What Kinds of Jobs Were There in Ancient Greece?

In ancient Greece, there were a variety of jobs that people engaged in to make a living. Let’s take a closer look at some of the key professions during that time.


Agriculture played a crucial role in ancient Greek society. The majority of the population worked as farmers, cultivating crops such as wheat, barley, olives, and grapes. These crops formed the basis of their diet and were also traded for other goods.

Artisans and Craftspeople

Artisans and craftspeople were highly skilled individuals who specialized in various trades. This included potters, metalworkers, weavers, and sculptors. They created beautiful objects such as pottery, jewelry, textiles, and sculptures that were both functional and decorative.


Military service was highly valued in ancient Greece. The most renowned soldiers were the hoplites, heavily armed infantrymen who fought in organized formations called phalanxes. They protected the city-states and participated in wars and conflicts.

Retailers and Merchants

Retailers and merchants played an essential role in trade within ancient Greece. They operated shops where they sold goods such as food items, clothing, pottery, jewelry, and various everyday items. Many merchants also traveled long distances to trade with other regions.


Greece is known for its philosophers who pondered on life’s fundamental questions. Philosophers like Socrates, Plato, and Aristotle dedicated their lives to seeking knowledge and understanding reality through deep thinking and discussions with their students.


Priests held significant influence within ancient Greek society as they served as intermediaries between people and the gods. They conducted religious ceremonies, made sacrifices, and provided spiritual guidance to the community.

Doctors and Healers

Medical professionals in ancient Greece focused on understanding the human body and developing treatments for various ailments. They used herbs, natural remedies, and surgical techniques to provide medical care to individuals.

Teachers and Scholars

Education was highly valued in ancient Greece. Teachers known as sophists imparted knowledge in subjects such as rhetoric, philosophy, mathematics, and music. Scholars also dedicated their lives to advancing knowledge in various fields.


Athletics played a significant role in ancient Greek society. Athletes trained rigorously for events like the Olympic Games, which included competitions like running, wrestling, discus throwing, and chariot racing. These events showcased physical prowess and were a source of pride for city-states.


Scribes were responsible for keeping records of important information. They recorded legal documents, financial transactions, and other administrative tasks that required accurate documentation.

  • Agriculture
  • Artisans and Craftspeople
  • Military
  • Retailers and Merchants
  • Philosophers
  • Priests
  • Doctors and Healers
  • Teachers and Scholars
  • Athletes
  • Scribes

In conclusion, ancient Greece had a diverse range of occupations that catered to different aspects of society. Whether it was farming the land or engaging in intellectual pursuits, each profession played a vital role in shaping Greek civilization.