The Chinese equivalent of the word "experience" consists of two characters: 經驗.
The first character means "passed through" or "go through".
The second character means "examined" or "tested".
In order to have experience, it is not enough to have just passed through or gone through certain happenings. The person must examine the why and the how and to have the resulted tested. In this way, he is experienced.
In my school, I always expect my students to learn the theory well before putting it to practice. He will get acknowledgement as a certified practitioner only when he is experienced.
With proper training, one can become a professional when he has gained enough practical experience. If one is dedicated to metaphysics by going through proper training and gaining well examined case studies, he can become a proficient professional in one year. If a person does not receive proper training and just thinking wild, he cannot be a professional even if he claims to have many years of experience. There lies the difference.