A worker is an individual who performs physical labor in exchange for remuneration. He usually works in industrial environments.


Although this term is often identified with the more generic concept of worker, conceptually a worker is one who performs his professional functions manually in an industrial or construction field.

Generally, a worker profile is related to carrying out physical work activities and handling industrial machinery.

The professional locations of this profile would be mainly in factories, facilities and buildings, productive and industrial plants or chemical industries.

The appearance of this figure is historically situated at the birth of modern industry, with the first industrial revolution and the socio-economic changes that it entailed.

At that time, a new and greater need for working people appears in the new technological and industrial sectors that emerged in the cities.

Characteristics of a worker

Taking into account its definition, every worker has some notable characteristics that define their professional profile:

  • The term worker refers to individuals. In other words, they are entirely natural persons.
  • The provision of services by the individual must be carried out at a legal age and under legal regulations. The most common is that it is governed by labor agreements.
  • The performance of their work can be carried out either on their own account in the figure of a self-employed person or as an employee as a salaried person.
  • The work performed is remunerated by means of a salary.
  • Usually the salary grade of workers is one of the lowest in companies. The specialization of the work to be carried out and the training and qualification required for it will increase as you do so.
  • It is frequent that there are associations that defend their labor interests, such as trade unions.

Ideological approach to the worker profile

The professional profile of worker has been identified from certain ideological and economic perspectives with that of proletarian.

Theories such as socialism or Marxism identified the worker as a proletarian worker who works the means of production, whose property is reserved to the capitalist power.

Its association or grouping around the working class stood as one of the pillars of this type of approach, highlighting the point of view of Karl Marx.

Alternatively, from the point of view of capitalism, the worker is not the victim of a system of exploitation of an elite minority to the rest, but freely offers his status as a worker with the consideration of a salary.