manufacturing warehouse setting

Is light industrial work a career you’d like to pursue? 

If you’re thinking about it, you’ve come to the right place for some answers. Maybe you’re not sure exactly what light industrial work is?

Let’s start with a great definition from Job board giant ZipRecruiter:

What Are Light Industrial Jobs?

Light industrial jobs typically refer to positions in manufacturing companies that involve the production of smaller products and operating machinery within a factory or on an assembly line. Examples of light industry manufacturing include food production, consumer electronics, home furnishings, automotive assembly, garment manufacturing, and printing. Job duties in these industries may involve assembling products, cleaning machinery and work areas, and distribution from a warehouse.

Where Do Light Industrial Workers Work?

Light industrial workers usually work in warehouses, factories, and manufacturing plants. The location varies based on the industry. Food production positions may be in a bakery, butcher shop, winery, or in a large manufacturing plant. Jobs that assemble electronic devices such as cell phones and televisions are typically in electronics factories. Furniture production may occur in an industrial plant or in a warehouse that sells wholesale furniture to retailers. Printing jobs are located in specialized facilities made to generate printed goods on a large scale.

That definition covers a lot of ground. The light industrial work sector is a large space to be sure. And there are plenty of opportunities for Canadian workers and job seekers in the light industrial sector in 2022 and beyond.

In this post, we will take a deeper dive into some of the critical aspects of the light industrial work and manufacturing space that potential workers should consider. 

Here’s what we’re going to cover:

  • Is a career in light industrial work something you should consider?
  • What types of jobs are available?
  • What does a typical work environment look like?
  • What kind of pay and benefits can you expect?

We’ve got a lot of wood to chop, so let’s get started!

Is a career in light industrial work something you should consider?

Many of our clients want to know what the future holds for light industrial and light manufacturing workers in Canada in the coming years. Canada’s economy is recovering from the last two years, and manufacturing and industry are in growth mode. Manufacturing Automation magazine pointed out in a recent article that Canada’s manufacturing industry is open for business:

Manufacturing sales rose 2.6 percent to $63.1 billion in November (2021), even as flooding in B.C. caused disruptions at more than a quarter of factories across Canada, Statistics Canada said Monday.

The agency said the overall gain in sales was the second consecutive month of growth as sales rose in 18 of the 21 industries it tracks.

“The solid advance in sales during November came despite the impact of flooding in B.C.,” said Andrew Grantham, senior economist at CIBC Capital Markets.

The manufacturing and light industrial work markets are definitely keeping pace with the overall Canadian economic recovery.

But what type of person is best suited for light industrial work? If you like to work with your hands, solve problems, and enjoy physical activity, this field might be right for you. But there’s more to light industrial work than initially meets the eye.

Canadian manufacturing companies are making considerable investments in the Industrial Internet of Things, or IIoT, machine learning, and other technologies. This means opportunities learn these technologies from the ground up. And there are currently not enough skilled workers available to take the jobs created by these new technologies. As pointed out in the 2021 Canadian Advanced Manufacturing Outlook Report:

More companies are applying IIoT or planning to invest in this technology. Also, technology investments haven’t slowed much despite the pandemic, as over half of respondents said their plans haven’t changed.

So what types of jobs are available?

There are plenty of cool jobs available in the light industrial space. Here are just a few examples:

Machine Operation and Assembly Work

The modern assembly line is different than it was even ten years ago. Automation has changed the way humans interact in the manufacturing process. And this is a good thing. Automation is intended to take some of the more dangerous and tedious tasks away from people and offload them to robotics and machines.

Tasks that require extremely accurate, repetitive cutting and measuring, for example, are sometimes better suited for automation and robotics. The good news is that skilled people run the machines! There can be some great opportunities to learn, advance, and grow your resume. 

Production Line Associates 

There are entry-level and advanced jobs available in mechanical assembly, general labour, machine operation, etc. 


Packaging is a world all its own. The goods produced in light industrial factories always need to be assembled, efficiently and effectively packaged, and shipped to their final destination. This final destination is often a large manufacturing plant, for example, an automotive or aircraft plant.

Finished products must be meticulously packaged for safe transport and shipping. Packaging is a critical component of the light industrial manufacturing process. And this creates some great job opportunities.

Quality Control Jobs

Quality control positions can be a great way to advance in the world of light industrial work and manufacturing. There are always opportunities to grow, regardless of where you are in your career. Quality control, advanced mechanical operations, robotic process control, and packaging are just a few examples of these opportunities. 

Materials Handling and Logistics

There are a lot of moving parts in the light industrial work and manufacturing space. And manufacturing is growing in Canada. That’s what makes it an exciting and fulfilling field. Materials are constantly moving in and out of the warehouse to keep manufacturing lines running. Finished goods are continually hitting the packaging lines, which are always humming.

These materials handling jobs can be highly challenging and rewarding. 

Forklift and Warehouse Logistics Jobs 

When materials and products are constantly moving in and out of a manufacturing facility, there will always be requirements for manual logistics jobs. Forklift and mechanical equipment operators are always in demand in the light industrial space.

These jobs can be great career opportunities in their own right, with PTO and other benefits. They can also provide excellent opportunities for advancement. 

What does a typical work environment look like?

The typical light industrial workplace is in one of these three locations:

  • Warehouses 

  • Manufacturing Plants 

  • Factories 

What kind of pay and work-lifestyle benefits can you expect?


Most light industrial companies run multiple shifts. This provides the work-lifestyle benefit of flexibility. Shift work can significantly benefit workers looking for options outside standard 9-5 work hours.


There are plenty of great job opportunities in the light industrial workplace. That means plenty of opportunities to grow your resume and plenty of opportunities for advancement.

Vacation Pay and PTO

You can also expect paid vacations and personal time off. 

Competitive Wages/Salaries 

Check out our current jobs board. Most light industrial jobs pay anywhere from $16-$23 per hour, depending on the role, experience, etc. 

But there’s much more to the light industrial field than just an hourly wage. 

Consider engaging with an established recruiting and staffing agency to help you with your career path and job search. A recruiting and staffing firm can streamline the hiring process by helping you find the companies that are looking for candidates just like you.  

Whether you are searching for reliable and skilled workers or looking for new job opportunities, HCR has the solution. We match job seekers with excellent career opportunities every day.

Why settle for just any job when you can choose an opportunity that’s uniquely suited to you? 

At HCR, we’re not a typical recruitment firm. You will notice that the first time you talk with us. Your recruiter will get to know you beyond your resume. We focus on your personal and professional career goals and objectives, not just the first job that comes along.  

At HCR Personnel, we’ll treat you as an individual, not just a number. HCR recruiters have decades of experience and far-reaching connections in the manufacturing, engineering, and industrial sectors. We know which employers are looking for great employees with your skills, experience, and goals.  

Give one of our professional recruiters a call today at 416-622-1427 or get in touch online today.

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