Is Basic Industries is a good career path?

You probably want to know if basic industries is a good career path to choose. At the most critical time in our careers, we make some decisions that could possibly be a defining moment for the rest of our life.

Part of what defines our life – what we become, is the career path we choose to take

So, if you’re in the middle of picking a career choice and want to know if the basic industry is worth considering, read on!

This article explains:

  • Why the basic industry is a good career path for aspiring young professionals;
  • How many jobs are in the basic industry;
  • Best paying jobs in the Basic industry.

As one can imagine there are multiple options for young professionals looking to take on a career path in the basic industries.

It’s an exciting industry mainly because there are a number of industries classified as basic industries, as well as subcategories, which we shall talk about here.

But first…

What is a Basic industry?

Companies under the basic industry are those who manufacture and supply raw materials to other industries.

A typical example is the consumer non-durables industry where the raw materials are put to use to create end products.

Main Categories of basic industries


Agriculture is top of the basic industry with the largest employees. It is one industry that you can find in both developed and underdeveloped countries.

According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, 19.7 Million full- and part-time jobs were related to the agricultural and food sectors in 2020.

This is not surprising as food is and will always be an in-demand commodity in any society. And as the world’s population increases, many companies will be established and more professionals will be needed to help drive the companies.

Most common jobs in the agriculture industry include but are not limited to:

  • Agronomist
  • Animal scientist
  • Food scientist
  • Plant scientist


Raw material in the form of mineral resources is widely used across all sectors and industries. The capital goods industry needs it to manufacture basic products, the consumer durables and non-durables goods industry needs it to manufacture consumables.

Oil and Gas industry

The oil and gas industry is made up of three segments or sectors:

  • upstream sectors: discovering or producing oil and gas.
  • midstream sector: focus on the transportation and storage of oil and gas production
  • downstream sector: includes companies that purify the oil and run refineries.

Jobs available in this industry include:

  • Geoscientist
  • Oil rig worker
  • Oil field worker
  • Petroleum geological engineer
  • Offshore worker

Paper and Pulp

The paper industry is among the basic industries with various jobs covering packaging, hygiene products, and tissues.

The raw materials are used in the textile industry.

Type of jobs available in the paper and pulp industry is:

  • Logger
  • Sawyer
  • Woodworker
  • Pulp or paper mill operator

Chemical industry

The chemical industry produces and transforms raw materials into chemical substances reusable by other industries.

The chemical industry has the following main jobs across various subcategories such as petrochemicals, polymers, and inorganics:

  • Chemical engineer
  • Chemical technician
  • Plant operator
  • Materials scientist
  • Chemist

The chemical products from this industry are usually classified into:

  • basic chemicals,
  • speciality chemicals, and
  • consumer chemicals.

Speciality chemicals: This type of chemicals includes dyes, paints, adhesives, agrichemicals, cleaning materials, colours, cosmetic additives, construction chemicals, and elastomers.

Consumer Chemicals: These are chemicals classified as consumables. Examples include Detergents, soaps, bleaching powder, etc.

Steel and metal

If you think of the construction industry, you will understand the importance of the steel and metal industry. Various constructions and real estate projects like railroad tracks, beams, and pipelines require steel. However, the industry depends largely on the mining industry

Jobs available in this industry are:

  • Ironworker
  • Machinist
  • Metal fabricator
  • Tool and die technician
  • Sheet metal worker


Utilities like electricity, water, and heating are profitable industries under the basic industry. Some of the popular jobs in this category include:

  • Field installers
  • Plant engineers and operators
  • Utility Inspector
  • Water treatment technician

Let’s take a look at the common category of basic industry

Is Basic Industries A Good Career Path?

Certainly yes. The basic industry is an exciting career for young people. There are many organisations in this field and individuals can easily qualify provided they have the experience backed up with online certifications or degrees.

According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, 19.7 Million full- and part-time jobs were related to the agricultural and food sectors in 2020. This represents 10.3 % of total U.S. employment.

And in 2021 reports show 601,149 people are dependent on the Mining Industry in the US and 8 Million jobs

9. 5.6% of total U.S. employment depends on the Oil and Gas Industry. This shows that there is a growing demand for professionals in the basic industry; thus making it a good career path.

Many companies in the basic industry offer employment opportunities for:

  • Petroleum Geologists
  • Drilling engineer
  • Metallurgists
  • Pipefitter
  • Synthetic chemist
  • Health and safety officer
  • Forensic scientist
  • Agronomist
  • Steel fabricator
  • Electrician

And provide them with retirement plans, vision insurance, vacation days, medical insurance, and dental insurance.

The majority of the organisations in the basic industry care much about the well-being of their employees. As a result, the basic industry is considered a good career path for young employees.

Works are not limited to science-related disciplines. There are a few functional career paths as well within the industry such as:

How many jobs are available in basic industries?

Looking for high paying jobs in the basic industry?

Here’s is a summary of the highest paying jobs in this industry:

  • Petroleum Geologists
  • Drilling engineer
  • Metallurgists
  • Pipefitter
  • Synthetic chemist
  • Health and safety officer
  • Forensic scientist
  • Truck driver
  • Agronomist
  • Steel fabricator
  • Electrician

1. Drilling Engineer

The drilling engineer’s responsibilities include the operation and execution of natural gas and oil drilling processes. They maintain and monitor drilling rigs both offshore and onshore. They validate the equipment for drilling safety, assess and maintain the oil wells along with the financial aspects of the operation.

The base salary for Drilling Engineer I ranges from $92,456 to $110,060 with the average base salary of $100,203.

2. Petroleum Geologist

Petroleum geologists utilize the knowledge of geology and geophysics to locate and map out oil and gas reservoirs in the subsurface.

They begin the process of oil discovery before the engineers are called to drill down the reservoirs.

They monitor the process of drilling and instruct the engineers when to stop or continue with the drilling process. They also analyze the drilled particles and test for various indicators of oil and gas.

Petroleum geologists require a bachelor’s degree in geosciences at the minimum.

The base salary for Petroleum Geologist I ranges from $96,939 to $119,357 per year.

3. Agronomist

Agronomists are professionals who work in the agricultural sector to provide inputs on soil management, fertilizers, nutrients, irrigation, or seeds.

They develop more effective and efficient farming practices and conduct research by collecting and analyzing test samples in order to solve complex problems.

The average salary for an Agronomist is $54,179 per year.

4. Horticulturist

Horticulturists are responsible for the cultivation of plants, vegetables, fruits, flowers, and ornamental trees.

They are also responsible for increasing the yield and enhancing the taste of plants.

Horticulturists are also called upon for landscape design to create parks.

The estimated total pay for a Horticulturist is $72,363 per year.

5. Metallurgist

This category of people works in the mining industry; extracting, processing, heating and shaping metals they understand the properties of various metals and provide recommendations for casting and alloying.

The estimated total pay for a Metallurgist is $82,861 per year in the United States area, with an average salary of $68,125 per year.

6. Occupational Health and Safety Professionals

This is a highly regarded position in the oil and gas and other industries simply because the health and safety of employees come first in any organisation where human lives are valuable to the company.

The main responsibility is providing regular training and retraining of employees, especially new intakes, investigating and documenting accidents, and evaluating and executing the company safety protocols.

They are also involved in risk assessment and validation of equipment before deploying them to the field.

The base salary for Occupational Health & Safety Specialist ranges from $72,180 to $81,860 with the average base salary of $77,560.

7. Steel Worker

Steelworkers’ main responsibility is to build and install steel components. They create structural elements of buildings such as frames and columns. In addition to the

They work with other professionals to create structural elements for buildings, perform repairs and work with experts to determine the integrity of steel in structural elements.

You need need to have a lot of stamina to be able to take on this role as it is a physically demanding job.

The average hourly rate for Structural Steelworkers ranges from $31 to $37 with the average hourly pay of $32.

8. Synthetic Chemist

A synthetic chemist works in the production of chemicals and compounds that are used across industries such as healthcare, pharmaceutical, agriculture, and other manufacturing industries.

The base salary for Synthetic Chemist ranges from $60,986 to $77,834 with the average base salary of $68,277 per year.

9. Forensic Scientist

One of the high paying jobs in the basic industry and one that’s not well known by many people is the Forensic scientist.

They work across a range of environments and industries, specializing in the collection and analysis of fingerprints and other evidence from crime scenes.

What companies are in the basic industries field?

The average salary for a Forensic Scientist is $56159 per year.

10. Steel Fabricator

Steel fabricators simply work with the steelworkers, collect the steel and convert them into various shapes. A steel fabricator requires the knowledge of specialized tools such as Computer Numerical Control (CNC).

The average hourly pay for a Metal Fabricator is $18.60 per year.


Jobs in the basic industry are high in demand as companies rely heavily on raw materials such as chemicals to make manufacture their end product for consumers.

Although some of these jobs are a bit tough, be rest assured of getting all the benefits plus a safety and health insurance package.

As it is in every career path, it is important that you choose the one you are passionate about and where you can work happily.

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