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Tertiary Industry


Tertiary industry refers to the service sector of an economy, making it the third economic sector. It includes businesses focused on creating, maintaining, and providing services, rather than producing physical goods. Examples are retail, transportation, education, healthcare, and professional services like consulting or financial advisory.


The phonetic pronunciation of “Tertiary Industry” is: /ˈtɜːrʃəri ɪnˈdʌstri/

Key Takeaways

Sure, here you are:<ol> <li>The Tertiary Industry is essentially the Service Industry. This industry includes companies that provide services, rather than goods, to consumers and other organizations. This can include a wide range of businesses, including hospitality, transportation, healthcare, education, entertainment, financial services, and other professional services.</li> <li>Unlike the primary and secondary sectors, the tertiary industry does not involve the production or processing of raw materials. Its focus is primarily on the provision of services that enhance the quality of life for consumers and facilitate the functioning of other businesses.</li> <li>Tertiary industries are a critical part of the economy because they largely contribute to the Gross Domestic Product (GDP), create significant employment opportunities and often drive technological progress and innovation.</li></ol>


The term “Tertiary Industry” is crucial in business and finance as it encompasses a significant part of an economy. This industry focuses on services, unlike primary industries centered on raw materials and secondary industries focused on manufacturing. The tertiary industry, therefore, includes sectors such as retail, hospitality, finance, healthcare, education, and transportation, and represents a significant proportion of a country’s economic output and employment. As advanced economies continue to transition from manufacturing to service-oriented industries, understanding and investing in the tertiary industry becomes vital to economic growth and stability. Furthermore, it influences consumer behavior, business decisions, and macroeconomic health.


The tertiary industry is a crucial component of any advanced economy and plays an important role in economic development and social advancement. The purpose of this sector, also known as the service industry, lies in providing varied types of services to other businesses, as well as to consumers, rather than producing tangible goods. The services offered include transportation, healthcare, entertainment, tourism, retail, education, real estate, and financial services, among others. These services are typically intangible, yet they greatly contribute to enhancing quality of life, improving productivity, and giving a competitive edge to companies operating within the secondary or primary sectors.The tertiary sector is used for supporting businesses in the primary and secondary sectors, making economies more efficient and competitive. For example, a transportation company aids the delivery of goods produced in the primary and secondary sectors to consumers, while banks facilitate trade and commerce through a variety of financial services. Likewise, education and healthcare services help improve the quality of human resources, which consequently leads to an increase in productivity and innovation. With economies becoming increasingly consumer-oriented, the tertiary industry continues to expand, offering more specialized services targeted towards meeting the diverse needs of consumers and businesses.


1. Retail Industry: The retail industry is a great example of the tertiary sector. This industry includes businesses like supermarkets, clothing stores or online marketplaces. These businesses do not produce goods themselves, but they distribute and sell products made by manufacturers (secondary industry).2. Food Service Industry: The restaurants, cafes, and other establishments that prepare and sell food and drink products fall under the tertiary industry. They serve customers by providing ready-to-consume meals using primary (agricultural products) and secondary (processed food) products.3. Health Care Services: Hospitals, clinics, and other health care providers also belong to the tertiary sector. They provide medical services (doctor consultations, surgeries, patient care, etc.) to people. Even though they are not involved in the manufacturing or production of goods, their service is necessary for the welfare of the society.

Frequently Asked Questions(FAQ)

What is a Tertiary Industry?

Tertiary Industry refers to the service sector of an economy which provides services, instead of producing tangible goods. It includes sectors like retail, health, education, and services like transportation, banking or restaurants.

How does the Tertiary Industry differ from Primary and Secondary Industries?

Primary industries involve the acquisition of raw materials from the earth such as agriculture, forestry, fishing, and mining. Secondary industries convert these raw materials into finished goods. Tertiary industries, on the other hand, offer services utilizing those finished products and performing functions that support consumers and businesses.

Can you give some examples of Tertiary Industries?

Examples of tertiary industries include real estate agencies, financial services, tourism and hospitality services, health care professionals, educators, software developers, and transportation providers.

Why is a Tertiary Industry important in an economy?

The Tertiary Industry is vital for an economy as it provides services that support the primary and secondary sectors, and also contributes significantly to a nation’s GDP. Moreover, it often has a considerable number of employment opportunities.

How does the Tertiary Industry contribute to economic growth?

The Tertiary Industry contributes to economic growth by creating employment, generating income, catering to consumer needs, and facilitating smooth functioning of businesses through its wide range of services.

How is the growth of the Tertiary Industry measured?

The growth of the Tertiary Industry can be measured based on various factors including increased revenues, job creation statistics, expansion of services and contribution to Gross Domestic Product (GDP).

What is the impact of technology on the Tertiary Industry?

Technology dramatically impacts the Tertiary Industry by automating certain services, improving efficiencies, enhancing service delivery, and creating new service offerings. High-speed internet, for instance, has been a key factor in enabling growth in the tertiary industry.

Are Tertiary Industries impacted by globalization?

Yes, globalization greatly impacts Tertiary Industries. As economies become more integrated, the demand for services such as finance, logistics, and IT continues to grow, increasing the share and significance of the tertiary industry in the global economic structure.

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