57 Professional Associations To Join To Boost Your Resume

Updated March 27, 2023

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When applying for jobs, you may want to demonstrate your professionalism and commitment to your field. One way to accomplish this goal is by joining professional associations that offer networking and training opportunities. Pursuing these memberships can help you expand your job opportunities and stay up-to-date on the latest industry trends.

In this article, we explain what a professional association is, discuss their benefits, list 57 organizations to consider joining and share steps for including memberships on your resume.

Please note that none of the companies mentioned in this article is affiliated with Indeed.

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What is a professional association?

A professional association is an organization with members who work in or share an interest in a specific job field or industry. Members of professional associations often meet regularly to discuss upcoming news in their field or host events for other members to meet and network. Many well-known and established professional associations have national recognition, meaning local chapters are available in numerous cities. Members can join these local organizations and attend events to meet like-minded individuals in their field.

Professional associations may also host events that are informative and provide members with resources to help them learn more about their field and advance in their careers. Some associations may accept college students hoping to gain more knowledge about their field or industry. While some professional associations require a membership fee, others may be free to join.

Related: Listing Professional Experience on Your Resume

Why are professional associations important?

Below are reasons why joining a professional association can benefit you:

Networking and collaboration opportunities

Joining a professional association allows you to attend events and meet others in your field. You can meet leaders in the industry who can offer you advice during your job search. Members might also have connections to companies that are hiring and may arrange a job interview for you. Additionally, your network can help you connect with reliable clients and vendors once you obtain a job.

Demonstrates your industry knowledge

When a hiring manager notices a professional association listed on your resume, they may realize that you're committed to the field. Industry memberships might also assure employers that you have the appropriate knowledge to perform your duties, as members often attend seminars and training programs. Additionally, your qualifications might differentiate you from other candidates and make you more competitive during the hiring process.

Related: How To Write a Great Resume With No Experience

Opportunity to learn more about your field

While you meet with members of your association, you can learn more about your field and what a career in this field entails. Individuals in college might rely on their membership to determine what courses to take and what career is right for them. Meeting with association members can help you gain insight into what your future may look like if you pursue a career in this field.

Related: How To Improve Your Resume With Professional Affiliations

Accessible to most individuals

National professional associations tend to have chapters in major cities, making it easy for individuals to join and participate. College students can also participate if their universities have chapters. If you're in the workforce, your employer might cover the cost of your membership to promote your career development.

57 professional associations to consider joining

Here are 57 professional associations to consider joining according to their field of study:

Accounting associations

Many accounting associations are available to employees with varied years of experience. Joining an accounting association provides networking opportunities that you can access at prices ranging from annual fees to free memberships. Some accounting associations offer mentorships, internship opportunities or valuable training to help you advance in your career. Common accounting associations include:

1. American Accounting Association

2. American Association of Finance and Accounting

3. National Society of Accountants (NSA)

Related: Accounting: Definition and Specializations

Architecture associations

You can join a professional architecture association to boost your resume and network with individuals in your field. The architecture associations below may help provide you with the knowledgeable connections needed to become an educated and skilled architecture professional:

4. American Design Drafting Association

5. Association of Architecture Organizations

6. Association of Licensed Architects

Related: Landscape Architecture Resume: A How-to Guide With Example

Arts associations

Many associations are available to cater to the various art specialties. You can find arts associations for individuals like performing arts employees, watercolor artists and modern artists. Below are popular arts associations you can join:

7. Association of Performing Arts Professionals

8. College Art Association

9. Professional Association of Visual Artists

Related: Top Arts Careers for All Types of Artists

Business and economics associations

Joining a business and economics association can prove to employers that you are dedicated to expanding your skills and knowledge of upcoming trends. The following associations can also showcase your impressive networking skills as you gain new connections through each association you join:

10. American Management Association

11. Association of Strategic Alliance Professionals

12. National Association for Business Economics

Related: How To Write an Economics Resume (With Template and Example)

Communications and media associations

Consider joining a communications and media association to explore different professions in the field. You can also access training and networking opportunities by joining associations like:

13. Communications Media Management Association

14. National Communication Association

15. Telecommunications Industry Association

Related: How To Write Internal Communications Resumes (Plus Template)

Construction associations

Whether you want to serve as a contractor or lead a team of professionals in a construction management role, you can gain valuable insight into these careers by joining an association. These kinds of associations also educate you on your rights as a labor worker and can help you gain valuable connections who may choose to collaborate with you on future projects. Here are some construction-related associations that you might want to consider:

16. Construction Management Association of America

17. National Association of Home Builders

18. National Institute of Building Sciences

Related: How To Create an Entry-Level Construction Resume in 6 Steps

Counseling associations

Whether you're hoping to counsel children in a school setting or hoping to help adults overcome their challenges, you can join an organization with members who can offer professional guidance in a range of counseling fields. You can meet other counselors with similar challenges and experiences within the profession by joining the following associations:

19. American Counseling Association

20. American Mental Health Counselors Association

21. National Association for College Admission Counseling

Criminal justice associations

Since criminal justice can be a competitive career to join, listing professional associations can help you differentiate yourself from other candidates. You can also meet industry experts willing to provide helpful career advice. Relevant associations include:

22. American Society of Criminology

23. National Association of Chiefs of Police

24. National Criminal Justice Association

Customer service associations

As you work in customer service, you may want to share your experience and knowledge with others in this profession. You can provide this advice to others by joining a customer service association. These association types can range from selling products to working with customers over the phone to assist them with any problems. Some common associations include:

25. Household and Commercial Products Association

26. Institute of Customer Service

27. National Customer Service Association

Related: 4 Examples of Resume Summaries for Customer Service Reps

Dental associations

Professional dental associations can help you develop the skills and knowledge necessary for caring for patients with various dental diseases. The associations vary between dental practice owners and dental hygienists. Here are some dental associations to join:

28. American Association of Dental Office Management

29. American Dental Hygienists Association

30. National Dental Association

Education associations

Many educators join associations to gain more insight into a certain curriculum or teaching strategy. Examples of relevant organizations for teachers, principals and school administrators include:

31. Association of American Educators

32. National Association of Special Education Teachers

33. School Superintendents Association

Engineering associations

Many individuals starting their engineering career may join an organization to learn more about their specialization. By joining the associations below, engineers can meet individuals within their respective fields and build connections to help them pursue potential job opportunities:

34. American Society of Civil Engineers

35. Association of Energy Engineers

36. National Society of Professional Engineers

Environmental associations

Joining an environmental association can help you discover more ways to improve the relationship between people and their surroundings, which can help you advance in your career. Individuals working within environmental roles can provide training and resources to gain a better understanding of caring for the environment. Potential associations you can join are:

37. Association of Environmental and Resource Economists

38. National Association of Environmental Professionals

39. National Environment, Safety and Health Training Association

Finance associations

Since finance positions often require extensive industry knowledge, many employees may benefit from joining finance associations to access training opportunities. Featuring a finance organization on your resume may showcase your dedication to industry knowledge and cause you to stand out among other candidates. You can join the following finance organizations:

40. American Financial Services Association

41. Association of Finance Professionals

42. Financial Planning Association

Health associations

You can learn more about various job titles and their responsibilities by joining professional health associations. You can find employees with many years of experience willing to share their knowledge regarding current research, helpful resources and possible connections to help you advance in your career. Here are a few associations to consider joining:

43. American Association for Healthcare Administrative Management

44. American Association for Physician Leadership

45. American Association of Nurse Practitioners

Human resources associations

A position in human resources requires you to pay attention to the various needs of employees and collaborate with different workplace departments. Featuring one of the following human resources associations on your resume may demonstrate your ability to collaborate with others:

46. Employee Assistance Professionals Association

47. National Human Resources Association

48. Professionals in Human Resources Association

Information technology associations

Many information technology (IT) associations help individuals stay up-to-date on the latest cybersecurity, cloud computing and artificial intelligence trends. You can learn more about the skills or certifications that are in demand by joining one of these associations:

49. Association of Computer Engineers and Technicians

50. Association of Information Technology Professionals

51. Technology & Services Industry Association

Sales associations

Obtaining a sales position often requires building relationships and understanding how to connect with consumers. By joining one of the associations below, you can show your dedication to developing your interpersonal and business skills:

52. National Association of Sales Professionals

53. Sales Management Association

54. Strategic Account Management Association

Writing associations

Gaining the support of other writers can help you learn more about how to thrive in this creative career. Writing associations specialize in various genres and subjects with some examples including:

55. Association of Writers and Writing Programs

56. National Association of Science Writers

57. Society of American Travel Writers

Do you need help with your resume?

How you can list professional associations on your resume

When listing professional associations on your resume, you can create a separate section for this list. Consider featuring professional associations near your education, volunteer work or achievements sections. Here's an example of what a professional associations section might look like on a marketing director's resume:

Professional Associations

American Marketing Association – active member

Association of Network Marketing Professionals – active member

Legal Marketing Association – former member

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