Capital goods are the machines, buildings, and other man-made manufacturing infrastructure needed to make the objects you use in everyday life. Jobs in the capital goods industry make sure these components of the production process are available so manufacturers can meet consumer demand. There are many roles in this process, including the best paying jobs in capital goods.
Capital goods careers offer competitive wages for specialized tech skills, whether you end up streamlining production processes in the apparel industry or designing machines that make components for cars. In this article, we’ll share capital goods salaries, job market outlook, and the education required to get the best paying jobs in capital goods.
What Do Capital Goods Jobs Pay?
Capital goods careers have high hourly wages, and even entry-level positions pay well above the minimum wage. Depending on your education and experience, you can earn more than $100,000 per year. According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, electronics engineers earn a median salary of $107,540.
Capital Goods Job Outlook
The United States is a major supplier of capital goods. According to BLS, export prices for US capital goods rose 3.7 percent in 2021, showing increased demand. The job growth outlook for capital goods jobs ranges from four to 22 percent over the next decade, meaning that the majority of capital goods careers are adding plenty of new jobs.
Capital Goods Job Satisfaction
Jobs in the capital goods industry offer lots of benefits, compensation, and job security. Workers are generally satisfied with capital goods careers. For example workers at General Electric (GE), one of the largest companies in the capital goods sector, rated their satisfaction as four out of five stars and 80 percent would recommend working for GE to a friend.
Capital Goods Salaries: Lucrative Capital Careers
|Capital Goods Careers||Capital Goods Salaries||Job Outlook||Minimum Education|
|Engineering Manager||$149,530||4%||Bachelor’s Degree in Engineering|
|Marketing Manager||$141,490||10%||Bachelor’s Degree in Marketing or Advertising|
|Sales Manager||$132,290||7%||Bachelor’s degree|
|Training and Development Manager||$115,640||11%||Bachelor’s or master’s degree|
|Software Developers||$110,140||22%||Bachelor’s Degree in Computer Science|
|Electrical Engineers||$103,390||7%||Bachelor’s Degree in Electrical Engineering|
|Mechanical Engineer||$90,160||7%||Bachelor’s Degree in Mechanical Engineering|
|Industrial Engineer||$88,950||14%||Bachelor’s Degree in Engineering|
|Management Analyst||$87,660||14%||Bachelor’s Degree in Business or Engineering|
|Quality Control Inspector||$40,460||-12%||High school diploma or GED|
Best-Paying Jobs in Capital Goods: In Detail
- Average Salary: $149,530
Engineering managers coordinate, direct, and plan engineering projects in a capital goods company. An engineering manager must have an undergraduate degree in engineering with years of work experience. This role also includes making plans to improve the engineering department of the company.
- Average Salary: $141,490
A marketing manager makes buyers interested in the firm’s products. A marketing manager at a capital goods company needs to understand the special requirements of the industry they work in. Marketing managers work with sales representatives and help determine the market price of the product.
- Average Salary: $132,290
Sales managers lead a team of sales representatives to sell a company’s product. They need a deep understanding of the production process for capital goods in order to sell capital goods products. Sales managers evaluate the opportunity cost and marginal cost of the products, and they need a Bachelor’s Degree in Economics, Business, or technical field.
Training and Development Manager
- Average Salary: $115,640
Training and development managers are responsible for training and developing other employees in a capital goods company. This is an important role because capital goods companies sell niche products like manufacturing technology for the electronics industry or shipping infrastructure for the chemicals industry.
- Average Salary: $110,140
Capital goods companies rely on tech jobs, such as software developers, to function effectively. Software developers in the capital goods industry create computer apps and programs that make the company run more efficiently. While not directly involved in the factors of production, they help companies in the capital goods sector stay profitable.
- Average Salary: $103,390
Electrical engineers design and fabricate all the electrical infrastructure to meet the special requirements of capital goods production facilities. They also design and create electrical components of equipment used in the production process, as well as maintain all this custom-built equipment.
- Average Salary: $90,160
A mechanical engineer designs, develops, and tests machines needed in the manufacturing of capital goods. Mechanical engineers make sure that the production process for their machines meets industrial standards or clients’ specifications. Technical services provided by mechanical engineers are extremely important in the capital goods sector.
- Average Salary: $88,950
Industrial engineers in the capital goods sector make sure that machinery used in the production process is in good working condition. Aside from the maintenance of machinery, they also design the workflow in a manufacturing space to streamline processes and maximize productivity.
- Average Salary: $87,660
A management analyst suggests ways to improve efficiency in a capital goods company. They optimize economic opportunities by analyzing financial reports and manufacturing data to design more efficient production processes.
Quality Control Inspector
- Average Salary: $40,460
A quality control manager inspects and examines the capital goods product shipments for any defects. They also ensure that products meet the government standards. Quality control inspectors provide crucial technical services to capital goods companies to make sure the production process is producing high-quality products.
Resources to Find the Best-Paying Jobs in Capital Goods
- Online job boards: Online job boards are a great place to look for capital goods jobs. You can search for open jobs by company, job title, location, and more.
- Company websites: Once you create a list of capital goods companies you want to work for, check the career page on their official website frequently to see newly posted jobs.
- Internships: Apply for an internship in a capital goods company. Most companies like to hire interns for full-time positions if they perform well in their internship.
- College career centers: Most colleges have career centers to help you find a job after graduation. If you are still in college or are a recent graduate, see what career services your school offers.
- Professional organization: Join a professional organization for your field to network with other professions and stay up to date on the current labor market for your profession. Professional organizations usually have a job board too.
Is Capital Goods a Good Career Path?
The capital goods sector is a great industry to work in. Capital goods jobs offer competitive wages and interesting daily tasks. Many of these jobs are unionized and come with great benefits and access to union resources.
Before you leap into the capital goods market, make sure you have passion for the job. The capital goods industry specializes in manufacturing and construction, which can be physical jobs depending on your career.
Best Paying Jobs in Capital Goods FAQ
Examples of capital goods are buildings, machinery, and vehicles used to produce consumer goods. Other types of capital goods include tools, electronics, and computing technology, among others. You, as an individual consumer, don’t buy capital goods. Manufacturing companies like Walmart buy capital goods to make consumer products.
Yes, you can earn more than $100,000 per year working in the capital goods sector. Managers, software developers, and some engineers make more than $100,000 annually. Entry-level positions at capital goods companies may offer a lower level of wages, but as you gain more experience you can earn higher wages.
According to Indeed, some of the largest capital goods companies include Union Pacific, General Electric, Honeywell International, Lockheed Martin, and United Rentals Inc. These companies offer competitive wages, good retirement plans, and other benefits. Other capital goods companies include Boeing, Caterpillar Inc., 3M, Capital Good Fund, and ABB Limited.
Yes, capital goods companies also hire tech experts like software developers. As manufacturing becomes more and more automated, there will be more tech jobs in the capital goods sector. Tech jobs are competitive, and you can boost your chances of getting a job in a capital goods tech department by attending a coding bootcamp.
About us: Career Karma is a platform designed to help job seekers find, research, and connect with job training programs to advance their careers. Learn about the CK publication.