IELTS Speaking Vocabulary: Work

At the very beginning of the speaking test, it is highly likely that you will be asked either about your job/study or about the apartment/house you live in. You definitely need to prepare for these two topics, because the examiner starts off with one of these topics quite often.

Here are the possible questions for the Work topic:

Speaking Part 1 - Occupation/Work

  • Do you work or are you a student?
  • Why did you choose this kind of work?
  • What’s the most interesting part of being a … (manager/student)?
  • What’s the most difficult part of being a …?
  • What do you like/dislike about your work?
  • What kind of work would you like to do in the future?

Vocabulary list for a high score for Work/Occupation

• I work as a/an …
• I’m currently a/an ...
• I’m responsible for …
• My main responsibility is to ...
• I enjoy socializing with my colleagues
• I’m interested in accounting.
• I don’t want to be stuck behind a desk doing something dull.
• I don’t want to end up in a dead-end job
• I’d like to be my own boss one day
• Meet deadlines
• Run my own business
• Heavy workloads
• To slave away
• Work round the clock
• Be a good team player
• My dream is to be a successful…one day.
• I feel dead tired when ...
• Sit in front of a computer screen
• I have to deal with overwhelming workload.
• I have a very hectic schedule
• I’m up to my ears in deadlines.
• I’m in two minds about my future career.
• Pursue my dream to become a/an …


I’ve been working for Nike for 5 years.
I’ve been working as a sales manager for 6 years.
Being a doctor is challenging because…
If I could change my job, I’d become a …


manual work
temporary (for a limited time only)
tedious (=boring)

Lifehack: If the examiner asks you What’s the most interesting part of your work? Do not repeat the word interesting all the time, use synonyms like exciting, rewarding, fascinating - even if it is not really that fascinating.

IELTS speaking part 1 - style questions

Examiner:  Do you have a job right now?

Janet:  Not at the moment, in fact I am currently studying for my Masters in Psychology which I am finding really interesting but also very challenging. I have always been fascinated by Psychology, so I decided to learn more about this important field.

Examiner: Will you plan to use this learning in your future career?

Alix: Well, I hope it will be useful for me but as a future career what I am really motivated about is to work in Environmental studies, which is particularly relevant and topical in the current climate crisis. I will be looking for an internship in the USA or even an apprenticeship which might be more practical and hands on.

Examiner: What qualifications would you need for this job?

Kamil: I am not exactly sure. Whilst my degree in Psychology is interesting, I’m not convinced that it will be as useful as studies in Biology or even Geography might be. However, I have managed to gain informative and valuable work experience in a range of innovative small companies who are at the cutting edge of this field so I hope that will be useful.

  • important field.
  • motivated about
  • internship
  • apprenticeship
  • hands on
  • valuable work experience
  • innovative small companies
  • cutting edge

IELTS speaking part 2 - style question

Describe a job that would be classified as crucial or highly important

You should say:

  • what the job is
  • what the job involves
  • why it is important

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