A career in capital goods can be fulfilling in several ways. In addition to offering some of the best-paying jobs in the labor market, the sector creates employment opportunities for others. Professionals from diverse disciplines have potential the the capital goods sector, at both entry and management levels.
Capital goods companies make the machines, equipment, or infrastructure systems that support the production other goods or services. Examples include the machines cafés use to brew their coffee, or the robots used in auto assembly lines. Almost every product in your office or home was likely made by capital equipment.
Is pursuing a career in capital goods a viable option?
The future of the capital goods sector looks promising. For example, as the auto industry shifts to electric models, the demand for lithium and the complex machines needed to process it is only going to rise. The capital goods sector also stands to benefit from the shift from fossil fuels to renewable energy.
As the world increasingly turns to solar power, wind energy, and other forms of clean energy generation, there will be a growing need for the machines and equipment that are used to manufacture the components of these systems. This could lead to increased demand for capital goods such as solar panel production lines, wind turbine generators and other equipment. Furthermore, with the increasing focus on sustainable development, the capital goods sector is expected to continue to grow in the future as the world looks to reduce its carbon footprint and move towards a more sustainable future.
The capital goods sector should also benefit from the growing adoption of semiconductor chips in various industries. The U.S., China, and Europe are racing to dominate the chip production industry, fueling demand for chipmaking equipment.
What are the best-paying jobs in capital goods?
Compensation is always a major factor for anyone weighing their job options. Some of the best-paying jobs in the capital goods sector are the following:
Industrial engineers working in the capital goods industry play a vital role in maintaining the machinery and infrastructure that is used to produce the goods that are so essential to our modern economy. They are responsible for ensuring that these systems are operating at peak efficiency and are able to produce goods of the highest quality. As a result of the critical nature of their work, industrial engineers in this field are typically well compensated. According to data from various sources, their salary can range anywhere from $49,000 to $95,000, depending on factors such as their level of experience, education, and the specific company or organization that they work for.
In addition to their salary, many industrial engineers in the capital goods sector also enjoy a wide range of benefits, such as health insurance, retirement plans, and paid time off. They may also have opportunities for professional development, such as attending industry conferences or taking classes to stay up to date with the latest technological advancements in the field.
Industrial Engineers Can Expect To:
- Review and analyze production flows, work schedules, and processes to make sure proper methods are followed
- Perform quality control in order to minimize cost and solve complex production problems
- Plan innovative ways to manufacture or deliver services in an efficient manner
- Regularly meet with clients to go over specifications, manufacturing costs, personnel, and project statuses
Where Do Industrial Engineers Work?:
- Engineering Firms
- Construction Sites
As a mechanical engineer in the capital goods industry, you will play a key role in designing, developing, and testing the machines that are used to manufacture the wide range of goods that are considered capital goods. These machines are critical to the production process, and it is your job as a mechanical engineer to ensure that they are functioning correctly and efficiently. Your work may include everything from conceptualizing new designs, to running simulations and tests to ensure that the machines are able to meet the necessary performance standards.
The median salary for mechanical engineers working in the capital goods industry is quite high, often exceeding $90,000 per year. This is due in part to the critical nature of the work that they do, as well as the high level of skill and expertise that is required in order to excel in this field. Furthermore, the top-paid professionals in this field, such as those with many years of experience or specialized knowledge, can often make more than $120,000 per year.
In addition to the high salary, mechanical engineers working in the capital goods sector may also enjoy a wide range of benefits, such as health insurance, retirement plans, and paid time off. They may also have opportunities for professional development, such as attending industry conferences or taking classes to stay up to date with the latest technological advancements in the field.
Mechanical Engineers Can Expect To:
- Oversee manufacturing processes for products or services
- Produce and develop prototypes of devices they create
- Investigate design flaws and production flaws in order to recommend fixes
- Analyze issues that may require a device to be invented
Where Do Mechanical Engineers Work?:
- Engineering Firms
- Research and Development Firms
The capital goods manufacturing sector is increasingly looking to hire software engineers as the need for efficiency and automation in the production process continues to grow. The use of advanced software and automation systems is becoming increasingly important in the capital goods industry, as companies look to optimize their production processes and stay competitive in a rapidly-evolving market.
Software engineers working in the capital goods manufacturing sector have a wide range of responsibilities, including the design, development, and implementation of software systems that are used to control and monitor the production process. They may work on everything from simple data collection and analysis systems, to more complex automation systems that can control entire production lines.
The salary for software engineers in the capital goods manufacturing sector can be quite high, with many professionals earning between $90,000 and $138,000 per year. This is due in part to the high level of skill and expertise that is required in order to excel in this field, as well as the critical nature of the work that they do. Furthermore, the top-paid professionals in this field, such as those with many years of experience or specialized knowledge, can often make more than $138,000 per year.
Software Engineers Can Expect To:
- Design and test code
- Design and test software systems
- Optimize capability and speed of software
- Present new software capability to clients and stakeholders
Where Do Software Engineers Work?:
- Software Companies
- Computer Manufacturing Companies
- Software Publishers
- Government Agencies
Quality Control Inspectors
If you're looking to start a career in the capital goods industry and are looking for an entry-level job that pays well, a quality control inspector role may be an excellent option to consider. Quality control inspectors play a critical role in the production process, as they are responsible for ensuring that the goods that are produced meet the necessary quality standards. Their role is to inspect, test and measure the goods that are manufactured, to identify any defects or issues that may impact the quality of the final product.
Quality control inspectors typically start with an entry-level salary of around $36,000, but as they gain more experience in the field, they may be able to earn more than $50,000 per year. The higher salary is a result of the added responsibilities and experience that come with the role. As you gain experience, you may be able to take on more senior roles, such as leading a team of quality control inspectors, or even moving into management positions.
The quality control inspector role also provides opportunities for professional development, such as attending industry conferences, taking classes or training programs to stay up-to-date with the latest quality control methodologies and technologies. Furthermore, the capital goods industry is likely to offer plenty of opportunities for career advancement, as those who demonstrate their ability to identify and resolve quality issues can potentially move up the ranks to supervisory or management positions.
Quality Control Inspectors Can Expect To:
- Inspect, test, and measure products before they are delivered
- Accept or reject finished products
- Monitor the production process to ensure best practices and standards
- Make recommendations to production processes
- Remove products from production line that fail to meet standards
- Craft inspection reports that track quantity, weight, temperature, grade, etc
Where Do Quality Control Inspectors Work?:
- Production Facilities
- Manufacturing Plants
A Promising Future for Capital Goods Careers
In conclusion, the capital goods industry is a diverse and dynamic field that offers a wide range of career opportunities for professionals with a variety of skill sets. Whether you're a mechanical engineer designing the machines that manufacture capital goods, a software developer working to optimize production processes, or a quality control inspector ensuring that goods meet quality standards, there are many opportunities to make a meaningful impact in this industry.
With a median salary that often exceeds $90,000 and plenty of opportunities for career advancement, the capital goods industry can be a great choice for those looking to start or advance their careers. As the world continues to evolve and the demand for renewable energy and electric vehicles increase, the future of the capital goods sector looks promising and is likely to continue to grow and create more job opportunities.