Villager professions in Minecraft are attached to their job site blocks. Without access to these blocks, villagers essentially remain unemployed.
Removing a job site block will also remove its connected villager's profession. However, if another job site block is within roughly 48 blocks of the newly-unemployed villager, they will attempt to claim it and find new employment.
Minecraft: Changing villager professions and knowing job site blocks
As of Minecraft 1.17.1, the following blocks assign specific professions to unemployed villagers:
- Unemployed - None
- Nitwit - None
- Armorer - Blast Furnace blocks
- Butcher - Smoker Blocks
- Cartographer - Cartography Table blocks
- Cleric - Brewing stands
- Farmer - Composter blocks
- Fisherman - Barrel blocks
- Fletcher - Fletching table blocks
- Leatherworker - Cauldron blocks
- Librarian - Lecterns
- Mason/Stone Masion - Stonecutters
- Shepherd - Loom blocks
- Toolsmith - Smithing table blocks
- Weaponsmith - Grindstones
It is important to note that Nitwit villagers, who wear green tops, are unable to trade, gather around bells, or acquire any professions.
For Minecraft players who want to change a villager's profession, all they really need to do is destroy their job site block. The villager won't initially be pleased with it, but will then search out another nearby block. This means that all players need to do is place a new job site block where the villager can access it.
As long as the unemployed villager claims the block before any others, it will change its profession successfully. This can be repeated as many times as the player wants.
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It's worth noting, however, that a villager's progress in a given profession is not preserved when it changes. Therefore, players may not want to change the jobs of their most experienced villagers. Instead, wait for novice-level or newly-bred and unemployed ones to come along.