How Many Jobs Are Available In Basic Industries

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Last Updated on August 9, 2023 by Chris Panteli

How Many Jobs Are Available In Basic Industries

In today’s fast-paced world, many individuals find themselves seeking a sense of purpose in their professional lives. They want careers that go beyond the mundane, where they can contribute to something greater than themselves.

Moreover, as economic uncertainties loom, finding a stable job with long-term prospects has become a top priority for many job seekers. These challenges can leave individuals wondering which career path can offer the fulfillment, stability, and growth they desire.

Look no further than the basic industries sector. Basic industries include agriculture, mining, oil and gas, forestry, the chemical industry, the textile industry, the energy sector and more. These industries form the foundation of our economy, providing the essential resources that fuel our daily lives.

In this post, you’ll learn about the challenges, opportunities, and rewards of starting a career in basic industries. Plus, find out how many jobs are available in basic industries.

What Is a Basic Industry

machines working in a mine in article about how many jobs are available in basic industries.

A basic industry, also known as a primary industry, is a sector of the economy that involves the extraction and production of raw materials or natural resources. These industries are essential because they provide vital materials for various industries and essential goods.

Examples of basic industries include:

  • Agriculture: This includes the cultivation of crops and the rearing of livestock to produce food and other agricultural products.
  • Mining: Involves the extraction of minerals, ores, and fossil fuels from the earth, such as coal, oil, natural gas, iron ore, gold, and various other metals, raw material, and minerals.
  • Forestry: Encompasses the harvesting of timber and other forest products like paper and pulp.
  • Fishing: Involves the catching of fish and other seafood for human consumption or industrial purposes.

These industries form the backbone of the economy by supplying essential resources to secondary industries, which, in turn, transform these raw materials into finished products. For instance, the agricultural sector provides raw materials to the food processing industry, while the mining sector supplies raw materials to the manufacturing and construction industries.

Basic industries play a crucial role in economic development and growth, as they lay the foundation for the production of goods and services, boost job creation, and contribute to a country’s overall prosperity.

What Companies Are in the Basic Industries Field

Here are some well-known companies involved in basic industries:

  • ExxonMobil Corporation: A major multinational oil and gas company involved in the exploration, production, refining, and distribution of petroleum products.
  • Chevron Corporation: Chevron is an integrated energy company engaged in oil and gas exploration, production, refining, and marketing.
  • Rio Tinto: A global mining and metals company that produces a wide range of essential resources, including iron ore, aluminum, copper, diamonds, and uranium.
  • BHP: An Anglo-Australian mining company, one of the largest in the world, with operations spanning various commodities such as iron ore, copper, coal, petroleum, and more.
  • Archer Daniels Midland Company (ADM): A major agribusiness company involved in the processing and trading of agricultural commodities, including grains, oilseeds, and other products.
  • Cargill: Cargill is a significant agribusiness company dealing with the processing, distribution, and trading of agricultural products and food ingredients.
  • Deere & Company: Known for its brand name John Deere, the company manufactures agricultural machinery, construction equipment, and forestry machinery.
  • International Paper: One of the world’s largest paper and packaging companies, producing a wide array of paper products and packaging materials.
  • Freeport-McMoRan Inc.: A major mining company specializing in copper, gold, and molybdenum production.

Types of Basic Industries Jobs

logging worker cutting wood

Basic industries offer a wide range of job opportunities across different sectors, each catering to specific aspects of resource extraction, production, and distribution. Here are some common types of jobs found in basic industries.


  • Farmer
  • Agricultural Technician
  • Agronomist

Mining Industry

  • Geologist
  • Mining Engineer
  • Heavy Equipment Operator
  • Operations Manager


  • Forester
  • Logging Worker
  • Project Manager


  • Fisherman
  • Fisheries Biologist

Oil and Gas

  • Petroleum Engineer
  • Refinery Operator
  • Electrical Engineer
  • Petroleum Geologist

Mineral Processing

  • Metallurgical Engineer
  • Smelter Operator

Food Processing

  • Food Processing Technician
  • Quality Control Inspector
  • Production Manager


  • Packaging Machine Operator
  • Packaging Engineer
  • Manufacturing Engineer

Transportation and Logistics

  • Truck Driver
  • Logistics Coordinator

Waste Management

  • Recycling Technician
  • Waste Collection Worker

Skills Needed for the Basic Industries

workers forming a team

Working in the basic industries sector requires a diverse set of skills, as the jobs in this field can involve manual labor, technical expertise, and management responsibilities. Here are some essential skills needed for various roles in basic industries.

Technical Skills

Many positions in basic industries demand specific technical knowledge and expertise related to the industry’s operations. Examples include:

  • Mining: Geological knowledge, drilling techniques, and ore extraction methods
  • Agriculture: Crop and livestock management, irrigation techniques, and agricultural machinery operation
  • Oil and Gas: Knowledge of drilling, reservoir engineering, energy production, and petroleum refining processes
  • Food Processing: Understanding of food safety standards, processing equipment operation, and quality control
  • Forestry: Knowledge of sustainable forestry practices, tree species identification, and logging techniques

Safety Awareness

Basic industries can be hazardous work environments, so prioritizing safety is crucial. Workers must follow safety protocols, wear appropriate protective gear, and be aware of potential risks and how to mitigate them.

Physical Stamina

Many jobs in basic industries involve physical labor, including heavy lifting, operating machinery, and working in adverse weather conditions. Having good physical stamina and endurance is essential.


Workers in basic industries encounter various challenges, from equipment malfunctions to environmental issues. The ability to think critically and troubleshoot problems is valuable.

Teamwork and Communication

Basic industries often involve collaborative work with colleagues, supervisors, and other stakeholders. Effective communication and teamwork are essential for successful operations.

Mechanical Aptitude

Understanding how machines and equipment work and having the ability to perform basic maintenance tasks can be advantageous in many basic industries jobs.

Attention to Detail

Precision is vital, especially in areas such as mining, agriculture, and food processing, where small mistakes can lead to significant consequences.

Environmental Awareness

Basic industries often interact with natural resources, and awareness of environmental regulations and sustainable practices is increasingly important.


Workers in basic industries encounter various challenges, from equipment malfunctions to environmental issues. The ability to think critically and troubleshoot problems is valuable.

Pros and Cons of Working in the Basic Industries

two workers having a conversation

Working in the basic industries offers both advantages and disadvantages. Here are the pros and cons.

✅ Pros

✅ Job Stability

Basic industries form the backbone of the economy, providing essential resources. As a result, jobs in these industries tend to be relatively stable, even during economic downturns.

✅ Career Opportunities

Many basic industries offer career advancement opportunities, allowing employees to grow within the company and take on higher-responsibility roles.

✅ Skill Development

Working in basic industries often involves hands-on experience and specialized skills training, making it a valuable learning environment.

✅ Competitive Compensation

Some jobs in basic industries, especially those requiring technical expertise or physical labor, can offer competitive wages and benefits.

✅ Global Opportunities

Basic industries have a global presence, providing opportunities to work in various locations worldwide.

❌ Cons

❌ Physical Demands

Many jobs in basic industries involve strenuous physical labor, working outdoors in challenging weather conditions.

❌ Safety Hazards

Basic industries can be hazardous, and workers may face risks related to machinery, heavy equipment, and natural elements.

❌ Environmental Impact

Certain basic industries, such as mining and oil extraction, can have significant environmental impacts, which may lead to controversy and public scrutiny.

❌ Seasonal Nature

Jobs in agriculture and other seasonal industries may be subject to fluctuations in demand and availability of work during specific times of the year.

❌ Isolation

Jobs in remote locations, such as mining sites or offshore platforms, may involve extended periods of isolation from family and friends.

Things to Know When Choosing the Basic Industries as a Career

two engineers having a conversation

Choosing a career in the basic industries requires careful consideration and understanding of the sector’s nature, demands, and potential opportunities. Here are some essential things to know and consider when making this career choice.

Research the Industry

Conduct thorough research about the specific basic industry you are interested in. Learn about the types of jobs available, the skills required, typical work environments, and the overall economic outlook for the sector.

Identify Your Interests and Skills

Reflect on your interests, strengths, and skills to find a good fit within the basic industries. Consider whether you enjoy working outdoors, handling machinery, or have a passion for resource management.

Educational Requirements

Determine the educational qualifications and certifications needed for the career path you wish to pursue within the basic industries. Some jobs may require specialized training or a bachelors degree.

Physical Demands and Safety

Be aware of the physical demands and safety considerations associated with the industry. Evaluate whether you are comfortable with the level of physical labor and any potential safety hazards.

Work-Life Balance

Some jobs in basic industries may involve irregular working hours or long periods away from home, especially in remote locations. Assess how this aligns with your work-life balance preferences.

Career Advancement Opportunities

Investigate the potential for career growth and advancement within the industry. Determine whether there are employment opportunities to climb the corporate ladder or gain more responsibility.

Industry Networking

Connect with professionals already working in the basic industries to gain insights into their experiences and challenges. Networking can provide valuable advice and potential job leads.

Global Opportunities

If you are interested in international work experiences, explore whether the industry has the job availability to work in various regions around the world.

Financial Considerations

Analyze the potential earnings and financial prospects of your chosen career within the basic industries. Compare these with your lifestyle expectations and financial goals.

How Much do Basic Industries Professionals Earn

miners working together

The earnings of professionals working in the basic industries can vary widely depending on factors such as the specific job role, level of experience, location, education, and the particular industry within the basic sector.

For example, a miner is a job role that comes under basic industries. Miners in the United States earn an average salary of $94,995.

Best Paying Jobs in the Basic Industries

Here are some of the best-paying basic industry jobs:

  • Mining Engineer: The average salary for mining engineers in the mining industry is $97,660
  • Petroleum Engineer: Petroleum engineers, involved in the oil and gas industry, may earn an average salary of $114,305 per year
  • Heavy Equipment Operator: The salary for heavy equipment operators in the construction industry and other basic industries is approximately $77,344 per year
  • Food Processing Technician: Food processing technicians’ salaries can reach an average of $79,101
  • Forester: Foresters, involved in managing forests and logging operations for the pulp industry, may earn a salary of around $74,437 annually
  • Metallurgical Engineer: Metallurgical engineers, working in the mining and mineral processing industry, might earn an average salary of $91,001 per year

Are Basic Industries A Good Career Path

Whether a career in basic industries is a good path for you depends on your individual interests, skills, and career goals. Here are some factors to consider when evaluating whether basic industries are a good fit for you.

Alignment with Interests and Skills

If you have a genuine interest in working with natural resources, handling machinery, learning new technological advancements, or being involved in resource extraction and production, a career in basic industries may be a good fit.

Job Stability

Basic industries are essential for the economy, providing foundational resources. This can translate to greater job stability compared to other sectors that may be more susceptible to economic fluctuations.

Career Advancement Opportunities

Many basic industries offer opportunities for career growth and advancement. As you gain experience and expertise, you may be able to take on more responsibilities and climb the corporate ladder.

Hands-On Experience

If you prefer hands-on work and enjoy working outdoors or in industrial settings, basic industries can provide valuable practical experience.

Physical Demands and Safety

Basic industries often involve physically demanding work and safety risks. Assess whether you are comfortable with the physical aspects of the job and if you are willing to prioritize safety protocols.

Work-Life Balance

Depending on the specific role and industry, work-life balance can vary. Some jobs may require irregular hours or extended periods away from home.

Global Opportunities

Basic industries have a global presence, and working in these sectors may offer opportunities to work in various locations around the world.

How Many Jobs Are Available In the Basic Industries

The number of jobs available in the basic industries job market can vary significantly depending on economic growth, market demand for resources, technological advancement, and other factors.

Basic industries encompass a diverse range of sectors, including agriculture, mining, oil and gas, forestry, fishing, food processing, and more. Each of these sectors may have its own job opportunities and employment trends.

Recent data collected by the US Bureau of Labor Statistics confirms more than 24 million people are employed in basic industries across the US.

Starting a career in basic industries opens the door to a world of opportunities, where dedication, passion, and hard work can lead to a fulfilling and rewarding journey.

You now know how many jobs are available in basic industries, the skills you’ll need, and salary expectations.

Take your first step now on your journey to your new career by exploring various roles, researching job opportunities, and connecting with professionals in the industry. Be proactive in gaining relevant skills, pursuing educational opportunities, and staying informed about industry trends.

Good luck!

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