What Are the Best Paying Jobs In Basic Industries?

Jill Caren
By Jill Caren
Updated December 17th, 2023

What do basic industries jobs pay? This article has all the facts and figures to help you find the best paying jobs in basic industries and see which careers might be the best fit.

Be sure to read out article “is basic industries a good career path” first to see if this path is right for you!

If you did not read that article, then you should know that basic industries are those that provide raw materials and products to other industries to create final products. Items like aluminum, steel, and wood are just some examples of products that fall under basic industries.

The most common industries that fall within the basic industries sector include:

  • Agricultural
  • Oil & Gas
  • Paper & Pulp
  • Steel & Metal
  • Industrial Chemistry
  • Utilities
  • Mining
  • Textiles

Now, on to the jobs and what different jobs within the industry can pay.

NOTE: If you arrived here looking for the company Basic Industries Ltd. pay information, you can check out Salary.com for more information. But it does look like that business, which was located in Texas, has closed.

What Do Basic Industry Jobs Pay?

There are no formal studies or research done on what the basic industries jobs pay, so we chose to outline a few of the more common jobs in this sector below.

I am going to break this down into two sections, the first will focus on the highest-paying trade careers in basic industries, and the second section will be on jobs that require a college degree.

Basic Industries: Skilled Trade Jobs

These high-paying trade jobs in the basic industries career path do not require a college degree.

Most may require some additional vocational training or apprenticeships though, so be sure you check into that before you get started!

1 | Welder – Median Salary $47,010
Welders for the basic industries help repair, create, or join metal parts and products. These are then used to build or create other products. As a welder, you will have a secure job that is growing in the outlook of opportunities by 8% by 2030. Wages for experienced welders (and those that specialize) can exceed 6-figures and only requires certification and a high-school diploma to get into. Brazers, cutters, and solderers also fall under the welding category.

2 | Machinist – Median Salary $47,940
Machinists are responsible for creating metal parts, instruments, and tools that are then used by other companies to create their final products. Employment growth of 7% is expected through 2030 and the salaries can increase greatly for those with experience and a great work ethic.

3 | Rotary Drill Operators – Median Salary $56, 380
Rotary drill operators handle the drills that are used to extract oil and gas from the underground. These oil and gases can often be used for testing or underground exploration and can also be used for the production of other products. Some of the highest-paid drill operators can make more than $100K a year.

4 | Farmer, Rancher, or Agricultural Manager – Median Salary $73,060
Without farmers, we would not have a lot of the foods we eat every day. This career path pays well but has a lot of responsibility and can be incredibly stressful. The growth for this path is also flat. To become a farmer you do need a high school diploma, and experience is recommended.

5 | Logging – Median Pay $46,300
Logging is a critical part of so many industries like housing. Loggers are those that will spend their days in the forests cutting down trees and getting them ready for delivery to different businesses that use them to create other goods. It is a dangerous and rough job but has a strong job outlook.

basic industries job pay for loggers

Basic Industries: College Required Jobs

All of these jobs do require at least a Bachelor’s degree to even be considered. Many actually require an advanced degree such as a Master’s or Doctorate as well.

1 | Petroleum EngineerMedian Salary $130,850
If you love a challenge, then a Petroleum Engineer job will definitely give you one. These jobs will have you developing methods and processes for extracting oil and gas from underground. You will often work outdoors and travel is common in this job. The job growth is expected to be about 8% through 2030 so there are a lot of opportunities out there. Getting a Bachelor’s degree in engineering is the recommended path.

2 | Mining or Geological Engineer – Median Salary $97,090
Mining or geological engineers have the responsibility of creating mines that can remove minerals that are used in utilities and the manufacturing of other products. These might be mineral mines or gravel quarries. The job outlook through 2030 is only 4% which is lower than many other careers in the basic industries. A Bachelor’s degree in engineering is the recommended level of education.

3 | Material Engineer – Median Salary $98,300
If testing appeals to you, then a material engineer job fits the bill. Material engineers typically work in an office or lab and handle the development, processing, and testing of materials that are used to create other products. The employment outlook through 2030 is about 8% and the recommended education is a Bachelor’s degree in engineering.

4 | Food Scientist – Median Salary $74,160
Food scientists are the people that do research and analysis to help improve the farming systems. They may create new food products and make improvements to the processing and packaging of foods. A Bachelor’s degree is required, but most do have advanced degrees.

Other Things To Consider Besides Pay

Yes, salary is important! But, there are so many other things to consider when you are looking at what job to take.

  1. Will you be happy? Be sure to check various resources like Reddit.com or job websites and see the reviews about people who work the job you are considering. Are they happy? No matter how much money you make, if you see too many people saying how horrible the job is, it may not be worth it.
  2. Total compensation. Salary is just a part of most compensation packages. You also need to consider things like benefits, time-off, overtime, vacation time, 401K, and insurance. Some companies offer exceptional benefits that may make a little bit of a smaller salary doable.
  3. Growth. Make sure whatever job you are considering in the basic industries has some opportunity for growth if that is on your plan! Not all jobs in this sector have a ton of growth, so if that is important – make sure you find a specific job that allows for an upward path.

Maybe you have decided basic industries jobs may not be for you?

Well, no worries! There are so many other job sectors out there for you to consider in the trades. If you like the idea of being outdoors and seeing the country, then consider jobs in transportation – another great career path.

Jill Caren is an international SEO consultant and founder of 2Dogs Media. She is also a trainer, journalist, and speaker who helps brands increase their organic search visibility, traffic, and conversions. She is also the co-founder of Blue Collar Brain, a resource for those looking to enter a trade career.

She has been featured on MSN, Wealth of Geeks, Hubspot, SEO Powersuite, and other publications for her work as an SEO and advocate for skilled trades.