I have a form for a medical check-up that asks what category best describes the 業務内容 of your occupation.

One of the choices is 技術・研究 and another is 生産・技能.

A monolingual dictionary is of no help because it defines 技能 with 技術.
I can't decide between

Technology/Research and Manufacturing/Crafts
Engineering/Research and Manufacturing/Technical

but engineering for 技術 seems like a bit of a stretch, especially because I don't see it being lumped together with research. 技能 being categorized with 生産 makes me think it's more along the lines of "skilled worker" but that's not a category of occupation.

I also referenced this Wikipedia page on categories of occupations. Which had Skilled agricultural, forestry and fishery workers and Craft and related trades workers. I wondered if 技能 could be so broad as to include both of these, but being put with manufacturing makes me think it is only crafts.

So, when referring to an occupation, does 技能 mean something as specific as crafts and is 技術 referring to all technical fields?
Or is 技能 technical fields and 技術 more specific as in engineering?

Thank you for any help sorting this out.

Note: I have already seen this question. It didn't help.

2 Answers 2


I'm not an expert in labor categorization, but as a layperson, I'd translate 技術・研究 as "Technology/Research" and it would include researchers, engineers, analysts etc.

I'd translate 生産・技能 as "Manufacturing/Skilled-work", and it could indeed include broad occupations like skilled agricultural, forestry and fishery workers, Crafts and related trades workers, builders, cooks and so on. I think this definition works well:

worker who specializes in a particular occupation that requires work experience, on-the-job training, and often formal vocational education, but not a bachelor's degree

If there are other categories like 農業, of course, it would exclude agricultural workes but I don't think it would be strange for agricultural workers to be included in 技能 (same for other occupations I listed).


From https://business-textbooks.com/gizyustu-ginou/


To provide a rough distinction and my rough interpretations (in English) of source material (in Japanese) from above link:

  • 技術 refers to "knowledge" of how to use something discovered by science/engineering that enables or empowers.


  • 技能 refers to "ability" to do, or "art of" doing something well.


I agree particularly with the following idea that "技能 is attached to a human" from the answer from What are the differences between 技術 and 技能?

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