In case you don’t know, professions are WoW’s crafting skills, letting you gather herbs or make armor. You can train professions at level 5, but you’re not likely to run into trainers that early (depending on your starting zone). If you hit level 5 without finding a profession trainer, you should probably a run for the nearest capitol city and train there: just ask any city guard and they can direct you to the nearest profession trainer.
Which profession to train is down to what you want to do with your character, but here’s what you need to know. You can pick two primary professions (herbalism, mining, skinning, alchemy, blacksmithing, enchanting, leatherworking, tailoring, jewelcrafting, or inscription) and as many secondary professions (cooking, fishing, first aid, or archaeology) as you’d like.
Even if you’re not interested in crafting, you could pick up a pair of gathering professions (herbalism, mining, or skinning) and put everything you gather on the auction Hhouse for sale. It’s a great way for a starting character to make some gold!
Speaking of the auction house…
There’s no newbie tutorial that will direct you to the auction house, but it’s an important part of the game. At the auction house, you can buy and sell goods (so long as they aren’t bind on pickup) — either making cash or finding items to help you advance. You can locate Auction Houses in any major city simply by asking a guard.
Not sure what to sell? No problem! WoW helpfully color-codes items in your inventory to tell you their quality. If the item’s text is…
Grey: Poor quality items with no real use in the game. These have no bonuses — though at very low levels you may find them worth equipping because you’ve yet to find anything better — and should be sold to a vendor.
White: Common quality items. Weapons and armor of this type have no bonuses (though you may want them for looks), and they’re likely best sold at a vendor. However, other items in white — for example, meat, ore, herbs, leather — are usually crafting materials that have some value.
Green: Uncommon quality items, and will usually be worth more on the auction house than at a vendor. Note, however, that if you equip them they are likely to bind to you, meaning you cannot sell them on the AH.
Blue: Rare quality items that will certainly be worth more on the auction house than to a vendor. If you aren’t going to use it, sell it.
Purple: Epic quality items and very rare. If you happen across one of these that is not bind on pickup and don’t plan to use it yourself, it’s definitely worth selling on the auction house.
If you’re really interested in playing the auction house, you may want to check out the add ons Auctioneer or Auctionator, both of which streamline the process of buying and selling goods.