Specialists are alternative work assignments for Citizens, in which they do not work in the open field (meaning the terrain tiles surrounding their city), but in their city's buildings. In Civilization VI all buildings with Specialist slots are concentrated in districts: after you construct a district in a city, you will start populating it with the relevant buildings, which in turn will open up Specialist slots where you can assign Specialists. Another difference with the previous game is that Specialists now provide yields only and not Great Person Points, which makes them somewhat less important.
As a general rule, specialists are a good way to get yields otherwise hard to find on normal tiles, but the city needs a solid support base of Food to support them in the long term. Specialists are also particularly useful when a city grows large later in the game, and has more Population than there are normal tiles to work.
There are different types of specialists, each providing different benefits. But note that there is an upper limit of 3 on any Specialist type, since every city can only have a single district of each type, and each district may house up to three buildings.
- Scientists work in the Campus and provide +2 Science.
- Priests work in the Holy Site and provide +2 Faith.
- Commanders work in the Encampment and provide +1 Production and +1 Culture.
- Captains work in the Harbor and provide +1 Science and +2 Gold.
- Merchants work in the Commercial Hub and provide +4 Gold.
- Engineers work in the Industrial Zone and provide +2 Production.
- Artists work in the Theater Square and provide +2 Culture.
Note that Pillaging district buildings will also destroy their Specialist slots; it won't, however, kill the Citizens working there.