Is Basic Industries A Good Career Path? (7 Best Paying Jobs)


Are you at a point where you are considering different career path options? And the basic industry is one of the options for some reasons?

I am sure you are wondering if there is anything good with basic industries as a career option. You are about to find out in this article, as this guide is a detailed one to help you, just on this.

Is Basic Industries A Good Career Path


Is Basic Industries a Good Career Path

Yes, basic industries are a good career path.

Make sure to consider the advantages and disadvantages, and weigh your passion and interest before you make a final decision on whether pursuing a career in basic industries is perfect for you.


But besides personal preferences, having a career in the basic industry is a cool one.


What are Basic Industries?

The first thing you need to know is the overview and a basic understanding of what the basic industry is all about.


Have you ever wondered where the industries or companies that use raw materials to produce some things get them from?

Yes, that is where I am driving at. Basic industries are the industries that get raw materials, transform them into materials that can be used, and then supply these raw materials to the companies that need them.


These raw materials include iron and steel, copper smelting, aluminium smelting, wood and paper, milling, chemicals, etc.

The services of basic industries are very important to the economy of a country.


What are the Categories or Types of Basic Industries?

Basic industries have several categories, and they include agriculture, oil and gas, paper and pulp, industrial chemistry, steel and metal, utilities, mining, textile production, wood/pulp production, etc.

Let us have a sneak peek into all these categories, and see what they are all about.

1. Agriculture

Every human being you see on earth eats food. I am sure you have most likely eaten food today unless you are just starting the day. This shows how important agriculture is. And it is not limited to food.

The things that can be gotten from agriculture can be used to produce raw materials useful for some other companies.

This really makes agriculture an important part of the economy. In fact, a big part of what a country imports and exports are major products of agriculture. These include wheat, soy, corn, fruits, vegetables, etc.

Jobs open for work in the agriculture category of the basic industry include animal scientists, agronomists, food scientists, etc.

2. Oil and gas

This is another large industry worldwide. The industry is about the exploration of oil and gas, purification of oil, and refineries’ operations.

Probably you already have a degree, and it is related to oil and gas, and you are here now considering a career in basic industries. I think it is perfect if you just build a career in this category of basic industries. The choice is all yours.

There are various career possibilities or job opportunities in this category of basic industries, which include

  • Oil rig worker
  • Geoscientist
  • Oilfield labourer
  • Offshore employees
  • Engineer in petroleum geology
  • And many more

You can do more research to have a deeper view of all the careers in this category of basic industries.

3. Industrial Chemistry

When we talk of basic industries, industrial chemistry actually most often pops up in the mind of many people who know some things about basic industries.

All they do in this industry is to turn raw materials into chemical solutions or gases. Of course, there are various jobs available in the industry. These include

  • Technician in Chemistry
  • Material scientist
  • Chemist
  • Plant operator
  • Chemical analyst
  • Chemical engineer


There are many more career options or job opportunities in these categories of basic industries. You can endeavour to research to know more about the careers and job opportunities.

4. Steel and metal

We all know that steel is very necessary for the construction process. They use it in many or most building projects. It is also used in projects like railroad tracks, pipelines, etc.

We can both agree that there will never be a time when no one needs to build things. So, the need for steel is inexhaustible, there will always be a need for steel.

You can imagine how many jobs this need would provide. Yes, you are tight. They are a lot. Here is a few of them:

  • Metallurgist
  • Machinist
  • Metals fabricator
  • Tool technician
  • Metal worker
  • Model maker
  • Boilermaker
  • Mechanical designer
  • Project engineer
  • Materials engineer
  • Plant manager

If this industry seems like what you are keen on, you can research more about your career and the job opportunities available for you.

5. Utilities

This includes power and water and is also a constituent of the basic industries. Just like the industries mentioned above, this is also highly in demand.

Without this service, it is almost impossible for all other businesses to function. And the service is also necessary for the good health of individuals.

This industry provides a lot of jobs for people, and they include

  • Plants operator
  • Engineer
  • Utility inspector
  • Utility operator
  • Field service technician
  • Wind turbine technician
  • Petroleum supply specialist
  • Water treatment specialist
  • Utility manager
  • Solar technician
  • Substation technician
  • Energy engineer
  • Mechanical engineer
  • Civil engineer
  • Petroleum engineer
  • Systems Engineer
  • Electrical engineer

You can research for more career opportunities in this industry full of potential if it seems like one you are interested in.

6. Mining

Many industries make use of minerals as a raw material. The process of getting the minerals from the earth is what we refer to as mining.

And as expected, this industry provides a lot of job and career options. They include:

  • Geotechnical engineer
  • Purchase officer
  • Mining engineer
  • Geologist
  • Metallurgist
  • Planning Engineer
  • Project engineer
  • Construction manager
  • Hydrogeologist

If this industry seems like something you are interested in, then you can have more research done on this industry to find careers there.

7. Textile Production

Have you ever wondered where and how fibres, filaments, yarn, thread, etc are made? The process is simply referred to as textile production.

These materials are very necessary for the production of fabric, which ends up being used to make different things from clothing, and upholstery, to beddings.

The industry opens up different careers that you can consider, and they include

  • Textile converter
  • A Textile technician
  • Textile designer
  • Machine Operator

There are more careers in this industry you might want to look into if this industry seems to catch your fancy.

8. Wood or Pulp Production

Woods are needed in the building of structures, furniture, etc. The woods used for these are made from trees.

Some specific trees are used for making papers. The production of paper starts with pulp production.

The jobs that are available in this industry include:

  • Logger
  • Woodworker
  • Pulp/paper mill operator
  • Mill operator

If you are interested in this industry, you can make more research about the industry and the careers that are available in this industry.


Subtle Downsides or Disadvantages of the Basic Industry

There are a number of things you need to consider on the downside of this industry before you finally decide to pursue a career in the industry. You should know what you are getting into well enough before you do.

Here are a number of downsides to basic industries:

  1. High level of training

The training that goes into being a professional in the basic industry is not a minute one. Also, the level of skillfulness demanded is high.

This can be traced down to the fact that the industry is a competitive one, and there are a large number of individuals who are also trying to get into the industry. So, it is more like survival of the fittest.

  1. The nature of the jobs

You should have figured by now that most of the jobs in the industries are one that deals with a lot of physical activities, including standing, running, bending etc.

So, being physically fit also matters in these kinds of jobs. You have to be prepared for that, as it is not like an office job where you get to stay in the comfort of a fully conditioned office.

You might be wondering that do all the jobs have involvement of physical movements. Most of them do, if not all.

  1. The risk

The industries that you might be working in pass dangerous byproducts into the atmosphere. This is not just dangerous to the worker of the industry, but also to the immediate environment of the industry.

This release can put your health as a worker at risk, so you must be informed of this. If this is not a big deal to you or you have ideas on how you can effectively deal with it, then you are cool to pursue a career in the basic industries.


Upside or Advantages of Having a Career in Basic Industries

I gave the bad news; let us talk about the good news. The basic industries is not all bad. All career path has their upsides and their downsides. There are a number of good things that makes the basic industries admirable. Here they are:

  1. Job Security

This is one of the advantages of having a career in the basic industries, especially the agriculture category. The demand in the basic industries can not diminish. It will always be constant, and in demand.

So, if you are thinking of pursuing a career in the basic industries, then you should not worry about a job security guarantee.

  1. Teamwork

In the basic industries, all the work demands that all the workers work hand in hand. You cannot work in isolation. You have to partner with other people who will be your teammates.

This is a great one for you, especially if you value networking with people and building friendships.

  1. Hands-on learning

I am sure that you are aware that the industries’ environments are production oriented. If you seem to enjoy doing things hands-on, then working in the basic industries will be very enjoyable for you.

You can also learn things that will help you later on in your career.


High Paying Jobs In The Basic Industries

In any career path or field, there are jobs that seem to line up as high-paying jobs. There are a number of jobs like these in the basic industries. They include:

1. Animal scientist

These professionals are also known as animal nutritionists. They are the ones who carry out research related to nutrition, genetics, reproduction, development, and growth of animals, especially domestic ones.


To be an animal scientist, you need a degree in the animal science discipline. There are some jobs in the field that only need an occupational license for you to work in the discipline.

As an animal scientist, most of the learning you will do will be done on the job. You need to be interested in or love biology, mathematics, or food science production, you might need to consider this career.

The average annual salary of an animal scientist is about $73,000.

2. Food scientist

These professionals make use of their expertise and knowledge in chemistry, microbiology, engineering, and other necessary sciences to observe the way foods are processed.

This involves analysis of food content level. They also find new sources of food. They also help consumers find ways food can be safe.

Just like the animal scientist, if you want to be a food scientist, you need a bachelor’s degree in animal science or any other similar sciences.

Food science involves a number of things, and they are functional in places like food production companies, scientific research, and development.

The average annual salary of a food scientist is $68,000.

3. Chemist

These professionals deal with qualitative and quantitative chemical analysis, and they carry out experiments in laboratories for the purpose of quality control or product development. They are saddled with the responsibility of testing if the material is quality, analysis of chemical compounds, etc.

To be a chemist, you need at least a bachelor’s degree. You can forge on deciding to pursue a career in chemistry if you love chemistry itself, mathematics, processing, computers, etc.

The average annual salary for a chemist is about $58,000

4. Materials scientists

What these professionals do is the analysis and the study of chemical properties of materials, either natural or made by man.

These materials include alloys, ceramic, polymers, rubbers, metals, etc. They use their knowledge of the structure of materials to find and discover ways in which they can strengthen specific materials. They can also create new materials.

Many materials scientists work in a laboratory in biotech business, oil and gas companies, etc.

The average annual salary of a materials scientist is about $83,000.

5. Geoscientist

You can guess that the work of a geoscientist is more related to the earth, as the word “geo” means earth.

These professionals study and observe the composition, structure, and other physical aspects of the planet earth.

This field might need a strong knowledge of geography or geology, physics, and mathematics, and it is very instrumental for things like minerals, water, gas, oil, etc.

They can also carry out research, understand and interpret the research, and analyse geographical data.

To be a geoscientist, the least you need is a bachelor’s degree in this field. If you are already considering this field, I hope you love geography, mathematics, and chemistry.

The average annual salary of a geoscientist is about $92,000.

6. Offshore or oil rig worker

Their job is in the process of oil and gas drilling, and extraction. Their work might be on the oil rig directly or just part of the general workforce.

This job does not require a bachelor’s degree like the others that I listed above. All you need is just a high school diploma or GED. These workers get trained on safety precautions needed in the industry, and they also get adequate training right on the job.

The set of people who need the safety precaution training more is the drilling engineers and then the underground pipefitters.

7. Utility engineer

These engineers are specialized ones and their work is in public utility companies. These are companies that provide utilities like water, power, gas, etc.

They can develop designs, and if there happens to be any system failure, they can also discover what went wrong and get it solved. They also monitor technicians’ activities.

To be a utility engineer, you definitely need a bachelor’s degree in civil or mechanical engineering.

The average annual salary of a utility engineer is about $77,000.


Entry Level Jobs in the Basic Industries

We have talked about the high-paying jobs in the basic industries, and many of them are not entry-level jobs. This is for someone who’s looking for an entry job to start a basic industry career. Here are entry-level jobs in the basic industries:

1. Agricultural production worker

Their job is simply to make sure the crops and livestock are doing fine. It is a cross-cut job that is very demanding.

This job is very important in the production of food in the market. You might not have any food to eat if nobody decides to not be an agricultural production worker.

There is a certain level of demand on the job because their service is always in need. To be an agricultural production worker does not take much more than just a high school diploma or GED, you will definitely need to also gather skills to help on the job.

2. Ironworker

You know iron is important in the building of structures. What iron workers do is to the installation and make iron or steel into support systems for structures like buildings, roads, etc.

You must be willing to abide by safety precautions as your environment of work is a dangerous one. As an ironworker, you might get to work on tall structures, sometimes. You will agree that the work is one that involves a lot of physical activities.

The skills necessary for the work can be learned on the job.

The average annual salary of an ironworker is about $39,000.

3. Machinist

This profession is one that needs a level of training, but it is possible to take on entry-level jobs here. Machinists deal with making tools and parts for mechanical pieces of equipment, and they are also knowledgeable about the operation of milling and drilling machines, grinders, etc.

If you will be a machinist, you must be able to pay attention to details. The profession is one that is well sought-after.

The average annual salary of a machinist is about $ 45,000.

4. Metal fabricator

Just like the word “metal fabricator” sounds to you, we can say they fabricate metals. To be specific and simple enough, they cut, shape, and align metals of different types.

They majorly work with companies that their work is to provide metals to companies that use them to build structures.

The average annual salary of a metal fabricator is about $32,000.

5. Plant operator

Their job is to monitor the daily activities of an industrial plant. They should be able to operate the equipment. And some plant operators are great with some specific machines.

These professionals can work in any of the basic industries. To be a plant operator, you may not necessarily need a secondary education, but just vocational training on the operation and maintenance of machines and equipment.

6. Miner

Simply put, what they do is mining. They get minerals out of the earth via different mining processes for a specific mineral.

A miner can work on the face of the rock, blasting the rock to extract the materials needed. They can also work in a mine.

This profession is a very dangerous one, as one is prone to injuries.

The average annual salary of a miner is about $44,000.

7. Textile designer

These professionals are creatives making art with fabrics. The textile consists of several things which include yarn, fibres, etc.

Textile materials differ from one another in properties like flexibility, abrasion resistance, strength, and moisture control.

These professionals have the know-how in creating a befitting textile product. You might need a bachelor’s degree in this field.

8. Logger

They work in the lumber industry, where their role is to bring down trees and get them ready for transportation where it is needed.

Loggers don’t work alone; they may work with others like project supervisors, foresters, engineers, etc.

You don’t need a bachelor’s degree or high school diploma to be a logger.

The average annual salary of a logger is about $68,000.



I hope you got the answer and guide you need to make an informed decision on whether a career in basic industries is a good one or not.


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