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A profession is a craft or tradeskill that player characters may learn regardless of their character class, faction, or race. The first recipes they get are useful for gearing up low level characters (assuming a higher level character is not helping to support them). Some contend that instance drops will usually be better than most crafted items from the same level, but this is not always the case. Quite often crafted items will provide comparable stats or utility benefit that is quite useful for characters of all levels.

Many good recipes are sold by factions. Faction grinding keeps many crafters busy for several weeks and can often be very expensive if not backed by a guild. It is not uncommon for a crafter to start out with two collecting professions (usually Skinning/Mining or Skinning/Herbalism), later learn the first production craft, and in the end learn a second production craft to maximize benefit from the faction.

The most benefit to characters comes from trying to keep professions leveled up as they progress through the game. High end crafting, including specializations, can be extremely useful and lucrative, especially from patterns that come from end-game faction grinding or drop in high level instances (some of which Bind on Pickup). There are also several quests which require crafted items for completion.

Players may unlearn a profession and start a new one, but this removes the chosen profession; and if they were to relearn it they would have to start leveling it from scratch. To unlearn a profession, click on the appropriate profession and in the bottom part of the panel is a tiny icon. When moused over, it will tell players it lets them unlearn their profession.

Types

Professions are divided into two types: primary and secondary. Players can only have two primary professions at any time, but they are not required to take any at all. They may take all the secondary professions if they choose.

Primary

Gathering

Users of this profession mostly gather or harvest items from resources throughout the game world to increase their proficiency.

Crafting

Users of these professions mostly make items from other ingredient items (herbs, bars, meats, etcs.) taken from the gathering professions or created by building professions. Blizzard calls these Production professions. Most folks in game call them crafting or building.

Secondary

Note: Gathering, Cooking, and First Aid have level 35 requirement to train past 225.

Class "professions"

Proficiency levels

Professions can be trained to four levels of proficiency.

Apprentice

  • You must be level 5 for the primary professions.
  • This gives you 1 skill in the profession.
  • You may progress to 75 skill in the profession.
  • Cost to train is {{{2}}} for Primary professions and 1silver for Secondary professions.

Journeyman

  • You must be level 10 to train Journeyman level in building tradeskills.
  • You may train this anytime you have 50 or more skill in the profession.
  • You may progress to 150 skill in the profession.
  • Cost to train is 5silver.

Expert

Primary Professions

  • You must be level 20 to train Expert level in building tradeskills.
  • You may train this anytime you have 125 or more skill in the profession.
  • You may progress to 225 skill in the profession.
  • Cost to train is 50silver.

Secondary Professions

  • You need to be level 20 to use the books to get expert level in most secondary tradeskill professions.
  • You may train this anytime you have 125 or more skill in the profession.
  • You may progress to 225 skill in the profession.
  • To train, you need to purchase a book (respective Expert book of your profession).
  • The book sells from vendors at 1gold before discount.

Artisan

Primary Professions

  • You must be level 35 to train Artisan level in building tradeskills.
  • You may train this anytime you have 200 or more skill in the profession.
  • You need to find a unique special trainer which is usually found in out of the way locales (not in cities).
  • You may progress to 300 skill in the profession.
  • Cost to train is 5gold.
  • When training to Artisan in a profession that has specializations, You do NOT need to take a specialization to train Artisan.

Secondary Professions

  • You must be level 35.
  • You may train this only when you reach 225 skill in the profession.
  • You may progess to 300 skill in the profession.
  • You will need to talk to a trainer, who will give you a quest.
  • Completion of this quest will teach you Artisan level as a quest reward.
  • There is no direct cost associated with the training. Some of the skills, especially gathering and secondary skills, do not have character level requirements for some levels. All require level 5 to get apprentice. All the primary, building skills have the level requirements. All the secondary skills have a quest which is given only at or above the level requirement for Artisan.

Bonus to skill

All of the skills have reduced cost to train if you are Honored with the faction to which the trainer belongs. Selecting where to train will save you 5silver. This is also true for all recipes for the building professions.

Certain races receive a profession skill bonus as a racial trait.

Certain enchants give profession skill bonuses.

If you take a profession for which you have a racial bonus, you start with 16 skill and can get to 90 as Apprentice. Also, you can still train Journeyman at 50 which lets you get up to 165 skill, and so on with the other levels.

  • For Engineering, there are no known schematics that require over 300 in the skill.
  • For Herbalism, there are no known herbs requiring over 300 skill to gather; however, few higher-level herbs are still orange at 300, and as such their gathering sometimes results in failure. Having 315/315 may reduce the failure rate.

Certain items give profession skill bonuses.

These items can allow you to skin creatures with levels greater than 60, or catch fish in areas that require greater than 300 Fishing skill.

See Profession trainers by skill for a list of where to train each profession at each level of proficiency.

Additional Information

  • Farming is a term used to describe the act of gathering reagents/materials to make Profession items - usually referring to hard-to-find ingredients. See the Places to Farm article for more details.