You’ve been scanning the job ads in anticipation of finding something new to pursue, and you keep coming across the term “light industrial.” You have an idea what it means, but you’re wondering which specific positions it includes, and what skills you would need to be considered for one of them.

Light industrial jobs include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • Warehouse Workers
  • Machine Operators
  • Maintenance Workers
  • Forklift Operators
  • Assemblers
  • General Laborers

Contrary to what you might have thought, many of these jobs won’t require you to lift immense weights, operate heavy equipment or have a vast array of skills. There are some, however, that are skilled positions: CNC Machinists, for example, have completed training and schooling to allow them to operate sophisticated machinery. Candidates can often begin in an entry-level light industrial position like the ones mentioned above, and then learn and train in more skilled positions like CNC, in order to advance within the company.

Most Jobs Will Have Some Minimum Requirements

While there may not be extensive skill sets needed for many of these jobs, many companies do require you to have the following:

  • A high school diploma or general education degree (GED)
  • Ability to read and understand simple instructions and memos
  • Have practical communication skills to interact with co-workers, customers, and vendors
  • Be prepared to pass pre-employment screening and testing
  • Reliable transportation

These requirements will be the starting point for most light industrial/manufacturing positions. Now, let’s look at a few specific jobs.

Assembly Workers

The following list might not pertain to every assembly opening, but it provides an idea of what could be required:

  • Able to work 8 or 10-hour shifts with overtime as needed
  • Able to lift up to 50 pounds, and stand throughout the entire shift
  • Good hand-eye coordination and dexterity
  • Willing to rotate within the assembly line

Forklift Operator

At The Resource, we certify forklift candidates before they’re placed on an assignment, and companies will provide further training as it related to the specific job, but candidates who already have forklift certification and prior training are one step ahead. Here are some of the other skills you’ll need:

  • Excellent communication skills
  • Commitment to safety: careless drivers endanger themselves and others
  • Math Skills: the ability to calculate loads and understand a bill of lading
  • Flexibility: priorities change throughout a shift
  • Teamwork: must collaborate with others

Machine Helper

There are many different types of machinery in an industrial/manufacturing setting, so it’s nearly impossible to touch upon every requirement. Suffice it to say that the helper will be directly involved in the day-to-day operation of the specific machine to which they are assigned and should have the following skills:

  • Basic math and measurement skills
  • General safety knowledge
  • Ability to read and interpret documents and training materials
  • Interpersonal and oral communication skills
  • Ability to apply common sense when carrying out instructions

As you can see from these examples, soft skills—reliability, cooperation, communication, and common sense—are as essential as technical skills to many employers. Light industrial jobs, like so many others, rely on having a strong work ethic and the ability to self-motivate.

Ready For Your Next Career Adventure?

When you are looking for a move at your job, having all the skills may not be enough. When you need help growing your career, contact us!

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