Is A Light Industrial Job Right For You?

02.21.20 | Job Search

You’ve probably seen the term “light industrial” during your job search. But what exactly does this mean? In this post, we’ll explain what a “light industrial job” means, what kinds of skills are required, and examples of specific jobs. We’ll help you decide if a light industrial position is the right fit for you.

What is light industrial work?

Light industrial jobs are similar to other work in manufacturing and distribution. However, light industrial work occurs on a smaller scale than heavy industry. Instead of processing raw materials (oil, steel, chemicals) light industrial work uses partially produced materials to make a finished product. These items (food products, electronics, furniture, and more) are then ready to be sold to the general public.

Heavy industry usually occurs on extremely large manufacturing facilities, while light industry may take place in smaller factory estates closer to cities and towns. In general, light industry:

  • Relies more on labor than machinery
  • Uses fewer materials than heavy industry
  • Uses partially produced materials to assemble finished products

As a light industrial worker, you might be responsible for assembling products, packaging goods, preparing orders for shipment, or performing quality control. Light industrial work can include everything from working on an assembly line and piecing together products to operating a forklift to move materials and load trucks.

Light industrial work is extremely important. It takes partially processed materials to produce consumer goods where none existed before. For example, a bakery takes partially processed ingredients (flour, sugar, salt, yeast) and creates consumer-ready products (bread, donuts, cookies).

What skills do I need?

If you have experience in manufacturing, light industrial work should sound pretty familiar. However, you should remember that “light” doesn’t mean easy and carefree. Here are the basic skills you’ll need for a light industrial position:

Attention to detail

Many positions require handling small parts and reading blueprints. Work can be fast-paced and employees must maintain a certain standard of work with few mistakes.


This is a great life skill to have no matter where you work. Staying organized in a light industrial position will allow you to complete work more quickly and efficiently.

Critical thinking skills

Knowing how to solve problems and face unforeseen challenges is a valuable skill. Employers are looking for workers who know when to take action and who can proactively look for solutions.

Team player

Since light industrial positions tend to rely more heavily on personnel rather than machines, being able to accomplish things as a group is critical to your success.

Willing to learn new things

Some companies may require employees to move around to different positions as needed. Being willing to jump in and learn new things will be a valuable skill in a light industrial position.

What are some examples of light industrial positions?

There are many types of light industrial positions. Here are a few of the most common:


Assembler: puts together various parts of manufactured goods, reads blueprints and schematics, and uses machinery or hand tools to assemble parts. Sometimes called a fabricator.

Production operator: works on an assembly line or on production jobs from start to finish. Maintains quality and safety standards during the process.


Forklift operator: uses powered industrial trucks to move materials or products in a warehouse or factory. Must be licensed.

Material handler: processes goods received or shipped, oversees receiving, distribution, and storage of all products.

Order selector: oversees the receiving and storage of products and is responsible for organizing items and ensuring that physical counts match the company’s database.

Quality control

Quality control inspector: ensures that excellence is maintained in the production of consumer goods. Inspectors are involved in every phase of production, from the individual ingredients or components to the final packaging.

Quality control technician: makes sure a product meets the company’s quality and safety standards and that the manufacturing process itself is safe and effective.

Quality control tester: examines products or materials for defects and ensures they match industry specifications.

Skilled Technician

CNC operator: programs CNC machines and maintains, diagnoses, and repairs machinery when necessary. May be trained to use design programs and computer-aided drafting (CAD) software.

Electronic technician: repairs electronics or works with engineers to develop electronic systems, components, or products.

Machine operator: responsible for safely operating various types of machinery on the production line.

Maintenance technician: maintains and repairs factory equipment such as conveying systems, production machinery, packaging equipment, and more.

Welder: Joins metal parts together by heating the surfaces using a blowtorch, electric arc, or other heat source.

Find Your Next Job With Workbox Staffing

At Workbox Staffing, we believe that having a great job can empower people to do great things! That’s why we’re dedicated to finding everyone a worthwhile job they love. Our expert recruiters take time to get to know you and your skills before finding you a position. Best of all, our process is simple and available to all job-seekers, no matter the industry.

Workbox Staffing has light industrial positions available! Check out open positions and apply online at our job board.