  • Working with explosives or dangerous substances.
  • Being a member of the Armed Forces and being under orders.
  • The job involves Deep Sea Diving.
  • Working offshore in the oil/gas industry.
  • Working other dangerous occupations.

For Income Protection, Total Permanent Disability and Waiver of Premium, occupation type can have a direct effect on the premium dependent upon which occupation class your job falls into. In the occupation class system, each job type is classed in order of risk, this usually from 1 to 4, whereby 1 is low risk and 4 is high risk. A class 1 occupation is usually office based work such as administrators and IT workers. A class 4 occupation is usually a manual occupation such as a carpenter or plumber. Under this system, cover is usually more expensive for the higher risk occupations.

Please note that all definitions are intended for general guidance only. For official and current definitions you should always double check your policy wording.

If you are in doubt of the meaning of any terms, why not email us on