- How many jobs are available in capital goods?
- What are capital goods?
- Types of jobs available in the capital goods industry
- Software developer: $114,164 per year
- Production worker: $37,937 per year
- Research & development technician: $47,939 per year
- Driver: $57,831 per year
- Engineering manager: $132,325 per year
- Marketing manager: $73,783 per year
- Industrial architect: $90,392 per year
- Business development manager: $74,660 per year
- Sales Engineer: $85,319 per year
- Manufacturing Technician: $48,679 per year
- Benefits of a capital goods career
- Drawbacks of a capital goods career
Capital goods are very important in the production process of any product. As of 2023, the consensus is that there are more than 1,3 million jobs available in the capital goods industry. This number includes all of the jobs from software developers to warehouse workers.
Needless to say, without this industry, no products would be found in the market or reach our doorsteps.
The industry is very comprehensive. It offers many types of jobs and careers, from software developers to warehouse workers.
We started to wonder, exactly what is capital goods, and how many jobs are available in capital goods.
Is the industry still booming as it was before artificial intelligence and computerized machinery? Are employers still hiring humans to do basic jobs like working on the production line?
We noticed a rise in capital goods orders in 2022. What this tells us is that the companies that produce capital goods are, simply, getting more business.
However, there is still a reason for concern because the US imports most of its capital goods.
That's to say the companies needing capital goods aren’t necessarily employing extra people. The jobs are outsourced to the countries that they import from.
Plus, the industrial world is now almost fully computerized. Machines and computers are doing the basic work hundreds of people would've been hired for in the past (industrial revolution effects 101).
Despite these challenges, hope still shines for those who want to get a job in the capital goods industry. And let us explore more!
How many jobs are available in capital goods?
Capital goods holds a loth of professions under its umbrella. As we’ll continue to explore, there are around 1,3,000,000 (1,3M) jobs available in capital good in the US alone. This number includes all of the jobs from software developers to warehouse workers, and it’s expected to grow over the course of 2021 to 2023.
Capital goods are indeed one of the biggest industries to work in. All of the types of jobs in the industry need to be added together to get an answer to this question.
Some jobs in this industry will see a lot of openings become available between 2021 and 2031. A software developer is one of these jobs, with more than 370,000 projected openings.
The future isn't as good-looking for other professions, like production workers. There is an expected decline in open positions. This can be caused by many factors, including automation and computerization.
Unfortunately, capital goods are one of the industries that are negatively affected by a bad economic cycle. As soon as things start to take a turn for the worst, the first workers to get laid off are those in production.
What are capital goods?
There are four factors of production; namely: land, labor, capital, and entrepreneurship. All these factors are equally important in production, and without just one of them, the entire process would come to a standstill.
Since capital goods are important for production, its economical role is also quite significant. These goods are used to make new products that consumers purchase, which, thus, boosts the economy.
Additionally, they can be exported to other countries, giving the economy an even bigger boost.
It is much better for the economy, the population, and the country as a whole if the capital goods are produced within a country’s borders.
Importing the goods would have a negative effect on the trade balance, and unemployment would rise. Plus, these imported capital goods would be unaffordable to local companies that need them. Of course, that’s not to say that this economy model is 100% negative. Politicians and giant corporations that control the game aren’t stupid.
But that’s a whole discussion, probably for another blog!
Anyway, let's return to the essential question: what are capital goods?
Capital goods are the physical materials, tools, and machinery a company uses to produce final goods. It can include anything from machines and tools to trucks, physical buildings, and everything in between.
A company typically owns the physical assets, which is why they are referred to as 'capital' goods.
The more a company expands, the more capital goods they purchase to handle the many production tasks. The more capital goods a company has, the higher its success rate and the more products it can deliver to the market.
If you work for any company involved in developing tools and machines, that then are used to produce end products, you can consider yourself a capital goods worker. In fact, you can call yourself a worker in this industry even if you sweep the floors at a production plant or drive a truck that delivers tools.
Capital goods examples include, but are not limited to:
- Industrial machines: these are used to produce and manipulate goods, like cutters or 3D printers.
- Trucks, trains, and other vehicles: they are used to transport the final products to the final location.
- Vehicles and machinery: they are used on-site, like forklifts and excavators.
- Hardware & software: these are used in the production of goods, like physical computers and artificial intelligence.
- Input and raw materials: they are used to create new products, like the steel that is used to make cars.
- Production tools: like saws, for instance, they are used to cut down the trees that are used to make paper or wooden furniture.
- Buildings: where production takes place, like large factories and warehouses or smelteries.
Types of jobs available in the capital goods industry
Capital goods are one of the broadest industries out there. Technically, capital goods are responsible for all final goods that have been produced.
This means that the types of jobs and careers in this industry are almost unlimited.
Capital goods workers aren't limited to the people who wear hard hats, safety goggles, overalls, and water or safety boots. Just like in REIT jobs, many professionals in this industry sit in an office and work a regular nine-to-five job in a thousand dollar suits. Others have very flexible jobs, and may be on the road or at home most of the time.
You can pretty much work almost in any field and call yourself a capital goods worker.
If you're considering a career in capital goods, it would be best to learn about the different jobs and find something that interests you. You need to narrow down what exactly you want to pursue when saying “capital worker,” rather than a simple spray-and-pray style.
Software developer: $114,164 per year
As a professional in this job, you'll work in the IT field of capital goods. Your job description will include creating, designing, building, and programming software that can then be used in the production process.
You'll also need to develop software that powers machinery and computers themselves.
If you intend to become a software developer, you need a bachelor's degree or similar qualification in computer science or engineering. Some advanced development positions may require a master's degree or even higher.
The base salary you can expect to earn as a software developer will depend on your experience and qualifications. However, you can earn an average of $114,164 per year. This is a good salary, considering software developers don’t always work long hours.
This profession's job outlook is excellent. The United States Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) recently projected growth between 25 and 26% for software developers from 2021 to 2031. Additionally, an average of 162,900 jobs will be opening each year until 2031, as per the same source.
Production worker: $37,937 per year
Production workers, also commonly hired in basic industries, mainly work on the production line. You'll need a range of skills and certifications to help you complete your daily tasks.
Your job will be working with the machinery and equipment to ensure everything runs smoothly. Your responsibilities would include cleaning, maintaining, and assembling large capital goods. Sometimes you'll be directly on the line, assembling some products themselves or packing them into boxes.
Production workers don't earn a massive salary, as the job doesn’t require top-notch skillset. Still, there is much room for growth in the industry. Plus, you'll mostly work overtime, for which you will get strongly rewarded. You can expect to earn an average of $37,937 per year.
The field of production work is very comprehensive, so it's hard to narrow it down and put it in numbers.
The overall production worker job outlook isn't good, with a decline of 5% over the next ten years.
Research & development technician: $47,939 per year
Research and development (R&D) technicians work with the team that researches and develops new products. You'll be required to test the new projects with a mixture of chemistry and mathematics.
Your daily tasks may include using formulas and other mathematical equations to confirm that a new product will work.
Overall, research technicians earn an average of $47,939 per year.
This particular position usually give you the option of working for a single company and test all of their new products or take part-time jobs at different companies.
The projected growth for this job also looks very good. According to the BLS, there will be an increase of approximately 7% from 2021 to 2031.
Driver: $57,831 per year
Drivers are involved in the transportation part of capital goods across the country or at least from one part of a city to another.
As a driver, you can be employed to drive many different vehicles or machines, including trucks, cars, buses, and forklifts.
You can be hired to transport many goods, including food, takeout, and large loads of certain products. There's always room for more training so as to be able to transport toxic or hazardous materials for higher salaries.
There isn't a minimum education requirement for drivers. In most cases, you only need a specific driver's license to transport certain goods.
The average salary of general drivers in the US is $57,831 per year. The job growth for this profession stands at 11% from 2021 to 2031. This means that many more drivers will be needed in the future.
Engineering manager: $132,325 per year
Engineering managers are involved in the planning and development of a new product. You'll need to come up with concepts and ensure that all goes according to plan in the development of that product.
You need to have at least a master's degree in engineering management to get a good job as an engineering manager. De factp, most employers prefer that you have a few years of prior experience in the field.
Engineering managers are amongst the highest-paid capital goods workers. This is understandable because your job will be very complex, and you need to be highly qualified.
Engineering managers earn no less than an average salary of $132,325 per year. This amount is almost never set, because it varies widely between jobs and employers.
There is a projected engineering manager job growth of 2% from 2021 to 2031. This doesn't sound much, but it's an average of 14,000 openings each year until 2031!
Marketing manager: $73,783 per year
As a marketing manager, your job will be to devise plans to market capital goods to buyers who can use the goods in their final products.
Marketing managers need a number of skills and a bachelor's degree in marketing. In exceptionally rare cases, having a certification or short course could be enough.
The average annual salary you can expect as a marketing manager is around $73,783. You could take a part-time job and get paid with a commission as many marketing managers prefer. The commission approach can double up your income if you’re a well-rounded marketer.
The projected growth for this job is 10% over the ten years, which range from 2021 to 2031. This is a great outlook, and it means that many new products will be on the shelves in the future.
Industrial architect: $90,392 per year
Architecture is the planning and design of buildings and constructions. Industrial architecture is one of the many types of architecture.
This field of expertise involves the designing and drawing of blueprints of buildings that are specifically used in an industrial setup. This includes factories, silos, warehouses, cold rooms, and foundries.
As an architect in the US, you could earn an overall average of $90,392 per year. This number is suited because you will have a very important job.
You have the opportunity to open your own firm in which you can specialize in industrial architecture.
Estimated job growth of 3% is expected over the period between 2021 and 2031.
Business development manager: $74,660 per year
Business development managers work with the management team of a company. You'll be pretty much involved in growth hacking methods and spotting room for production and distribution growth.
Your main objective would be to increase the profit margin, get new customers, and improve the brand's image.
For this position, you could earn an average of $74,660 per year.
There is a 10% expected job growth from 2021 to 2031, which means there will be many more jobs opening in the future.
Sales Engineer: $85,319 per year
Sales engineers are the people who present technical and scientific products to potential customers.
Your job will be to persuade customers that your products are worth their investment. In simpler terms, you need to help potential buyers see the perks of your product, and the job it can get done for them, thus convincing them that your product is worth the price.
If you're a future sales engineer, you can expect to earn an average of $85,319 annually. Plus, you could earn much more if you work on a commission basis!
There will definitely be an opening for you from 2021 to 2031 since the US Bureau of Labor Statistics projects a 6% job growth!
Manufacturing Technician: $48,679 per year
Manufacturing technicians are directly involved in the manufacturing process. Your duties will include operating the machinery, tools, and other heavy equipment used to produce capital goods.
You will also have the responsibility of testing the final products to ensure that there aren't any defects or flaws.
Open manufacturing technician jobs will increase by 5% from 2021 to 2031. If you're one of the lucky ones that land a job in this industry, you could earn $48,679 annually.
Benefits of a capital goods career
There are many benefits of starting a career in capital goods. Whether you're floating around between part-time jobs, or growing in your current position, there are always a few positives!
Thousands of capital goods companies open their doors every day. These companies need workers, and you could be one of them.
Large-scale production companies need a lot of workers, and sometimes they don't care about experience. This is great for school leavers because they can immediately land a new job.
Many companies need entry-level workers. These companies take initiative and provide training on the job, and sometimes they send their workers off to do courses and get certifications.
These jobs don't pay well initially, but the compensation usually includes a few benefits and the opportunity to work yourself up.
In most cases, if you land a job at one of these leading US capital goods companies, you can rest assured that you have a stable job. There will always be a need for capital goods, which means there will always be a need for capital goods workers.
As long as this need exists and you do your job properly, the chances are slim that you'll have to look for a new job soon.
Many capital goods jobs include great benefits, like health insurance and a retirement fund. You may not consider these benefits very important from the beginning, but their value is immeasurable when needed.
Another great benefit is the opportunity to grow and work yourself into a management position. Nobody wants to work on the bottom forever, right? You could start as a production line worker and end up as a supervisor or production manager.
Drawbacks of a capital goods career
There are always one or two drawbacks to any career. What you make of them is up to you.
Fortunately, most of these drawbacks can be overlooked because the benefits tend to make up for them.
Despite the fact that most capital goods jobs are stable, there is always the smallest chance that you could get laid off. Production workers are the first to go when the economy isn't doing well.
You could also lose your job to a machine. Many employers are choosing to lay off workers because there are new and improved machines and computers that can do the work faster. You don't have to worry about this drawback if you work in a job that can't be done by a computer, like a driver.
Most jobs don’t require experience or qualifications, so you will remain an entry-level worker for a while. If something were to happen and you lose your job, you could struggle to find a new one.
Production is a labor-intensive and physically demanding career. You may work very long hours on some days, but a hefty overtime wage greatly rewards this.
There is also the possibility that you could get hurt because of the risky and unsafe tasks that capital goods workers may face. Luckily, most companies offer health insurance covering all your expenses if something unfortunate happens to you.
Finally, there aren't a lot of opportunities to open your own business or firm in capital goods. Some jobs, like software developer, industrial architect, and business development manager, do have this opportunity. Others, like production workers and drivers, do not.
If you're looking into starting a career in the capital goods industry, we recommend weighing up all your options first.
An entry-level job is very convenient at first, but it doesn't hold many other benefits. Plus, the constant fear that you may lose your job any day may be enough to drive you insane.
But don't be put off capital goods completely. It seems that there is hope for some professions in the industry. Even if things aren't looking too good for some of the others
Automation and computerization are the next big thing. Large corporations aren't thinking twice before investing in massive machines that can do the work of hundreds of production workers.
Fortunately for these workers, there are still other companies that are sticking to the traditional way of working; with humans.
Try to work yourself up in your current field before switching positions. This will ensure you have a stable job when the company starts laying off entry-level workers.
Until every single profession has a projected decline in job openings, we'll hold onto our hope that this industry has a future!
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