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Professional services are occupations in the service sector requiring special training in the arts or sciences. Some professional services, such as
architect An architect is a person who plans, designs and oversees the construction of buildings. To practice architecture means to provide services in connection with the design of buildings and the space within the site surrounding the buildings that h ...
s, accountants,
engineer Engineers, as practitioners of engineering, are professionals who Invention, invent, design, analyze, build and test machines, complex systems, structures, gadgets and materials to fulfill functional objectives and requirements while considerin ...
s, doctors, and lawyers require the practitioner to hold professional degrees or licenses and possess specific skills. Other professional services involve providing specialist business support to businesses of all sizes and in all sectors; this can include
tax advice A tax advisor or tax consultant is a person with advanced training and knowledge of tax law. The services of a tax advisor are usually retained in order to minimize taxation while remaining compliant with the law in complicated financial situations. ...
, supporting a company with accounting,
IT services Information technology service management (ITSM) is the activities that are performed by an organization to design, build, deliver, operate and control information technology (IT) services offered to customers. Differing from more technology-or ...
, public relations services or providing management services.


Definition

Many industry groups have been used for academic research, while looking at professional services firms, making a clear definition hard to attain. Some work has been directed at better defining professional service firms (PSF). In particular, Von Nordenflycht generated a taxonomy of professional service firms, defining four types: # Classic PSFs (e.g. law and accounting firms): characterized by a high knowledge intensity, a professionalized workforce, and low capital intensity # Professional campuses (e.g. hospitals): characterized by high knowledge intensity, a professionalized workforce, and high capital intensity # Neo-PSFs (e.g. management consultants): characterized by high knowledge intensity and a low capital intensity # Technology developers (e.g. R&D firms,
biotech Biotechnology is the integration of natural sciences and engineering sciences in order to achieve the application of organisms, cells, parts thereof and molecular analogues for products and services. The term ''biotechnology'' was first used ...
s): characterized by high knowledge intensity and a high capital intensity Frameworks such as this aid the ability of managers and academics to better understand how such firms manage themselves and how to judge benchmark practices.


Example occupations

There is no definitive list of occupations in professional services, but examples include the following: * Accountant * Actuary *
Appraiser An appraiser (from Latin ''appretiare'', "to value"), is a person that develops an opinion of the market value or other value of a product, most notably real estate. The current definition of "appraiser" according to the Uniform Standards of Prof ...
*
Architect An architect is a person who plans, designs and oversees the construction of buildings. To practice architecture means to provide services in connection with the design of buildings and the space within the site surrounding the buildings that h ...
* Consultant *
Evaluator In computer science, an interpreter is a computer program that directly executes instructions written in a programming or scripting language, without requiring them previously to have been compiled into a machine language program. An interpre ...
*
Engineer Engineers, as practitioners of engineering, are professionals who Invention, invent, design, analyze, build and test machines, complex systems, structures, gadgets and materials to fulfill functional objectives and requirements while considerin ...
* Financial planner * Geoscientist *
Investment manager Investment management is the professional asset management of various securities, including shareholdings, bonds, and other assets, such as real estate, to meet specified investment goals for the benefit of investors. Investors may be instituti ...
* IT consultant * Inspector * Lawyer * Management consultant * Marketing * Public Relations * Physician * Supply Chain Management * Training and development *
Urban Planner An urban planner (also known as town planner) is a professional who practices in the field of town planning, urban planning or city planning. An urban planner may focus on a specific area of practice and have a title such as city planner, tow ...
* Veterinary physician


Provision

Professional services can be provided by sole proprietors,
partnerships A partnership is an arrangement where parties, known as business partners, agree to cooperate to advance their mutual interests. The partners in a partnership may be individuals, businesses, interest-based organizations, schools, governm ...
or corporations. A person providing the service can often be described as a consultant. In law,
barristers A barrister is a type of lawyer in common law jurisdictions. Barristers mostly specialise in courtroom advocacy and litigation. Their tasks include taking cases in superior courts and tribunals, drafting legal pleadings, researching law and givin ...
normally organise themselves into chambers. Businesses in other industries, such as banks and retailers, can employ individuals or teams to offer professional services for their customers. Major cities such as
London London is the capital and List of urban areas in the United Kingdom, largest city of England and the United Kingdom, with a population of just under 9 million. It stands on the River Thames in south-east England at the head of a estuary dow ...
and New York are leading global centres for professional services firms.


Marketing

The marketing and selection of professional-service providers may depend on factors such as skill, knowledge, experience, reputation, capacity, ethics, and creativity. Large corporations may have a formal
procurement Procurement is the method of discovering and agreeing to terms and purchasing goods, services, or other works from an external source, often with the use of a tendering or competitive bidding process. When a government agency buys goods or s ...
process for engaging professional services. Prices for services, even within the same field, may vary greatly. Professional-service providers may offer fixed rates for specific work, charge in relation to the number or seniority of people engaged, or charge in relation to the success or profit generated by the project.


See also

* Big Four auditors * '' pro bono'' * Professional services networks *
White-shoe firm A white-shoe firm is an American term used to describe prestigious professional services firms that have traditionally been associated with the upper-class elite who graduated from Ivy League colleges. The term is most often used to describe lead ...


References


External links


Indicators of regulatory conditions in the professional services
�� Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development
Better Regulation of Professional Services
��
European Union The European Union (EU) is a supranational union, supranational political union, political and economic union of Member state of the European Union, member states that are located primarily in Europe, Europe. The union has a total area of ...

Key Facts about UK Financial and Related Professional Services
�� TheCityUK
Professional Service Firms
�� University of Cambridge
Placement Services
{{DEFAULTSORT:Professional Services Business occupations Service industries