The Best Paying Jobs in Capital Goods (2023)


In the capital goods industry, skilled individuals drive the gears of production and enjoy lucrative payouts in return. From designing cutting-edge machines to streamlining production processes, this dynamic industry offers endless possibilities for those with specialized skills. With competitive wages, job security, and opportunities for innovation, the capital goods sector is where expertise meets fulfillment. Discover the best-paying jobs in this realm, including roles like senior mechanical engineer, engineering manager, and sales engineer.

Discover the world of capital goods, where machines, buildings, and essential infrastructure come together to create the objects you rely on every day. Behind the scenes, talented individuals in the capital goods industry ensure that the gears of production keep turning, meeting the demands of consumers like you. Excitingly, this industry offers a wide array of roles, including some of the most lucrative positions out there.

If you’re drawn to specialized tech skills and the prospect of making a significant impact, a career in capital goods could be your ticket to competitive wages and professional fulfillment. Picture yourself streamlining production processes in the vibrant world of apparel or envision designing cutting-edge machines that manufacture crucial components for the automotive industry. The possibilities are endless!

In this article, we’ll delve into the realm of capital goods, unveiling enticing details such as the potential salaries that await you, the job market outlook, and the educational pathways that pave the way to securing the best-paying positions in this dynamic field.

What is the capital goods industry?

The capital goods industry encompasses the machinery, buildings, and other man-made infrastructure that play a vital role in the manufacturing process. These are the essential tools and equipment needed to produce the goods and objects we use in our everyday lives. Think of it as the backbone of manufacturing, providing the necessary resources and capabilities to bring products from concept to reality.

Capital goods are distinct from consumer goods, as they are not directly consumed by individuals but instead serve as intermediate goods used in the production of final consumer goods. The capital goods industry is responsible for ensuring that manufacturers have the necessary components and resources to meet consumer demand effectively.

Within the capital goods industry, there are various roles and specialties. These can range from engineers designing and optimizing machinery to technicians maintaining and repairing equipment. The industry offers a wide range of opportunities for individuals with specialized technical skills, offering a gateway to exciting careers and competitive wages.

What are capital goods?

Capital goods are the backbone of the production world, the sturdy champions that enable businesses to create a wide array of goods and services. These durable assets range from mighty machinery to robust buildings, fueling industry operations and boosting productivity. While individuals may not directly interact with these goods, businesses rely on them to supercharge their production processes and drive economic growth. Capital goods represent an investment in the future, empowering businesses to unleash their full potential by enhancing efficiency and paving the way for innovation. It’s the secret recipe for success behind the scenes of the bustling economic stage.

How does the capital goods industry fare as a career path?

The capital goods industry is a dynamic sector that revolves around the creation of indispensable machinery, equipment, and infrastructure that propel diverse sectors forward. It’s a realm where engineers, designers, manufacturers, and operators collaborate to shape the future. The best part is that capital goods careers often come with enticing financial benefits, as skilled professionals are in high demand and play a crucial role in driving society and the economy. Moreover, job security in this industry tends to be robust due to the ongoing demand for these essential goods.

As if that weren’t enough, technological advancements and a growing focus on sustainability provide countless opportunities for honing your skills and advancing your career. If you’re ready to embrace challenges and seek a field that values expertise and fosters innovation, the capital goods industry beckons you with open arms!

The best-paying jobs in capital goods

Senior mechanical engineer

Average salary: $103,836

A senior mechanical engineer is responsible for designing and developing mechanical systems and devices used in various industries. They utilize their expertise in physics, materials science, and mechanics to create prototypes, test device performance, and improve designs. Senior engineers may supervise a team of engineers and technicians, review their work, and ensure projects are completed on time and within budget.

Engineering manager

Average salary: $139,328

Engineering managers oversee engineering operations within an organization. They coordinate and manage engineering projects, allocate resources, and ensure that engineering activities are aligned with organizational goals. They may also lead a team of engineers, provide technical guidance, and collaborate with other departments to drive innovation and efficiency.

Manufacturing manager

Average salary: $101,712

A manufacturing manager in the capital goods industry oversees production operations, optimizes processes, manages resources, ensures quality control, and leads teams. They coordinate production schedules, implement cost-saving measures, maintain compliance with regulations, and drive continuous improvement efforts for efficient and high-quality manufacturing.

Sales engineer

Average salary: $93,727

A sales engineer acts as a bridge between technical expertise and sales. They combine their technical knowledge with strong communication and sales skills to promote and sell complex products or services. Sales engineers understand customer requirements, provide technical solutions, demonstrate product capabilities, and negotiate contracts. They work closely with sales teams and technical departments to achieve sales targets.

Senior industrial designer

Average salary: $74,758

A senior industrial designer oversees the creation and development of designs for products used in the capital goods industry. They consider factors such as aesthetics, ergonomics, and manufacturing processes to create prototypes, test product performance, and make design improvements. Industrial designers play a crucial role in balancing functionality, usability, and visual appeal to meet user needs and market demands.

Marketing manager

Average salary: $104,550

Marketing managers oversee marketing activities and develop strategies to promote products or services. They conduct market research, identify target audiences, plan advertising campaigns, and manage marketing budgets. A marketing manager collaborates with creative teams, sales teams, and external agencies to effectively position and promote products, aiming to increase brand awareness and drive sales.

Business development manager

Average salary: $100,769

A business development manager focuses on identifying and pursuing growth opportunities for an organization. They research market trends, analyze competition, and develop strategies to expand the business. These managers build and maintain relationships with key stakeholders, negotiate partnerships or acquisitions, and explore new markets or product lines to drive revenue growth.

Software developer

Average salary: $87,521

A software developer designs, develops, and maintains software applications or systems. Capital goods businesses need software to make sure everything runs smoothly, so developers write code, conduct testing, debug issues, and ensure software meets functional requirements. Software developers collaborate with cross-functional teams, such as designers and project managers, to deliver high-quality software solutions that address specific user needs or business objectives.

Electrical engineer

Average salary: $81,026

An electrical engineer specializes in designing and developing electrical systems, components, or devices. They apply their knowledge of electricity, electronics, and electromagnetism to create solutions for various industries. Electrical engineers may work on power systems, control systems, circuit designs, or telecommunications. They analyze technical requirements, develop specifications, and oversee the implementation of electrical projects.

Director of manufacturing

Average salary: $143,280

A director of manufacturing, also known as a manufacturing manager, is responsible for overseeing the overall operations of a manufacturing facility. They ensure efficient production processes, manage resources, and maintain quality standards. They collaborate with different departments, including engineering, supply chain, and quality assurance, to optimize productivity, meet production targets, and drive continuous improvement initiatives. Their role involves strategic planning, resource allocation, and ensuring the smooth execution of manufacturing operations.


What are capital goods industries?

Capital goods industries refer to the parts of the economy involved in the production, manufacturing, and distribution of capital goods. These industries focus on creating and supplying the machinery, equipment, and infrastructure needed for the production of other goods and services.

Some examples of capital goods industries include machinery manufacturing, construction equipment manufacturing, automotive manufacturing, aerospace and defense, energy and power generation, and agricultural machinery manufacturing. These industries play a crucial role in supporting overall economic growth and development by providing essential tools and equipment for various sectors.

What are some examples of capital goods?

The following are some examples of capital goods:

  • Manufacturing machinery and equipment
  • Industrial robots
  • Material-handling equipment
  • Medical equipment and devices
  • Construction machinery
  • Commercial vehicles and trucks
  • Power generation equipment
  • Packaging machinery
  • Farming and agricultural machinery
  • Aircraft and aerospace systems

What is the difference between capital stock and capital goods?

Capital stock and capital goods are related concepts, but they have distinct meanings. Capital stock refers to the total amount of capital, both financial and physical, that a company or economy possesses. In other words, capital stock represents the accumulated wealth that a business or economy has at a given point in time. It includes all the assets and resources available for production, such as machinery, equipment, buildings, infrastructure, cash, stocks, and bonds.

Capital goods, on the other hand, specifically refers to physical goods or assets that are used in the production of other goods and services. They are durable, long-lasting items — like machinery, equipment, vehicles, tools, and buildings — that are employed to enhance production efficiency and facilitate economic activities. Capital goods are a section of the overall capital stock and are directly involved in the production process.

What are some examples of consumer goods?

Unlike capital goods, which are used by businesses and industries for production and operational purposes, consumer goods are directly used by individuals for personal consumption. A few examples of consumer goods include the following:

  • Clothing: Clothing items — such as shirts, pants, and dresses — are consumer goods that people wear for personal use.
  • Mobile phone: A mobile phone is a consumer good that allows individuals to communicate, access the internet, and perform various tasks on the go.
  • Food and beverages: Items like packaged food, beverages, and snacks are consumed by individuals for sustenance and enjoyment.

Key takeaways

  • The capital goods industry is a sector that brings together machinery, buildings, and essential infrastructure to create everyday objects.
  • Capital goods differ from consumer goods in that their role in meeting consumer demand is providing necessary components and resources to manufacturers.
  • A career in capital goods offers competitive wages and professional fulfillment, particularly for individuals with specialized tech skills.
  • The best-paying jobs in the capital goods industry include senior mechanical engineer, engineering manager, manufacturing manager, sales engineer, senior industrial designer, marketing manager, business development manager, software developer, electrical engineer, and director of manufacturing.
View Article Sources
  1. Management Occupations – U.S Bureau of Labor Statistics
  2. Sales Occupations – U.S Bureau of Labor Statistics
  3. Installation, Maintenance, and Repair Occupations – U.S Bureau of Labor Statistics
  4. How Many Jobs Are Available in Industrial Machinery/Components? – SuperMoney
  5. 15 Best Paying Jobs in the Energy Industry – SuperMoney