Meaning of Occupation

Occupation refers to a particular type of activity that a person engages in, in order to earn a living. Specialization is implied, as one cannot engage in all categories of occupation.

Classification of Occupation
There are numerous activities that people engage in to earn a living. However, all the activities fall into three main categories namely (i) Industry (ii) Commerce and (iii) Services.

Diagrammatic Classification of Occupation

An industry refers to a number of firms, producing similar items like beverages, leather and textile. These are the divisions of industry:

Extractive Industry: This category of industry obtains raw materials from the land, sea or air for onward delivery to the manufacturing industry to convert them into more useful form for man’s need. It is also called primary industry. Occupations like fishing, farming, mining etc fall into this group.
Manufacturing Industry: This category of industry obtains raw materials from the extractive industry, and converts them into forms that suit man’s need e.g. Textile Industry converts cotton into clothes etc. It is also referred to as secondary Industry.
Construction Industry: This category of industry obtains finished products from the manufacturing industry and makes them into other forms to meet man’s need e.g. nails, iron rods, cement, planks etc are put together to form a house. It is also referred to as tertiary industry.

Commercial Occupation
This aspect of occupation deals with the actual buying and selling of goods and services as well as those services that enhance the process of buying and selling.
Commercial occupation can be broken into: (i) Trade (ii) Aids to trade

(i) Trade
This refers to the actual buying and selling of goods and services. It is sub-divided into Home Trade and Foreign Trade.

Home Trade: This refers to buying and selling within a country. It involves wholesalers and retailers. The wholesalers buy in bulk from producers and sell in small quantities to retailers. The retailers in turn sell to final consumers in smaller units or bits.

Foreign Trade: This refers to buying and selling between different countries or nations e.g. Nigeria and Ghana. It is sub-divided into imports and exports. Import trade involves buying goods from other countries for sale in the importer’s country.

For example electronics, cars, engines are imported by Nigerians for sale in Nigeria. Export trade involves sending locally produced goods to other countries for sale. Crude oil, rubber, cocoa are exported by Nigerians.

(ii) Aids to Trade: This refers to those activities/services which make buying and selling possible. They include:

Advertising: This is the means by which existing goods are publicized and new products or services are made known to consumers. Media of advertising include newspapers, journals, radio, television etc.

Banking: Banks make funds available to traders through loans and overdrafts as well as help traders keep their money to avpid losing iarne to robbers.

Insurance: This is a protection that a wise person -makes against accidental losses. It makes provision for losses through fire, burglary, accident, loss of ship and cargo etc.

Transportation: This is the way by which goods and passengers are conveyed from one place to another. Forms of transportation include air, land and water

Warehousing: This is the way by which storage facilities are provided for both raw materials and finished goods until they are needed.


Service Occupation
This aspect of occupation is not connected with production of goods, but rendering services that give satisfaction to the recipients. These are:

(a) Direct Service: This refers to services rendered by a class of people directly to the recipients who pay for the service and derive satisfaction from such services.

Direct services include entertainment by musicians, teaching, driving, health-care delivery etc.

(b) Indirect Service: This refers to services rendered to the public and enjoyed by individuals.

The services of the Armed Forces, Police, Civil Servants are supposed to be enjoyed by individual members of the public without having to pay directly to those who render the services.

It is real in corruption-free societies, where protection is provided for life and Property.

End of Lessons for SS1 Commerce 1st Term – Go to Page 5 for evaluation tests

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