How Many Jobs Are Available in Industrial Machinery/Components?

How Many Jobs Are Available in Industrial Machinery/Components?

With gigantic companies like Baker Hughes Inc., Caterpillar Inc., and Deere & Co., you may be wondering how many jobs are available in industrial machinery/components.

A lot of sources state that there are more than 2.1 million jobs available. However, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), there are 483,200 jobs in the industrial machinery industry.

The United States of America is currently on the list of the world's top 10 leading machine tool exporting countries.

In the 8th spot, it's no surprise that there are thousands of jobs available in this country's industrial machinery industry.

The US exports most of its industrial machinery/components. In 2020, the country exported a total of $21.58 billion worth of industrial engines.

If you're thinking about a specific job and its future outlook or average salary, or even which jobs are available in the industry, you've come to the right place.

We conducted a ton of research and found all the information that you need to know if you want to start a career in industrial machinery.

Overview of Industrial Machinery

You wondered what industrial machinery is all about, and we went and found the answers!

As it turns out, industrial machinery is an industry that is partially responsible for production in all other industries. Yes, production wouldn't be possible if it wasn't for industrial machinery/components.

For a better idea of industrial machinery, think Caterpillar Inc. and Deere & Co. These are two of the largest companies in this industry, based in the United States.

Industrial machinery and industrial components are the machines, equipment, and tools used to manufacture and produce other goods. You'll typically find these things in factories and other industrial areas, but the truth is that they are used everywhere.

Many types of machinery can be used in industrial production, like material handling, and metalworking machinery. The type of machinery that gets used depends on the work that needs to be done, and the scale of production that is necessary.

Types of jobs available in industrial machinery/components

There are many industrial machinery/components jobs that you can work towards. With the help of the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics, we found 10 of the best jobs in this industry.

1. Welder: $47,010 per year

As a welder, you'll have the job of joining different metal parts with a particular machine. To know which parts to work with, you need to be able to read blueprints and plans.

To become a welder, you need a high school degree at minimum. Taking a short course or obtaining your associate degree is a good idea if you want to get certified as a welder.

In some states, you won't be able to work if you aren't a certified welder. You need to become a Certified Welder with the American Welding Society.

If you want to improve your skills and better your chances, you can get extra certification from the American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME).

Furthermore, to ensure that you know the best and safest welding practices, you need to complete a training program as required by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA).

Welders, solderers, cutters, and brazers in the US earn a median salary of $47,010 per year. Employment in these professions is expected to grow by 2% from 2021 to 2023.

2. Industrial maintenance technician: $48,900 per year

Working as an industrial maintenance technician means that you'll have the job of installing, maintaining, and repairing industrial machinery and components. These machines can be installed in production plants or factories.

To become an industrial maintenance technician, you need a bachelor's degree and previous work experience in a related field. In addition, you also need to have vast knowledge about working with these types of machines and how to comply with OSHA regulations.

According to the BLS, the employment of maintenance technicians is set to grow by 8% from 2021 to 2031. Working in this job, you can expect to earn a median annual salary of $48,900.

3. Machinist: $47,730 per year

Machinists work with many tools and machines to create new metal parts to be used in production. You'll have a very precise job because you need to set up, align, secure, monitor, turn, drill, and grind machine parts.

A high school diploma is considered sufficient for a machinist job, but an associate degree or apprenticeship program is a big plus!

The employment of machinists is expected to grow by a mere 2% from 2021 to 2031. Working in this profession can help you earn a median annual wage of $47,730.

4. Continuous improvement engineer: $78,918 per year

As a continuous improvement engineer, you'll be hired by industrial companies. Your job will include a number of tasks, from collecting data to determining safety measures and analyzing current output. With this information, you need to find ways to improve production and manufacturing.

You'll need a bachelor's degree and experience in lean manufacturing to become a continuous improvement engineer.

Zippia reports that the job outlook for this profession is good, with an 8% growth from 2018 to 2028. They also report that the average salary for continuous improvement engineers is $78,918 per year.

5. Purchasing manager: $63,470 per year

Purchasing managers are responsible for all purchases made by a company. You'll need to conduct interviews with suppliers and vendors, compare prices, and stay on top of market trends.

You'll also be required to hire new purchasing staff members and oversee their duties.

The minimum requirements needed to become a purchasing manager are a bachelor's degree and five years of experience in purchasing and procurement.

The median salary for this job, which is expected to grow by 4% from 2021 to 2031, is $63,470 per year.

6. Process engineer: $87,598 per year

Process engineers oversee the entire production process, from start to end. In this job, you'll develop, optimize, configure, assess, and design the production process. You will also be required to conduct risk assessments and monitor equipment.

To become a process engineer, you need a bachelor's degree in any engineering field. If you have this degree, you can earn an average of $87,598 per year.

In the future, there will be between 8 and 10% more jobs in this field. The exact data regarding this is unclear, but we could make this assumption based on the outlook of two other engineering jobs, namely industrial and chemical engineers.

7. Mechanical engineer: $95,300 per year

As a mechanical engineer, your job will be to design mechanical devices, after which you'll be required to develop prototypes and conduct tests. From the test results, you need to determine what needs to happen next regarding the device. Lastly, you'll decide whether the production of the device needs to proceed or not.

To become a mechanical engineer, you need a bachelor's degree in engineering. To become a licensed professional engineer, you also need to complete an ABET-accredited program.

The employment of mechanical engineers is expected to grow by 2% from 2021 to 2031. Working as a mechanical engineer, you will earn a median annual salary of $95,300.

8. Technical sales manager: $158,548 per year

Technical sales managers are sales managers who deal with technical staff and products. In this job, you need to network to identify potential customers and then negotiate contracts. You will also be responsible for hiring and recruiting new sales members.

A bachelor's degree should be sufficient to get a technical sales manager job, but an advanced degree is usually preferred. Working with sales in the past is also a big plus.

According to Glassdoor, this job can pay an average of $158,548 per year, while the BLS projects a 5% growth for all sales manager jobs.

9. Industrial engineer: $95,300 per year

An industrial engineer is the next type of engineer job in the industrial machinery industry. With a median salary of $95,300 per year, you will have an extensive job description working in this field.

You will have several duties that stretch all over the industrial production process, from designing new control systems to finding ways to manufacture new tools and parts.

As with any other engineering job, you need a bachelor's degree in engineering. After this, you can complete an ABET-accredited program to become a certified industrial engineer.

The projected job outlook for this career is very positive, with a growth of 10% from 2021 to 2031.

10. Forklift operator: $38,380 per year

Forklift operators are categorized as material-moving machine operators. The name says it all because you will be responsible for operating the forklift to move materials. The materials can be moved from one point to another or loaded onto trucks with the forklift.

There are thousands of forklift operators in the US, and according to the BLS, there will be 7% more by 2031. There is no degree needed to become a worker in this field, but a high school diploma and forklift operating license are essential.

To ensure that employers trust you enough to appoint you as a forklift operator, you need a few years of experience and some good references.

You can expect to earn a median annual wage of $38,380 as a forklift operator in the US.

How many jobs are available in the industrial machinery/components sector?

Industrial machinery/components are very important in the production process. Naturally, there are a lot of employees needed to handle the workload of this sector.

Back in 2021, the US Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reported that there are a total of 483,200 jobs in the industry. Add 69,700 to that figure, and you have the projected amount of jobs that there will be in 2031. With almost 70 thousand added jobs, it means that a growth of 14% is expected!

In addition to that, there will be 53,200 jobs opening every year until 2031. Thus, there will be extra space for industrial machinery mechanics, machinery maintenance workers, and millwrights in the future. The new openings could be due to several factors, like workers exiting the workforce, being promoted, or changing their career path.

Types of industrial machinery/components

Industrial machinery has a simple definition. It's all the machines, tools, components, equipment, and parts that are used in the production process.

Multiple different types of industrial machinery/components can be used, like:

Material handling machinery

Material handling machinery can be small or large machines that are used to handle, move, store, protect, control, and manipulate materials.

There are four different categories of material handling machinery, namely:

  • Bulk material handling equipment which includes hoppers, conveyor belts, and stackers.
  • Engineered material handling equipment which includes automated guided vehicles (AGVs) and automated storage and retrieval systems (AS/RS).
  • Industrial material handling trucks which include pallet trucks, side loaders, and hand trucks.
  • Storage and handling equipment which includes stacking frames, mezzanines, drawers, shelves, and racks.

Metalworking machinery

These machines are used to manipulate different types of metals. They are used to remove, shape, assemble, and form metals in the production process.

Some metalworking machines that are used in the industrial component industry include the following:

  • Milling machines are used to separate wanted and unwanted pieces of metal from each other.
  • Lathe machines are machines that rotate pieces of metal for different purposes.
  • Grinding machines are used to smoothen the ends of finished pieces of metal.
  • Shaper machines are used to cut pieces of metal into particular shapes.
  • Drilling machines are used to drill holes in pieces of metal.
  • Saw machines include different saw machines, like circular saws and bandsaws. These machines are used to cut big chunks of metal into small pieces.
industrial machinery/components

Cam-type bearings

These cam follower bearings are typically used in machines that move products in a linear direction. These machines include conveyor systems and transfer lines.

There are two types of cam-type bearings, known as:

  • Stud-type bearings, which incorporate threads and direct them to the right hole.
  • Yoke-type bearings, which have a hollow stem that presses into the stub shaft.

Both of these types are roller or needle bearings that have the purpose of following linear tracks or cams.


Bearings are very important in the use of industrial machinery. They get used to help with the rotation of the smaller parts inside the machine. This helps prevent friction and increases the machine's performance.

Slewing rings

Slewing rings are a type of bearing used in industrial machinery. These bearings are responsible for the turning action of large construction equipment, like excavators.

The bearing has two rings with a gear in one of them. There are many different sizes available, depending on the machinery it is used for.

Agricultural bearings

These types of bearings are heavy-duty, high-performance bearings that are used in agricultural machines. They are designed to carry heavy loads in harsh environmental conditions. Thus, they have better seals and deeper grooves.

Precision castings

This process involves using a mold to make exact and accurate casts. These casts need to be exactly right because they get used in critical machines, like airplanes and medical devices.

Linear bearings

Linear bearings have the same purpose as cam-type bearings. They prevent friction in parts that work in a linear movement. They do this with the help of several rolling bearings.

Eligibility criteria for a career in industrial machinery/components

Becoming a blue-collar worker isn't as simple as it may seem. Whether you want to apply for part-time jobs or start a career in the industry, there are some programs that you need to complete.

High school diploma

The minimum for most jobs across all industries is a high school diploma. This diploma is awarded to all high school graduates for the completion of twelve years of school.

If you've obtained your high school diploma, the battle is half won. Multiple jobs will accept this qualification as a minimum requirement. However, it's beneficial to use your diploma for further studies.

Associate degree

To obtain this degree, you need to complete a two-year course at a college, technical institution, or vocational school.

There are many types of associate degrees, from fine arts to science. A degree in the field you intend on working in is the best option.

Apprenticeship program

Apprenticeship programs are usually three to four years long. It includes physical and practical training, with added short courses that need to be studied for. After the program, there is a final exam that you need to pass to become qualified.

Many career options, especially millwright jobs, require this program. This is the final step in the process of becoming an industrial machinery components worker.

On-the-job training

The apprenticeship program and on-the-job training typically overlap. This is because this type of training is required to complete an apprenticeship program.

Apprentices need a maximum of 2,000 hours of on-the-job training, which is usually paid.

During this training period, you'll learn to clean, set up, power, and maintain industrial machinery. You'll be taught about all the machinery components and what they are used for. In addition to this, there are many other skills that you'll learn, like welding, blueprint reading, and computer programming.


There's no need to wonder how many jobs are available in industrial machinery/components anymore. According to the data we found, there will be a lot of jobs added to this industry in the future.

From bachelor's and associate degrees to apprenticeship programs, there are some requirements that you need to comply with.

However, with an industry-wide median annual salary of $59,380 (according to the BLS), it's clear that working towards a career in industrial machinery is worth it!

Written by

Hamid NOUASRIAAugust 6, 2023

I am the CEO and founder of Overmentality. I am a professional business and technical blogs writer and on-page SEO specialist. I hold a degree in Culture Studies and Media Literacy from the English Humanities and Art Department. And I am interested in Digital Marketing, Business, Entrepreneurship, Leadership, and pets of course!

You can reach me via email hair:

Or find me on my LinkedIn Profile.



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