9 Ancient Jobs That Still Exist Today

The world’s journey to civilization as we know it today has been long and complicated but remarkable, all the same. During the course of this long journey, the one thing that has remained constant is, ironically, change. One of the worldly aspects in which the concept of change has been prominent in is professions or occupations.  


Several of the earliest professions have become one with the dust owing to industrial and technological advancement. These include obsolete jobs like cavalrymen, plague-doctors, alchemists, and so on. As a result, a host of new jobs have sprung up. However, there are certain professions that have stood the test of time and have been around since forever.

9 Ancient Jobs That Still Exist Today
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Religion has long served as a source of our understanding of the universe and the world. According to archaeological evidence, the notion of religion has been around for several hundred thousand years. An enormous chunk of the world population lives with religion as a major aspect of their lives. 

9 Ancient Jobs That Still Exist Today
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Such a scenario makes the significance of the profession of a priest almost timeless. A priest performs religious rites and rituals and is considered as a bridge between the divine and the mortal. They are revered for their special knowledge about God and religion and associated with sacred powers like healing and absolution.

Across religions of the world, priests are the commanding authority for all religious matters, even today. For many of my own friends, the priest’s advice is what they seek when faced with incredible difficulties. Even in the modern scenario, priests’ societal influence is huge and is here for good. 


One thing that is common across all cultures of the world is music. For a long time, music has been around, from prehistoric instruments fashioned out of bone to clay tablets from ancient civilizations containing musical notations. Being a dabbler in music myself, I can totally understand its universality. 

9 Ancient Jobs That Still Exist Today
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For music to exist, there need to exist musicians who create it. This creativity makes them one of the earliest professions which have survived till now. Though music has undergone massive change, the idea behind it, entertainment and expression, remains the same across musicians. 


The reason why musicians still reign supreme is because of just how important they are to being alive. For instance, I cannot imagine a single day spent without singing or listening to a beat or two. Musicians’ service to society is monumental and should continue for ages to come. 


To be born on the planet Earth is to expose yourself to several roadblocks and dangers to your health. These include accidents, immunity concerns, viruses from animals, to name a primitive few. While some humans suffered, certain others figured out ingenious solutions for their suffering, thus giving rise to medicine as a profession. 

9 Ancient Jobs That Still Exist Today
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For over 25,000 years, physicians have been healing and comforting people in different forms. This noble profession has seen epic evolution, from puncturing skulls to relieve pain to surgery, antibiotics, vaccinations, and more. Expansion from traditional healing to micro-specific branches, medical science is all the more important. 

A world without physicians is impossible for me to imagine. I believe that in the absence of physicians, the world population would rapidly die out of some ailment or the other. Physicians are crucial to humanity, and I am but grateful for their service. 


The word baker itself elicits the memory of the smell of cakes and fresh, spongy bread in my mind. Baking is an ancient craft and was first practiced by Ancient Egyptians to bake bread using yeast. This gave way to sophisticated baking methods and equipment over the years. 

9 Ancient Jobs That Still Exist Today
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Despite being so old, the art of baking is still very significant and current worldwide. The reason is straightforward – the world heavily depends on baked goods! Bread, an essential component of the American diet, has a substantial consumption of around 14 million tonnes a year worldwide. 

Baked goods are valued for their nutritional value and, more importantly, their delicious taste. Cakes, pastries, desserts, candy, cookies, muffins all play a crucial role in social and cultural spheres worldwide. This importance has thus preserved the art of baking in time till now. 


My admiration for spies dates back to the evening I watched the famous 1973 movie The Day of the Jackal with my father when I was ten. Espionage or spying refers to the act of procuring confidential information and divulging it without permission, with or without malicious intent. 

9 Ancient Jobs That Still Exist Today
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Espionage has been a crucial element of military decision-making since the times of the Ancient Egyptians and Greeks. In all their anonymity, not only military but also spies have obtained life-saving information in the fields of counter-intelligence, popular domestic or foreign sentiment, and natural resources. 

Spies are important to get two steps ahead of the enemy at all times, even more so in modern times. Though it is illegal under international law, it is common knowledge that spies are an important part of the Intelligence Services of various countries. Their targets have expanded from just military information to information against terrorism, illegal drug trade, etc. 


Wars have been fought since times immemorial. The oldest war in the history of humanity dates back to the Mesopotamian civilization. In all of these wars, the entities that have been laying down their lives for causes, mostly not even their own, are soldiers

9 Ancient Jobs That Still Exist Today
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A soldier, in modern-day terminology, is a member of a country’s armed forces. Soldiers are indispensable to their country’s safety and military prowess. Not only does he display extreme bravery in the face of danger to the country, but he protects the country’s interests in times of need. 

The main reason soldiers exist is the strife between regions, peoples, and countries for resources. As long as the concept of the military exists among the nations of the world, battles will be fought. Hence, the profession of a soldier will continue to exist and serve. 


Massage therapy is an ancient art of natural healing and has been around for quite some time. Dating back to 3,000 BCE, massage therapy was in demand in the Indian, Egyptian and Chinese civilizations. A person, typically a woman, who provides massage therapy is called a masseuse. 

9 Ancient Jobs That Still Exist Today
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Historical records hold massage therapy in high regard, especially because of its usage in healing and strengthening athlete’s bodies in ancient Greece. Massage therapy was also much favored by royal families across the world. Most kings had a professional masseuse on their payroll. 

The profession of masseuse has been sustained till the present because of the obvious benefits of massage. These include reduced tension in muscles, increased joint flexibility, and reduced stress hormones, among others. Massage is recognized as a branch of physical therapy and continues to nourish and benefit several people. 


In the list of sciences that the ordinary human mind can neither comprehend nor perform, fortune-telling tops the list. I, myself, am guilty of seeking advice from many fortune-tellers when I was going through a rough patch. Though it did not work for me, the occult sciences have survived eras altogether.  

9 Ancient Jobs That Still Exist Today
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Fortune-telling, as the name suggests, is the practice of predicting a person’s past and future. This practice includes powers of seeing into the future, invoking spirits and deities, and doling out life advice. Fortune-telling has several subsidiary arts such as astromancy, palmistry, lithomancy, parrot astrology up its sleeve. 

Once known as soothsayers, the art of fortune-telling and the ability to mint money off it has come a long way. The thirst to know about one’s future and the wonder at seeing someone narrate their past is something we humans find irresistible. The existence of fortune-telling in today’s modernized world is evidence enough. 


The profession that the world owes its civilization to is none other than farming. The beginning of civilization is marked by prowess in the ability of farming among humans. Farming, or agriculture, began as a means of growing one’s own food and gradually progressed into a full-fledged trade. 

9 Ancient Jobs That Still Exist Today
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Agriculture employs 1.3 billion people globally, which accounts for a whopping 28% of the global workforce. With such statistics, it is almost impossible for a profession in agriculture not to thrive. Now more and more people are attracted to a simple off-the-grid lifestyle that fits perfectly with this job.

The major reason for farming to exist even today is simple and obvious – we need food to survive! Science has not made much progress in terms of artificially generated food, and farming still remains the biggest source of food and nutrition for the entire world. 


This marks the end of a collection of nine professions that have survived the passage of time. Each of these professions had its beginning several thousand years ago, originating during ancient civilizations. Most of these professions had very humble beginnings, while some had their sources in royalty and status. 

Nevertheless, each of these occupations has undergone massive social, cultural, and economic changes. These professions are landmarks and milestones of human civilization and are necessary for the sustainability of humans. Hence, you and I should do our bit to ensure that these continue to thrive for ages to come.