Basic industries is a major industry sector responsible for supplying raw materials to other industries such as metals, gas, coal, wood, and paper. Each type of raw material is then used to manufacture various types of goods. Although there are many promising career options in the basic industry sector, the best-paying jobs in basic industries are mainly in the agricultural sector, energy sector, paper sector, and mining sector.
According to Statista, the key industries like forestry, fishing, oil and gas, and mining added a total value of $39.9 million to the US Gross Domestic Product (GDP) in 2020. If you want to land a high-paying and satisfying job and find out what basic industries jobs pay, keep reading to learn about basic industries salaries and basic industries careers.
What Do Basic Industries Jobs Pay?
According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the median annual wage for agricultural and food scientists was $68,830 in 2020. The median annual wage for petroleum engineers was $137,330. The precise hourly rates or salary for a job in basic industries depend on the job level and the industry.
Entry-level jobs like agricultural, fishing and hunting, forest and conservation, and logging jobs paid between $28,530 to $42,350 in 2020. Basic industries produce high-paying jobs that leave you financially stable and satisfied.
Basic Industries Job Outlook
According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, food scientist jobs and jobs for agricultural workers will grow by two percent between 2020 to 2030, and the number of jobs for petroleum engineers is expected to grow by eight percent. The specific career prospects for basic industries depends on the type of industry and position level.
Jobs for fishing and hunting workers will increase by 11 percent between 2020 to 2030 and seven percent for logging workers. Similarly, the job growth outlook is 4 percent for mining and geological engineers. Professionals in this industry have excellent opportunities when it comes to a career choice.
Basic Industries Job Satisfaction
Job satisfaction in basic industries depends on the level of work and education. Basic industries contribute a large amount to the United States’ GDP, coming in third place after manufacturing and services. According to a job satisfaction survey by Pew Research Center, workers earning over $30,000 per year have a job satisfaction of 45 percent, while it was 59 percent for those earning $75,000 or more.
Basic Industries Salaries: Lucrative Basic Industries Careers
|Basic Industries Careers||Basic Industries Salaries||Job Outlook||Minimum Education|
|Vice President of Agronomy||$152,719||8%*||Bachelor’s Degree in Science or Crop Production|
|Vice President of Mining Operations||$125,000||8%*||Bachelor’s Degree in Business, Accounting, or related field|
|Head Grower||$125,000||2%||Advanced degree in plant science, horticulture, or related field|
|Vice President, Machinery and Equipment||$121,903||8%*||Bachelor’s Degree in Engineering, Finance, Accounting, Economics, Computer Science, or related field|
|Business Development Engineer||$110,000||4%**||Bachelor’s Degree in Engineering or related field|
|Petroleum Production Engineer||$102,047||8%||Bachelor’s Degree in Petroleum Engineering or related field|
|Chief Geologist||$95,972||7%||Bachelor’s Degree in Geology or equivalent|
|Mining Engineer||$93,150||4%**||Bachelor’s Degree in Mining Engineering|
|Executive Assistant to Chief Operating Officer||$85,291||9%||Associate Degree in Business Administration or related field|
|Soil Conservationist||$64,588||7%||Bachelor’s Degree in Agricultural Science or Environmental Studies|
*These statistics are grouped on BLS under Top Executives
**These statistics are grouped on BLS under Mining and Geological Engineers
Best-Paying Jobs in Basic Industries: In Detail
Vice President of Agronomy
Average Salary: $152,719
The vice president of agronomy performs a predominantly supervisory role. They work in the agriculture industry and their responsibilities will involve monitoring and managing pests, implementing nutritional management programs, and sampling tissues of plants and leaves. Excellent communication skills are some of the most important professional skills everyone should have in the workplace.
Vice President of Mining Operations
Average Salary: $125,000
The vice president of mining operations oversees multiple departments, staff, and projects within the company. Your main job will include creating and implementing organizational structures to meet the company objectives and long-term goals. They need to have an in-depth understanding of budget management, monitoring, and costs control.
Average Salary: $125,000
The head grower is a food sector role that handles all matters of crop production to ensure the best yield quality. They work as food scientists in the agriculture- and food-related industries and are responsible for mentoring other employees, managing raw materials and climate conditions, ensuring yield quality, and keeping irrigation schedules. Five years of managerial experience and strong analytical skills are necessary to become a head grower.
Vice President, Machinery and Equipment
Average Salary: $121,903
As the vice president of machinery and equipment, you will have to perform an evaluation of the client’s machinery, personal property, and equipment. Reporting finances, allocating purchase prices, and overviewing taxes are all aspects of this basic industries career path. You would also perform valuation modeling, data manipulation, on-site client meetings, and market research.
Business Development Engineer
Average Salary: $110,000
A business development engineer tests new ways to develop products in the lab, designs equipment configuration, and prevents potential safety issues related to project operations. Depending on the industry category, duties might include ensuring quality control, implementing manufacturing process improvement, keeping records, and creating product documentation.
Petroleum Production Engineer
Average Salary: $102,047
A petroleum production engineer in the oil industry is responsible for managing capital programs, monitoring the drilling engineer, and post-auditing company performance. Other duties include developing and implementing new well completions, monitoring capital effectiveness, and stimulation for hydraulic fracture treatments.
Average Salary: $95,972
The chief geologist or the geological engineer of a company reports directly to the vice president of exploration. The job duties of a chief geologist include leading the geology team, creating and executing a successful grade control program, executing drilling programs, and assisting in open pit and exploration activities. This job is on a solid career path and usually comes with a high annual salary.
Average Salary: $93,150
Mining engineers have one of the highest-paying jobs in the mining industry and in any basic industries field. A Bachelor’s of Science in Mining Engineering, post-high school training, and previous experience in the industry are required for this job. A day in the life of an engineer involves planning projects for mining operations and surveying boundaries for mine planning.
Executive Assistant to Chief Operating Officer
Average Salary: $85,291
The executive assistant to a chief operating officer (COO) in a basic industry like the gas industry or mining industry is one of the highest-paying jobs in the sector. They are assistants to top executives, associates, and reporters, mostly in major corporations. This key role involves managing the COO’s agenda, coordinating meetings, and preparing data for administrative reports and presentations.
"Career Karma entered my life when I needed it most and quickly helped me match with a bootcamp. Two months after graduating, I found my dream job that aligned with my values and goals in life!"
Venus, Software Engineer at Rockbot
Average Salary: $64,588
The job of a soil conservationist is one of the highest-paying jobs in the basic industries sector. As a soil conservationist, you will collect data from reliable sources, develop budgets for different projects, and audit non-compliant companies. Other duties include creating scientific reports and presentations, lab testing environmental samples, and fixing any problem areas that arise.
Resources to Find the Best-Paying Jobs in Basic Industries
- Good Food Jobs. Here you can find great listings for basic industries jobs that are related to food jobs, restaurant jobs, and dairy farm jobs. You’ll find the best jobs that pay $15 an hour and even higher rates.
- AgCareers.com. You can find the vast majority of agricultural jobs and agricultural career opportunities on this job board. These include jobs in food, natural resources, and biotechnology.
- ForestryUSA. This is the best online job board for forestry, wildlife, natural resources, forestry products, and aquatics jobs in the United States.
- Betterteam. This job board is a hiring system that posts listings on hundreds of different job boards in America. It is one of the top places to land a job in the basic industries field.
- Careermine. This job board allows job seekers to find jobs specifically in the mining industry. It’s a worldwide platform with thousands of jobs available in the United States.
Is Basic Industries a Good Career Path?
Yes, a job in basic industries is a good career path. The prerequisites for each career path vary, but the overall job outlook for these industries is stable. There will always be a rising demand for raw materials such as coal for energy, wood for furniture, and cotton for clothes.
An increase in demand for finished goods from the manufacturing sector automatically leads to a rise in demand for raw materials from basic industries. If you want to land one of the highest-paying jobs for basic industries, consider the oil, gas, and petroleum sectors.
Best-Paying Jobs in Basic Industries FAQ
You should research the best basic industries companies in 2022 to help you decide where to apply and which career path to take. You can get an entry-level job in basic industries with just a high school diploma. You will need higher education to get promoted to better jobs.
The basic industries sector is responsible for producing and supplying raw materials to the manufacturing and services industry. The major basic industries contributing to the country’s GDP each year include agriculture, wood and pulp, and mining.
Basic industries supply raw materials to non-basic industries so they can produce finished goods. There are three economic categories under which all industries in the United States are divided. The categories are basic (primary), secondary (manufacturing), and tertiary (services) sectors. Industries falling in the secondary or tertiary sector are non-basic, while industries in the primary sector such as forestry, agriculture, mining, and fishing are basic industries.
Fishing is the easiest basic industry to get an entry-level job in. According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, the projected percentage increase in employment for fishing and hunting workers is 11 percent, which is faster than any other job in the basic industries sector.
About us: Career Karma is a platform designed to help job seekers find, research, and connect with job training programs to advance their careers. Learn about the CK publication.