From Entry-Level to Expert: Career Progression in Light Industrial Positions

Have you been thinking about a management career in the light industrial industry? Not sure where to get started or what potential growth may look like? In this blog, we’ll walk through an example of an entry-level to expert-level roles within the LI industry. For help finding your first role in light industrial work, apply with our team today!

Front Lines

Entry-level light industrial positions are on the front lines. This might be a role such as a machine operator at a manufacturing facility or picker and packer at a warehouse. You’ll make decent wages while building expertise and new skills. In most facilities, you’ll also have the opportunity to move around and learn various positions on the floor. If you want to work your way up to a management career, try to get as much experience in as many different areas as possible.

Team Lead

After spending some time on the front lines, the next step is generally team lead. This role may have a slightly different title and somewhat different responsibilities, depending on your specific facility. But in general, each team lead is responsible for a small group of front-line team members, ensuring that they meet productivity and quality control standards. You will be expected to provide support and help solve basic issues, while also retaining some hands-on duties on the floor. It’s an entry to management, with plenty of supervisory support and without all the complex responsibilities of higher-level management roles.

Management Track

Once you have established yourself as a top-quality team lead, you will have the opportunity to move into a more traditional management position. At this point, your pathway options diverge. You might seek a department manager role, which focuses on one specific aspect of your workplace.

Or, if you want to remain on the front lines while increasing your management responsibilities, you might prefer a floor manager position. This builds on what you learned as a team lead, placing you in charge of production operations.

Both department manager and floor manager experience can set the stage for progressively higher-level management roles. Exactly what those positions look like varies by company, and progressing through the ranks depends on your unique skills, interests, and education. But in general, the light industrial field is an excellent place to start out on the front lines and work your way into a management career.

Where Do You Want to Go?

Light industrial jobs are wide ranging and span many industry sectors.

When we refer to “light industrial”, we often mean manufacturing, electronic and mechanical assembly, distribution, 3PL (third party logistics), logistics, and food processing; these sectors can in turn cross multiple industries such as automotive, ecommerce, computers and telecommunications, medical, housing, and finance.

Inside each of these sectors and subsectors are jobs that range from entry-level to senior management; and, the light industrial job sector is a fulfilling way to advance. Also, light industrial jobs have many contract and temp positions available along with career-building apprenticeships.

Ready for a new job?

If you’re ready for your next role, start searching for a new job with SURESTAFF today! We can help you find a light industrial jobs in Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Texas, Ohio, or Wisconsin.