If you are currently looking for a new job and want to find employment in an industry with all kinds of room for growth and opportunity, you may want to consider light industrial jobs in St. Louis.

Arguably, there’s never been a better time to get into light industrial work. Light industrial companies are very busy right now and many are struggling to keep up with demand. For job seekers, this means having a lot of leverage, after decades of being on the receiving end of downsizings and corporate layoffs. People looking for light industrial work should expect to see many positions that offer competitive pay, great benefits and opportunities for growth.

What is Light Industrial Work?

The term “light industrial” is used to describe a group of industries that make small goods, from household wares to food products. While machinery is almost always involved, light industrial processes don’t involve massive production machines like those used to make automobiles or heavy construction materials.

Light industry was devastated when the COVID-19 pandemic first hit, but it has rebounded significantly. For example, lockdowns and disruptions forced manufacturers to cut 1.4 million jobs. But now, light industrial companies are so busy, they are struggling to maintain staffing levels. According to the US Chamber of Commerce, there were more than 800,000 open manufacturing positions in January 2023.

What are the Benefits of Light Industrial Jobs in St. Louis?

A light industrial job can provide many benefits, even for people who aren’t necessarily seeking a career in this line of work. The typical light industrial job involves modern technology, and gaining technical experience helps to develop skills that can transfer into many different fields. Also, light industrial work requires the use of soft skills like problem-solving, time management, communication and team working. There are also benefits that come with pursuing a career in light industry, including highly competitive pay, room for advancement, flexibility and job security.

Light Industrial Jobs in St. Louis Offer Good Pay

There has never been a better time for light industrial workers to demand competitive pay. Companies are scrambling to fill open positions and you might even be contacted by recruiters without having to lift a finger. However, this doesn’t mean a massive paycheck is simply going to fall in your lap. You still need to do a bit of homework to take advantage of the situation.

Start by figuring out the type of work you’re looking for and what you bring to the table as a job candidate. Are you looking to gain experience in manufacturing or food production? What in-demand skills do you possess? What kind of professional experience do you already have?

Next, use online employment sites to figure out the average pay for your target positions. You can then push for higher pay based on your research, making it more likely to get the rate you are seeking. If you’re looking for higher-than-average pay, be prepared to make your case by talking about your in-demand skills and any impressive accomplishments.

The tight labor market also means it’s a great time to apply to so-called ‘reach’ positions — jobs for which you’re slightly underqualified. This doesn’t mean you should apply to executive positions if you only have entry-level experience. What it does mean is that you should apply to jobs for which you are 70 to 80 percent qualified. So, if a job is looking for someone with five years of experience and you only have three years, go ahead and throw your hat in the ring. Given the difficulty in finding good candidates, employers are more willing to train people on the job or help them earn credentials and licenses.

Acquire a Variety of Skills from a Light Industrial Job

The typical light industrial job involves a wide range of soft skills and technical skills, many of which can be learned on the job. If you’re looking to add skills to your resume, light industrial work is the quickest and easiest way to do it.

Light industrial work becomes increasingly technical by the day. Workers are spending less and less time performing manual operations and more time using automated machinery. This requires working with a digital interface and understanding how inputs translate into actions from the machine. Modern light industrial workers are also usually required to document information, and this might require some data entry. As they become experienced, these workers become more comfortable with digital technology and troubleshooting.

Modern manufacturing also uses complex strategies to achieve high productivity. One popular approach called Lean Manufacturing is designed to eliminate waste without sacrificing quality. Another popular approach called Continuous Improvement Process involves identifying areas to improve efficiency and regularly taking little steps toward greater productivity.

But regardless of how technical or strategic light industrial work becomes, it will always include some kind of human element. Communication, team working, problem-solving and other soft skills are all essential and when these skills are developed over years of experience, they can be used to drive career advancement in just about any industry.

Great Opportunities for Advancement in a Light Industrial Career

There there’s plenty of opportunity for advancement at many light industrial companies. However, some companies are better at supporting career development and advancement than others. When looking at open positions, try to find employers that are known to support employee training and pay for career development. This could include cross-training, job shadowing and mentorship programs.

Employer review sites like Glassdoor are great when it comes to finding out this information. If you can’t find much information online, use the initial phone interview to find out how much career support a potential employer offers.

Light Industrial Jobs are Flexible

While flexible work was a big thing before COVID-19, the pandemic made it a top priority for people working in every industry. Incidentally, employers stand to benefit from offering more flexibility to their workers. A UK-based study found that 9 out of 10 people surveyed were more engaged with their job as a result of a flexible work arrangement.

Historically, flexibility has been difficult to offer people working in light industry, but the demand for it has made employers more willing to offer their employees as much flexibility as they can. Many light industrial companies that have shift work allow their employees to swap shifts in order to accommodate vacations or personal plans. Some companies even allow workers to swap split shifts or four hours out of an eight-hour shift.

The nature of shift work also means built-in flexibility. For example, if you need to be free during the day for childcare or other responsibilities, you might find it more convenient to work the overnight shift. On top of that, light industrial work can be found in many cities, towns and villages. This makes it fairly easy to relocate and maintain the same line of work.

Job Security is High in the Light Industrial Industry

Light industrial work also tends to be very secure. That can translate into peace of mind during difficult economic times. Even during the recent global pandemic, light industrial companies that temporarily laid off workers quickly had to turn around and rehire them as pandemic restrictions were eased.

Even if you are let go from a job, the career security within the light industry is very high. Most large towns and cities have many light industrial companies and it’s relatively easy to find a new job after being laid off, especially if you’re willing to switch between different industries. For example, you can easily go from working at a food production facility to working for a home goods manufacturer.

Experience Hands-On Work with a Light Industrial Job

It’s no secret that employers love seeing experience on a resume. If you’re looking to get into the workforce or you’re switching careers, your professional experience is probably in short supply. Fortunately, there are many light industrial jobs that have a low bar for entry and these can be a great way to gain precious experience.

Even if you aren’t an entry-level worker, light industrial work can translate into valuable experience. Many jobs require data entry and other administrative work. This kind of experience translates to just about every other industry.

One other bonus of hands-on work is physical activity. Many studies have shown the negative health impacts of prolonged sitting, and the typical light industrial job involves regular movement, with some jobs being more physically demanding than others.

Find Work with the Top Light Industrial Job Placement Agency Serving St. Louis, Fenton, and Pacific

One of the best ways to find work in manufacturing, food production, or similar industries is through a light industrial job placement agency. At Westside Personnel, we can connect you with some of the top employers in St. Louis and the surrounding area. We have light industrial employment agencies serving St. Louis, Pacific, and Fenton, Missouri.

Browse our light industrial jobs and apply today!