Medieval Occupations - Dyer, Engineer, Engraver
Medieval Occupations
(Jobs in the Medieval Age)


Dyers used their skills to mix different components to form inks, dyes and colorful stains that could add tint and hue to clothing, furniture, fabrics, materials and artwork. Not only did they possess the ability to decorate fashionable wear but they also provided scribes and artists with the materials necessary for them to complete their work.
The Dyer had a multi-faceted job. Not only was the making of the various dyes difficult and tedious work but often it was dangerous too. Different berries and plants used to create the pigments often contained a degree of poison that was lethal if handled, inhaled or accidentally ingested. Though the Dyer put his or her life in jeopardy by working, the wages earned were quite meager and below average.
Most women held the positions of Dyers and though some were elevated to strictly work for the elite and nobility, most worked in small towns and communities.

Engineers are evident throughout history beginning in ancient Egypt and reaching a position of prominent status in ancient Rome. These skilled tradesmen were essential to the successful expansion of any political kingdom. Not only were cities and towns improved by their skills but warfare and daily life saw better odds with the meaningful contributions of Engineers.
Difficult tasks such as building expansion bridges, reinforcing the subterranian foundations of castle walls, building powerful siege engines for use in battle and even irrigation and aquaducts were a few of the jobs Engineers were called upon to perform.
In the Medieval Ages without the refined tools, knowledge and materials available today, the above tasks were considered monumental feats of achievement. Not only did such things improve the morale and efficiency of a kingdom but it also stood to prevent disease in the areas of plumbing and rubbish removal and even served to be more productive in irrigating crops and providing water.
Engineers did most of their work by 'trial and error' and though kings and nobles recognized and acknowledged the wide margin for potential failure, such could end the life or career of a skilled Engineer. Though many feats were undertaken for the very first time, such enterprises were costly and put a strain on the financial reserves of a kingdom. However, Engineers were highly respected and were usually employed by the most rich and powerful kings and queens of Medieval society.

An Engraver was a specialist who was often called upon to etch messages and designs into swords, shields, armor and metal plaques. An artist in his own right, he worked with a variety of custom tools to produce his trade.
Though the artform has been modified by the advances in technology of today, the Medieval Engraver practiced his craft in a most time consuming and painstaking way. If the results of his work were unattractive or undesirable, the customer would often not pay or even had legal grounds to sue the Engraver for ruining a piece of private property. As such the Engraver had to produce quality work.
Despite being a specialty, Engravers were quite common throughout the Medieval Ages. The wages earned were generally modest but being conscripted or hired by a noble or monarch for a custom project could find him the recipient of high pay.

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