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Careers and Professional Skills (Dale Mabry): Professional Associations

Links and tips for your career research!

What are professional associations?

Professional associations are groups of practitioners in a career field who associate with each other for continuing education, networking, sharing ideas, setting industry standards, and educating the public about their profession.

Why bother looking them up?

Professional association websites can provide useful information about your career field, professional events such as conferences, and contacts who can answer your questions.

Below are two ways to find websites of professional associations in your career field.

Find Professional Associations in Occupational Outlook Handbook

Here’s how:

  1. Go to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics’ Occupational Outlook Handbook
  2. Look up your occupation in this official US government website.
  3. On the page for that occupation, select the More Info tab.
  4. Under Contacts for More Information, you will find links to websites of professional associations.

 As an example, here’s the More Info tab for the occupation of Interpreters and Translators.

Find professional associations using Google Advanced Search

Here’s how:

  1. Go to Google Advanced search
  2. In the first box—labeled, this exact word or phrase—enter the name of your profession in terms of what the practitioners are called.
    • For example, instead of graphic art, enter graphic artists
  3. In the second box—labeled any of these words—enter the following words: society institute association organization guild.
    • This tells Google to find pages that include the phrase, "graphic artists," plus any of those words that denote a group
    • Your results should include links to professional association websites.

As an example, here are results of a search for associations of graphic artists.