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Types of Industries- Primary, Secondary, and Tertiary

Last Updated : 09 Jan, 2024
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The industry is concerned with the processing and production of goods and services with the motive of earning profit. In simple words, it involves changing the raw materials into finished products for the purpose of selling them to the customers. The goods sold by industry can be either used by other companies for further production or can be used by the end consumers for final consumption. The goods produced in the former case are known as producer goods. For example, machinery, tools, etc. However, the goods produced in the latter case are known as consumer goods. For example, bread, milk, butter, cloth, groceries, medicines, etc. An organization can also produce materials that can be used by other companies to further process and convert them into finished goods. These goods are known as intermediate goods. For example, rubber, copper, plastic, etc. Industry can be further classified into three parts: primary, secondary, and tertiary industry

Primary Industry

The primary industry involves the extraction of raw materials or natural resources from the earth and the reproduction of living organisms. The economic operations of a business under the primary sector usually depend on the nature of a specific place where the extraction or reproduction is being done. Therefore, we can say that the economic operations of a primary industry revolve around the natural resources available on earth. The primary industries produce or create products that are sold to the public. For example, farming, mining, fishing, forestry, agriculture, crop production, animal husbandry, etc. The primary sector of less advanced economies and includes activities or businesses from these areas. As a country develops, it becomes less dependent on primary industry and more on secondary and tertiary. Some of the workers in the primary industry are hunters, farmers, coal miners, etc. 

Primary industry is further divided into two categories:

  1. Extractive Industry: As the name suggests, the extractive industry involves the extraction of products from natural resources and manufacturing of finite raw materials that industry cannot replenish through cultivation. In emerging countries like India, the primary industry is usually the most important sector. For example, agriculture is the most crucial part of India’s primary industry, and animal farming is important in Africa. Other essential extractive industries are mining, fishing, hunting, lumbering, and farming. 
  2. Genetic Industry: The genetic industry involves rearing and breeding of living species like birds, plants, etc., developing raw materials, and then improving them through human involvement in the production process. Genetic industry examples involve seeds and nursery companies, poultry farms, fish hatcheries, breeding farms, livestock management and forestry. 

Secondary Industry

The secondary industry uses the raw materials extracted in the primary sector and then converts them into the finished product. Therefore, the secondary industry consists of construction and manufacturing industries. The products manufactured under secondary industries are either consumed by the end customer or used as raw material by other industries for further processing or production. For example, getting wood from forests is a primary industry; however, making furniture from wood is a secondary industry. The businesses under secondary industry usually use massive machinery in their production plants for manufacturing goods and even use human resources for packaging and distribution of goods to retailers, wholesalers, etc., at different locations. 

Secondary industry is further divided into two categories: Manufacturing and Construction Industry.

1. Manufacturing Industry

These are the industries that are involved in the process of converting raw materials or semi-finished products into finished products. Manufacturing industries create form utility as it changes the form of raw materials into finished goods. For example, cotton is a raw material that is converted in clothes under the manufacturing industry, iron is converted into benches, sugarcane into sugar, wheat into bread, etc. 

The two types of goods produced in the manufacturing industry are:

  • Consumer Goods: Consumer goods are goods that are consumed directly by the end consumer and are used for day-to-day consumption. Examples of consumer goods are clothes, hand wash, soap, oil, ghee, bread, butter, etc. 
  • Industrial Goods: Industrial goods are the goods that are built or produced for manufacturing consumer goods. For example, machines, equipment, etc., are used by industries to manufacture consumer goods such as bread, butter, soap, oil, etc.

The manufacturing industry is further divided into four categories:

  1. Analytical Industry: The industry in which a basic raw material is broken down into several parts for manufacturing multiple products is known as analytical industry. For example, different products like gasoline, kerosene oil, diesel, petroleum, etc., are formed by breaking crude oil into different parts and processing them separately. 
  2. Synthetic Industry: The industry in which manufacturers mix two or more materials for manufacturing a new product is known as the synthetic industry. For example, products like paint, paper, soap, cement, sanitizers, etc., are manufactured by mixing two or more than two materials.  
  3. Processing Industry: The industry in which manufacturers process a raw material through different production stages and then manufacture the finished good is known as the processing industry. For example, the Sugar industry processes sugarcane through different stages to manufacture sugar for consumers and other industries. 
  4. Assembling Industry: The industry in which the organizations take different finished products and combine them to form a new finished product is known as the assembling industry. For example, computer companies buy different finished products like CPU, motherboard, software, etc., from different companies and produce a new product. 

2. Construction Industry

These are the industries that are involved with the construction of roads, dams, buildings, etc., for the development of an economy. The construction industry use products of the manufacturing industry, such as steel, iron, cement, etc. The products of construction industries are unique in a way that their products cannot be moved or transferred from one place to another. For example, a dam can be built at a fixed place and cannot be moved as per the choice of anyone. 

Tertiary Industry

The tertiary industry involves providing services and facilitating a smooth flow of goods and services in the market. The tertiary industry is also known as the service industry, and it helps the primary and secondary industries with their activities. It means that the tertiary industry provides services to different primary and secondary industries to support their activities. 

Different types of services provided by the service industry are:

  1. Transport: Transportation services help the primary and secondary industries by facilitating the movement of goods from one place to other. Different modes of transport used by tertiary industry are air, water, land, rail, etc. 
  2. Banking: Through banking, the tertiary industry provides credit facilities and finance to different trading firms and industries for business expansion, survival and growth. 
  3. Warehousing: Warehousing services of the tertiary industry provides the primary and secondary industry with storage facilities. It means that the primary and secondary industries can store their produced goods until they are distributed. 
  4. Insurance: Insurance services of the tertiary industry involve providing coverage to the primary and secondary industries with different types of risks while running the business. 
  5. Advertising: Advertising services help the primary and secondary industries by providing information to the customers about the company or business and its goods and services. 

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