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- 1 Professions
- 2 Categories of professions
- 3 Companion professions
- 4 Increasing professional skill level
- 5 Proficiency levels
- 6 Bonus to profession skill
- 7 Bonuses you only get with a certain profession
- 8 Easy money making
- 9 Reputation
- 10 Trainers
- 11 Factions
- 12 Unlearning a profession
- 13 History
- 14 Patches and hotfixes
- 15 See also
- 16 References
- 17 External links
A profession is a trade-oriented set of skills that player characters may learn and incrementally advance in order to gather, make, or enhance items that can be used in World of Warcraft gameplay. In essence, professions are 'jobs' characters may have. Professions are learned and improved via a trainer for a nominal fee, or sometimes advanced with special recipes. Any profession can be learned regardless of a character's faction, race, or class, although some racial traits provide bonuses to a particular profession. For example, gnomes have which may aid them if taking up the Engineering profession.
Specific trade skills within a profession allow you to do specific things such as crafting or equipping certain items. The making of such items are learned directly from profession trainers, from recipes found throughout the world, or occasionally taught as quest rewards. Each crafting profession starts out with a few specific trade skills that can be used to increase your skill level; as a player advances their profession to higher levels, they unlock the ability to learn new, more rewarding trade skills, which in turn are used to gain more skill levels (up to the current maximum). Gathering professions, on the other hand, have no need of specific trade skills: The player advances their skill level simply by harvesting the appropriate raw materials from resource nodes throughout the world.
Note the distinction: Trade skills are capabilities within a profession—such as forging a particular piece of armor—whereas skill level is a progression metric which acts as a prerequisite for learning more difficult trade skills (in the case of a crafting profession) or harvesting greater amounts of raw materials (in the case of a gathering profession).
The Professions tab lists a character's professions, and provides easy access to all related abilities and crafting interfaces.
Three classes of profession exist: primary, secondary, and so-called "pseudo"-professions.
Primary professions are limited to two per character, though one is not required to take any at all. You can unlearn a primary profession in order to free up a profession slot and learn something new, but you will permanently lose all acquired knowledge and experience within that profession; if you learn it again later, you will have to start over from scratch.
|Gathering||Harvest herbs found throughout the world and from the bodies of some creatures. You can detect nearby herbs on the minimap.|
|Gathering||Mine ore, minerals, gems and stone from protruding veins or deposits. Also teaches you the smelting sub-profession, which allows the use of a forge to smelt the ore into bars of metal. You can detect nearby ore deposits on the minimap.|
|Gathering||Skin the corpses of certain creatures for their hides, leather, and scales.|
|Production||Mix potions, elixirs, flasks, oils and other alchemical substances into vials using herbs and other reagents. Your concoctions can restore health and mana, enhance attributes, or provide any number of other useful (or not-so-useful) effects. High level alchemists can also transmute essences and metals into other essences and metals. Alchemists can specialize as a Master of Potions, Master of Elixirs, or a Master of Transmutation.|
|Production||Smith various melee weapons, mail and plate armor, and other useful trade goods like skeleton keys, shield-spikes and weapon chains to prevent disarming. Blacksmiths can also make various stones to provide temporary physical buffs to weapons.|
|Service, Production||Imbue all manner of equipable items with magical properties and enhancements using dusts, essences and shards gained by disenchanting (breaking down) magical items that are no longer useful. Enchanters can also make a few low-level wands, as well as oils that can be applied to weapons providing a temporary magical buff.|
|Production||Engineer a wide range of mechanical devices—including trinkets, guns, goggles, explosives and mechanical pets—using metal, minerals, and stone. As most engineering products can only be used by suitably adept engineers, it is not as profitable as the other professions; it is, however, often taken to be one of the most entertaining, affording its adherents with numerous unconventional and situationally useful abilities. Engineers can specialize as Goblin or Gnomish engineers.|
|Service, Production||Inscribe glyphs that modify existing spells and abilities for all classes, in addition to various scrolls, staves, playing cards and off-hand items. A scribe can also create vellums for the storing of an Enchanter's spells and scribe-only scrolls used to teleport around the world (albeit a tad randomly). Also teaches you the ability, which crushes herbs into various pigments used, in turn, for a scribe's ink.|
|Production||Cut and polish powerful gems that can be socketed into armor and weapons to augment their attributes or fashioned into rings, necklaces, trinkets, and jeweled headpieces. Also teaches you the ability, which sifts through raw ores to uncover the precious gems needed for your craft.|
|Production||Work leather and hides into goods such as leather and mail armor, armor kits, and some capes. Leatherworkers can also produce a number of utility items including large profession bags, ability-augmenting drums, and riding crops to increase mount speed.|
|Production||Sew cloth armor and many kinds of bags using dye, thread and cloth gathered from humanoid enemies during your travels. Tailors can also fashion nets to slow enemies with, rideable flying carpets, and magical threads which empower items they are stitched into.|
Secondary professions can be learned by any character regardless of their choice of primary professions, and can provide the player with a number of benefits, resources and side activities. Unlike primary professions, secondary professions cannot be unlearned: Since there is no limit to how many you can have at one time, there is simply no point in being able to drop them.
|Gathering||Unearth and reconstruct valuable artifacts from the cultures across Azeroth and beyond, often earning unique and mysterious rewards.|
|Production||Combine ingredients into delicious food that can restore health and mana and provide temporary buffs. These buffs can increase most any attribute, and some give you unusual passive abilities. Also teaches you the ability to create campfires, which are usually required to cook.|
|Gathering||Fish from lakes, rivers, oceans and more using a . The items you fish up can be anything from gray junk to epic treasures and even rideable mounts!|
|Service, Production||Weave and apply cloth bandages and poison-cleansing anti-venoms. Considered a must-have profession for all classes who are not able to heal themselves by magical means.|
Pseudo-professions are unlike primary and secondary professions in that they are either learned or leveled in unusual ways; some are automatically available to specific classes—similar to abilities—while others are purchased outright, requiring no player interaction to increase.
|Service||Allows a Rogue to open locked chests, doors, and lockboxes. Lockpicking originally required manual leveling much like a profession, but was changed in the Cataclysm expansion to simply increase incrementally as a Rogue increases in level. Like a service profession, lockpicking skills are often in demand and are marketed and solicited on the chat system trade channel.|
|N/A||Ride ground, flying, and swimming mounts of all shapes and sizes. Riding is taught like a profession, but each major proficiency level simply improves your ability to ride mounts of additional types or at faster speeds. It requires a much higher level and carries a much higher cost than a normal profession, and while it obviously neither gathers nor produces, there are some mounts which allow passengers and could conceivably be used to provide transportation as a service.|
|N/A||Allows a Death Knight to emblazon their weapon with empowering runes, similar to Enchanting.|
Categories of professions
Each profession falls into at least one of three categories: Gathering, production, and service. Overlaps between these categories are common, and a profession of one type often has some functions that are of another type.
Gathering professions allow a character to gather or harvest items from resource nodes throughout the game world to supply ingredient materials (or mats) for crafting professions. Occasionally, these harvested items will be directly useful and usable. Any gathered materials that do not bind on pickup can be sold in the auction house, often for a tidy profit for the time invested.
Production professions make items from other ingredient items such as herbs, ingots, and meats. While Blizzard refers to these as "Production" professions, most players refer to them as simply "crafting" within the game. Most of the items produced will be directly useful, but some will be ingredients for more advanced or complex items. Crafted products that do not bind on pickup can be sold in the auction house, with more powerful or novel items commanding higher prices.
- The first recipes you get are useful for gearing up low level characters (assuming a higher level character is not helping to support you). Some contend that as soon as you start running instances, the drops will usually be better than most crafted items from the same level, but this is not always the case; crafted items will often provide comparable stats or utility benefits that are useful for characters of all levels.
- High-end crafting, including specializations, can be extremely useful and lucrative, especially when utilizing recipes earned through end-game faction reputations or instance drops (some of which bind on Pickup, increasing their rarity). There are also several quests which require crafted items for completion.
Service professions benefit players by providing a service such as item enhancement rather than focusing on the production of the items themselves. Characters that want to make money with a service profession will often have to actively solicit customers, though quality-of-life improvements such as the addition of Enchanting Vellums have greatly diminished this need over time.
While it is perfectly valid to choose any two primary professions you like, certain professions complement others in a way that makes them natural companions. The best example of this is the most typical: Pairing a crafting profession with the gathering profession that provides the bulk of the materials required to advance in that crafting profession.
Effectively pairing complementary crafting and gathering professions greatly reduces a character's reliance upon the auction house for materials. While this can be a good thing for players without a large sum of gold or a steady stream of income, keep in mind that gathering can consume a great deal of time and may still not provide all of the reagents necessary for your craft. Therefore, adherents to the old adage "time is money, friend!" must determine what is more valuable to them: The gold saved by gathering your own materials, or the time saved by purchasing materials gathered by others.
The following is a table of crafting professions and the primary and secondary companion professions that are most complementary to them. If you have no real interest in crafting, consider instead taking two gathering skills to make money while adventuring in the world.
|Profession||Recommended Companion||Alternate Companion||Secondary Companion|
The best companion for this profession is Herbalism, as early alchemy relies almost exclusively on herbs for the mixing of any potion. The secondary Fishing profession is also highly recommended, as it supplies a number of oils used in the craft and can be taken simultaneously with Herbalism. At higher levels, Mining can be used to provide materials for some potions as well as transmutes.
It may be useful for advanced players to check your server's auction house prices for herbs and minerals, choosing to gather one or the other depending on which has the highest profit margin. You can then sell your excess material and use the profits to purchase the materials you cannot obtain for yourself. New players should stick with Herbalism and Fishing until they get used to dealing with the auction house.
The best companion for this profession is Mining, as the ore used in nearly all smithing plans is typically in high demand and thus expensive to purchase on the auction house. While blacksmithing does utilize components from other professions (mainly leather from Skinning), it does not do so in sufficient quantity to justify any other gathering profession. In addition, low-level blacksmithing items rarely sell for more than the cost of their materials, and the additional income from selling excess ore can help to offset this cost until you can produce rare and in-demand weapons and armor.
While Cooking is a secondary profession and utilizes many dropped meats from creatures in the game, its natural companion is Fishing. It can be leveled without the use of fishing (a noted departure from when it was originally introduced to the game), but catching and cooking fish is a very efficient method for increasing your skill. Don't forget that since both cooking and fishing are secondary skills, you can have both of them in addition to two primary skills.
Enchanting actually provides its own pseudo-gathering skill, known as disenchanting, which is used to break down items of uncommon quality or better to produce the materials needed to enchant other items. It is therefore common practice to couple Enchanting with Tailoring, which similarly requires no gathering skills and can produce many items that can be disenchanted. If you do not like farming for cloth and the cost of leather is cheaper on the auction house, Leatherworking can also produce items suitable for disenchanting. This combination—though not unheard of—is not common, as anyone can farm for cloth while only someone with the Skinning profession can obtain the leather needed by Leatherworkers.
Note that it is also customary for Enchanters to farm disenchantable items from instanced dungeons and to buy up cheap disenchantable items from the auction house to provide the materials needed for their craft. This has long since given Enchanting a reputation for being one of the most difficult and expensive professions to level up—a reputation which has increased its rarity, and therefore its profit margins as well.
The best companion skill for this profession is Mining, as ore is typically in high demand and thus expensive to purchase on the auction house and, like Blacksmithing, Engineering is ore intensive. Unlike Blacksmithing, however, it is also stone intensive and uses a fair number of gems, which Mining also provides. While this profession also uses items provided by Skinning (again similar to Blacksmithing), it is not in sufficient enough quantity to justify not taking Mining.
The only truly worthwhile companion skill for Inscription is Herbalism. Using the associated skill, Scribes gather herbs to be made into various pastes (known as pigments) that are later used as the basis for inks for their profession.
The best companion skill for this profession is Mining, as ore is typically in high demand and thus expensive to purchase on the auction house. Like Blacksmithing and Engineering, Jewelcrafting is ore and stone intensive. Additionally, Jewelcrafting needs gems, which are obtained either directly from mining or from mined ore. Jewelcrafting uses so little from other professions that it is not advisable to couple it with anything other than Mining.
The best companion skill for this profession is Skinning, as it produces almost all of the raw materials needed to work leather. Additionally, you don't have to kill an enemy yourself in order to skin it; any skinnable creature that has been killed and looted can be skinned for leather, hide or scraps that a leatherworker can turn into usable pieces of leather or items. Like many professions, Leatherworking does occasionally utilize other professions' crafted or gathered materials. However, these are not in sufficient enough quantity to warrant the omission of Skinning.
Unlike most primary professions, Tailoring has no associated gathering profession as most of the raw materials are obtained by farming cloth from humanoids in the game. Nonetheless, it is still commonly coupled with a gathering skill—Skinning, Herbalism, or Mining—or with Enchanting, which similarly provides its own raw materials. However, except for Skinning to a minor degree, none of these are for the purpose of helping with Tailoring proper. Rather, they are all for either making money on the auction house from selling raw goods to other professions, or for providing uncommon quality or better items to be disenchanted.
Tailors that do not wish to pick up the Enchanting profession should consider Skinning. The reason for this is twofold: First, Skinning provides a few items needed by tailors (such as leather for tailored boots or bags). Secondly, both Skinning and Tailoring are professions that rely upon gathering items from mobs that you will be killing anyway. In other words, if you kill a humanoid, it will most likely be dropping cloth for your tailoring; meanwhile, if you kill a beast or dragon, you can skin it to grab useful materials. Having both Tailoring and Skinning is a great way to both save and make money at the auction house.
Increasing professional skill level
Skill level is increased by practicing the skill. This works differently for different professions.
For most professions, you have a chance to gain skill level as you craft items, perform your service, or gather from a resource. As you increase in a skill, more recipes and resources reach a 0% chance to increase the skill (at this point the recipe will appear grey in the profession window). When a recipe turns green, a skill raise seldom occurs. A yellow recipe will raise the skill by 1 point roughly 60% of the time. An orange recipe always raises the skill 1 point.
The chance of skilling up changes within a color band as well. For example, if a particular item goes from orange to yellow at 240 and from yellow to green at 255, the chance of skilling up will be almost as good as orange from 240-245, middling from 245-250, and barely better than green from 250-255. It is often beneficial to make high yellow items to skill up more cost-effectively than orange items, but low yellow items should only be used if inexpensive (or if profitable!).
The formula describing the chance to gain a skill level, given your current skill level, the level at which the pattern you are using turns "yellow", and the level that it turns "grey", appears to be:
chance = (greySkill - yourSkill) / (greySkill - yellowSkill)
This means that a recipe that has just turned yellow will still be guaranteed to grant a skill point for its next craft (in the above formula, if yourSkill and yellowSkill are the same, the result is 1). It can be observed that the level at which recipes turn green is the point where the chance of a skill-up is 0.5. Thus, yellow recipes have a skill up chance tending from 1 to 0.5 as the recipe approaches green. The number of crafts of a recipe required to get 1 skill-up is geometrically distributed, thus the expected number of crafts is given by 1/chance. This may help in which recipe is the 'cheapest' to use to level up regarding material cost.
One exception to this rule is Skinning, wherein skinning a corpse which appears orange does not guarantee a skill increase, and often many such corpses must be skinned in order to raise the skill).
Fishing also works differently. Each item fished has a contribution to raising your fishing skill, regardless of the item level fished or the location fished. Raising your fishing skill requires progressively more catches, but it doesn't matter where you fish nor what you catch (other than you will miss more fish in more difficult areas where you have a chance to miss some fish, so it will take longer - so raising fishing skill can be inversely related to the difficulty of the fishing.)
Creating a Basic Campfire has a chance of increasing cooking skill. This has 5 min cooldown so it is not so useful.
There are seven (eight with upcoming Battle for Azeroth expansion) proficiency levels that constrain how much skill players can acquire within their professions. Apprentice, Journeyman, Expert, and Artisan no longer appear in game and are rolled up under Classic. Journeyman and Expert are only referenced in profession achievements.
|Title of Professional Proficiency Level||Min Required
Professional Skill Points
Professional Skill Points
|Cost to train||Note|
|Classic proficiency||5||none||300||Primary - 10 (at Neutral)
Secondary - 1 (at Neutral)
|Some specializations are done during this level.|
Tailoring and Alchemy Specializations are done during this level.
|Cataclysm proficiency||78||1||75||Primary - 47 50
Secondary - 28 50
|Draenor proficiency||88||1||100||Learned from manuals that are quest reward and drops/gathered in Draenor.|
|Battle for Azeroth proficiency||110||1||150|
Bonus to profession skill
You can also increase your profession skill level with certain racial abilities, items, and enchants. Principally the chance to skill up is based on the characters base skill level - i.e. the skill level before the racial or item bonus. This makes it much easier to level up the skill. The Draenei Jewelcrafting skill bonus of 5, for example, means that a recipe that turned from orange to yellow at 30 for other races would not turn yellow until 35 for a Draenei jewelcrafter.
You must have training in the profession (at least one skill point) to use a skill bonus in that profession. With no training, the skill bonus does not apply - so you cannot use the skill bonus instead of training in a profession.
Certain races receive a profession skill bonus as a racial trait.
- Gnome → +15 Engineering
- Tauren → +15 Herbalism
- Draenei → +5 Jewelcrafting
- Blood Elf → +10 Enchanting
- Worgen → +15 Skinning
- Goblin → +15 Alchemy
- Pandaren → +15 Cooking
- Lightforged draenei → +10 Blacksmithing
- Nightborne → +15 Inscription
- Highmountain tauren → +15 Mining
Certain enchantments create a permanent profession skill bonus on an apparel item, which is then worn to apply the profession skill bonus. Currently, all of these work on gloves.
- adds 2 to Fishing skill.
- adds 2 to Herbalism skill.
- adds 2 to Mining skill.
- adds 5 to Skinning skill.
- adds 5 to Mining skill.
- adds 5 to Herbalism skill.
- adds +5 to all gathering skills
Casting these enchantments on a very low level non-binding white or gray quality cloth glove enables the glove to be worn by any character. This will also prevent anyone from accidentally disenchanting the glove. (The materials for the enchantment cannot ever be recovered in any case.)
(Some folks may prefer the enchantment on a Bind on Equip glove they can't accidentally give away.)
The herbalism enchantment can be cast onfor a total bonus of +7 or +10 herbalism skill. This is the only way to get both bonuses at once since individual herbalism skill bonus items would occupy the same equipment slot.
Certain items give profession skill bonuses when wielded or worn.
- adds +10 to Skinning skill.
adds +10 to Skinning skill.
- See Skinning equipment for a detailed discussion.
- Mail adds +5 to Mining skill.
- Crafted by engineers who have specialized in Goblin Engineering.
- Can be worn by Paladins and Warriors, and also by Shamans and Hunters above level 40 who have trained to wear mail armor.
- As it is Bind on Pickup, it can only be created and worn by engineers who have the Goblin Engineering specialization; you can continue to wear it if you change specializations as long as you remain an engineer.
- Note that this item is not available to miners who have anything other than engineering as their other profession.
- With the mining enchantments on gloves, total bonus to mining skill is +7 or +10.
- Leather adds +5 to Herbalism skill.
- Crafted by leatherworkers.
- Cannot be worn by Priests, Mages, or Warlocks.
- With the herbalism enchantments, this glove is +7 or +10 herbalism skill.
- For Tauren, that's +20 with no enchantment, +22, or +25 with enchantment.
- The pattern for making the Alliance NPC vendor. The pattern can be traded and sold; Horde will have to get it from the Neutral Auction House. is sold only by an
- The Bind on Equip and can be traded and sold the same way. are
- See Items That Increase Fishing Skill or Fishing equipment for a table of the many items that add to Fishing skill.
Bonuses you only get with a certain profession
This section contains information that is out-of-date.
Each Primary profession gives certain advantages unique to practitioners of that profession. The crafting profession bonuses, by design, are all roughly comparable: about 40 points of item budget (i.e., 40 points to a statistic other than stamina, 60 points of stamina, or 80 points of attack power). There are only a few gaps - for example, there is no tailoring bonus useful to tank.
Since the release of Wrath of the Lich King, no profession has had bind on pickup items of great value. Several professions have blue quality items that will be useful to fresh level 80s, but quickly replaced with better gear.
The crafting professions each have recipes for items that require skill in that profession.
Alchemists are able to create and equip unique trinkets, ranging from the (200) to a selection of max level versions such as the . In addition to being a required tool for transmutations, these trinkets grant substantial amounts of primary and secondary stats, as well as increasing the effect that healing and mana potions have on the wearer by 40%.
In addition, midway through Apprentice level (50 skill), Alchemists get a passive ability, , that doubles the duration of any elixir (or flask) that they use, provided that it is one they are able to make themselves. This ability also increases the effect of the elixir, but the amount of increase varies from item to item.
Alchemists are also able to make a small collection of potions that only they are able to benefit from. At Grand Master (400) alchemists can create the , which provides a small buff to the alchemist's primary stat, effectively replaced at Illustrious Grand Master (500) skill level by its Cataclysm equivalent, the . Although these flasks provide a much smaller bonus than other flasks at that skill level, they are not only not consumed upon use but have the advantage of being usable in Arenas.and , which are not consumed upon use. These can provide a regular and endless supply of mana or health, although their contributions (2000 and 2400 respectively) are far less significant at max level. Grand Master also brings the
- See also Items only usable by alchemists
The most notable exclusive benefit Blacksmiths get is the ability to add a socket to bracers and gloves, that requires 400 Blacksmithing skill to remain active. (This makes Blacksmithing an attractive complement to Jewelcrafting, for players who are not worried about gaining required materials.)
Blacksmiths can also create skeleton keys to open locked doors and chests, providing a limited alternative to a rogue's lockpicking services.
In addition, Blacksmiths are able to craft gear that only they can wear, dependent on the specialization they have chosen: weapons or armor. These items become available at several points:
Skill level 47 260 65 330 70 350 78 415
Almost every item an engineer makes is usable only by other engineers, making it difficult to compare to other professions. They have custom made items that do everything from snare or mind control opponents to gaining access to a mailbox or bank space in the middle of the wilderness.
Much like Blacksmiths, they are able to make a small selection of items (headgear) exclusive to engineers.
And in common with most other crafting professions, they are able to augment select items of their own gear. While most of these changes are gadgets (increased movement speed, rockets, parachutes), many also give bonuses to combat statistic abilities (armor value, critical strike rating, haste rating, etc).
In common only with Tailoring, there are two mounts that only Engineers can create and use. (There are a further two mounts - the motorcycles - that require engineering to create, but anyone can use.)
Starting as low as level 35, and continuing at least to level 75, Jewelcrafters are able to make trinkets that only they are able to use (BoP).
More significant than those trinkets, though, is the ability of Jewelcrafters to create and socket more powerful epic quality gems. These gems (up to three allowed at a time) are up to 40% more powerful than the best gems that non-jewelcrafters can obtain. Much like Blacksmithing and Enchanting, this provides benefits approximating having an additional two gems installed in your gear.
- See also Jewelcrafter only designs
Leatherworking allows the practitioner to augment their bracers (a substitution for normal enchantments), and their leg items. (Leg enchantments are typically done through leatherworking anyway; the Leatherworker-only versions are far cheaper but equal in power.)
As with Blacksmiths, Leatherworkers are able to create a fair selection of armor items that only they may use, at pretty much the same levels as blacksmiths, but lacking the recipes at 415 skill/level 78.
- See also Fur Lining and Leg Reinforcements
Tailoring, like Leatherworking, provides cheap top-end leg enchantments, albeit for spellpower rather than melee abilities. It also allows the tailor superior enchantments for cloaks (providing one of several varieties of 'proc' buff.
Tailoring, like Engineering, has a pair of unique flying mounts that only Tailors can ride.
Lastly, tailors gain a passive ability, Scavenging, that allows them to loot extra cloth off of Northrend humanoids.
- See also Embroidery
Easy money making
- Main article: Guide to making money
Every profession offers opportunities to make money. The gathering professions offer an obvious avenue: Sell what was gathered. Some of the crafting professions also have "value added services". The value of those services depends on the market prices for the source and completed items, or upon the price players are willing to offer for the "cooldowns".
- Alchemists can transmute epic (Northrend) gems from rare Northrend gems (often with an Eternal ingredient) every 20 hours.
- Miners can Smelt Titansteel out of and several Eternal ingredients.
- Tailors can produce rare cloth , and .
- Jewelcrafters can create an , which yields rare and sometimes epic gems out of mere uncommon ones. They also have access to jewelcrafter-only daily quests, which can reward a , which often sells for 50-100g.
All of the skills have reduced cost to train depending on your reputation with the Faction to which the trainer belongs. Since you can generally have at least one reputation at Honored by 20th level, selecting where to train will save you 2 50 (5% as compared to the cost when Friendly). This is also true for all recipes for the building professions.
- The Trainer page has links to a comprehensive list of trainers for each profession/skill.
- The Profession trainers by skill page is currently incomplete and out of date.
Many good high-level recipes are sold by factions. Faction grinding keeps many crafters busy for several weeks and can often be very expensive if you are 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.
Unlearning a profession
You may unlearn a profession and start a new one but this removes the chosen profession. If you were to learn it again, you would have to start leveling it from a skill level of 1 again. You will also forget any recipes you may have acquired in your old profession, so they must be reacquired if you take it up again. Note, however, that you do not unlearn your speciality, if you have one. If you later re-acquire an unlearnt profession for which you had a speciality, you will still have the speciality. The new profession you choose to replace it with also starts with a skill level of 1. You can unlearn a profession from your skills tab (the hotkey is k). To do so, click on the appropriate profession, and in the bottom part of the panel is a tiny icon that when moused over will tell you it lets you unlearn your profession. Be sure you really want to unlearn a profession; Blizzard will not undo it if you change your mind!
One way to make use of this is to look at primary professions from a different perspective. You can only have two. But they are not 'cast in concrete', you can discard a primary profession and replace it. And they are dirt cheap - Apprentice level training in a primary profession costs 9 copper in your starting area. When you are first starting, you might benefit by switching professions to meet a goal. You can use this to get a fair upgrade to your starting gear cheaply, and stock up on some low level consumables.
The downside is that you lose all of your built up skill and recipe knowledge. Some profession mounts will not be rideable until you gain the requirements again, but will still exist in your mount list and count towards achievements.
New professions have been added through expansions and patches.
Jewelcrafting could originally only be learned on accounts that had the Burning Crusade expansion enabled, as trainers for this profession were located in expansion-exclusive areas. These trainers were added to the old-world cities in the Cataclysm expansion, making Jewelcrafting available to classic accounts.
In contrast to the initial exclusivity of Jewelcrafting, trainers for the Inscription profession were introduced directly to old-world cities with the pre-patch for Wrath of the Lich King, making it immediately available to all players.
Archaeology was initially restricted to owners of the Cataclysm expansion; this expansion was integrated into the base World of Warcraft package in October of 2013.
Battle for Azeroth
This section concerns content related to Battle for Azeroth.
- Each profession will now be separated into expansions and leveled separately from one another. However, Archaeology was unaffected.
- Each expansion will have its own leveling path for items from that expansion, similar to the Mists of Pandaria cooking ways.
- You can choose to go back and level older expansion crafting, or you can simply level the current expansion.
- This allows you to craft items with current expansion materials without needing older expansion materials to level.
- You can still go back and level older expansion crafting skills as well.
- To clarify further, an example of this means that you can level your "Cataclysm Tailoring" by crafting Cataclysm patterns, but this doesn't stop you from progressing your "Kul Tiran / Zandalari Tailoring" from with the new expansion's patterns.
- First Aid was removed and its patterns were redistributed into Tailoring and Alchemy. Most First Aid crafts will have to be relearned in their respective new profession.
Patches and hotfixes
- Patch 8.0.1 (2018-07-17): Each expansion now has a separate profession skill bar, with smaller caps for each expansion, instead of one gigantic profession skill bar for all expansions put together.
- Hotfix (2014-11-15): "Characters with over 600 skill should no longer continue to find catch-up items for the respective profession."
- Patch 6.0.2 (2014-10-14): Professions no longer have combat benefit perks tied to them.
- Patch 4.0.1 (2010-10-12): Herbalism and mining now give XP with each gather. A rogue's lockpicking skill now automatically scales with level.
- Patch 3.0.8 (2009-01-20): The level requirements required to train gathering skills have been re-added.
- Patch 3.0.3 (2008-11-04): The level requirements required to train gathering skills have been removed.
- Beginner's guide to professions for helpful general info.
- Choosing your primary professions discusses your options.
- 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.
- For leveling guides please visit Tradeskill leveling guides