19 Types of Industry Sectors

Table of Contents1 What is an industry?1.1 Industry vs. sector2 Types of industries2.1 Advertising and marketing2.2 Aerospace2.3 Agriculture2.4 Computer and technology2.5 Construction2.6 Education2.7 Energy2.8 Entertainment2.9 Fashion2.10 Finance and economic2.11 Food and beverage2.12 Health care2.13 Hospitality2.14 Manufacturing2.15 Media and news2.16 Mining2.17 Pharmaceutical2.18 Telecommunication2.19 Transportation Finding a Job 19 Types of Industry […]

By Indeed Editorial Team

October 20, 2021

Industries are businesses within a related group known for manufacturing goods or sharing a business focus or service. There are a large variety of industries with many factions or niches. Understanding the differences between industries allows you to effectively communicate with their audiences, stay ahead of industry trends and monitor competing businesses. Knowing which industry you’d like to work in also gives you a better understanding of tasks and responsibilities you may complete in your role. In this article, we define what an industry is and look at major types of industry.

What is an industry?

Every business belongs to at least one or more industries. An industry is a group of companies with similarities in the business activities they conduct and the products or services they sell. For example, some process raw materials or manufacture goods while providing specific services. As a whole, “industry” refers to the production of an economic good or service.

Industry vs. sector

“Industry” and “sector” are terms often used interchangeably to describe groups of businesses but they have different meanings. “Industry” is more specific while “sector” refers to a larger segment of the economy. Industries are identified by breaking down five economic sectors into more specific groupings.

Economic sectors include:

  • Primary: Raw materials

  • Secondary: Manufacturing

  • Tertiary: Services

  • Quaternary: Information services

  • Quinary: Human services

Types of industries

There are many kinds of industries you can pursue based on your interests and preferred responsibilities. Here are some common types of industries to consider:

Advertising and marketing

Advertising and marketing industries typically focus on promoting products to audiences through paid and organic efforts. Employees understand how to attract audiences and publish campaigns using media and print outlets.

Careers to consider include:

Related: What Are Advertising Degrees?


In the aerospace industry, employees research, develop and manufacture flight vehicles. They aim to make flight—whether in helicopters, planes or rockets—safe for travelers and employees involved with aviation. Many elements go into this industry, like testing, selling, maintaining, repairing, building and designing various flight machines. Several small companies focus on making aircraft components and selling them to larger manufacturers.

Careers to consider include:

Related: Aeronautics vs. Aerospace Engineering: Definitions and Differences


The agriculture industry typically focuses on cultivating plants, land and animals to make foods, drinks and other essential items. As technology grows, this industry continues to modernize, allowing farmers to naturally and safely grow more plants. Researchers and scientists within this industry regularly develop innovative ways to create a stronger ecosystem. Those who work in this industry usually produce, sell or export agricultural items and goods to various businesses.

Careers to consider include:

Related: How To Become an Agricultural Manager in 6 Steps

Computer and technology

The computer and technology industry typically focuses on fixing and repairing computer hardware systems, developing or updating new applications and enhancing business networking and software systems. The industry usually interacts with other industries to improve efficiency and productivity levels. For instance, the health care industry adapts many computer systems to store patient records and request medication orders from pharmacies.

Careers to consider include:


The construction industry consists of employees who build certain houses, buildings or other structures for residents, businesses or community members. It is regularly adapting to technology advancements to more efficiently build safe, quality structures. These advancements also help them complete more complex tasks like constructing skyscrapers or conducting inspections on areas of bridges or buildings that are difficult for construction workers to reach.

There are different types of construction work that can fit into the construction industry sector. The three main categories include:

  • General construction: Those who construct buildings, residential properties or houses are typically completing general construction projects.

  • Specialized construction: This type of construction typically requires more expertise in a certain aspect of construction, such as woodworking, concrete or electrical construction.

  • Heavy construction: Employees who build bridges or roads and construct other larger construction tasks typically fall into the heavy construction category.

Careers to consider include:

Related: What Are the Different Types of Construction Jobs?


Th education industry comprises all academic institutions including elementary schools, middle schools, high schools, colleges, universities, learning institutes and technical schools. It also includes both public and private institutions. Public institutes receive government funding while a single person or group of people run and fund private institutions.

Careers to consider include:

Related: Academic Curriculum Vitae (CV) Template (Plus Writing Tips)


The energy industry handles matters like renewable and nonrenewable energy to improve the environment and enhance the cost efficiencies of most businesses. Various operations within the energy field include manufacturing, refining and extraction. Other companies that may fall within the energy sector are nuclear power, coal energy and electric power, which are all an essential part of improving the environment.

Extensive research is typically conducted by scientists within this industry to find innovative ways to conserve resources and use alternate energies, like wind, hydroelectric and solar energies.

Careers to consider include:

Related: Careers in Electricity


The entertainment and music industry is one of the largest industries in the world. Different types of entertainment within this industry include sports, music, theater, movies, television and web series. This industry usually contains a mixture of performers, crew members and management working together to make the entire industry operate smoothly.

Since there are so many employees in this industry, it can typically be more challenging to earn a job in this industry than others.

Careers to consider include:

Related: How To Work in the Entertainment Industry: Your Guide To Starting a Career


Employees in the fashion industry focus on areas like marketing, supply chain, e-commerce, media and manufacturing clothing apparel, jewelry, accessories, cosmetics and footwear. They may sell products within the fashion industry to small business store owners, larger supply chains or popular department store locations.

There are employees within this industry who may design these apparel and merchandise items while others focus on purchasing and reselling them.

Careers to consider include:

Related: Courses To Pursue for Fashion Designing

Finance and economic

The finance and economic industries handle various aspects of money management and can include areas like banking, corporate finance, public finance, personal finance, investing and asset management. Some employees may work primarily in banks helping others responsibly handle their finances while others may focus solely on keeping businesses financially stable.

Many employees in this industry must remain aware of economic conditions and trends to provide valuable financial advice to their clients.

Careers to consider include:

Related: 10 Jobs in Financial Securities (With Salaries and Duties

Food and beverage

The food and beverage industry involves preserving, processing and serving food items. This industry typically works with those in the agriculture industry to receive ingredients from them. They then use these ingredients to create different food and beverage items. Food and beverage employees may also take these food items and process them by adding chemicals and colors to preserve their taste.

The food and beverage industry has significantly grown due to the high demand for quick and processed foods. Catering services, fine dining restaurants and bars also fall within the food and beverage industry.

Careers to consider include:

Health care

Employees who work in the health care industry focus on providing diagnostic, preventative, curative, therapeutic and rehabilitative care to patients to keep them in stable health conditions. The key objective of the health care industry is to prevent and treat any injuries, illnesses or sicknesses patients may have.

Careers to consider include:

Related: 20 of the Fastest Growing Health Care Jobs


The hospitality industry works closely with customers to provide a satisfying and unique experience. Employees within this industry typically offer services to meet people’s preferences rather than their needs like in the health care industry. The main categories within the hospitality industry are travel, tourism and food and beverage.

Businesses like bed and breakfasts, hotels, motels, restaurants and travel agencies typically belong to the hospitality industry.

Careers to consider include:

Related: Hospitality Skills To Include on Your Resume by Job Type


In the manufacturing industry, employees convert raw components and materials into final products which they sell to companies. Businesses will then take these products and market them to consumers for profits. There are several categories within the manufacturing sector, including wood, leather, paper, textile, transportation equipment and many other materials used to make products. Manufacturing employees usually work in plants, factories or mills.

Careers to consider include:

Media and news

The media and news industry aims to provide essential news to community members and individuals locally and worldwide. Employees typically publish these news stories in outlets like television, radio, online articles, websites, social media, newspapers or podcasts.

As technology evolves, more forms of media will become available to consumers which means more jobs in this industry should continue to appear.

Careers to consider include:


The mining industry is an older industry that handles the location and extraction of metals and other natural resources from the earth’s surface. This includes coal, oil and natural gas, rock, and other materials. Mining organizations operate all over the world to provide materials for jewelry and other commercial items.

Careers to consider include:


Pharmaceutical companies research, develop and sell medicine and other drugs to patients, physicians and insurance companies. This industry focuses heavily on research and development to create new and innovative medications to safely improve patients’ health and well-being. Employees within this industry spend a significant amount of time researching, creating and selling drugs to cure diseases or treat symptoms for both people and animals.

Those who create medical devices, like surgical equipment items, also work in the pharmaceutical industry.

Careers to consider include:

Related: Pharmacy Skills: What Are Employers Looking For?


Companies in the telecommunications industry construct, install and repair common communication devices like cell phones, cable or internet. The telecommunication industry allows individuals to communicate with others and send information to and from several parts of the world using audio or visual devices.

Many organizations within this industry are internet service providers, cable and satellite companies and wireless internet service providers.

Careers to consider include:

Related: Telecommunication: Definition, Types and Careers


Transportation is a large industry handling the movement of people, items and animals using various modes of transportation like trains, trucks, planes and boats. The transportation industry continues to grow, and it includes a wide range of career opportunities for different skill levels, schedules, interests and abilities.

Companies will always need to move goods and products and people will always have places they need to go. This makes the transportation industry a fairly secure industry to pursue a career in.

Careers to consider include:

Related: 13 Logistics Jobs

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