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Professions have two main benefits by RAW. You have an income per week and you can answers questions and teach others in your profession. Most professions can be replaced by some other skills that are more usefull at all.
architect -> knowledge engineering, craft
barrister -> knowledge local, knowledge nobility, sense motive, bluff, diplomacy
clerk ->knowledge local, knowledge nobility, sense motive, bluff, diplomacy
courtesan ->knowledge local, diplomacy, bluff, perform
driver -> handle animal
engineer -> knowledge engineering
farmer -> knowledge nature, handle animal
fisherman -> knowledge nature, survival
gambler -> Sleigt of hand, bluff, diplomacy
gardener -> knowledge nature
herbalist -> knowlege nature
innkeeper -> knowledge local, knowledge nobility, sense motive, bluff, diplomacy
librarian -> knowledge local, knowledge in general
merchant ->knowledge local, knowledge nobility, sense motive, bluff, diplomacy
midwife -> heal, knowledge nature
miner -> knowledge nature, knowledge geography
porter -> high STR
sailor -> Acrobatics, Climb, knowledge geography
scribe -> knowledge local, ability to read and write, scribe scroll
shepherd -> handle animal, knowledge nature
stable master -> handle animal, knowledge nature
soldier -> be a fighter?
trapper -> survival, trap class ceature
woodcutter -> knowledge nature, engineering, craft
cook, tanner, miller, brewer, butcher, baker -> craft
Notice that most of the professions you list are replaced by multiple skills? Admittedly, those skills would have broader application, but the profession skill would be quite useful for issues involving those skills as they relate to the profession itself. Exactly how useful that profession is, however, is highly campaign dependent. For example, Profession: Sailor is extremely useful if you're running a nautical campaign. If I were running a Roman Legions campaign, I'd make Profession: Soldier useful in fortifying the camp (which the Romans were highly skilled at), leading troops, and analyzing and managing the overall battlefield or likely battle terrain. In the Shackled City campaign I ran, I made sure that the half-ogre barbarian's short order cook profession (seriously) was useful - he ended up making quite an impression at the Flood Festival with his meat pies stand.
Professions are, generally, as useful as the GM and player make them. If neither of you can be bothered, then they aren't useful. You're simply not using that part of the game. There's nothing wrong with that. But if you want to put them on the character sheet (or want your players to do so), then make it worth everyone's while.