There are three types of hirelings: common, experts, and soldiers. Common hirelings form the vast majority of any population, particularly in an agricultural community.

Common hirelings are farmers, millers, innkeepers, porters, and the like. While some of these professions require special knowledge, they don't, as a rule, require highly specialized training. These are the men and women whose work forms the base upon which civilized life is built.

Expert hirelings are those whose training is specialized. This group includes craftsmen, sages, spies, assassins, alchemists, animal trainers, and the like. Since not everyone is trained in these skills, few experts are available for hire, and these few earn more than the common hireling. Indeed, truly exotic experts (such as spies) are very rare and extremely expensive.

The skills and abilities of expert hirelings can be determined by using the optional
proficiency system given in the Player's Handbook. These define the limits of an expert's ability and, in general, the time needed to exercise many crafts.

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