While looking for jobs in Missouri, you may have seen that there are numerous light industrial jobs in St. Louis. The term “light industrial” often appears on job boards, and it can be a bit confusing to some people. An industrial employment agency in St. Louis outlines what a light industrial job entails and provides tips for success in the industry.

So what does the term “light industrial” actually mean? It generally refers to a type of manufacturing that is considered small-scale and focused on making smaller retail goods or mechanical parts. By comparison, the term “heavy industry” generally refers to businesses focused on making large vehicles, big machines and various large-scale objects that require teams of people to produce.

When you see the words “light industrial” in a job description, you should picture smaller production facilities and teams of employees. You should also expect production processes that rely more on manual labor than large robots. Typical light industrial jobs involve working on a production line, packaging finished goods, warehouse operations and quality control duties. These jobs are available in a wide range of industries from food production to retail goods manufacturing. This means a successful light industrial career can include a wide range of working conditions and experiences.

A St. Louis Employment Agency Shares Top 5 Skills for Light Industrial Jobs

From the production line to the executive boardroom, light industrial positions require interpersonal soft skills. Abilities like critical thinking and attention to detail can’t really be gained through classroom learning and that’s what makes them so valuable.

These abilities translate well from other industries. If you’ve been working in customer service or healthcare, you likely developed soft skills as you gained experience. These skills you developed, like conflict resolution, are just as useful in light industry as they are in those other fields. You can even gain soft skills through internships, volunteer work, apprenticeships and similar types of experiences.

On the production line, soft skills help you to remain efficient and a contributing member of your team. As a production manager, these same skills can be used to keep your employees working together toward the same goals as you collectively overcome various obstacles. Below is a brief breakdown of the most vital skills that will help you succeed in a light industrial career.

Light Industrial Jobs Require Critical Thinking

Critical thinking is one of the most useful soft skills for light industrial jobs because it lets you technical problems big and small, far and wide. Critical thinking helps you to navigate tricky interpersonal situations and develop workarounds for annoying problems. As automation takes over mundane repetitive tasks in every industry, critical thinking will only become more important because it’s a skill that can’t be replaced by automation (at least not yet).

Critical thinking skills can be broken down into five individual skills: observation, analysis, inference, communication, and problem-solving.

Making observations is the foundation of critical thinking and you can improve your observational skills by deliberately slowing down your thinking and paying attention to what is happening around you. Practicing techniques like mindfulness and active listening are great ways to improve your observational skills.

Analysis involves putting together multiple facts or data points that are somehow connected. A great way to improve your analytical skills is to regularly take on new experiences. Learning new information and skills can push you to see things in a new light.

Inference, or drawing conclusions, is the next logical step after analysis. The ability to draw conclusions often depends on having deep knowledge of a subject that is gained through either deliberate learning or experience.

Communication skills are important in many different areas. With respect to critical thinking communication skills help you express your ideas in ways that are easy to understand and take in new information from other people. Communication skills are often gained through experience.

Problem-solving is a culmination of critical thinking skills that involves choosing the best solution based on observations, analysis, inference and communication. Problem-solving is focused on choosing the best solution based on those other critical thinking skills.

Technical Aptitude is Valued by Light Industrial Employers in St. Louis

Every single light industrial job requires technical ability. On the production line, workers must be able to operate and perform basic maintenance on production machines. In shipping and receiving offices, desk workers must use spreadsheets and inventory tracking programs to keep supply chain operations organized. Some light industrial jobs require deep technical knowledge, while others require a broad range of technical skills.

Technical skills can be learned, but the ability to learn them is a skill in and of itself. In order to learn new technical skills, you need to be open-minded and willing to fail. Like learning how to ride a bike, you have to be willing to take a risk and fall on your face, figuratively speaking.


The ability to collaborate effectively is vital to success in every light industry position. Of course, this means being reliable and dependable, but there’s a bit more to teamworking than that. Good communication and honesty are vital to being a valuable team player.

If you struggle in a team setting, it’ll be challenging to work on major projects, talk about challenges and address issues. When there’s poor teamwork afoot, it’s hard to get the most out of each team member. If you can be a great team player, you can elevate the contributions of those around you.

You can get better at being a team player by putting yourself in team situations. This doesn’t necessarily have to be at work. Playing in recreational sports leagues, playing music and other hobbies are great ways to improve your sense of teamwork.

Successful Light Industrial Workers are Dependable

Dependability is a big part of any relationship, including professional relationships. Nobody wants to work alongside someone they can’t depend on when the going gets tough. So how do you show a

potential employer that you’re dependable? In your application and interview, you should present a track record of having a strong work ethic. If you can’t demonstrate that you’re dependable or you have a personal situation that makes it difficult, you may want to have some introspective conversations with people in your personal network and figure out what steps you need to take to be dependable moving forward.

Attention to Detail

Focusing on small details is what distinguishes the best staff members from those who simply meet basic expectations. People who work carefully and review their work for mistakes are more productive than those who cut corners and work at break-neck speed. On top of that, having strong attention to detail decreases the risk of accidents, which are unfortunately more common in the light industry compared to other sectors.

Looking for Light Industrial Jobs in St. Louis? Find Work with a Top Industrial Employment Agency

Westside Personnel Services is a light industrial employment agency in St. Louis that is dedicated to helping people quickly find work that best suits their qualifications and ambitions.

Since we opened in 1994, we have been a leading industrial employment agency in St. Louis, helping job seekers get career opportunities with the best light industrial employers in the area. We have our finger on the pulse of the local job market, including who’s hiring and who makes the hiring decisions.

Based on our experience with job seekers, we also understand that income isn’t the top priority for everyone. It’s important to feel like you’re always building toward the next step on your career path. For example, everyone understands you need to start with entry-level work, but an entry-level job doesn’t need to be all menial work that doesn’t teach you anything. It’s also important to feel valued and appreciated. Most people would prefer a boss that appreciates them over a few extra bucks in their paycheck.

Using our knowledge of both employers and job seekers, we can help you leverage your abilities and experience in a best-fit position. We understand that getting any old job won’t do, and having a partner makes it easier to get into a position where you’ll succeed. Start by telling us the kind of work you’re seeking. Maybe you’re looking to take advantage of the flexibility of temporary work. If you’re changing career paths or you’ve just graduated from school, we can help you find temp-to-hire positions that ease you onto your new career path. As a light industrial job placement agency in St. Louis, our specialized recruiters can help you achieve your short- and long-term career goals.

With our help, you’ll find that a light industrial career can be incredibly rewarding. To be fair, this type of work isn’t glamorous, but it is highly respected. People working in light industry are the unsung heroes of American society. Some examples of the light industrial jobs we fill include:

  • Production line
  • Maintenance
  • Forklift operator
  • Warehouse worker
  • Order picker
  • Quality control
  • Administrative assistant
  • Data entry

If you are looking for light industrial jobs in St. Louis, contact Westside Personnel Services today to discuss the kinds of opportunities you’re seeking. Whether you’re looking for a flexible, temporary position or full-time work, we can help. Our St. Louis employment agency always has a wide range of options available which our recruiters will share with you.

Search our light industrial jobs today!