The World of Work

Best Paying Jobs in Capital Goods: Top Positions and Their Salaries

John Hayden

Unlock Your Earning Potential: Exploring the Best Paying Jobs in Capital Goods Today


The capital goods industry offers a diverse range of high-paying job opportunities for those with the right skills and qualifications. These positions play a vital role in producing the machinery and equipment necessary for creating other products, making them essential to various sectors like manufacturing, construction, and technology.

So let’s explore some of the best-paying jobs within the capital goods industry, discuss their respective average salaries, and provide insights into what it takes to secure these top roles.

Key Takeaways

Here are the main things to remember:

  • The capital goods industry offers diverse and high - paying job opportunities for those with the right skills and qualifications.
  • Top positions in the industry include Senior Mechanical Engineer, Manufacturing Engineer, Engineering Manager, Sales Engineer, Industrial Designer, Marketing Manager, and Business Development Manager.
  • Salaries vary based on factors such as experience, education level, location, company size etc., with some senior positions like Engineering Managers having median salaries of $141k+.
  • Job seekers can secure these roles by gaining relevant degrees/qualifications coupled with several years of working experience in their respective fields while possessing strong communication skills to work efficiently within multidisciplinary teams.

Learn More

Watch our special video below to find out more and get pro tips, helpful hints and strategies for success:

Understanding The Capital Goods Industry

The capital goods industry produces goods used to create other products and includes jobs that handle direct production or support operations within private businesses.

Definition Of Capital Goods

Capital goods, also known as producer goods or means of production, are tangible assets used by businesses to create and manufacture products or services that will eventually be consumed by customers.

These assets have a significant role in the overall production process as they assist in generating revenue and economic growth.

To further illustrate this concept: imagine an automobile manufacturer that needs heavy-duty machines and specialized equipment to produce cars. 

Those machines and equipment would be considered capital goods since they provide essential resources enabling the company to create consumer goods – the cars themselves – which will later be sold to consumers.

Importance Of Capital Goods

Capital goods play a vital role in driving the global economy, as they are the essential building blocks for producing other products and services. 

These items, which include machine tools, industrial machinery, and construction equipment, are critical components in various industries such as automotive, textile, chemical, electronics, and machinery.

The importance of capital goods is evident when considering their fundamental role in creating manufacturing infrastructure that ultimately leads to finished goods. This process generates employment opportunities across different sectors while fueling worldwide economic growth.

For example, companies like General Electric (GE) and Boeing produce complex machinery used by many manufacturers globally. Big companies invest in cutting-edge technology such as artificial intelligence (AI), robotics engineering or research & development roles. 

This leads to innovative breakthroughs capable of making significant societal impacts - including clean energy solutions or advanced aerospace designs.

Top Positions And Salaries In The Capital Goods Industry

Here are the highest-paying jobs in the capital goods industry, including senior mechanical engineer, manufacturing engineer, marketing manager, and more.

Senior Mechanical Engineer

As a Senior Mechanical Engineer in the capital goods industry, you can expect to earn an impressive median salary of $98,840 per year. This rewarding career path involves designing and developing a wide range of machinery, tools, and equipment used for producing other products.

To excel as a Senior Mechanical Engineer in companies like General Electric or Siemens and secure lucrative job offers from them, it's crucial that you possess a strong background in engineering—preferably through obtaining at least a bachelor's degree—and gain several years of experience within the field.

In addition to your technical prowess in areas such as physics and thermodynamics, having excellent interpersonal communication skills will be vital for effectively working with colleagues across various departments while staying up-to-speed on the latest industry advancements.

Manufacturing Engineer

Manufacturing engineers are an integral part of the capital goods industry, responsible for designing and overseeing the manufacturing process of various products.

Their job duties include creating blueprints, developing processes to optimize production efficiency, and ensuring that products meet quality standards and customer requirements.

Manufacturing engineers typically have a bachelor's degree in engineering or a related field, with a median annual salary of $85k+. The top earners in this field can make over $120k+ per year.

Engineering Manager

Engineering Manager is one of the most in-demand positions in the capital goods industry, with a median salary of $141,280 per year. These professionals play a crucial role in coordinating various engineering tasks carried out within an organization.

They are responsible for managing teams of engineers and ensuring that projects are completed on time and within budget. To secure an Engineering Manager position, you need to possess a degree in engineering and gain several years of experience in the field.

It's also essential to have excellent interpersonal communication skills, as you'll be leading many cross-functional teams while working closely with other departments like marketing, manufacturing, supply chain logistics, and quality control managers.

Sales Engineer

Sales engineers are one of the highest-paying positions in the capital goods industry, with a median salary of $98,840 per year. Sales engineers specialize in marketing and selling technology and scientific products to potential customers. 

They work closely with other teams such as manufacturing, marketing, and customer service to ensure that customers' needs are met during the sales process.

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Industrial Designer

Industrial designers are one of the most sought-after professionals in the capital goods industry. They specialize in conceptualizing, designing, and developing products used to create other goods like machinery or tools.

The compensation for industrial designers varies based on seniority level, expertise, location, and cost of the product. According to recent stats available in this space, Industrial designers can earn an average annual salary of $74k.

Additionally experience with computer-aided design (CAD) programs is preferred for industrial designers working in modern setups today where technological skills have become as important as your soft skillset.

Marketing Manager

Marketing managers play a crucial role in the capital goods industry, as they are responsible for developing and implementing strategic marketing plans to promote products and increase sales.

They work closely with other departments such as engineering, sales, and product development to ensure that all marketing efforts align with the company's objectives. With a median salary of $142,170 per year, this is one of the highest-paying positions in the industry.

A bachelor's degree in marketing, advertising, business administration or any related field is required for this position.

Candidates for this job must be creative thinkers with excellent communication skills who can effectively communicate technical concepts to non-technical audiences.

It's also essential for them to stay up-to-date on market trends and consumer needs since they need to develop strategies that cater towards these trends.

Business Development Manager

Another top position in the capital goods industry is that of a Business Development Manager. These professionals are responsible for identifying potential business opportunities, building relationships with clients, and negotiating deals.

They also play a crucial role in developing and implementing marketing strategies to promote the company's products and services.

In terms of compensation, Business Development Managers in the capital goods industry have a median annual salary of $98k+, making it an attractive career option for those looking for high-paying jobs.

As with other positions in this field, salaries can vary based on seniority level, location, and product cost.

Quality Control Manager

Quality Control Managers play a critical role in the capital goods industry, ensuring that products meet regulatory and customer requirements. They set quality standards, oversee testing processes, and ensure consistent quality throughout the product lifecycle.

Quality Control Managers need strong analytical skills to detect defects and solve problems promptly.

Quality Control Manager

According to recent job data analysis, Quality Control Managers working in the capital goods industry can make significantly more than the median annual salary of $72k with salaries ranging from approximately $88k to over $100k+ per year.

Candidates interested in pursuing a career as a Quality Control Manager in this industry should hold a bachelor's degree with 3-5 years of experience while having knowledge about regulatory compliance.

Product Development Engineer

Product Development Engineers are among the top paying jobs in the capital goods industry. They are responsible for managing different designs and prototypes, testing them, and ensuring they meet necessary standards before being put into production.

As a Product Development Engineer, you will be responsible for transforming a company's goals into actual products for further development. You will evaluate mechanical designs to determine if they meet necessary requirements and intended function. You will also work closely with cross-functional teams to ensure a comprehensive understanding of project needs and objectives.

Software Developer

Software developers are some of the highest-paid professionals in the capital goods industry, with an average annual salary of $110,140 in 2020. In fact, software development is projected to have a growth rate of around 22% by 2030, leading to an additional 409,500 jobs.

The field offers diverse job opportunities across industries such as inland water transportation and computer and peripheral equipment manufacturing. To become a software developer in the capital goods industry, one must have a bachelor's degree in software engineering or computer science.

Factors Affecting Salaries In The Capital Goods Industry

Experience, education, company size and reputation, and geographic location are all factors that can affect salaries in the capital goods industry.

Experience And Education

Experience and education play a crucial role in determining salaries in the capital goods industry. Most top-paying jobs require a certain level of education, be it a bachelor's degree or higher, with additional certifications and on-the-job training being ideal.

For instance, experienced Industrial Engineers typically require a four-year engineering degree while Quality Assurance Managers generally need at least three to five years of experience along with their bachelor's degree.

In contrast, for entry-level positions like Warehouse Workers or Computer-Aided Design Technicians, usually only a high school diploma is required.

Company Size And Reputation

The size and reputation of a company can play a significant role in determining salaries in the capital goods industry. Larger companies with established brands tend to offer higher salaries to attract the most talented and experienced workers.

For example, General Electric, Honeywell, and Boeing are some of the largest companies in this sector, offering competitive pay for engineers and managers. However, smaller firms may also offer good opportunities for high-paying jobs in this field.

It's important to research each potential employer thoroughly before applying to understand their reputation within the industry and their compensation packages.

Geographic Location

Where you live and work can have a significant impact on your potential salary in the capital goods industry. In areas such as California, Texas, and New York, high-paying jobs are available for skilled professionals.

For example, machine learning scientists are in high demand and can earn an average salary of $161,000 in areas like San Francisco and San Jose. Directors of Product Management can earn an average salary of $157,000 with higher salaries found in cities like San Francisco and Seattle.

Metallurgical Engineers are sought-after in areas such as Houston and Pittsburgh with an average salary of $125,000 while Quality Assurance Managers can expect to make around $100k per year with higher-paying jobs in places like San Francisco or Seattle.

Benefits Of Working In The Capital Goods Industry

Working in capital goods provides competitive salaries, career stability, opportunities for advancement, and diverse job opportunities.

Competitive Salaries

One of the significant benefits of working in the capital goods industry is having a competitive salary. Many jobs in this field offer above-average compensation, making it an appealing option for job seekers who want to earn a decent income.

For instance, according to recent data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, electrical engineers have an average annual salary of around $100,420.

In addition to competitive pay rates, many jobs in the capital goods industry also come with excellent benefits such as retirement plans and healthcare packages.

Career Stability

The capital goods industry provides a sense of security and career stability for workers. The production of machinery, equipment, and other durable goods that are critical to the economy ensures consistent demand for skilled labor in this industry.

In addition, there are many opportunities for advancement within this sector, including moving into managerial or supervisory positions. Companies like General Electric and Siemens offer excellent benefits packages with competitive salaries.

For example, research and development managers can expect to earn between $120k to over $160k per year.

Opportunities For Advancement

Opportunities for advancement are plentiful in the capital goods industry. As workers gain experience and acquire new skills, they can often move up into managerial or supervisory roles.

For example, an Industrial Designer may eventually become a Product Development Manager or Engineering Director with several years of experience and advanced education.

Opportunities For Advancement

The capital goods industry is always evolving with new technology and innovations, creating the possibility for growth in both job responsibilities and salaries. With advancements in artificial intelligence (AI), statistics, machine learning, and mathematical modeling, there is a need for professionals who specialize in these fields. These experts will find solutions that enhance  quality while reducing production costs.

Diverse Job Opportunities

The capital goods industry offers a wide range of job opportunities for job seekers from various backgrounds and expertise. If you have an interest in machine learning, product management, research and development or metallurgical engineering, then the capital goods industry has something for you.

Industrial engineers work in different fields related to manufacturing, transportation, construction and utilities. Capital goods are tangible assets produced by businesses for use in consumer goods production.

Software developers also have some of the best-paying jobs in this industry. The top-paying positions include sales engineers, engineering managers and product development engineers among others.

Tips For Landing A High-Paying Job In Capital Goods

To land a high-paying job in capital goods, it is essential to network and use effective job search strategies while building a strong resume and portfolio, continuing education and skill development are also crucial factors.

Networking And Job Search Strategies

Networking and job search strategies are critical for landing high-paying jobs in the capital goods industry. Online job boards, college career centers, and social media can help aspiring professionals connect with key players in the field and learn about relevant job openings.

Building a strong resume and portfolio is also crucial when seeking employment in this industry. Job seekers should highlight their relevant experience, education, certifications, and technical skills that align with specific positions of interest.

Finally, continuing education and skill development through online programs or courses can improve qualifications and increase growth potential within the manufacturing industry.

Building A Strong Resume And Portfolio

To land a high-paying job in the capital goods industry, it's important to build a strong resume and portfolio. Your resume should highlight your qualifications and achievements, including any relevant skills or certifications you possess.

It's also an excellent idea to tailor your resume to fit the specific job you're applying for.

Your portfolio is another essential component that can give hiring managers insight into your abilities and experience. 

Include examples of projects you've worked on in the past that demonstrate your expertise in areas like robotics engineering or supply chain logistics.

Overall, taking the time to create a strong resume and portfolio can go a long way toward helping you stand out from other candidates when applying for high-paying jobs in the competitive capital goods industry.

Continuing Education And Skill Development

Continuing education and skill development are crucial for job seekers looking to land a high-paying job in the capital goods industry. As technology continues to advance, it's necessary for workers to stay up-to-date with the latest tools and techniques.

This can include taking courses online or attending workshops and conferences.

Continuing education and skill development

For example, those interested in software developer positions can improve their skills by learning programming languages such as Python or Java through online classes like Codecademy or Udemy.

Mechanical engineers can also benefit from continuing education related to robotics and automation, which are becoming increasingly important in manufacturing processes.

Frequently-Asked Questions

Q: What are the best-paying jobs in capital goods?

A: The best-paying jobs in capital goods can range from engineering manager to business development manager, with salaries often exceeding six figures.

Q: What is capital goods?

A: Capital goods are items, such as machinery or equipment, that are used in the production of goods and services.

Q: What is an example of capital goods?

A: Examples of capital goods include manufacturing equipment, tools, and vehicles used in the production process.

Q: What education or training is needed for a career in capital goods?

A: Many careers in capital goods require a bachelor’s degree in industrial engineering, mechanical engineering, or business. Years of relevant experience in the field may also be needed.

Q: What are the top 10 best-paying jobs in capital goods?

A: Some of the top 10 best-paying jobs in capital goods include mechanical engineer, manufacturing engineer, marketing manager, business development manager, electrical engineer, industrial engineer, and sales engineer.

Q: What is the career path for someone in capital goods?

A: The career path for someone in capital goods can vary depending on their area of focus, but generally, individuals start with an entry-level position and work their way up to management roles.

Q: What is involved in research and development for capital goods?

A: Research and development in capital goods involves designing new or improved machinery and equipment used in the production of consumer goods. This can include testing and fine-tuning equipment to improve efficiency and productivity.

Q: What are some companies in the capital goods sector?

A: Some companies in the capital goods sector include General Electric, Caterpillar, and United Technologies.

Q: What is the outlook for jobs in capital goods in 2023?

A: Jobs in capital goods are expected to grow in the coming years, particularly in industries like renewable energy and aerospace.

Q: What are the responsibilities of a manager in the capital goods industry?

A: Managers in the capital goods industry are responsible for overseeing the production process, ensuring efficiency and quality, and managing budgets and resources.

Secure Your Dream Role

The capital goods industry offers a range of high-paying jobs that require expertise in engineering, product development, and project management.

Factors like experience, education, location, and company size affect salaries in this industry. However, the benefits of working in this field are attractive with career stability and opportunities for advancement that provide long-term job security.

Job seekers can find these positions through online job boards or college career centers to secure their dream role in the capital goods industry's ever-growing sector.

John Hayden

John Hayden is a seasoned entrepreneur, business strategist, and career success blogger. He leverages his decades of experience in the corporate world to guide aspiring entrepreneurs and career professionals.

John's writing is fueled by his real-world experiences, including both his triumphs and setbacks in the business landscape. Known for his insightful and straight-shooting style, John offers readers a unique blend of hard-earned wisdom and actionable strategies to navigate the complex world of business.

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