What is Light Industrial Work and What Skills are Required?

By December 14, 2015Job Tips, Tips for Job Seekers

When a job seeker sees the term “light industrial,” he may imagine huge industries, complicated machines, hardhats and a lot of physical labor. Although these jobs are in the industrial sector, meaning they have to do with manufacturing, packaging and production, they do not require using heavy machinery or great physical strength or extensive skill sets.

Light industrial jobs are usually entry-level employment. They are an alternative to office work, retail or similar jobs for people who prefer a more active position.

Some of the jobs include:

  • Warehouse functions
  • Production line work
  • Order fulfillment, packaging and shipping
  • Maintenance
  • Assembly line positions

For people with more experience and specific types of training, other options include driving a forklift or other light machinery, welding, food item production and printing and binding work. In some states, welding and forklift driving require certification and licenses.

If you wish to get a light industrial job either on a temporary basis or full-time, you need certain skills that aren’t necessarily taught in a school classroom or training program.

Having a strong work ethic and the ability to self motivate are musts. You will not have a supervisor hanging over you to make sure you do everything on time every day. After a training period, you will be solely responsible for getting the job done properly and on time.

In many light industrial settings, your rate of speed and ability to get a task done on time directly affects other workers and their ability to complete their responsibilities. This is especially true for warehouse work and production line positions. If you do not fill orders quickly enough, the shipping department will not be able to send them out. If you create a backup of work because you are too slow, production numbers will fall.

Although most of these positions do not require excessive physical prowess, you may be required to lift a certain number of pounds safely in order to do the job. At the least, these types of positions usually involve staying on your feet or walking around for a large part of the day.

The ability to do simple mathematics, to read, to write and understand English and enough skills to operate necessary computer programs and machinery are required. You may need to pass a small test or probationary period before being solely responsible for a light industrial position.