Occupations and Jobs
In the beginning, everyone was a farmer. Everyone had to fight when necessary.
As Rome developed, jobs became more specialized. By the time of Republic, jobs included farmers, doctors, engineers, architects, teachers, shopkeepers, craftsmen, soldiers, sailors, fisherman, writers, poets, musicians, statesmen, bankers, traders, merchants, accountants, government officials, smiths, jewelers, construction workers, temple workers, entertainers, artists, and slaves. By the time of the Empire, jobs also included gladiators, charioteers, firemen, and welfare workers.
Some jobs were paid in food and shelter or other goods. Some were paid in Roman coin.
Plebs: The poor worked all the time. Some merchants and craftsmen were quite wealthy and had slaves to do their work for them.
Patricians: But mostly, it was the patrician class who had the option of leisure. Some spent their time in leisure. Some were politicians. Some managed their country estates. Some invested in various businesses. Some were officers in the Roman Legion. A patrician woman's job was to take care of the family and the home, and often had slaves to help her. During the Empire, women could own businesses, and even work outside the home.
Rome was a busy place.