Is Basic Industries a Good Career Path? 20 Top Basic Industries Career Opportunities

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Written By Oluwaseun Ayo

 

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So, Is basic industries a good career path? 

The fact: basic industries are businesses that manufacture and supply raw materials to other businesses that in turn transform these materials into finished products for consumers.

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But truly, what career opportunities are there?

Compared to other career paths, is a career in the basic industries really worth pursuing?

These are some of the questions we will answer in this post.

More specifically, we will look at why they are important, the major types, the different career paths and the educational requirements. 

Basic Industries and Why They are Important

The bedrock of the success of any organization selling a physical product is the basic industries.

Why? Every product you can think of right now has its source traced to the nature.

The importance of the basic industry can not be overlooked because they are basis of the advancement we see in our societies today.

Come to think of it, how will you acquire a jewelry if there’s no extraction of precious metals like gold and silver?

How will internal combustion engines fire without some groups of people spending night and day on the oil rig, collecting crude oil?

What about the leathers for the shoes we wear, are they not of animal extractions?

How about the skyscrapers in the Central Business Districts, would they have been possible without the cracking of rocks to collect limestone for the production of cement?

The basic industry is an evergreen industry.  It can never go into extinction and if you choose to pitch your tent with one of the opportunities, then you are up for a big deal.

Types of Basic Industries

To provide best answers to the question – Is basic industries a good career path? – it is important we examine the different parts that make up the basic industries. They include:

1. Agriculture Industry

This industry is responsible for many of the finished products we see today and consume on a daily basis. 

There are two sides to this industry:

  • Many agricultural produce like vegetables and corn are consumed directly.
  • A large quantity of the harvested produce are still sent to different businesses for further processing.

For example, corn is used for the production of sweet corn, an important ingredient in the preparation of fried rice.

Bread is impossible without wheat which is harvested as grains on the farm.

Also, the clothes we wear on a regular basis have their root in cotton.

There are numerous career opportunities in agriculture and some of them include:

  • Fishery
  • Agronomy
  • Plant Science

We will expound on some of them in the next section, keep following!

2. Mining Industry

Mining industry provides essential materials and services that are used in many industrial processes, including manufacturing, transportation, agriculture, and energy production.

Initially, the mining industry was based on the extraction of precious metals. However, as technological advances were made, minerals such as coal, oil and gemstones were also mined.

The mining industry in the US currently employs over 8.5 million people and generates over $750 billion in annual exports.

3. Steel and Metal Industry

This industry is also at the forefront of making significant contributions to an economy.

As a matter of fact, the extraction of ores is primarily responsible for the production of a wide variety of goods, including cars, aircraft, weapons, and consumer goods.

Also, the steel and metal industry is a source of jobs in fields such as engineering, manufacturing, and agriculture.

Actually, a country that pays attention to the steel and metal industry positions itself for a significant economic boost.

For instance, the steel and metal industry has been a vital part of the US economy for over 150 years.

The sector employs nearly 12 million people in the country, making it one of America’s largest manufacturing sectors.

Steel production accounts for around 26% of total American exports and generates more than $100 billion annually in economic activity.

4. Paper and Pulp Industry

This industry is arguably, one of the largest industries in the world.

Notable production area are the North American, Northern European and East Asian countries.

If you want to adequately understand how large and important this industry is, just imagine the number of paper consumed in a day by students, corporate entities and government workers.

How much is that? Massive, isn’t it?

Even with the advent of the digital technology, the use of traditional paper cannot be substituted. For this reason, coniferous and deciduous trees will still be exploited.

5. Oil and Gas Industry

Quick question:

Is it possible to produce gasoline, diesel fuel, heating oil, jet fuel, waxes, lubricating oils, and asphalt without the extraction of crude oil?

The answer is obvious and it’s a no.

Oil and gas is the ‘gold’ that has enriched many nations on the surface of the earth.

This industry accounts for the employment of many professionals who work in the upstream sector – the part responsible for the exploration of crude oil.

6. Chemical Industry

Usually, whenever you hear chemicals your mind travels to regular household items like pesticides, soaps, bleach, batteries, laundry detergents, swimming pool chloride tablets, air fresheners, motor oil, latex paint and so on.

These items have their sources, don’t they? Of course they do.

For example, some chemicals such as sodium chloride, chloride acid, nitric acid and sulfuric acid are responsible for battery production.

Is basic industries a good career path?

Is basic industries a good career path?

Looking at the industries we just mentioned, which of them is not part of our everyday life as humans?

Hardly will you find any because we interact with all these products regularly and this is a pointer to a wide array of career opportunities.

We can’t overemphasize! We use batteries, toothpastes, soaps, motor oil, lubricating oils, cars, airplanes, jewelries and many other products already listed. How will they produce them without the basic industries?

The truth is not in obscurity – choosing a career in one of the basic industries is not only a great career path for you but positions you to provide regular human needs.   

Is basic industries a good career path? 17 Career Paths in the Basic Industries

Do you believe you can land an enviable job and enjoy a fulfilling career in the basic industry?

Many people think basic industries jobs are only limited to falling of trees in the wild or farming with crude equipment.

But that’s not true. In fact, many of the career paths listed are high level professions which require at least a bachelor’s degree.

The following are the careers you can venture into in the basic industries:

1. Agronomist

An agronomist displays expertise in soil management and growing of crops.

With this career choice, you will act as an intermediary between farmers and researchers to review findings and recommend solutions that will increase a farm’s productivity.

Among other responsibilities, you will:

  • Identify problems livestock or crops are facing.
  • Research and recommend probable solutions to a farm’s challenges
  • Collect and analyze soil and produce samples

Also, you will review environmental factors and how they can impact farm’s productivity.

2. Drilling Engineer

A drilling engineer is a skilled professional who is responsible for safely extracting oil and gas from the earth. They are responsible for designing, conducting, and maintaining drilling operations.

If you are in the United States, a drilling engineer job is a valuable opportunity to be a part of the growth of the United States energy industry.

The salary of a drilling engineer ranges from person to person. This is usually dependent on a number of considerable factors including years of experience, educational qualifications, certifications and additional skills.

3. Metallurgist

As a metallurgist, you will be involved in  activities which include mining, smelting, refining, manufacturing and product development activities related to metals.

Similarly, you will create and use metals to make products that people need, like cars, homes, and more. 

In most cases, a college degree in metallurgy, engineering, or some related field will qualify you to be a metallurgist.

4. Health and Safety Officer

Accidents occur while drilling grounds, exploiting crude oil and even on the farm.

A health and safety officer plays a crucial role in ensuring employees are safe and accidents are prevented as much as possible.

Aside that, a professional in health and safety makes sure all equipment are working properly to making sure that employees are not exceeding their work limits

5. Soil Conservationist

You will agree with me that no crop germinates on its own, won’t you? 

Soil is an important food source for humans and other animals. It provides sustenance for crops, livestock, and natural ecosystems.

In addition, soil plays a significant role in regulating water cycle patterns, attenuating floods and helping to create healthy soils that support biodiversity.

As a soil conservationist, you will be responsible for protecting the soils, water resources, and the environment.

If you are looking to make a career in this field, it is important to have the skills and knowledge required.

6. Horticulturist

Horticulture is the science and art of growing plants.

It includes the cultivation, breeding, and management of plants and their environment.

Horticulturists design and manage gardens, parks, and landscaping.

A Horticulturist usually possess a degree in agriculture or any other related field such as botany or entomology. However, many people with various degrees enter the horticulture field.

7. Steel Fabricator

Generally, a steel fabricator uses different methods to manipulate steels into different desired shapes for construction works.

As a steel fabricator, you are expected to have keen eyes for details because you will work with detailed drawings and designs.

These drawings and designs are usually provided by steel detailers and drafters who expect you to bring the models to life.

8. Synthetic Chemist

Your primary responsibility as a synthetic chemist is to produce chemicals for further usage in different industries.  

As an expert you can work in an variety of areas including the agricultural, food processing, pharmaceutical and other manufacturing Industries.

A bachelor’s degree in chemistry, chemical engineering or other chemistry related discipline is required for this role.

Also, it is important you have a good research skill if you decide to consider this career path.

9. Petroleum Geologist

This is one of the highly profiled basic industries jobs.

A petroleum geologist is an earth scientist who specializes in petroleum geology.

It involves everything that has to do with oil discovery and production.

As a petroleum geologists, you are saddled with the responsibility of exploring possible locations of oil deposits and natural gas resources.

10. Sawyer

If you follow this direction, you will mostly work in a sawmill to professionally cut woods for various construction needs.

11. Pulp and Paper Mill Operator

As the name implies, your duty is to operate, maintain and repair machines that produce pulp and paper.

To be efficient on this job, you need to understand the production process of pulp and paper.  

Training for this role doesn’t necessarily require a college degree.

Training with an expert as an apprentice is sufficient to understand the technicalities attached.

13. Pipefitter

A pipefitter, also known as a steamfitter, is a skilled worker who is proficient in managing mechanical piping systems.

They make sure pipes are created, organized, assembled, installed and maintained according to specifications.

To be a successful pipefitter, you need have good design skills, the ability to repair tools,   knowledge of technology and the ability to work with your hands.

14. Animal Scientist

Managing farm animals properly requires a degree of expertise.

It is not just about watching them but understanding the biological make-up.

As a result, an Animal Scientist is perfect for overseeing the production and management of animals.

It’s important to note that a college degree will give you the required education and exposure to kick start your career.

15. Earth Scientist/ Geoscientist

The responsibilities attached to this career are quite similar to what petroleum geologists do.

An Earth Scientist studies the structure of the earth and uses their skills to discover reserves of minerals and other natural resources.

These resources include natural gas, oil, coal, gypsum, gold, diamond, coal, limestone etc.

16. Project Manager

Projects are regular undertakings in the operations of basic industry businesses.

As a result, project managers are the professionals in charge of ensuring the projects are executed based on the goals set.

What exactly is their responsibility?

A person occupying this role will manage the budget and people to produce result within the specified timeline and in compliance with the approved standards.

17. Miner

A miner is very important in the basic industry.

If you become a miner, you will directly focus on the extraction of minerals from rocks, soul and even underground. Minerals like iron ore, chalk, clay, bauxite, coal, copper, talc, feldspar, gold, diamond and others are retrieved by miners.

Oftentimes, miners need to work underground to collect these precious minerals.

So you must be prepared to embrace what comes with this profession if you eventually consider it.

Is basic industries a good career path? Let’s quickly look at the last three.

18. Electrician

An electrician is needed in many places – on the oil rig, in factories, quarry etc.

Such person takes charge of the electrical wiring and transmission to various parts where electricity is needed.

Furthermore, an electrician is always at the forefront of executing new installations and maintaining electricity related components.

Also, training in a technical school will help you start a career as an electrician.

19. Petroleum Engineer

Just like a Petroleum Geologist, a Petroleum Engineer helps in the discovery of oil and gas.

Specifically, they design the techniques for extracting oil from beneath the earth surface and they also find novel ways to extract these resources from older wells.  

People in this profession are one of the highest paid professionals. This is because of the technicality, qualification rigor and intelligence that are associated with it.

20. Business Development Expert

The deployment of business strategies is not limited to secondary or tertiary industries.

Basic industries also need people with proficiency in management, sales, marketing, finance, customer service etc.

If interested, you can package your application and forward it to an oil exploration company, agricultural firm or any other basic industry company of your choice.

Educational Requirements for Careers in the Basic Industries

It is quite obvious already!

From the list of careers above, some jobs require the completion of a bachelor’s degree, alongside internships, more certifications and frequent in-house and external trainings.

As a matter of fact, some disciplines like Petroleum Engineering, Petroleum Geology and Agronomy would welcome the completion of graduate degrees such as Masters and PhD.

However, people who choose to be Sawyers, Steel Fabricators or Pipefitters do not necessarily need to have a college degree.

A diploma certificate and in some cases, an apprenticeship program is sufficient.

Conclusion: Is Basic Industries a Good Career Path?

Without any doubt, a career in the basic industries promises to be exciting, rewarding and fulfilling. 

As against many people’s thought, these careers are not limited to farming, fishing or lumbering. Highly trained professionals also make a living through working in the basic industry. 

Finally to you, is basic industries a good career path? The answer is glaring and if you decide to choose from the listed careers, be sure you are in for a great future and we wish you all the best. 


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