How Many Jobs Are Available in Capital Goods?

Looking for a career with tons of opportunities? The capital goods industry might be just what you need. The job market in this sector is expanding, offering numerous employment opportunities. For job seekers, this means a wealth of options and strategies to enhance their competitiveness.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, jobs in the capital goods field are set to grow by 6% between 2016 and 2026. That’s a solid increase, and it means more openings for you.

There are about 80 different roles that fit into this sector. From 2020 to 2030, it’s expected that there will be around 7.3 million job openings each year in these roles. That’s a lot of chances to find your perfect fit.

If you’re thinking about growth and promotions, the capital goods industry is known for strong economic stability and steady job growth. So, if you’re aiming for a career where you can climb the ladder, this could be a great path for you.

What Are Capital Goods?

Capital goods are the backbone of any production-based industry. These are the physical items used to produce other goods and services, and they have a long lifespan. They are considered tangible assets, essential for the production or manufacture of products and services.

They can be anything from factory machinery to construction vehicles, and even the buildings where production happens. Their durability and ability to be reused make them essential for ongoing production processes. Capital goods play a crucial role in transforming raw materials into valuable consumer goods.

Capital goods can also be sold to other companies, exported to different countries, or used to create more goods and services. This flexibility makes them vital for economic growth and job creation.

Many companies in this field, like Caterpillar, John Deere, Honeywell International, and General Electric, have been around for decades, offering job security. These companies have plenty of entry-level positions available, providing a great starting point for your career.

Exploring Career Paths in Capital Goods

Choosing a career in the capital goods industry can be a smart move for several reasons.

Here’s why this field stands out:

  • Stability and longevity:

Many capital goods companies have been around for decades. Industry giants like Boeing, Union Pacific Corp., and Lockheed Martin offer a sense of stability that’s hard to find elsewhere – great for thriving over long periods.

  • Abundant entry-level opportunities:

If you’re just starting your career, the capital goods industry is a great place to be. There are plenty of entry-level positions available, giving you the chance to learn on the job. This is an industry that values hands-on experience and offers training to help you grow.

  • Job security:

In the capital goods sector, there’s always a need for skilled workers. Whether it’s manufacturing machinery, vehicles, or tools, the demand for these essential items means that jobs in this industry come with a level of security.

  • Growth potential:

The capital goods industry is always growing. This means more job opportunities and room for advancement.

  • Best-paying jobs:

The capital goods industry offers some of the best-paying jobs, including positions like Project Manager, Sales Manager, Marketing Manager, Software Developer, and Engineering Manager. These roles not only come with high salaries but also require specific educational qualifications and experience.

  • Flexibility:

Many roles within the capital goods industry offer the flexibility to work from home. This can be a huge perk if you value a better work-life balance and want to spend more time with your family.

How Many Jobs Are Available in Capital Goods?

If you’re considering a career in capital goods, the time is ripe. The capital goods industry employs between 970,000 and 1.3 million people in the United States alone. Whether you’re interested in engineering, finance, marketing, or hands-on production work, there’s likely a role that fits your skills and interests.

Naturally, the number of job openings will vary depending on the role you’re interested in. That’s why it’s essential to research specific positions and see how many openings are available.

Having a bachelor’s degree or a specialized certificate can significantly boost your chances of landing a higher-paying job in the capital goods sector.

Types of Jobs in Capital Goods

The capital goods industry offers a diverse range of career opportunities, catering to various skills, interests, and education levels. Understanding how capital goods jobs pay can help you make informed decisions about your career path, whether you are considering entry-level positions like assembler and quality control inspector or higher-paying roles such as software developers and mechanical engineers.

Let’s break down the main categories and see where you might find your niche.

1. White Collar Roles

These roles typically require a bachelor’s degree or higher, but the payoff can be substantial.

a) Financial Controllers

  • What they do: Managing costs, financial modeling, and strategic planning.
  • Why it matters: In an industry where raw material costs can fluctuate, financial expertise is of utmost importance.
  • Average salary: $72,000 – $152,000 per year.
  • Skills needed: Financial analysis, cost accounting, and ERP systems knowledge.

b) Computer Programmers and Software Engineers

  • What they do: Develop systems to manage production and supply chain logistics.
  • Why it matters: Automation is the future, and someone needs to program it.
  • Average salary: $66,000 – $167,000 per year.
  • Skills needed: Programming languages (e.g., Python, Java) and understanding of manufacturing processes.

c) Industrial Architects

  • What they do: Design efficient, safe, and productive manufacturing facilities.
  • Why it matters: A well-designed factory can significantly boost productivity.
  • Average salary: $65,000 – $126,000 per year.
  • Skills needed: CAD software proficiency and knowledge of industrial safety regulations.

d) Marketing Managers

  • What they do: In the capital goods industry, marketing managers oversee and develop strategies to sell capital goods to other businesses.
  • Why it matters: Even the best machinery needs effective marketing to reach buyers.
  • Average salary: $49,000 – $117,000 per year.
  • Skills needed: B2B marketing experience and technical product knowledge.

2. Blue Collar Roles

These roles often require specialized skills or certifications rather than a college degree.

a) Production Workers

  • What they do: Operate machinery, assemble products, and manage production flow.
  • Why it matters: They’re the backbone of manufacturing operations.
  • Average salary: $31,000 – $52,000 per year.
  • Skills needed: Attention to detail, physical stamina, and an ability to follow safety protocols.

b) Vehicle Operators

  • What they do: Drive forklifts, trucks, and other vehicles essential to production and logistics.
  • Why it matters: Moving materials and products efficiently is essential in manufacturing.
  • Average salary: $43,000 – $94,000 per year.
  • Skills needed: Relevant licenses like CDL and safety consciousness.

c) Quality Control Inspectors

  • What they do: Ensure products meet quality standards before shipping.
  • Why it matters: This role helps maintain the reputation of the company and prevents costly recalls.
  • Average salary: $51,000 – $114,000 per year.
  • Skills needed: Certifications obtained from the American Society for Quality, attention to detail, and knowledge of quality assurance techniques.

Is a Bachelor’s Degree Necessary for a Capital Goods Career?

Whether you need a bachelor’s degree depends on the specific job you’re interested in. Many blue-collar positions, such as forklift operators or machine technicians, don’t require a college degree.

However, white-collar roles, especially those in engineering, management, or specialized technical fields, often require higher education.

One advantage of the capital goods industry is that it offers career paths that allow employees to advance to more complex and rewarding positions over time, even if they start without a degree. This can be a great incentive if you’re looking to grow and develop your career within the industry.

How to Find Capital Goods Jobs

Whether you’re just starting out or seeking a new opportunity, here’s how you can find a job in this dynamic field.

  • Build the right skills and qualifications:

Good communication skills are essential, and you’ll need to handle pressure well. Of course, you’ll also need to obtain the technical skills relevant to the specific job you’re eyeing.

  • Language skills:

Since many jobs in this field are global, knowing more than one language can give you a significant edge. Multilingual abilities can open up high-paying positions in various markets around the world.

  • Online resources and job boards:

There are several online job boards where you can find capital goods jobs. Websites like Indeed, Jooble, and LinkedIn are excellent places to start your search. These platforms often list a wide range of positions, from entry-level to more advanced roles.

  • Company websites:

Don’t overlook company websites, especially those of capital goods companies. Many companies post job openings on their own sites before listing them on job boards. Regularly check the career sections of companies you’re interested in.

  • Internships:

Applying for internships is a smart move, especially if you’re new to the industry. Internships can often lead to full-time positions. They provide valuable experience and networking opportunities, making it easier to land a permanent role later.

  • Networking:

Networking with professionals in the industry can also be incredibly beneficial. Attend industry events, join professional organizations, and connect with people on LinkedIn to get the latest scoop on job openings and trends.

  • Public offices and agencies:

Check out public offices like the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) or the Department of Energy. They sometimes list job openings in the capital goods sector and can be valuable resources for finding employment.

You can apply this approach to finding a job in any field, not just capital goods. Whether you’re interested in a career in consumer services, real estate investment trusts, or anything in between, these skills can always come in handy.

Opportunities for Growth in the Capital Goods Industry

The capital goods industry is on a significant growth trajectory. Recent data shows a continuous rise in new orders for capital goods since April 2020, reaching around $130 billion in December 2023​.

This indicates a robust demand for capital goods, driven by a growing population and increasing industrial activities.

Experts predict that this sector will grow by about 20% in the near future. This growth means more job opportunities for those looking to enter or advance within the industry.

In Closing

Picture a career where your skills and efforts contribute to building the backbone of our economy. With the industry’s projected growth and increasing demand for skilled workers, now is the perfect time to make your move. The capital goods industry is booming, with a wealth of opportunities waiting for those ready to seize them. Whether you’re just starting your career or looking for a new direction, this sector offers a variety of roles, competitive salaries, and plenty of room for growth.

So, start exploring job openings, enhance your skills with relevant education and certifications, and connect with professionals in the industry. The capital goods sector is full of potential, and with determination and effort, you can carve out a fulfilling career.


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