Basic industries is an important 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 different types of goods. While there are many promising career opportunities in the basic industry, the highest paying jobs in the basic industry are mainly in the agricultural sector, the energy sector, the paper sector and the mining sector.
According to Statista, major industries such as forestry, fisheries, oil and gas, and mining added a total value of $39.9 million to the U.S. gross domestic product (GDP) in 2020. If you want to get a high paying and fulfilling job and find out what basic industry jobs pay, keep reading to learn about basic industry salaries and basic industry careers.
What do basic industry jobs pay?
According to the U.S. 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 exact hourly rates or salary for a job in basic industries depends on the job level and industry.
Entry-level jobs such as farming, fishing and hunting, forestry, and logging paid between $28,530 and $42,350 in 2020. Basic industries produce high-paying jobs that keep you financially stable and satisfied.
Basic Industries Job Outlook
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, jobs for food scientists and jobs for farm workers are expected to grow by two percent between 2020 and 2030, and the number of petroleum engineer jobs is expected to grow by eight percent. The specific career prospects for basic industries depend on the industry type and job level.
Jobs for fishing and hunting workers will increase by 11 percent between 2020 and 2030 and by seven percent for loggers. Similarly, the job growth outlook is 4 percent for mining and geological engineers. Professionals in this industry have excellent opportunities when it comes to career choice.
Job satisfaction in the basic industries
Job satisfaction in basic industries depends on the level of work and education. Basic industries are a major contributor to the United States’ GDP and are the third largest contributor to manufacturing and services. According to a Pew Research Center job satisfaction survey, employees who earn more than $30,000 per year have a job satisfaction rate of 45 percent, compared to 59 percent for those earning $75,000 or more.
Basic Industries Salaries: Lucrative Careers in Basic Industries
|Careers in the Basic Industries||Basic Industries Salaries||Work outlook||Minimum education|
|Vice President of Agronomy||$152,719||8%*||Bachelor’s degree in Science or Crop Production|
|Vice President Mining Activities||$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|
|bottom protector||$64,588||7%||Bachelor’s degree in Agricultural Sciences or Environmental Studies|
*These stats are grouped by BLS under Top Executives
**These statistics are grouped by BLS under Mining and Geological Engineers
Highest-paying jobs in basic industries: in detail
Vice President of Agronomy
Average salary: $152,719
The vice president of agronomy has a predominantly supervisory role. They work in the agricultural industry and their responsibilities include monitoring and controlling pests, implementing nutritional management programs, and sampling plant and leaf tissues. Excellent communication skills are some of the most important professional skills everyone should have in the workplace.
Vice President Mining Activities
Average salary: $125,000
The vice president of mining operations oversees multiple departments, employees, and projects within the company. Your main task involves creating and implementing organizational structures to achieve the company objectives and long-term goals. They should have an in-depth understanding of budget management, monitoring and cost control.
Average salary: $125,000
The lead grower is a role in the food industry that handles all matters of crop production to ensure the best yield quality. They work as food scientists in the agricultural and food-related industries and are responsible for mentoring other workers, managing raw materials and climate conditions, ensuring yield quality, and maintaining irrigation schedules. It takes five years of managerial experience and strong analytical skills to become a top breeder.
Vice President, Machinery and Equipment
Average salary: $121,903
As vice president of machinery and equipment, you must conduct an evaluation of the customer’s machinery, personal property, and equipment. Reporting finances, allocating purchase prices, and overseeing taxes are all aspects of this basic industry career path. You would also conduct valuation modelling, data manipulation, on-site client meetings and market research.
Business Development Engineer
Average salary: $110,000
A business development engineer tests new ways of developing products in the lab, designs equipment configuration, and prevents potential safety issues related to project activities. Depending on the industry category, duties may include ensuring quality control, implementing manufacturing process improvement, record-keeping, 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 reviewing company performance. Other tasks include developing and implementing new well finishes, monitoring capital effectiveness and promoting hydraulic fracturing treatments.
Average salary: $95,972
A company’s chief geologist or geological engineer reports directly to the vice president of exploration. The duties of a chief geologist include leading the geology team, creating and executing a successful level control program, conducting drilling programs, and assisting with open pit and exploration activities. This job has 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 all basic industries. This job requires a Bachelor of Science in Mining Engineering, post high school education, and previous industry experience. A day in the life of an engineer involves planning mining operations projects and exploring boundaries for mining planning.
Executive Assistant to Chief Operating Officer
Average salary: $85,291
The executive assistant to a Chief Operating Officer (COO) in a basic industry such as gas or mining is one of the highest-paying jobs in the industry. They are assistants to top executives, employees and reporters, usually in large companies. This key role includes managing the COO’s agenda, coordinating meetings, and preparing data for administrative reports and presentations.
Average salary: $64,588
The soil conservation job is one of the highest paying jobs in the basic industries. As a soil conservationist, you collect data from reliable sources, develop budgets for various projects and audit non-compliant companies. Other duties include creating scientific reports and presentations, testing environmental samples in the lab, and troubleshooting any problem areas.
Resources to find the highest paying jobs in basic industries
- Good food jobs† Here you can find great lists for basic industry jobs related to food industry, restaurant and dairy jobs.
- AgCareers.com† The vast majority of agricultural jobs and career opportunities in the agricultural sector can be found on this job board. These include jobs in food, natural resources and biotechnology.
- ForestryUS† This is the best online job board for forestry, wildlife, natural resources, forest products and water sports jobs in the United States.
- better team† This job board is a recruitment system that posts jobs on hundreds of different job boards in America. It is one of the best places to find a job in the basic industries.
- career mine† Through this job board, job seekers can find jobs specifically in the mining industry. It is a global 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 conditions for each career path vary, but the overall employment prospects for these industries are stable. There will always be an increasing demand for raw materials such as coal for energy, wood for furniture and cotton for clothing.
An increase in the demand for finished products from the manufacturing industry automatically leads to an increase in the demand for raw materials from basic industries. If you want to get one of the highest paying jobs for basic industries, consider the oil, gas and petroleum sectors.
Highest Paying Basic Industry Jobs FAQ
You should research the best companies in the basic industry in 2022 to help you decide where to apply and which career path to pursue. You can get an entry-level job in basic industries with only a high school diploma. You need a higher education to progress to better jobs.
The basic industries sector is responsible for the production and supply of raw materials to the manufacturing and service industries. The main basic industries that contribute to the country’s GDP each year are agriculture, timber and pulp and mining.
Basic industries supply raw materials to non-basic industries so that they can produce finished products. 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 that fall into the secondary or tertiary sector are non-basic industries while primary sector industries such as forestry, agriculture, mining and fishing are basic industries.
Fishing is the easiest basic industry to get an entry-level job. 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.
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