Types of Industry & Industrialization

by Chuck Robert; Updated September 26, 2017
...

Most needs are satisfied by industries with increasing efficiency, thanks to technological advancements. As old needs are satisfied, various new industries spring up to meet other needs. Economic growth leads to an overall trend of increasing specialization, as machines take over the more simplistic work. This process powers the economic engine of the entire society. Industrialization is usually divided into one of five categories: physical environment, raw materials, services, application of information and the knowledge sector.

Physical Environment

The most undeveloped economies have the majority of their workers in the physical environment sector; most of the economy engages in farming, hunting and fishing. This industry provides society with food products and non-food products such as fibers and lumber. The physical environment sector has a lower barrier to entry. For example, farming requires farming equipment, such as seeds and fertilizer. Such equipment is much more affordable than a lathe. More advanced countries use industrial equipment, such as tractors and automated irrigation systems, allowing for greater production levels with fewer workers. With fewer workers required, leftover workers usually move to other industries.

Raw Materials

The raw material industries process materials such as iron ore so that the raw materials can be fabricated into useful products. Some workers mine the actual resources, such as iron ore. Other workers process the raw resources and fabricate them into products. A steel mill turns iron ore into steel. Other industries take materials like smelted steel and build products like automobiles on assembly lines. Assembly lines let workers focus on specific tasks, allowing them to master these tasks. Machines remove much of the work previously delivered through manual labor, increasing efficiency and reducing the number of workers needed. Leftover workers must enter into the knowledge or service sector.

Services

The service industry is very diverse. Those in the service industry take sales orders, care for animals, handle airport baggage, give advice, help children cross the street, provide product information, perform massages, embalm the deceased, maintain buildings and perform various other services. Some services require little training, while other services can require a college degree. Those in the service industry have mostly benefited from information technology and productivity software. Information technology lets those in the service industry perform tasks for others over the Internet, such as designing a webpage, expanding their opportunities. Productivity software lets specialists such as accountants perform their jobs faster.

Application of Information and Knowledge

The application of information sector and the knowledge sector include those in management and in advanced positions in the production cycle, such as engineering. These professionals are often creative, producing cutting-edge products and developing new services for customers. They also create the innovations that transform the other sectors and drive industrialization, such as inventing new ways to safely slice a bagel.

About the Author

Chuck Robert specializes in nutrition, marketing, nonprofit organizations and travel. He has been writing since 2007, serving as a ghostwriter and contributing to online publications. Robert holds a Master of Arts with a dual specialization in literature and composition from Purdue University.

Photo Credits

  • Hemera Technologies/Photos.com/Getty Images