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How to Become a Light Industrial Worker

If you are physically strong and have an eye for detail, a job as a light industrial worker might be a fit for your skills.

Light industrial workers play an essential role in many of the products we use every day. They typically work in businesses that produce and distribute small products or components that become parts of larger items. Clothing, shoes, electronics, or even food can be examples of light industrial products.

Workers in this occupation may assist in product assembly, packaging those products and goods for shipment, or reviewing them for quality before they ship. The work can be physically demanding. It’s an integral part of the overall manufacturing process and one found in a great variety of industries.  

Sample job description

[Your Company Name] is hiring a light industrial worker to join the team in their production warehouse. The ideal candidate will have experience working in a warehouse environment and be able to lift 50lbs. He/she will be responsible for using and maintaining machinery and equipment such as forklifts and conveyor belts, keeping the work area clean and tidy, maintaining records of inventory, materials, and deliveries, recognizing safety hazards and taking proactive steps to prevent accidents, and maintaining work equipment, tools, and machinery.

Typical duties and responsibilities

  • Perform assembly line tasks
  • Move products or product components as needed
  • Package products and goods for shipment
  • Quality-check products before they ship

Education and experience

This position requires a high school diploma or GED.

Required skills and qualifications

  • Strong teamwork skills
  • Keen attention to detail 
  • Dexterity to handle small parts and components
  • Ability to stand for extended periods 

Preferred qualifications

  • Strong communication skills
  • OSHA Certification
  • Demonstrated attention to detail

Typical work environment

A light industrial worker generally works in a warehouse or production environment, where the work can be physically demanding and noisy. The hours may vary depending on the company, but it is common for workers to be required to work weekends and overtime.

Typical hours

The typical work hours for a light industrial worker can be from 9 AM to 5 PM, Monday through Friday, typically in a warehouse setting. With materials often shipping around the clock, overtime or weekend hours may be necessary. 

Available certifications

There are no standardized certifications required for this role, but many employers may prefer candidates who have certification in forklift operation.

  • Forklift Operator Certification. To receive this certification, you must pass an OSHA safety forklift course. This training doesn’t take long, but it will ensure that you know how to safely operate a forklift without any issues.

Career path

Often, new light industrial workers start in an entry-level position. With experience, they can grow their skills and abilities and move into team-leadership roles.

US, Bureau of Labor Statistics’ job outlook

SOC Code: 49-9041

2020 Employment391,800
Projected Employment in 2030475,300
Projected 2020-2030 Percentage Shift 21% increase
Projected 2020-2030 Numeric Shift83,600 increase

The increased use of automation and hand-held devices that read barcodes automatically should allow fewer light industrial workers to do the same amount of work. That said, the need for efficient shipping and distribution remains, as does the need for qualified workers.