Firefighting is a service industry  (photo: digital storm).

A service industry provides an intangible product or service. Intangible means something that cannot be touched or sensed. Manufactured goods are tangible. Services are intangible.

There are many types of service industries. In developed countries, most people work in this type of industry.

Photo: Firefighters provide a service (© Digitalstorm).

What are the Types of Service Industries?

There are a broad range of service industries. This is a listing of the major categories of service industries:

Retail and Wholesale: these industries manage the flow of goods from other industries to the consumer.

Information:  these industries produce and distribute information. Examples of information industries are: publishers, motion picture and recording industries, and telecommunications.

Finance and Insurance: these industries deal with money. They include banking, stocks, insurance and trust funds.

Professional, Scientific and Technical Services: these services require skilled workers with technical expertise. This category includes architects, accountants, lawyers, computer systems design, and scientific research.

Educational Services:  this category includes schools, colleges, universities and trade schools and is involved in education and training.

Health Care and Social Services:  this sector provides health care and social assistance for individuals. These industries cover hospitals, nursing facilities, and social services.

Entertainment: the entertainment sector includes the performing arts, sports, museums and amusement parks.

Hospitality: this sector provides lodging and meals to consumers. This includes hotels and restaurants.

Public Administration: is a government provided service. Government services include national security, government, police and fire protection, environmental protection, and community development.

Differences Between Countries

The least developed countries have large populations working in agriculture. Mid-level countries have larger populations involved in manufacturing. The most developed countries have large populations working in service industries.

Improving Your Reading and Thinking Skills

Think for a few moments. Try to recall the major ideas in this article. When you are done, click the box below for a list of main ideas.


How did you do? With practice, you should be able to identify many of the major ideas. You may even discover some important ideas that aren’t listed.


Service Industry Classifications, GTW Associates.


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Webster Gabiana

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Webster Gabiana

people work in this type of industry

Webster Gabiana

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