Is Basic Industries A Good Career Path for Graduates? | 2022

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Is Basic Industries a good career path? That’s a good question if you’re at that point of making a career decision.

Most people would suggest you go for passion. That works too! However, it’s just one part of the whole.

The whole is the big picture. And it should take your financial life into consideration. Also, job satisfaction and security matter. Plus a whole lot of other things come into perspective.

So, if you’re thinking of a career and want to know if the basic industries are a good career path for you, then read on!

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What are Basic Industries?

Basic industries are those industries that produce and supply their raw materials to companies that manufacture other goods.

For example, various companies produce sugarcane, sugar beet, corn, fruits, coffee, tea, and soybeans. Then they supply those to companies in the beverage industry.

These products are now used to produce consumer nondurable goods that can be consumed and exported.

Similarly, the petroleum industry extracts raw materials from the earth’s crust as crude oil. Then, the product can be refined into finished products. Examples of such products are gasoline, petrol, diesel, and many more.

All these industries mentioned above are basic industries.

Evidently, a lot of consumer durables came indirectly from the Basic Industries. We’re talking about cars, household appliances, bicycles, books, and many more.

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Examples Of Basic Industries

Examples of basic industries are iron and steel. Further, we have metallurgical, wood, paper, milling, and chemicals.
However, we’ll discuss broad examples and categories of basic industries below:


Agriculture leads the basic industries. It provides humans with a fundamental need: food. So, agriculture is the primary source of many raw materials.

According to the US Department of Agriculture, agriculture and its related industries provide 10.3% of U.S. employment.

In addition, 19.7 million full- and part-time jobs were related to the agricultural and food sectors in 2020.

For instance, big food companies are banking on agricultural products. For example, there’ll be no Starbucks without coffee plantations. And no MacDonald without vegetables, grain, and lots of other products from land and seas.

The impact of the agricultural industry on the economy is huge. It is the dominant industry in developing economies. Agriculture is one of the basic industries that can offer you a good career path.

Some of the most popular jobs in the agricultural industry are:

  • Agronomist
  • Animal Science
  • Food Science
  • Plant Science

Oil and Gas Industry

Oil and natural gas are major industries in the energy market and play an influential role in the global economy.

This industry consists of three main segments:

  • Upstream: focuses on discovering and producing oil and gas,
  • Midstream: midstream industry focuses on oil transportation, processing, and storage.
  • Downstream: Refines products. Now we have finished goods like gasoline.

Some of the jobs available in this industry include:

  • Geoscientist
  • Offshore Worker
  • Oil Field Worker
  • Oil Rig Worker
  • Petroleum Geological Engineer

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Mining Industry

The mining industry does the extraction of precious minerals and other geological materials.

For example, you can get raw materials like ores, fossil fuels, minerals, stone, clay, and gravel from this industry.

Examples of top mining companies in the US are;

  • Newmont
  • Peabody Energy Corp
  • Arch Resources

They are leading gold companies and producers of copper, silver, zinc, and steel (Source).

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Paper and Pulp Industry

The pulp and paper industry comprises companies that use wood and other plant products like cotton as raw materials to produce pulp, paper, paperboard, and other cellulose-based products.

This industry continues to grow. While some companies focus on packaging, others produce tissue and hygiene products.

Types of jobs obtainable in the paper and pulp industry for graduates;

  • Pulp Mill Superintendent
  • Paper Machine Superintendent
  • Paper Mill Process Engineer
  • Pulp Paper Process Engineer
  • Construction Manager
  • Production Supervisor
  • Human Resources Generalist
  • Electrical and Instrumentation Supervisor
  • Maintenance Manager
  • Environmental, Health, and Safety Specialist

Also, this industry produces different kinds of paper used for printing.

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Steel Industry

Ever wondered where the materials for building cars, bridges, and ports come from? It’s the steel industry!

Further, the steel industry is vital to the American U.S. economy. Steel is the material of choice for many elements of manufacturing, construction, transportation, and lots of other consumer products.

Steel is one of the basic industries that offer a good career path. Some of the top steel manufacturing companies in the U.S. are:

  • Sabre Steel Inc.,
  • Regol-G Special Steel Services, Inc.,
  • Continental Steel Tube co,
  • Eagle National Steel.

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Chemical Industry

The chemical industry is made up of companies that produce industrial chemicals. It is an essential contributor to the wealth of a country.

For instance, it converts raw materials (oil, natural gas, air, water, metals, and minerals) into different products.

The products from the chemical industry can be classified into basic chemicals, specialty, and consumer chemicals.

In addition, there are a few other subcategories in the chemical industry. They include petrochemicals, polymers, and inorganics.

Consumer Chemicals: consumer chemicals are used daily. And are readily available to the public.

Examples of consumer chemicals are detergents, bleaching powder, and soaps.

Top examples of companies in the U.S. chemical industry are;

  • Basf
  • Sinopec
  • Dow
  • Ineos
  • Formosa Plastics (Source).

The chemical industry has the following jobs:

  • Chemical Engineer
  • Chemist
  • Chemical Technician
  • Materials Scientist
  • Plant Operator

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Is Basic Industries A Good Career Path?

Different people may have different answers. While some look for the best paycheck, others go for good working conditions. Still, others look at the environment.

The Basic Industries is broad. There are many categories here with various career opportunities.

From the agricultural industry and Oil & gas to the mining and chemical industry, opportunities abound.

But is the basic industries a good career path? Well, that is the question only you can truly answer. We can are giving you the facts to help you make a good decision.

Is Basic Industries a Good Career Path for Graduates?

To answer the above question, let’s look at the numbers in the Basic Industries subcategories. We’ll start with agriculture.

The BLS projects that the overall employment of agricultural workers will grow by only 2% from 2020 to 2030. That sounds like a slow-growing category, right?

Well, if you must know, this sector currently contributes 10.3% of U.S. employment

Let’s look at the mining industry also. There are 615,062 people employed in the mining industry in the US as of 2022.

And let’s not forget the chemical industry employs 529,000 in 2022.

In addition, there are 13,500 chemical manufacturing facilities in the United States owned by more than 9,000 companies (Source).

Now that you’ve seen the numbers, are the basic industries a good career path for you? Well, every industry has its pros and cons. We hope you’re able to choose wisely after reading the benefits of the basic industries in the next segment.

However, be sure to arm yourself with experience, some education where necessary, and certain certifications. You’ll be amazed at how far you can go in any of the subcategories in this sector.

Some of the best-paying jobs in the basic industry are:

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What are the Benefits of Basic Industry?

Job Satisfaction

The basic industry is beneficial to both the employee and the society. It gives the workers satisfaction that their works are useful to society.

Consistent Growth

The basic industry constantly experiences increases and growth. Therefore, it positively affects the economy. For instance, employers in this industry try to assure their workers of job stability.

High Paying Jobs

Basic industries offer high-paying job opportunities in the manufacturing sector. As a result, job seekers are bound to search for jobs in this industry.

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What are the Basic Industries Job Prospects?

The basic industry has a good career prospect. As long as goods need to be produced and assembled, there will be lots of job opportunities in companies in the basic industry.

Jobs in the basic industry fit people who enjoy working hands-on in a production-oriented environment.

They’re not cool like working in a fancy office like a MacDonald manager or a Cosmetic nurse in a massage center.

However, the pay is fair and there’s job consistency. Also, you’ll learn valuable skills that are transferrable to bigger roles in the manufacturing sector.

In addition, it might also be wise to seek employment in basic industries like food production and manufacturing.

This is because they’re less anti-environmentally friendly than some others in this category. Hence, they appear to be more adaptable to changes and government policies.

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How Much Can You Make In Basic Industries?

The median annual wage for agricultural and food scientists was $68,830 in 2020 according to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS).

Similarly, the median annual wage for petroleum engineers was $137,330. Further, the hourly rates or salary for a job in basic industries depend on the job level and the industry. 

In addition, entry-level jobs like agricultural, fishing and hunting, forest and conservation, and logging jobs paid between $28,530 to $42,350 in 2020.

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How To Succeed In The Basic Industries

We’ve included some helpful hints to guarantee you have the skills and aptitude to thrive in the basic industries.

Good Aptitude

It is difficult to get work in the basic industries. The competition is fierce, and the training is rigorous to guarantee that only the top candidates qualify.

You will thrive in fundamental industries if you have a positive mindset, a practical approach, and the capacity to quickly adjust to changes.

These qualities are essential for surviving the day-to-day hardships that these occupations provide.


Basic industries are intimately connected to the economy; while the economy is doing well, jobs in these industries are numerous, but the opposite is also true.

To survive any economic cycle, it is vital to be versatile and to keep your qualifications up to date.


Most professions in the basic industries involve collaboration to complete large projects. Learning and accepting cooperation demonstrate discipline and a drive to complete a job.


Productivity is essential in any profession along this line. In busy production environments, time management and multitasking are essential for success.

7 Highly Paid Basic Industry Career Paths for Graduates

Petroleum Engineers

The average salary for a petroleum engineer is $114,213 per year in the United States. This is based on 630 salaries reported on in 2022.

Also Read: 10 Best Paying Jobs in Finance Consumer Services 2022


The average base salary for a Metallurgist is $92,557 per year according to The highest paying cities for Metallurgists are:

  • Chicago, IL
  • Houston, TX
  • Pittsburgh, PA
  • Tampa, FL
  • Buffalo, NY
  • Battle Mountain, NV
  • Rockford, IL
  • Reading, PA
  • Mansfield, OH

Mining and Geological Engineers

Mining and geological engineers earn an average yearly salary of $97,090 according to careerexplorer. Wages typically start from $48,690 and go up to $162,720.


The average salary for a Geologist is $67920 per year in the United States according to

Electrical Engineer

The average salary for an electrical engineer is $86,975 per year in the United States. This is based on 9.2k salaries reported on in 2022.

Factory Manager

The average salary for a factory manager is $64,098 per year in the United States. This is based on 212 salaries reported, on

Agricultural Chemists

According to, the salaries of Agricultural Chemists in the US range from $41,110 to $125,450, with a median salary of $68,149.


The average agronomist salary in the USA is $75,000 per year or $38.46 per hour according to

In addition, entry-level positions start at $60,000 per year. Most experienced workers make up to $100,000 per year


Is basic industry a good career path?

Yes, the basic industry is an exciting career for those who are production oriented. There are many categories in the basic industry that offer an avalanche of employment opportunities.

From the agricultural industry and Oil & gas to the mining and chemical industry, opportunities abound.

However, be sure to arm yourself with experience, some education where necessary, and certain certifications. You’ll be amazed at how far you can go in any of the subcategories in this sector.

What are the job opportunities in the basic industries?

Chemical Engineer
Chemical Technician
Materials Scientist
Plant Operator

Pulp Mill Superintendent
Paper Machine Superintendent
Paper Mill Process Engineer
Pulp Paper Process Engineer
Construction Manager
Production Supervisor
Human Resources Generalist
Electrical and Instrumentation Supervisor
Maintenance Manager
Environmental, Health, and Safety Specialist

What is the best industry to get a job in?

Information technology/Network Security
Research and development, sciences
Arts and Entertainment
Market Research
Primary and secondary education

What is the easiest industry to get a job in?

5 Easiest Industry to Get a Job in:

  • Education
  • Automotive
  • Administration
  • Sales
  • IT


The Basic Industry appears to have a good career prospect. This owe to the fact that consistent production of goods requires the employment of workers.

Hence, the areas with better prospect in the Basic Industries appears to be food and manufacturing.


  • – What is the classification of manufacturing industries?


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