written by Khatabook | August 7, 2021

Different Types of Industries- Primary, Secondary & Tertiary

An industry comprises the systematic production of goods and services for sale. A country's economy is determined by its industry. We'll look at the economic transformation in this article by talking about the three types of economic sectors: primary, secondary, and tertiary.

3 different types of industries

I. Primary Industry: 

The primary sector is concerned with the extraction of natural resources or raw materials from the earth. The economic operations of a primary sector are usually dependent on the nature of that particular place. These industries create products that will be sold or supplied to the general public. A primary industry's economic operations revolve around using the planet's natural resources, such as vegetation, earth water, and minerals.

Mining, farming, and fishing are examples of primary industries. This extraction yields raw materials and staple foods, coal, wood, iron, and corn.

Primary industry can be divided into two types: 

a. Genetic industry: The genetic sector encompasses the development of raw materials that can be improved via human involvement in the manufacturing process. Agriculture, fisheries, forestry, & livestock management, are all genetic industries vulnerable to scientific & technological advancements in renewable resources.

b. Extractive industry: The extractive industry produces finite raw materials that cannot be replenished through cultivation. Mineral ores are mined, the stone is quarried, and mineral fuels are extracted in the extractive industries.

The primary industry is often the most important sector in emerging countries. When we consider animal farming as an example, it is significantly more important in Africa than in any other country.

What types of people work in the primary sector?

Farmers, coal miners, and hunters are among the workers in the primary sector. It is a well-known truth that as a country develops, its dependence on primary industry decreases, and its dependence on secondary & tertiary industries increases.

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What percentage of the workforce is employed in the primary sector?

Ethiopia, in East Africa, is an example of a developing economy, with primary industries accounting for 88% of employment, tertiary industries accounting for 10%. Secondary sectors account for 2% whereas, in the industrialised countries of the United States and the United Kingdom, employment in the primary industry is just 3%. The secondary industry is 25%, the tertiary industry is 70%, and the quaternary industry is 2%.

Primary industry classifications

Primary industries profit from the natural resources that can be obtained or developed on the earth. The following are some examples of primary industries:

  • Farming: 

Farmers use their land to grow plants and rear animals that can be used to make food or other goods. Agriculture is one of the industries that makes up the primary sector. It is the skill of producing raw food using farming techniques.

The goods are categorised into four categories: Raw materials, textiles, food, and fuel. The food category includes eggs, milk, vegetables, meat, oil, and fruits. Cotton, which is used to make garments, is used as a raw material in agriculture.

  • Mining: 

Mining is the process of extracting raw resources from the earth, such as rock, slit, metals, clay, gemstones, & minerals. The reserves and resources of a mining corporation are its most valuable assets. The contemporary mining process comprises determining the potential profit of a mining operation, locating ore deposits, and extracting precious commodities.

The secondary sector also relies significantly on mining for raw materials to manufacture and produce a wide range of key products.

Non-renewable resources such as natural gas, petroleum, and water are also included in the definition of mining.

  • Fishing: 

One of the most significant primary industries in the world is fishing. It entails various tasks such as selling,  shipping, marketing, preserving, and processing fish products. Industrial fish farming is the world's fastest-growing food production method, and fish farms currently provide almost half of the world's seafood.

  • Forestry: 

The forest products industry contributes significantly to global economies. Forestry is a significant source of raw materials for a wide range of industries. All types of forest sector products contribute to meeting some of modern society's necessities and increasing global human well-being.

II. Secondary industry: 

After primary industries have accumulated raw materials, secondary industries enter into the picture. The construction and manufacturing industries are primarily included in the secondary industry. The transition of raw materials into finished items is part of the secondary sector. For example, wood is used to make furniture, steel is used to make automobiles, and textiles are used to make clothing.

In order to manufacture products that will be marketed to the general public, secondary industries frequently use massive machinery in production plants. Even human power can be employed to package these items for distribution to retailers and other locations.

Most of these businesses generate a large amount of waste, which can result in significant environmental difficulties and pollution.

Secondary industry is divided into two categories:

a. Heavy industry: Large-scale manufacturing often necessitates a significant capital investment in equipment and machinery. Heavy and massive items are among the features of the heavy industry. It caters to a vast and diverse market, which includes various manufacturing sectors.

This industry is primarily made up of construction, transportation, & manufacturing enterprises. Ships, petroleum processing, machinery production are among the most common operations in this heavy industry.

b. Light industry: The light industry usually requires a relatively smaller quantity of raw materials, lesser power and smaller area. The items produced in light industries are minimal, and they are very easy to transport.

Home, personal products, food, beverages, electronics, and apparel are among the most common operations in this light industry.

Secondary industry classifications

The following are some examples of secondary industries:

  • Consumer goods

Fast-moving consumer goods are categorised under Secondary industry. Conversion of raw materials and converts to finished goods is an integral step for obtaining consumer goods. These are processed foods, tea, sugar, ready to eat foods, cosmetics, toiletries, medicines, perishable items, vegetables, fruits, frozen foods, cookies, office supplies, cleaning products, and clothing.

  • Manufacturing

This covers the manufacture of physical goods like automobiles, furniture, and houseware.

  • Construction: 

Another example of the secondary industry is the construction of houses, buildings, and other structures.

  • Craft and Fashion: 

Clothing, footwear, and handcrafted crafts are designed, produced, and marketed as per the secondary industry.

III. Tertiary Industry: 

Tertiary industries market secondary industries' products to consumers. They are usually not involved in creating products but rather in the provision of services to the general public and other industries. The creation of different nature services, such as experiences, discussion, access, is the most significant feature of the tertiary sector.

The tertiary sector is divided into two categories.

a. The first group consists of businesses that are into making money, such as those in the financial sector.

b. The second group consists of the non-profit sector, which includes services such as public education.

The industries of the Tertiary sector include investment, finance, insurance, banking, wholesale, retail, transportation, real estate services; resale trade; professional, legal, hotels, personal services; tourism, restaurants, repair and maintenance services, police, security, defence services, administrative, consulting, entertainment, media, information technology, health, social welfare and so on.

Tertiary industry classifications

  • Telecommunications: 

This is a field that deals with the transfer of signs, words, signals, messages, images, sounds, or information of any type across radio, the internet, and television networks.

  • Professional services: 

The tertiary sector includes a variety of professions that need specialised knowledge and training in the arts & sciences. Engineers, architects, surgeons, attorneys, and auditors are among the licenced professionals in this sector.

  • Franchises: 

It is a practice of selling the right to utilise a particular business model and brand for a set period.

Key facts of the tertiary sector

  • The tertiary industry is the economy's services sector, which includes financial services, medical professionals, educators, hairdressers, and personal trainers, among other things.
  • The tertiary sector is classified into two categories: profit and non-profit.
  • In terms of revenue generation, the tertiary sector is presently the largest sector of the world economy.
  • Economists have discovered that when a country's economy advances, the tertiary sector expands while the primary sector, which generates raw resources, falls.

Difference between Primary, Secondary and Tertiary Sector:


Primary sector


Secondary sector


Tertiary sector

The primary sector consists of the agricultural industry and associated services.

The secondary sector consists of the manufacturing industry.

The tertiary sector consists of the service sector.

The primary sector supplies raw materials for goods and services.

The secondary sector converts one good into another by increasing its utility.

The tertiary sector helps the primary & secondary sectors by providing services.

Traditional methods are employed in the primary sector, which is largely unorganised.

The secondary industry is more organised and employs more efficient production processes.

The tertiary sector is well-organised and uses sophisticated logistical systems to carry out its duties.

Agriculture, forestry, fishing, and mining are all part of the primary sector.

Huge businesses, manufacturing units, small scale businesses, large corporations, and multinational enterprises are all part of the secondary sector.

The tertiary sector includes banking, insurance, finance, trade, and administration.

In comparison to the other developed countries, India employs a huge number of people in this sector.

Since employment in this area requires a specialised set of abilities, the employment rate is stable in the secondary sector.

The employment share of this sector is growing rapidly.

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Primary, secondary, and tertiary industries are different types of industries in India. All of them play important roles in economic growth. They all contribute to the country's gross domestic product (GDP). Agriculture is still the primary source of revenue in India. Agriculture is crucial to the success of the other two sectors. All three types of industries are equally vital in a developing country such as India.


Q: Explain the tertiary sector with examples?


The tertiary sector provides commerce, finance, real estate activities,  education, transportation, health, and social work. This sector provides both services and operational frameworks for businesses.

  • Tertiary industries include companies in the shipping and transportation industries, such as railroads or truckers, where the only concentration is on moving goods. It may also include people's transportation, such as cabs, city bus networks, and subways.
  • Hotels and resorts, and foodservice providers such as restaurants are all part of the tertiary industry. Personal services, which include haircuts to tattoos, fall into this category.
  • The tertiary industry includes pet groomers, stray animal care centres, and animal breeders, among other things.

Q: What are the primary and secondary industries' significant differences?


Primary industries are concerned with the extraction and manufacture of raw materials such as wood, coal, grain & iron. Secondary industries comprise the processing of raw materials into various goods, such as steel in automobile manufacturing and the creation of textiles.

Q: What activities are involved in the tertiary sector?


Three key activities fall under the tertiary sector: tertiary activities, Quaternary activities such as education, government work, culture and media followed by Quinary activities such as developing new ideas, re-evaluating existing ideas, and using new technologies etc.

The tertiary sector can be classified into the following categories. Transportation includes Road network, waterways, Air, trade, and commerce, including wholesale & retail trade, Services, and Communication.

Q: What are the jobs in the primary, secondary & tertiary sectors?


Mining, forestry, farming, and fishing are the jobs in the primary sector. Manufacturing, such as the production of automobiles and steel, are occupations under the secondary sector. Teaching, finance, banking jobs are examples of tertiary careers.

Q: What is the interdependence between primary, secondary, and tertiary industries?


Natural products such as dairy, fisheries, agriculture, forestry are mostly dealt with by the primary sector. In order to develop new products and services, the secondary industry needs items from the primary sector. The tertiary industry is responsible for marketing the many products produced by the primary and secondary sectors. As a result, all three sectors are interconnected and ineffective without one another.

Q: How many types of industries are there?


There are mainly 3 types of industries primary, secondary and tertiary.

Q: What are the employment opportunities in tertiary sectors?


Employment in the tertiary sector is on the rise. It includes finance, administration, banking, insurance, and trade.

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