Ships passenger lists, census returns and other documents in genealogy may give an ancestor's occupation. This list can help with interpreting the type of work your ancestors were involved with.
Accomptant - accountant
Accoucheur - man who acts as a midwife
Accoucheuse - midwife
Administatrix - female administrator
Almoner - giver of charity (alms) to the needy
Amanuen(sis) - secretary or stenographer
Aquarius - ewer; waterman
Artificer - maker or fixer of intricate objects; soldier mechanic who does repairs
Ashmanshipman - sailor
Aulnager - official responsible for inspecting and measuring woolen cloth
Aurifaber - goldsmith
Avenator - plantifene; hay and forage merchant
Bailie - bailiff
Banksman - gives instruction or assistance to driver; overseer at a mine pit
Barker - tanner
Baxter - baker
Belhoste - tavern keeper
Belleyetere - bellfounder
Blacksmith - one who shoes horses
Boniface - innkeeper
Borsholder - officer appointed by the manor or parish, constable.
Bowyer - bowmaker
Brasiler - dyer
Brazier - brass worker
Brewster - brewer; beer maker
Brightsmith - metal worker
Brownsmith - copper or brass smith
Burl - cup-bearer
Burneman - carrier of barm or waters for brewers
Burnisher - metal polisher
Campaner - bell maker
Cancellarius - chancellor
Cardmaker - maker of cards (instruments for combing wool)
Carner - granary keeper
Carnifex - butcher
Carpentarius - carpenter
Carter - maker or driver carts
Caulker - filler of cracks (in ships or windows)
Cautioner - guarantor (One who becomes security for another)
Chaisemaker - carriage maker
Chaloner - dealer in shalloon (a material made in Chalons)
Chandler - maker or seller of candles; retailer of groceries; dealer or trader
Chapman - merchant, often itinerant
Chesterman - guard
Chiffonier - wigmaker
Chirugion - apothecary or surgeon
Cissor - tailor
Clarke - cleric or scribe
Clericus - clerk
Clerk - clergyman, cleric
Clicker - printer in charge of final layout
Clicker - (shoe mfg) in charge of lace holes
Cobbler - shoe maker/repairer
Cocus (Keu) - cook
Cohen - priest
Collier - coalminer
Colporteur - peddler of books
Combere - woolcomber
Conveyor - grantor or seller
Cooper - maker or repairer of vessels made of staves & hoops ie. barrels, casks and tubs
Coppice keeper - one who takes care of small wood
Cordewanarius/Cordwainer/Corvisor - shoemaker, originally any leather worker using Cordovan leather (leather from Cordova/Cordoba, Spain)
Costermonger - peddler of fruits and vegetables
Cotiler - cutler
Crayman - driver of a cart carrying heavy loads
Crocker - potter; maker of crocks
Crowner - coroner
Cuhreur/Cunreur - currier
Culler - gelder of male animals
Cuper - cooper
Currrier - tanner of leather; user of curry comb on horses
Cutler - one who makes or sells knives etc.
Dareman - dairyman
Daunsel - gentleman in waiting; groom; squire
Dexter - dyer
Diviner/Dowser - one who finds water under the ground
Docker - stevedor; dock worker who loads and unloads cargo
Dowser - finder of water (or other items) using dowsing rods or witching stick
Draper - dealer in cloth and dry goods
Drayman - driver of the dray: a long strong cart without fixed sides for carrying heavy loads (later a brewery delivery team ie. the Budweiser Clydesdales)
Dresser - surgeon's assistant in a hospital
Drover - driver of animals to market; dealer in cattle
Drummer - traveling salesman
Dubbere - cloth dubber ie. one who raises the nap of cloth
Dudder - probably a maker of coarse cloaks
Duffer - peddler
Dyer - one who dyes cloth
Dysshere - probably a ditcher, or in some cases a disher
Elymaker - oilmaker
Endholdernn - inn keeper
Enumerator - census taker
Executrix - female executor
Faber - smith
Factor Agent - merchant for commission (or factor); attorney (not in the modern US sense); one who transacts business for another (usually absent); Scottish steward or bailiff of an estate
Falkner - keeper/trainer of falcons
Farmer - tax-collector or bailiff
Farrier - horse doctor, one in charge of horses; blacksmith; shodder of horses
Fell Monger - one who removes hair or wool from hides in preparation for leather making
Fence Viewer - person who inspects farmer's fences
Ferur/Ferator - farrier or blacksmith
Feuar - holder of lands granted for services
Fisher/Fishdryver - victualler
Flauner - confectioner
Flax Dresser - one who works with flax fibers
Fleshewer - butcher
Fletcher - maker of bows and arrows; arrowmaker
Forestarius - forester
Framar - farmer
French polisher - polish wood by hand using French polish, wax or lacquer
Frereman - servant of the Friars
Fuller - fuller of cloth; shrinker and thickener of woolen cloth by washing, heating and pressing; a felter; cleaner and thickener of cloth; one who trampled cloth, see also walker
Furber/Furbour - furbisher of armour
Furner - baker
Gaoler - jailer
Garcifer/Garcio - groom; attendant
Garlekmonger - garlicmonger; dealer in garlic
Ginerr - joiner
Glassewryght - glasswright; maker and mender of glassware
Glazier - glazier; repairer of windows
Glover - dealer or maker of gloves
Gobar - jobber
Grecher - grocer
Guilderer - maker of gold or silver coins
Gynour - engineer
Hacker - hoe maker
Hamberghmaker/Hamberow - horse collar maker
Hansard - weapon maker or seller
Harper - musician
Hatcheler - one who combed out flax
Hawker - peddler
Haymonger - dealer in hay
Hayward - keeper of fences
Headborough - constable
Hedger - one who trims and tends hedgerows
Herd - shepherd or herdsman
Hetheleder - provider of heather for fuel
Higgler - itinerant peddler
Hillard/Hiller/Hillier - one who covers houses with slate; tiler
Hind - farm laborer
Hooker - reaper
Hooper - maker of hoops for casks, barrels, tubs etc.
Horsler - hostler (stableman or groom), horse servant at an inn
Hosteler - innkeeper
Huckster - seller of small articles/wares
Husbandman - a farmer; animal husbandry; tenant farmer
Indentured servant - one who has committed to working for someone for a fixed number of years
Ironmonger - dealer in iron goods
Jorman - journeyman
Journeyman - craftsman who had served his apprentice, a master craftsman
Joyner/Joiner - joiner; skilled carpenter
Keeler - bargeman
Keller - salt keeper
Kellogg - slaughter man
Kempster - wool comber
Kepegest - innkeeper
Lardner - official in charge of pig food or keeper of the cupboard
Latouner - worker in latten (a metal resembling brass)
Lavender - washer woman
Lederer - leather maker
Leech - physician
Limeburner - maker of lime
Limner - draughtsman or artist
Lokeer - locksmith
Longshoreman - stevedor
Lorimer/lormer - bridlemaker
Macon/Macun/Marson - mason
Malender - farmer
Malster - brewer of malted beverages (beer)
Manciple - steward
Marescallus - marshall
Marshall - horse servant, or groom
Mason - stone carver
Mayer - physician
Medicus - leech; doctor
Mercator - merchant
Millow - miller
Millwright - one who designs or builds mills
Mintmaster - issuer of local currency [mintner?]
Molendinarius/Muner - miller
Monger - seller (of goods ie. ale, fish)
Muleskinner - teamster
Neatherder - cow herd
Nedder - needle-maker
Nettir - knitter
Ordinary - innkeeper; keeper of a fixed price Inn
Osler - bird-catcher
Osnard - herder of oxen
Outrider - mounted attendant riding before or behind a carriage
Packman - itinerant peddler
Palmer - a pilgrim; one who had been, or pretended to have been, to the Holy Land
Paneler - saddler
Pannarius - clothier and draper
Pannebeter - pan-hammerer, or perhaps clothdriver
Pardoner - one licensed to sell Papal Indulgences
Parcheminer - parchment maker
Parochus - rector, pastor
Patton/Patten Maker - a maker of a clog shod with an iron ring; maker of iron-rimmed pattens for footware. A clog was a wooden pole with a pattern cut into the end
Peever - pepper-seller
Pelliparius/Peltarius - skinner
Peregrinator - itinerant wanderer
Peruker/Perukmaker - wig maker
Pettifogger - shyster; lawyer
Pictor - painter
Pigman - crockery dealer
Pilcher - maker of pilches
Pinder - keeper of the pound or pinfold
Piscarius - fishmonger
Piscator - fisherman [Pescador (sp?) in Spanish]
Pistor - miller or baker
Plantifene - see avernator
Plomer - plumber
Ploughwright - one who makes or repairs ploughs/plows
Plumber - one who applied sheet lead for roofing and set lead frames for plain or stained glass windows
Porcher - pig-keeper
Porter - gate-keeper or door-keeper
Poulterer - dealer in poultry
Puddler - wrought iron worker
Pynner - pin-maker
Quarrier - quarry worker
Quarryman - stonecutter
Revenuer - federal officer enforcing the law against illegal manufacturing of whisky
Rigger - hoist tackler worker
Ripper - fish monger
Roper - ropemaker; maker of rope or nets
Rotarius - wheelwright
Rower - builder of (small) wagon wheels
Saddler - maker and repairer of saddles and bridles
Safernman - grower of saffron
Samitere/Samite - maker of a kind of heavy silk stuff
Sauntere - probably salt maker
Sausere - salter
Savant - servant
Sawbones - physician
Sawyer - sawer of wood; carpenter
Scabbler - person who uses a scabbler (pick) to trim the sides of a tunnel
Schumacker - shoemaker; cobbler
Scribbler - minor or worthless author
Scrivener - scribe or clerk; professional or public copyist or writer; notary public
Scrutiner - election judge
Seinter - girdlemaker
Seler/sellarius - sadder
Serviens - sergeant
Servus - servant
Sevier - sieve-maker
Sewer - tailor or shoemaker
Sharman/Sherman/Shearman - one who raised the surface of wollen cloth and then sheared it to a smooth surface; cutter of woolen cloth
Shether - see vaginarius
Shrieve - sheriff
Sifker - sievemaker
Sissor/Cissor - tailor
Sizer - one who applies size to textiles
Slater - roofer; tiler
Slatter - slater (same as hillard)
Slaymaker/Sleymaker - maker of reeds or slays (instruments to part threads in weaving) for looms
Slopseller - seller of ready-made clothes in a slop shop
Snobscat/Snob - shoe repairer; cobbler
Soper - soapmaker
Sorter - tailor
Soyor - sawyer
Spicer - grocer
Spinster - unmarried woman; spinner (female)
Spittleman - hospital attendant
Spragger - person who inserts a piece of wood (sprag) between the wheels of a lorry (truck) to bring it to a standstill
Spurrer/Spurrier - spurmaker
Stabler - ostler
Stasyon/Stawsun - probably a stationer
Stokiner - maker or weaver of stockings
Squarewright - carpenter, specifically a furniture maker
Squire - country gentleman; farm owner; justice of peace
Stuff Gown/Gownsman - junior barrister
Sugarer - dealer in sugar (grocer?)
Sumner - summoner or apparitor
Supercargo - officer on merchant ship who is in charge of cargo and the commercial concerns of the ship
Sutler - one who supplies an army with provisions
LTabernarius - taverner; innkeeper
Tannator - tanner; curer of animal hide into leather
Taper - candlewick maker or seller
Tapley - one who puts the tap in an ale cask
Tasker - reaper
Tawer - one who taws (makes hide into leather without the use of tanning)
Teamster - one who drives a team (horses or oxen) for hauling
Teinter - dyer
Tenter - attendant for an engine
Textor - weaver
Thatcher - roofer (using thatch)
Thirdbororough - tithing man or deputy constable
Tide Waiter - customs inspector
Tinker - an itinerant mender and seller of kettles, tin pots and pans
Tinctor - dyer or possibly a painter
Tipstaff - policeman
Todd - fox hunter T
ravers - toll bridge collector
Tripper - dancer
Tucker - cleaner of cloth goods
Turner - turner of wood (using a lathe) into spindles
Upholder - upholsterer; also a cheapjack and seller of secondhand goods
Vaginarius - sheather; scabbard maker
Venator/Venur - huntsman
Verderer - a Borsholder, Constable. Victualer - tavern keeper, or one who provides an army, navy, or ship with food supplies
Vitner - wine merchant
Vulcan - blacksmith
Wagoner - teamster not for hire
Wainwright - wagon maker
Waiter - customs officer or tide waiter; one who waited on the tide to collect duty on goods brought in
Walker - fuller; cloth trampler or cleaner
Webber/Webster - weaver; loom operator
Wharfinger - owner of a wharf
Wheelwright - builder/repairer of wagon wheels, carriages etc.
Whitcher - maker of chests
Whitesmith - tinsmith; worker of iron who finishes or polishes the work
Whittawer - one who tans skin into white leather
Wonkey-scoop - driver who operates a one horse scoop
Wright - workman, especially a construction worker ie. wheelwright
Yeoman - farmer who owns his own land; freehold farmer