Best paying jobs in basic industries 2023! (Step-by-Step Guide)

Best paying jobs in basic industries include highly skilled technical and managerial roles such as engineers, geologists, and plant managers. These pillar industries are essential to modern society because they produce the raw materials used in many other industries. They also provide diverse employment possibilities, from low-skilled factory work to executive-level positions requiring advanced degrees.

Jobs that pay well are a key consideration when deciding on a career path in the basic industries. Engineers, geologists, and plant managers, for example, can charge high rates of pay due to the specialized knowledge and experience required of them. We’ll look at some of the best paying jobs in basic industries and the steps you must take to get there.

Job Title Median Annual Salary (US Dollars)
Petroleum Engineer $137,720
Chemical Engineer $108,770
Mining and Geological Engineer $103,000
Nuclear Engineer $102,220
Electrical Power-Line Installer and Repairer $75,030
Power Plant Operator $73,800
Elevator Installer and Repairer $84,990
Construction Manager $95,260
Architectural and Engineering Manager $144,830
Industrial Production Manager $105,480
Transportation and Distribution Manager $94,560
Logistical $76,270
Civil Engineer $87,060
Construction and Building Inspector $62,860
Environmental Engineer $88,860
Health and Safety Engineer $93,380
Industrial Engineer $87,040
Mechanical Engineer $90,160
Quality Control Inspector $40,350
Structural Iron and SteelWorker $55,040
Welder $45,190
Boilermaker $66,360
Electrician $56,900
Plumber, Pipe fitter, and Steamfitter $56,330
Sheet Metal Worker $51,370
Brick Mason and Blockmason $50,950
Carpenter $49,520
Construction Equipment Operator $49,140
Construction Laborer $37,890
Roofers $43,870

List of Best paying jobs in basic industries, Salaries & Requirements

1: Petroleum Engineer

Responsibilities: Designing and executing oil and gas well drilling plans, analyzing data to find the best oil and gas extraction methods, creating oil and gas production safety protocols

Required Education: Petroleum engineering bachelor’s degree, Drilling and production knowledge

Average salary: $137,720

2: Chemical Engineer:

Responsibilities: Establishing chemical processes, Data analysis for efficiency and safety, Monitoring equipment and processes

Required Education: Chemical engineering bachelor’s degree, Math, physics, and chemistry expertise, CAD and process simulation experience

Average salary: $108,770

3: Mining and Geological Engineer

Responsibilities: Planning mining operations, Assessing geological data for resources and dangers, Safety and environmental compliance

Required Education: Mining engineering or associated bachelor’s degree, Geology, math, and engineering expertise,

Average salary: $103,000

4: Nuclear engineer

Responsibilities: Creating nuclear power systems and technology, maintaining nuclear reactors, safety and environmental compliance

Required Education: Nuclear engineering bachelor’s degree, Math, physics, and engineering expertise

Average salary: $102,220

5: Electrical Power-Line Installer and Repairer

Responsibilities: Maintain and repair power lines and equipment; work on electricity lines using bucket trucks and climbing gear.

Required Education: High school diploma, electrical systems, and principles

Average salary: $75,030

6: Power Plant Operator

Responsibilities: Control and monitor turbines, boilers, and generators; optimize equipment settings for power and efficiency,

Required Education: High school diploma, Power plant operations training

Average salary: $73,800

7: Elevator Installer and Repairer:

Responsibilities: Install, maintain, and repair elevators, escalators, and related equipment, Elevator system troubleshooting; always follow safety and building codes.

Required Education: Apprenticeship implies on-the-job training.

Average salary: $84,990

8: Construction Manager:

Responsibilities: Construction project management from start to finish, Maintaining project timelines and budgets, Hiring and managing subcontractors

Required Education: Construction management bachelor’s degree, Construction experience, Construction methods, materials, and regulations

Average salary: $95,260

9: Architectural and Engineering Manager:

Responsibilities: Management of architecture and engineering businesses, Overseeing project design and development, Building code compliance

Required Education: Architecture, engineering, or related bachelor’s degree, Architecture/engineering experience, Building code expertise

Average salary: $144,830

10: Industrial Production Manager:

Responsibilities: Production management, Quality control, and efficient production, Managing staff and resources to accomplish production goals

Required Education: Industrial engineering, business administration, or equivalent bachelor’s degree, Production or management experience, Production, quality control, and staff management

Average salary: $105,480

11: Transportation, Storage, and Distribution Manager:

Responsibilities: Strategize product delivery, Logistics, and supply chain management ensures timely delivery.

Required Education: Logistics, supply chain, or related bachelor’s degree, Problem-solving and analysis skills

Average salary: $105,480

12: Logistical:

Responsibilities: Move goods and supplies, Track inventories and shipments, and Assess logistics performance.

Required Education: Logistics, supply chain, or related bachelor’s degree, excellent communication and organization

Average salary: $76,270

13: Civil engineer:

Responsibilities: Design, build, and maintain infrastructure; Plan projects using survey reports, maps, and other data; maintain safety and building codes.

Required Education:

Civil engineering degree, licensed engineer, CAD expertise

Average salary: $87,060

14: Construction and Building Inspector:

Responsibilities: Check buildings for safety, zoning, and construction codes; check building designs and specifications for code compliance.

Required Education: High school graduation is usually required; Construction technology or relevant college degrees are desirable.

Average salary: $62,860

15: Environmental Engineer:

Responsibilities: Apply biology, chemistry, and engineering to environmental issues; design and manage environmental remediation programs.

Required Education: Environmental engineers need a bachelor’s degree; Some jobs require a master’s.

Average salary: $88,860

16: Health and Safety Engineer:

Responsibilities: Create and implement safety strategies to prevent workplace injuries and illnesses; check workplaces, equipment, and practices for safety.

Required Education: Occupational health and safety, engineering, or a relevant bachelor’s degree is usually necessary; work experience or training is needed.

Average salary: $93,380

17: Industrial Engineer:

Responsibilities: Develop manufacturing and other industrial systems, methods, and equipment; assess operations and suggest ways to boost efficiency.

Required Education: Industrial engineering degree, Math and science expertise, CAD experience

Average salary: $87,040

18: Mechanical Engineer:

Responsibilities: Develop engines, machines, and tools; assess design safety, efficiency, and reliability,

Required Education: Mechanical engineering degree, Science and math expertise

Average salary: $90,160

19: Quality Control Inspector

Responsibilities: Quality-check items, Record inspection results and faults, and Improve production procedures to reduce faults.

Required Education: High school diploma; some employers demand a related associate’s degree, Quality control expertise

Average salary: $40,350

20: Structural Iron and SteelWorker:

Responsibilities: Fix steel and iron buildings, bridges, and highways; understand blueprints and other technical papers,

Required Education: High school diploma, Apprenticeship or vocational training, Welding and metalworking experience

Average salary: $55,040

21: Welder

Responsibilities: Read blueprints, drawings, and requirements to determine welding procedure, Weld metal pieces manually or semi-automatically,

Required education: High school diploma or equivalent, On-the-job training

Average salary: $45,190

22: Boilermaker:

Responsibilities: Assemble boilers, tanks, and other vessels using designs and specifications; Cut, shape, and fit metal parts with hand and power equipment; maintain boilers and other vessels.

Required education: Boilermaker apprenticeship completion, Job training

Average salary: $66,360

23: Electrician:

Responsibilities: Maintain residential, commercial, and industrial electrical systems; install according to designs and technical drawings; Troubleshoot and fix electrical systems.

Required education: Technical school or electrician apprenticeship, State-mandated licensing, and certification

Average salary: $56,900

24: Plumber, Pipe fitter, and Steamfitter:

Responsibilities: Fix residential and commercial plumbing and heating systems, install using blueprints and technical diagrams,

Required education: Plumbing or pipe fitting apprenticeship, State-mandated licensing and certification

Average salary: $56,330

25: Sheet Metal Worker:

Responsibilities: Install roofing and ductwork made from sheet metal, Install using blueprints and technical diagrams, and Check and fix sheet metal items.

Required education: Sheet metal apprenticeship or technical school, Job training

Average salary: $51,370

26: Brick Mason and Blockmason:

Responsibilities: Residential, commercial, and industrial plumbing and pipe repair, Follow building codes and plans,

Required Education: Apprenticeship or occupational training, State licensing requirements differ.

Average salary: $51,370

27: Sheet metalworker:

Responsibilities: Install metal roofs, gutters, and ducts; follow building codes and plans; Cut, bend, and shape metal with hand and power tools.

Required Education: Apprenticeship or occupational training, Mathematics and mechanical drawing

Average salary: $51,370

28: Brick Mason and Blockmason:

Responsibilities: Build walls, foundations, chimneys, and other buildings by laying and binding bricks, concrete blocks, and other materials.

Required Education: Apprenticeship or occupational training, Math, blueprints, and construction skills

Average salary: $50,950

29: Carpenter:

Responsibilities: Build and repair walls, roofs, and decks; follow building codes and plans,

Required Education: Apprenticeship or occupational training, Math, blueprints, and construction skills

Average salary: $49,520

30: Construction Equipment Operator:

Responsibilities: Move materials and excavate ground with bulldozers, excavators, and cranes, Safeguard you, Maintenance and minor repairs

Required Education: Apprenticeship or occupational training, Mechanical knowledge

Average salary: $49,140

31: Construction Laborer:

Responsibilities: Help build, repair, and maintain structures; load and unload equipment; safeguard you.

Required Education: On-the-job training, Construction experience

Average salary: $37,890

32: Roofers:

Responsibilities: Fix residential and business roofs, Follow building codes and plans,

Required Education: Talents in building, mathematics, and blueprint reading, as well as on-the-job training

Average salary: $43,870

How Many Jobs Are in Basic Industries?

Numerous people worldwide are employed by what are known as basic or primary industries. A few examples of these fields are farming, mining, fishing, and logging. Around one billion people are employed in agriculture alone, per the International Labor Organization. Basic industries like mining and forestry are important to the global economy because they employ millions of people.

Basic Industries Jobs Pay:

Salary ranges in the basic industries are very context- and role-dependent. Although compensation in these fields is typically lower than in other fields, they typically offer additional benefits, such as work stability and potential for promotion. In the United States, the average yearly wage for farm laborers is close to $26,000, whereas the average annual salary for miners is close to $56,000.

Basic Industries a Good Career Path:

Those interested in agriculture, mining, fishing, forestry, or energy production can find satisfying careers by working in basic industries. These fields may offer lower pay, but they typically provide stable employment and room for professional growth. In addition, these sectors are crucial to the international economy and the development of many nations’ infrastructures.


Basic industry salaries are typically lower than those in other fields; there are still several positions available within the industry that pay competitively. Mining and quarrying managers, petroleum engineers, and agricultural engineers have some of the highest median incomes in the basic industries. According to data provided by the BLS, the yearly median income for petroleum engineers is $137,720, while the annual median compensation for mining and quarrying managers is $110,190.