The meaning of the word professional has been on my mind recently. It occurred to me that professional is an umbrella word that encapsulates a number of different values, all of which combine together to form what is an unconscious understanding of this most innocuous of words.
First of all there is the element of contract. As a professional, one agrees to undertake a thing and, subsequently, one does it. Next, is the element of quality: the word professional presupposes a standard that the work will be carried out to. For the amateur, there can be no guarantee of quality, although that of course is not to say that the amateur will not produce work of quality.
In addition, it may be that the better a professional one is, the better the quality of one’s work, and the better one is at meeting and exceeding the terms of a contract. and therefore the more money one will be paid. However, this last point isn’t necessarily always so.