“Work On The Field” or “Work In The Field”?

The phrase “work on the field” and “work in the field” are similar in language but completely different in meaning. It would help to understand which one works for which case, and this article will explore all you need to know about them.

Is It “Work On The Field” Or “Work In The Field”?

“Work on the field” is the literal phrase we use for anybody who is “working on a field.” This usually refers to farmers or anyone who may work on a field. “Work in the field” is a general phrase used to refer to any career or field of employment.

work in the field or work on the field

The key difference is the prepositional choice. “On” makes it a much more specific phrase. We can’t use “on the field” in the same way to refer to employment fields.

  • He works on the field all day.

As you can see, “on the field” literally implies that somebody is working on top of a field. That means they are walking on top of it, moving around on it, and doing things on that field (like planting seeds or herding sheep).

“In” is the more general prepositional choice. We use it to talk about any type of employment that might be relevant to a person.

  • I work in the field of marketing.

It is a way of showing our general job without being specific about our exact role.

Is “Work On The Field” Or “Work In The Field” Used The Most?

It might help you to see which of the phrases is more common. Usually, this helps us to decide which one we’d like to use more.

According to Google Ngram Viewer, “work in the field” is the most common phrase. We use it a lot to talk about the “field” in which someone works. However, “work on the field” is almost never used on this graph.

work on the field vs work in the field historical usage

We don’t see “work on the field” appear all that much because of how specific it is.

Relative to “work in the field,” “work on the field” only ever talks about a farmer who is currently working in the field. However, “work in the field” can relate to just about any employment field in the world:

  • In the field of economics
  • In the field of finance
  • In the field of leisure
  • In the field of fitness
  • In the field of writing

As you can see, the list would be endless. We can use it to refer to anybody’s job to some degree, which is why it’s by far the most popular phrase choice according to the graph we referenced above.

Examples Of How To Use “Work On The Field” In A Sentence

While “work on the field” isn’t all that common, that doesn’t mean it’s incorrect. It works well, but it’s just a little too specific to see much usage. Still, these examples will share how it looks:

  1. The farmer works on the field all day long.
  2. I have been working on the field all day, and I need a break.
  3. My father has asked me to continue working on the field while he pops into the market.
  4. You have to do more work on the field if you want people to buy your stock.
  5. I need to work on the field, so I must say goodbye.
  6. You have to work on the field before the inspectors get here.
  7. Don’t worry; I’ll have him working on the fields by the barn in no time.

“Work on the field” mostly works for farmers or farming-related jobs. We use it to refer to somebody who is physically working on top of a field.

Examples Of How To Use “Work In The Field” In A Sentence

“Work in the field” is a much more common variation. You’ll be more likely to see this one, and some of the following examples might already be somewhat familiar to you.

  1. I work in the field of finance, but I’m pretty sure I’m ready to leave.
  2. I have been working in the field of engineering for as long as I can remember.
  3. You work in the field of fitness, yet you don’t have a clue what you’re talking about!
  4. I work in the field because I’m passionate about what I do.
  5. Working in the field of agriculture is a lot more strenuous than you might realize.
  6. I haven’t been able to work in the field of my choosing because my father decided on my job for me.
  7. I work in the field of dentistry, and I’m happy to share my knowledge with you.

“Work in the field” works whenever we want to talk about the job we currently have. It refers to our field of employment, which is a general way to show what our job is without being specific about the title or role.

What Does “Work In The Field” Mean?

Now that we’ve seen that “work in the field” is the more popular choice, it would help to know more about it. We thought now was the best time to go over the meaning.

“Work in the field” means that we are employed in a specific field or area. We can use it to generally refer to the type of job we have without going into the specifics. This is useful because it can tell people what we do without them having to worry about more information.

Sometimes, the exact job we do might not be interesting to other people. Unless they specifically ask for more information, we won’t typically want to talk about all the things we do.

That’s why we say we “work in the field” of something. That way, if they’re interested in the field, they can ask for more information. If they’re not, they can just say something nice and move past it.

“Work In The Field” – Synonyms

Finally, let’s go over some suitable synonyms for the phrase. There are a few other ways we can talk about our employment field, and you might want to try one of the following:

  • My occupation is
  • I hold a position in
  • I am posted at
  • I have a job at/in
  • A career in