Is Basic Industries A Good Career Path? An Overview

Basic industries: steel
Let’s explore: Is basic industries a good career path?

A career path – This is perhaps the most crucial and thorny question that the youth of today face. The number of choices that are available now makes this task even harder. Our constant endeavor at Totempool is to provide some helpful information, and this is because we believe that knowledge is a powerful tool in making the right choices. So, we present our latest article on career choices – Is basic industries a good career path?

What Are Basic Industries?

Basic industries are those that provide raw materials to other industries to manufacture goods. Further, these industries execute the discovery, development, and processing of raw materials.

Examples of basic industries are iron and steel, metallurgical, wood, paper, milling, and chemicals. Furthermore, industries related to mining non-metallic minerals such as granite and marble also fall under this umbrella.

What Are The Types Of Basic Industries?

Basic industries career path.
Types of Basic Industries.

The first step in answering the question – Is basic industries a good career path is looking at the diverse industry options available. So let us explore some categories of basic industries below:

Agriculture Industry

Agriculture is the most essential of all the basic industries, and this is because of the number of people it affects directly and indirectly. Furthermore, agriculture is the dominant industry in underdeveloped and developing economies.

Also, agriculture is the primary source of all raw materials, and it is the primary driver of the nation’s food supply. Moreover, there is a close correlation between agriculture and the economic status of a country.

Finally, agricultural products account for a significant portion of a nation’s imports or exports.

Oil and Gas Industry

The oil and gas industry is one of the largest globally, and this industry contains three main segments: upstream, midstream, and downstream.

Upstream companies focus on discovering and producing oil or gas, and midstream firms focus on oil transportation, processing, and storage.

Finally, downstream businesses constitute refineries that remove the impurities. Subsequently, this oil is converted into products for general use, such as gasoline.

Mining Industry

Minerals are an integral part of major industries, and hence mining is an important activity carried out all over the world.

There are two major project phases in the mining industry. The first is the exploration and feasibility stage, where mineral anomalies are located and sampled.

Finally, there is the construction and planning stage. Permits are obtained, and mine plans are refined at this stage.

The reserves of ore and other resources are the main assets in this industry.

Paper and Pulp Industry

Contrary to popular belief, the paper and pulp industry is growing and continues to thrive. Several firms cater to different segments such as packaging, tissues, and hygiene products, and pulp is even used for textile applications.

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Additionally, this industry also produces graphic papers that are used in newsprint.

Steel Industry

Steel has played a pivotal part in the progress of the world. The role of this material in the construction of vehicles, bridges, ports, and so on is evident.

Undoubtedly, it is a crucial basic industry. Steel is an alloy with iron and carbon, and steel production is a highly specialized process carried out in steel mills.

Various projects primarily make use of steel for construction. These include pipelines, railroad rails, and beams.

Chemical Industry

This industry is responsible for the transformation of raw materials into gases or chemical solutions. These chemicals are utilized in other sectors.

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

Additionally, basic chemicals consist of other subcategories such as petrochemicals, polymers, and inorganics.

Specialty chemicals: This category of chemicals includes dyes, paints, and chemicals used in crop protection, such as pesticides. The production of these chemicals involves a high degree of research and development, and household paints and printer ink are some examples of specialty chemicals.

Consumer Chemicals: These are chemicals of everyday use. So these consumer chemicals are readily available to the public. Detergents, soaps, bleaching powder, are a few examples of consumer chemicals.

What Are The Characteristics Of Basic Industries?

Architect at a site.
Basic industries characteristics.

There are a few common characteristics across all the basic industries. Let us go through them below:

Highly Trained Personnel

Workers in basic industries are often exposed to high-risk conditions. Therefore, firms must employ only highly qualified and trained people to improve efficiency and reduce the chances of mishaps.

Physical Nature of Work

Jobs in basic industries require a person to be out and about, and any role would comprise a lot of running around, standing, lifting weights, bending, or stretching oneself. They are not sedentary. Hence, people looking for desk jobs should give basic industries a miss.

Impact on the Environment

Basic industries generate a lot of byproducts that tend to harm the environment. Besides polluting the land, water, or air, these industries are hazardous for the workers and the people residing near these establishments.

How Many Jobs Are Available In Basic Industries

Florist woman
There are many career options in basic industries.

According to the bureau of labor statistics, there were 22,262.90 jobs in basic industries (including mining, construction, manufacturing, agriculture, forestry, fishing, and hunting), 12.4% more than 2010, and it’s expected to grow 2.7% until 2030.

As one can imagine, there are multiple options for those wishing to pursue a career in basic industries. This is mainly a result of the number of industries classified as basic industries. We shall examine these options in some detail here:

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Agronomists work with people who grow crops on a commercial scale. They are professionals who provide inputs on soil management, fertilizers, nutrients, irrigation, or seeds.

Moreover, they use their market analysis and management skills to provide the necessary support and leadership. Agronomists make more than $60,000 on average every year.


A horticulturist has expertise in cultivating plants, vegetables, fruits, flowers, and ornamental trees. He also specializes in landscape design to create parks.

In addition to the above, a horticulturist also increases the yield and enhances the taste of plants. He typically makes around $40,000 annually.

Petroleum Geologist

Petroleum geologists study the earth’s surface to locate oil and gas deposits. They use geological indicators to inform firms on the sites that have to be drilled.

Additionally, petroleum geologists also recommend the tools that have to be used. This is because the geological composition varies from one area to another. Surface and subsurface data is gathered with highly specialized equipment.

Petroleum geologists typically require a bachelor’s degree in geosciences. They make $100,000 per year on average.

Drilling Engineer

They are responsible for the operation and execution of natural gas and oil. Drilling engineers also oversee the rig staff.

Moreover, they assess and maintain the oil wells along with the financial aspects of the operation. They make around $100,000 a year.


A metallurgist works in the processing sites of mines. He also brings with him knowledge of extraction, heating, and the properties of various metals, which is in addition to information on topics like casting and alloying. A metallurgist makes upwards of $100,000 a year.

Occupational Health and Safety Professionals

A health and safety officer is responsible for the investigation and documentation of accidents, and he also evaluates and executes the safety protocols.

Also, he drives the overall safety strategy and understands the risks involved in different processes. He makes over $77,000 a year on average.

Steel Fabricator

A steel fabricator takes the basic steel sections and converts them into various segments and shapes. This role requires the knowledge of specialized tools such as Computer Numerical Control (CNC). In general, this is a highly advanced job. They make over $40,000 a year.

Steel Worker

Steelworkers build and install steel components. They create structural elements of buildings such as frames and columns. In addition to the above, they identify structural concerns and report them to their supervisors.

Steelworkers also perform repairs to maintain steel structures and components. To pursue a career as a steelworker, one needs to have a lot of stamina as it is a physically demanding job. They make more than $50,000 a year on average.

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Synthetic Chemist

A synthetic chemist works on the development of new and valuable compounds. These compounds are typically for a specific purpose.

Synthetic chemists develop chemicals that are used across industries such as healthcare, agriculture, manufacturing. They earn more than $80,000 a year on average.

Forensic Scientist

Forensic scientists work across a range of environments. Their usual work involves collecting and analyzing fingerprints and other evidence from across crime scenes. They also collaborate on research projects. Forensic scientists earn $60,000 annually.

These career choices are suitable for people who do not like to sit at a desk all day. The breadth and depth of the jobs are proof that the answer to ‘Is basic industries a good career path?’ is yes.

Is Basic Industries A Good Career Path: Characteristics Of The Employees

Career in basic industries.
Characteristics of the employees in basic industries.

Lastly, it is time to scrutinize the qualities of the ideal employees who work in basic industries.


Global macroeconomic factors have the most effect on basic industries. Therefore people need to be highly flexible while working in basic industries, and they also need to equip themselves with the changes in technology.


Firms seek employees who are excellent at time management. People should engage in tasks that add value to the organization, which is a priceless quality regardless of the industry.


A positive approach helps deal with the ups and downs in basic industries. Workers should constantly upgrade their skills while on the job, brightening their prospects in the long run.


Collaborating with people has always been an essential skill to thrive in the workplace. One should learn to coordinate and work with multi-disciplinary teams, and this helps everyone involved as they are aware of the bigger picture and the different moving parts.

In Conclusion: Is Basic Industries A Good Career Path?

Basic industries promise an exciting career if a person is prepared. Secondly, there are opportunities galore if one is well equipped to utilize them to the fullest. So, is basic industries a good career path? Definitely yes, as our demand for raw materials is only increasing with time.

If you want to know more about other career paths, check this list on Totempool. You will be able to make your choices with solid information before moving to a particular industry:

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