Carpentry was another profession that flourished in ancient Egypt. Some carpenters were permanent employees of the pharaoh, while others labored in workshops. Most of their business was in building tomb-related items, but they also crafted doors, window fretwork, beds and tables. Egyptian drawings from 2,000 years ago show wood furniture, and the same has been found in tombs. The ancient Egyptians also invented veneering (gluing thin strips of wood together) and were the first to varnish their woodwork [source: Morgan].
The ancient Greeks, Romans, Chinese and Middle Easterners also had professional carpenters in their midst, constructing ships, intricately carved paneling, aqueducts and even weapons such as catapults and battering rams. Archaeologists found a furniture shop in Pompeii while excavating the famous site buried under volcanic ash [sources: Alter Eagle, Morgan].
Today, carpentry remains a popular profession, with people learning the craft through apprenticeships, much as in the past. Carpenters work on everything from buildings and bridges to furniture and artwork. The job market for carpenters in the U.S. is supposed to increase 24 percent from 2012 to 2022, a much higher rate than most other occupations [sources: Morgan, Bureau of Labor Statistics].