What education is job-related?

Author: Alice Gilman

Job-related education is defined as education that maintains or improves skills required by an employee in his or her current job or is required by the employer or by law for the employee to keep his or her current salary, status or job. For example, an employer may pick up the cost or reimburse an employee who attends a seminar or convention.

This type of education is very narrow, however. Even if the education falls into one of these categories, it will not be job-related education (and the employer's payment or reimbursement will not be tax-free to the employee) if the employee needs the education to meet the minimum requirements of his or her current job or the education qualifies the employee for a new trade or profession.

For example, an employee who pursues an undergraduate degree cannot have the expenses reimbursed tax-free, even if he or she needs the degree for his or her current job, because having an undergraduate degree will qualify the employee for a new trade or profession.