Top 20 Types of Industries

The Types of industries Can be classified according to their production process, tonnage of raw materials used, size, development and type of product.

Industry can be defined as economic activities that aim to use and transform the natural resources that are, on the one hand, the raw materials, and on the other, the energy sources to produce two types of products.

Types of assembly industry

The first are the semi-finished products, which are used to make other products. And the second are the processed products, already prepared for final consumption.

The industry itself belongs to the secondary sector. And although this includes many other activities such as construction and mining, industry is considered as the activity that has the most weight within the sector.

In order to carry out industrial production, a number of factors are needed such as natural resources, that is, materials that are transformed, along with labor and capital.

Each of these raw materials used is what gives rise to the different types of industries that exist. In general, the industry can be classified into five large groups.

The first classification is the one that is made according to the position in which the industry is in the productive process. The second is carried out according to the tonnage of the raw materials used. The third, according to its degree of development. The fourth, according to its size. And the fifth, depending on the type of product they produce.

Types of industry according to its production process

Basic or Basic Industries

As its name suggests, the basic industries are those that act to initiate the productive process and they do it transforming the raw material into semi-finished products that employ other industries. That is, they are the basis for the development of other industries.

An example of this may be the steel industry, which is responsible for transforming iron into steel for use by other industries in the manufacture of capital goods or consumer goods.

Equipment Goods Industries

This is the type of siderugia that is dedicated to transform the semi-finished products of the base industries into productive equipment for other industries. This includes the manufacture of infrastructure and economic goods to equip companies with electronic equipment, machinery, among others.

Consumer goods industries

The industries of consumer goods are those that are dedicated to the manufacture of products that are destined to the direct consumption of the population.

Therefore, it is the industries that constitute the final stage of the manufacturing process. A clear example of this type of industry are the companies that are part of the industrial or pharmaceutical branch.

Industries according to the tonnage of raw materials used

Heavy industry

This is the type of manufacturing that works with large quantities of raw material, which turn into semi-finished products. Basically it is the industry that is in charge of producing the inputs, the machines and the solutions that other industries need to work. Heavy steel mills are often basic industries and capital goods.

The heavy industry Is characterized because it needs a great investment to operate. Which means that their movement of capital is, in general, massive. In addition, the processes that this industry generates are really complex, so they involve many subprocesses.

On the other hand, this is the type of industry that has the greatest impact on the environment. For this reason they are often the target of environmentalists.

Semi-light industry

These industries work with semi-finished products in their production processes. Which means that the amount of raw material they use is much less than in the heavy industry.

The semi-light industries are usually those dedicated to the automotive sector, to the manufacture of machinery and other equipment. They are dedicated, therefore, to the production of equipment goods.

Light industry

In light manufacturing the amount of raw material used is very low. Therefore they do not need large installations or machinery to carry out the production process.

This is the type of industry that manufactures the goods of final use and consumption, that is, those that are bought directly by the user. This industry is usually located in places close to the destination market, since the goods are considered as high added value. On the other hand, they are usually less polluting than heavy ones.

Depending on your degree of development

Top Industries

This is the way to classify the industries according to their technical level. The top industries are those that are in full expansion and growth of their production and are usually those that use the most advanced technologies.

They are also characterized because they have among their staff highly specialized professionals and very prepared. And also, usually have research teams that need the constant investment of a lot of capital.

Leading companies are usually located in developed countries and are located near major universities. A great example of this type of industries are the technology companies of Silicon Valley.

Mature Industries

The mature industries are those that have reached their maximum development. That is, an industry can be considered mature when its growth rate begins to decline and when its growth levels are scarce or even zero.

In these cases, when there is a stagnation of production levels, the chances of the company to grow again are reduced. This stagnation often has to do with an increase in competition and the use of outdated or incorrect technology.

Ripe industries are usually those that belong to the sector of heavy metals such as metallurgy, shipyards, among others.

According to its size

Small industry

This classification is characterized by the fact that the number of employees does not exceed 50. In these cases it does not take much investment. It is basically an independent entity whose annual sale does not exceed a certain ceiling.

In small industries there is a greater division of labor due to the complexity of employee functions.

In addition, in terms of staff coordination and material, technical and financial resources, greater organization is needed. Also, it is characterized because it uses direct labor. Although that does not mean that it does not use mechanized resources.

Medium industry

In this type of industry the number of employees is between 50 and 1000 employees. In this case the investment must be greater than in small industries.

Medium industry is an economic unit that can develop its competitiveness based on the improvement of its processes and its organization.

This industry must have a level of complexity in the control and coordination of production. Therefore, it must incorporate personnel that can assume this type of functions.

The advantage of this industry is that it can realize individualized products, something that big companies can not do. In addition, they are of great help to the latter for the realization of services and operations.

Big industry

In these industries the number of employees exceeds 1000. This means that not only do they need a very large capital investment, but they also need to operate at very high production capacities.

These industries are responsible for manufacturing products that can not do the medium company.

In large industry it is not possible to stop production without generating large losses. In addition, it is the type of manufacturing that most impacts the environment. The industries that belong to this category are mostly heavy industries. And these are the ones that often cause more damage to the atmosphere due to its large production of toxic waste, which not only contaminate the air but also the water.

Depending on the type of product


This industry uses agricultural and fishery products to convert them into food. For these products to reach the final consumer must undergo a process of transformation, preparation, conservation and packaging.

These include canneries, prepared foods, bakery, among others.


This is the sector that is dedicated to the discovery, manufacture, preparation and commercialization of chemical products for medical purposes, either for the treatment and / or for the prevention of diseases. It is worth mentioning that a large part of the production of this industry is associated with vaccines.

The pharmaceutical steel industry is made up of numerous organizations, both public and private. In addition, most of the companies in this branch are international. This means that they have presence in many countries through subsidiaries.


This industry, also called iron metallurgy, is dedicated to transform iron ore through a special metallurgical treatment to obtain different types of this or its alloys.

The steel industry is based on the purification of the iron applying processes of smelting or reduction. The mineral is subjected to high temperatures in the presence of fuels which are usually coal and coke.


The metallurgical industry is dedicated to transforming other metals than iron. It works with copper and aluminum, among others. The latter involves quite complex processing processes, so its added value is high.

This type of industry requires high investments, especially because they must occupy much industrial land.


It is an industry that is dedicated to the extraction and processing of natural and synthetic raw materials. It uses a wide variety of resources such as liquid, solid and gaseous fuels, as well as lime, pyrite, salts, animal and vegetable products.

The production process in this industry can be very complex and therefore its added value is usually greater. Some of the products that are produced in this industry are fertilizers, acids, paints, cosmetics, preservatives, explosives, among others.


It is a branch of the chemical industry that is responsible for obtaining certain products from hydrocarbons (oil and natural gas).

There are around a thousand derivatives including fertilizers, plastic, lubricants, solvent, synthetic fibers, among others. To obtain these products the raw material has been subjected to complex processes.

On the other hand, petrochemical plants are usually located near the oil and gas fields in order to have easier access. In this industry specialized labor is needed as engineers, chemists, technicians, economists, etc.


In this industry are grouped a series of activities that include the spinning, weaving and the making of garments and other articles. That is, it is responsible for producing fibers, whether natural or synthetic, for the creation of new parts.

In the past the term textile was only used for woven fabrics. However, as the industry evolved, the concept expanded and now includes even fabrics formed by chemical processes or mechanical joints.

This industry is one of the most important in the world economy, thanks to the massive consumption of the products it generates, it is possible to create a large number of direct and indirect jobs.


This is the industry that handles all the processes that involve the production of automobiles, from its design, development, manufacture to its assembly, commercialization and sale.

Automotive metallurgy is one of the great generators of employment, not only because it requires direct labor but also because of the influence it exerts in all sectors that have a relationship with it, such as auto parts.

Real Estate

The real estate industry refers to all that activity related to the purchase, sale or rent of real estate or real estate. These goods can be houses already built or in the process of being built.

But they can also be buildings, hotels, apartments and even land, among others. That is, all those fixed assets that can not be converted into cash, but with the passage of time generate income. The mediators in the real estate industry are the so-called real estate agencies.


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