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University Library DePaul Library

Professional Associations

Professional Associations

Associations are formal organizations of individuals representing a profession, occupation, or industry.  These organizations support and further the interests of the profession through a variety of member benefits and activities. Professional associations are also good sources of news, emerging trends, key issues, events, and problems in a field. 

Listed below are several of the most common benefits and activities of professional associations.


Conferences, workshops and seminars
Certification programs
Career and leadership development
Employment opportunities
Lobbying and policy-making
Establishment of professional standards and codes of ethics

Here are two methods for identifying professional associations in your field. 

‚Äč1. Occupational Outlook Handbook (OOH):

The OOH is published by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) and provides profiles of approximately 80% of jobs in our national economy. The profiles describe the responsibilities, educational requirements, compensation and outlook for each occupation. These profiles are also a good source of relevant professional associations in the field.  Locate these organizations by clicking the More Info. tab in an occupation's profile.

Video: Using the Occupational Outlook Handbook for Your Career Search

2. Advanced Google Search:

  • Go to
  • Enter the name of an occupation/profession followed by professional association in the All These Words box at the top of the page.
  • Scroll down the page and enter .org in the site or domain field.
  • Scan through the results to identify a professional association and evaluate relevancy by browsing the organization's website, especially the About page.


SCPS Librarian

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Susan Shultz
DePaul Loop Library
1 E. Jackson Blvd.
Chicago, IL 60604