Skip to Content

What to Put for Occupation on Passport – What You Need to Know!

So, you’re ready to start exploring the world, but you need to get your passport first. Almost all of the information on your passport application is straightforward, but that career information can be tricky. What should you put down when the passport application asks you about your job?

Let’s go over the ins and outs of putting your career information on your passport.

What To Put For Occupation On Passport

Your occupation is not listed on the passport itself, but it is one of the fields you have to fill in when applying for a passport. You should enter the closest and most direct description for your current job title. Simple titles are fine as such as teacher, chef, or writer. This field is not a requirement for the application and can even be left blank or have entries such as “none” or “N/A.” You can also write “self-employed” for more difficult to describe contract work.


What if You’re Retired, On Disability, or a Student?

This might seem like an odd grouping of categories, but it’s all people who are currently not looking to join the workforce.

If you find yourself in a place in your life where you are not relying on 9 to 5 to meet your daily needs, you can ride something more general on this form such as “student” or “retired.”


App Workers

More than 34% of the American workforce are now gig workers. Rather than writing in “Driver for Uber Eats” you can simply put “contractor.”

Most gig worker jobs technically fall under the freelance or contractor categories. You are technically self-employed when you’re working in the gig economy.

Even though it might feel like you’re working for a company, it’s structured in such a way that you’re technically a contractor.

While this might cause some headaches in your day-to-day job, it does make filling out this application a little easier.


Odd Jobs

There are some jobs out there that, while being perfectly legal, still raise some eyebrows when you have to fill them on the form.

Dancers, individuals working in the cannabis industry, and people in a variety of other jobs have good reasons to hold back the full nature of their careers.

The good news is that you can be very general in this form. Rather than getting into the specifics of your career, you can write something simple like agricultural technician or actor.


Self Employed and Contractors

If you’re self-employed or a contractor there’s nothing more tedious than having to explain your job on an official piece of paper.

These documents are designed for people who have easy to define careers that can be summed up in one word. However, the employment field in your application is really just a formality.

Whether you do contract interior decorating or you are a freelance writer, you can simply write self-employed or contractor in this employment section.

It might not be the most elegant way to describe what you do, but you’re not fishing for new clients here, you’re just filling out a government document.

This means you want to be accurate and to the point. The people looking over your passport application aren’t going to be considering hiring you for the next project.

They’re just making sure that you’ve correctly filled out this form.


Unemployed, “Searching,” or In Between

One of the hardest things about being unemployed or being in between jobs is having to list that information on official forms.

Even if you’re only going to be unemployed for a few months, it’s still difficult to live with the social stigma of having precarious employment.

Thankfully, this information does not show up on your passport.

The employment information section is just for the application itself. Your job will never be printed on the physical passport.

However, you still might want to fill something into that section rather than writing “unemployed.”

You can write the closest job that you have. If you’re an unemployed elementary school teacher, you can just write “elementary school teacher.”

This is the career that you’re applying for and the career that you had before your unemployment again.

However, now is not the time to start claiming a career you haven’t already started.

If you’re unemployed because you’re currently trying to work your way towards some new goal, stick with something basic and fill in with the career that you had beforehand.


Should You Update Your Information?

No. You really don’t need to update your employment information with your passport.

The employment information section is really just for the application itself. It doesn’t show up on the final passport which means you don’t need to update this when you change careers.

There aren’t many things that would cause you to need to update your passport outside of a legal name change.

Passports have an expiration date. You can always write your new job title in the next application you file when it’s time to update your passport.


Frequently Asked Questions About What to Put for Occupation on Passport


Passports are one of those complicated legal documents that we all have to get sooner or later. It’s natural to have some questions, and we’ve got some answers.


Can You Leave Your Occupation Information Blank on a Passport Application?

The occupation information section of your passport application is not required. However, you might want to write in something just to make sure your passport application goes through quicker. Even if you have a complicated employment situation, you can typically write something simple such as unemployed, contractor, or some other quick description.


Does a Passport List Your Occupation?

This information is just required for the application itself but does not appear on the passport. Your passport will list information such as your full legal name, birthday, and the state you live in. Specific information such as your address and your job information is not listed on the physical passport.


Can You Get a Passport While Unemployed?

You can get a passport while you are unemployed or looking for work. There are some fees associated with getting a password that you will still need to pay even if you’re unemployed. However, having a job is not a requirement for getting a passport.

Traveling With a Properly Filled Out Passport

Where’s the first place you’re going to travel to now that you know what to put for occupation on passport?

Career information is only getting more tricky to answer as we start working for more jobs and adding side hustles to our employment history.

Hopefully this guide has answered some of your tricky questions about filling out passport information.