No. There are two general types of exempt "professional" employees: "learned professionals" and "creative professionals."
To qualify for the learned professional employee exemption, all of the following tests must be met:
- The employee must be compensated on a salary or fee basis (as defined in the regulations) at a rate not less than $684 per week;
- The employee's "primary duty" must be the performance of "work requiring advanced knowledge" (i.e., work which is predominantly intellectual in character and which includes work requiring the consistent exercise of discretion and judgment);
- The advanced knowledge must be in a "field of science or learning"; and
- The advanced knowledge must be "customarily acquired by a prolonged course of specialized intellectual instruction."
Fields of science or learning include law, medicine, theology, accounting, actuarial computation, engineering, architecture, teaching, various types of physical, chemical and biological sciences, pharmacy and other occupations that have a recognized professional status and are distinguishable from the mechanical arts or skilled trades where the knowledge could be of a fairly advanced type, but is not in a field of science or learning.
To qualify for the creative professional employee exemption, all of the following tests must be met:
- The employee must be compensated on a salary or fee basis (as defined in the regulations) at a rate not less than $684 per week; and
- The employee's "primary duty" must be the performance of work requiring "invention, imagination, originality or talent" in a "recognized field of artistic or creative endeavor."
The requirements are generally met by, for example, actors, musicians, composers, soloists, certain painters, writers, cartoonists, essayists, and novelists. Journalists may satisfy the duties requirements for the creative for professional exemption if their primary duty is work requiring invention, imagination, originality or talent. Journalists are not exempt creative professionals if they only collect, organize and record information that is routine or already public, or they do not contribute a unique interpretation or analysis to a new product.