Aztec society was a complex society with different classes of people having different kinds of works to do. Thus there were a variety of Aztec jobs available for people in the Aztec society. The society had an elaborate hierarchy where different kinds of jobs were reserved for people from different social backgrounds. For example, Aztec jobs like priests and warriors were mainly reserved for people from the nobility. Common people, on the other hand, could become traders or indulge in agriculture, in addition to a variety of other job options.
Aztec Jobs in Government
A variety of government jobs were available to the Aztecs, although the highest administrative and political jobs were reserved for the people from the nobility. For example, government officials were appointed to regulate the prices of the goods and commodities at marketplaces. Additionally, there were government officials in every city-state who were responsible for collecting the tribute and sending it to the capital city. Members of the local governments of the subjugated city states also acted as the officials.
There were various Aztecs jobs in the military since the military was virtually the backbone of the Aztec Empire.
Aztec Jobs in the Military
There were various Aztecs jobs in the military since the military was virtually the backbone of the Aztec Empire. There were several gradations and ranks in the military, some of which were reserved for the nobility. Among the most coveted Aztec jobs in military was the job of a warrior who was a very respectable member of society. While members of the nobility were directly given the status of a warrior, members from the commoners who displayed extraordinary bravery on the battleground could also become warriors. Other Aztecs jobs in the military included porters and trainers.
Aztec Jobs – Nobles
Aztec nobles had the most privileged position in society. These were the rich Aztecs who owned most of the land and also played a very important role in the politics and administration in Aztec society. However Aztec jobs for the nobility were not only restricted to land ownership, members of the nobility could also become important warriors and join warrior societies. On the other hand, they could also become priests. Thus important administrative, military, and theological Aztec jobs were reserved for the members of the nobility.
Aztec Jobs – Religion
Religion was extremely important in the Aztec society and therefore Aztecs jobs related to religion were among the most coveted ones. These jobs mainly went to the people from the nobility who were well trained in priesthood. While the status of priests in Aztec society was very high, they also had a lot of responsibilities to perform. Aztecs jobs for priests included performing rituals during religions ceremonies, performing sacrifices including human sacrifices, regular fasting, and accompanying warriors on the battleground in order to hear their confessions.
Aztecs Farmers Storing Maize, they could be small farmers who cultivated their own land and mainly grew corn.
Aztec Jobs – Common Aztec People, Farmers, Craftsmen, Construction etc.
There were a variety of Aztec jobs for the common people of Aztec society. For example, they could be small farmers who cultivated their own land and mainly grew corn. Various other kinds of crops included tomatoes, beans, onions, cocoa beans, and others. Jobs of craftsmen and construction work were also viable options for the common people of Aztec society. Craftsmen were in demand because Aztec society had rich artistic traditions of painting and sculpture. Further, Aztec jobs for construction were needed since there was always the need of building new homes and repairing the old ones.
Aztec Jobs – Wholesalers, Merchants & Shop Owners
Merchants and wholesalers had a central importance in the Aztec society and enjoyed a status that was higher than the common people. While the merchants were quite wealthy people, Aztec jobs for merchants were not very easy. They had to travel to distant city-states through difficult terrains where there was always the danger of being attacked and looted. Nonetheless, Aztec jobs for merchants had high status and brought a lot of wealth as well as some amount of prestige. Aztec jobs for merchants usually ran in families and they even had their separate neighbourhoods. Thus there was a distinct class of Aztec merchants with a distinct lifestyle.
Aztec Jobs – Training, Guilds & Family Trades
Proper training was given to people aspiring for specific jobs in Aztec society. For instance, basic military training was given to all male Aztecs while more advanced training was given to the warriors. Some professions went on to become family trades. For instance, the Aztec merchants also brought their children in the same profession and the same was true for other professions such as farming and craftsmanship. Aztec merchants had organised themselves into 12 guilds located in each urban centre of the Valley of Mexico.
Aztec Jobs – Restrictions on Women
Compared to Aztec men, Aztec jobs were much limited for women. As a matter of fact, their main domain was house and they were expected to take care of the home in the absence of the males who were often away for battles. They could not have any positions of political and military administration. But women could also go into some professions. For instance, women from the nobility could become priestesses and common women could even become prostitutes. But the variety of Aztec jobs available for women was much less compared to the Aztec jobs available for men.
Aztec Jobs – Servants and Slaves
At the lowest rung of Aztec jobs were the slaves and the servants. These were the people who had least amount of rights in Aztec society. A common member of society who indulged in crime or failed to pay his debt could be sold into slavery. The other source of slavery was war which also procured slaves for human sacrifice. Slaves nonetheless had some rights as well. For instance, they could marry and their children were considered free citizens. The servants were different from the slaves in that they worked for nobles and were paid wages for their work. Additionally, they could own slaves and property.
Aztec Jobs Summary
Aztec society was a class society where the people were divided into various social classes and their rights and jobs largely depended on the social class they belonged to. Naturally, the most prestigious Aztec jobs, such as the jobs in political and military administration and priesthood, were reserved for the members of the nobility. Common people had various options such as farming, craftsmanship, and trading etc. The job of a warrior was among the most coveted Aztec jobs as warriors enjoyed a lot of respect in the Aztec society.