Is Capital Goods a good career path?

Yes, capital goods is a great career path. Economically speaking, capital goods are necessary. They are the processed goods that are used to make consumer goods, which are the things that the average person buys.

Made out of raw materials, capital goods can be anything from steel to hand tools to dump trucks used to build roads. Any good that is purchased for the purpose of making other goods is a capital good, which means it’s an extremely broad industry with a heavy focus on manufacturing.

Capital goods are a necessary component of our economy, meaning that this industry is unlikely to go anywhere. Manufacturing is becoming more automated, so the jobs surrounding it are likely to get more specialized over time.

Here are 19 great jobs in capital goods:

1. Industrial Engineer Jobs (Overview)
2. Manufacturing Engineer Jobs ( Overview )
3. Process Engineer Jobs ( Overview )
4. Continuous Improvement Engineer Jobs ( Overview )
5. Industrial Designer Jobs ( Overview )
6. Mechanical Engineer Jobs ( Overview )
7. Tool Maker Jobs ( Overview )
8. Machine Designer Jobs ( Overview )
9. Tool Engineer Jobs ( Overview )
10. Tool Designer Jobs ( Overview )
11. Industrial Mechanic Jobs ( Overview )
12. Machine Builder Jobs ( Overview )
13. Calibration Technician Jobs ( Overview )
14. Solderer Jobs ( Overview )
15. Boilermaker Apprentice Jobs ( Overview )
16. Quality Inspector Jobs ( Overview )
17. Welder Jobs ( Overview )
18. Machine Operator Jobs ( Overview )
19. Logistics Associate Jobs ( Overview )

 

Almost all of these jobs require higher education and experience. For a couple of them, you could apprentice or go to a trade school. However, if you want to get higher-paying jobs in this industry, a bachelor’s degree – or even a master’s – is a smart move.

With the exception of a tool maker, who is likely to have an associate’s degree, all of the above jobs require at least a four-year college education. That means that if you’re looking to be well compensated in this field, getting a degree should be your focus.

Not all of the jobs listed here require a four-year degree., so if you aren’t interested in a higher degree, it’s a good place to look. However, several of them are good jobs to start with while looking for advancement.

Several of the above jobs don’t require a college degree. That doesn’t mean that they don’t make an excellent career path by themselves; however, they’re also a good place to start to learn more about the industry before moving into a higher-paid position.

The capital goods industry is a broad sector, leaving room for several types of careers. Whether you like to be hands-on in the manufacturing process or not, there are choices in capital goods. That being said, all jobs in the industry have certain aspects in common. Here are some attributes to consider if you’re looking to start a career in capital goods.

You work well without a lot of supervision. This isn’t a must for all of the jobs listed here, but most of the engineering, designing and trades jobs are going to require you to work without direct supervision. You’ll have a boss, of course, but chances are good they won’t be an expert in what you do – that’ll be up to you.

The process of manufacturing interests you. Capital goods are a cog in the manufacturing machine. That means that you’ll likely specialize in manufacturing in some way, and having an interest in it as a whole will benefit you and your career.

You’re a team player. Manufacturing is, by its nature, impossible for one person or even a small group of people to do alone. This means that you’ll end up working with others on a regular basis. They’ll likely be your peers, but they’ll have different areas of expertise than you do.

Working in a huge company or industry doesn’t bother you. Because of the scale of manufacturing, it’s very likely that the company you’ll work for in capitals goods will be very large. There’s nothing wrong with a large company, but it has a very different feel from a small one, which some people find off-putting.
Not every career in capital goods is listed in this article, so there is, of course, room for other career paths. If the above list describes you, then you should strongly consider looking into job options in this industry.

Not all of the jobs listed in this article require a college degree to get, but having a higher education isn’t going to hurt your job prospects. If you’re looking to get a four-year degree, or are wondering if the one you have applies to capital goods, then here are some to consider.

Engineering.

This is a broad degree that can help you get into any kind of engineering. If you know what you want to focus on, then you can also specialize.

For example:
Industrial Engineering. If you want to be an industrial engineer.

Manufacturing Engineering. If you want to be a manufacturing engineer.

Mechanical Engineering. If you want to be a mechanical engineer.

Chemical Engineering. If you’re interested in process engineering.

Mechatronics and Robotics. A good path to take if you’re interested in mechanical engineering or machine design.

Chemistry.

This can work for process engineering or expertise in materials and chemical reactions, which are all essential to manufacturing.

Logistics.

If you’re interested in working in logistics.
Industrial Technology. A degree in this goes over the different technologies and techniques of the industry. It can be applied to a lot of industrial jobs, such as industrial engineer or industrial designer.

Precision Metal Working.

This is typically an associate’s degree and is strongly recommended if you want to be a tool maker or other type of machinist.
A few of the jobs here require an apprenticeship or a certain level of training to achieve.

For instance:
Boilermakers require a training program – typically an apprenticeship – and some states require licensing.

Industrial mechanics have similar requirements as boilermakers and usually also need to pass a licensing exam.

For a machine operator, it’s likely you’ll need a license to operate heavy machinery, but it’ll depend on the machine and the state.
There are other certificates that you can get to show professionalism in your field or to assert that you’re familiar with safety.

This will be dependent on your individual career, as it’s best to get a certificate that’s in the wheelhouse of your area of expertise.
If you work in capital goods, you can be involved in the acquiring of raw materials, the manufacturing process, or the setting up of an industrial complex.

Capital goods are manufactured goods that aren’t meant for public consumption but for further manufacturing.

It doesn’t need to just be manufacturing, as an item like a bulldozer can be considered a capital good as it’s used to build roads or houses.
Many of these jobs require specializing in one way or another, be it in terms of education, training, or gaining work experience.

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Get Started 10 OF THE BEST PAYING JOBS IN CAPITAL GOODS

Industrial Engineer

Average Annual Salary: $78,000

As the title implies, industrial engineers specialize in the industry. Their focus is on the best, most practical way to set up production. Industrial engineers help design the layout of the production floor and are expected to be familiar with what’s being made and how in order to come up with the best solution.

Manufacturing Engineer

Average Annual Salary: $76,000
While in many ways similar to an industrial engineer, manufacturing engineers focus entirely on the manufacturing process. They come up with the most cost-efficient way to manufacture the best product. It’s imperative they are familiar with the current rules and regulations in order to make sure that the manufacturing process follows them.

Find Manufacturing Engineer jobs near me

Process Engineer

Average Annual Salary: $81,000

Process engineers’ specialty is the process. This means that they’re familiar with chemicals and chemical reactions, as well as manufacturing in general. Their duties include streamlining the process as well as looking for ways to make it more cost-efficient and get a more durable end result.

Find Process Engineer jobs near me

Continuous Improvement Engineer

Average Annual Salary: $74,000

The title may sound made up, but continuous improvement engineers have an important job. All engineers are supposed to look for improvements to the process, but that’s a continuous improvement engineer’s entire focus. They work to make the product less expensive to produce, easier to use, and more durable.

Find Continuous Improvement Engineer jobs near me

Industrial Designer

Average Annual Salary: $75,000
Designing a factory or industrial center is a complex endeavor. That’s where industrial designers come in. They typically work with industrial engineers to figure out the best location, layout, and machinery to have for the purpose.

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Mechanical Engineer

Average Annual Salary: $79,000

Mechanical engineers’ specialty is machines. They help design, improve, and repair machinery. They aren’t restricted to capital goods, but factories require a lot of new, advanced machinery, which makes it an excellent industry for them to focus on.

There are also some capital goods, such as construction equipment, that require a mechanical engineer’s expertise as well.

Find Mechanical Engineer jobs near me

Tool Maker

Average Annual Salary: $51,000

This is a highly specialized machinist position. Toolmakers work with machining equipment to create tools as specified. They need to be familiar with different materials and types of tools and know the limitations of their equipment.

Depending on where they work and their experience level, tool makers may make custom tools or work to design a plan for mass-produced tools.

Find Tool Maker jobs near me

Machine Designer

Average Annual Salary: $77,000

Machine designers design machines that meet the requirements of their clients. Knowledge of design, sketching, or drawing software is a must so that they can create designs and blueprints.
They often work with mechanical engineers and other related professionals to make sure that their work is reasonable, able to accomplish what’s needed, and within budget.

Find Machine Designer jobs near me

Tool Engineer

Average Annual Salary: $100,000

Like most engineers, tool engineers are focused on the practical aspects of their specialty. They will design tools when required, but they focus on the tool needed for a particular task.
Familiarity with blueprints and software to help with design is a must, as tool engineers need to both create the necessary tools and help with the process of constructing them.

Find Tool Engineer jobs near me

Tool Designer

Average Annual Salary: $62,000

Tool designers are responsible for coming up with new tools. They can design any number of tools, as well as the tools that create them. A strong grasp of mathematics is important. In order to design an effective tool, you need to understand geometry and basic physics.

With the exception of a tool maker, who is likely to have an associate’s degree, all of the above jobs require at least a four-year college education. That means that if you’re looking to be well compensated in this field, getting a degree should be your focus

10 ENTRY-LEVEL JOBS IN CAPITAL GOODS

Industrial Mechanic Apprentice
Average Annual Salary: $53,000
Industrial Mechanics, sometimes also called millwrights, specialize in heavy machinery. They know how to assemble it, repair it, maintain it, and relocate it. It’s a highly skilled tradesperson job that typically apprentices. So an apprenticeship is a good way to get started in it.
Find Industrial Mechanic jobs near me
Machine Builder
Average Annual Salary: $40,000
Someone has to assemble the machines once they’ve been designed. Machine builders need to have a grasp of mechanisms and be able to follow directions and read blueprints. It’s a very physical job, as it requires moving, holding, and lining up heavy items: both the parts of the machine and the tools needed to properly assemble it.
Find Machine Builder jobs near me
Calibration Technician
Average Annual Salary: $48,000
A calibration technician’s job is to make sure that the machines and other equipment are properly calibrated. This means testing heavy equipment, doing measurements, and correcting any errors that you find. The position requires attention to detail, along with familiarity with machines and measurements.
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Solderer
Average Annual Salary: $33,000
Soldering is often used on circuit boards and in other techs. A solderer has to be familiar with different types of solder, the materials being used, and keeping the proper temperature so as not to damage the circuit board. It requires a fine hand and being familiar with the tools of the trade, such as soldering iron heads and solder wick.
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Boilermaker Apprentice
Average Annual Salary: $40,000
Despite the name, boilermakers aren’t restricted to making boilers. They specialize in metal containers that hold liquid, which can be anything from liquid carbon dioxide to beer mash. It’s a highly skilled trade that requires knowledge of different types of metals, welding techniques, and how often a container has to be serviced to be safe.
Find Boilermaker Apprentice jobs near me
Quality Inspector
Average Annual Salary: $33,000
A quality inspector’s job is to make sure that items in a manufacturing process are maintaining the expected quality. This requires familiarity with the product, a keen eye, and being willing to do measurements as needed.
Find Quality Inspector jobs near me
Welder
Average Annual Salary: $38,000
Welders fuse pieces of metal together using heat. Welding is a skill that is used in many other trades, but it is a trade in its own right. It’s very physical, requiring you to get into difficult places in order to get the right place to weld. Welders can apprentice, but welding skills are also taught at many community colleges and vocational schools.
Find Welder jobs near me
Machine Operator
Average Annual Salary: $32,000
As the title suggests, machine operators operate machines. The skill set and requirements vary depending on the nature of the machine under operation. However, all machine operators are expected to be familiar with their machine’s operation and maintenance and to be very aware of what the machine can and cannot do.
Find Machine Operator jobs near me
Logistics Associate
Average Annual Salary: $35,000
Logistics associates are tasked with making sure that the company has the goods it needs when it needs them. They assist with the distribution, storage, inspection, and delivery of required goods and products.
This involves keeping the database up to date and keeping track of any potential snags in the supply line, and finding ways to work around them.
Find Logistics Associate jobs near me
Industrial Painter
Average Annual Salary: N/A
Industrial painting can be painting industrial spaces; however, it’s also the title for painters in a manufacturing process. For instance, the individuals who paint cars.
Using the right paint can be extremely important, as the paint is not just for aesthetic purposes – it also protects the surface under it and can help prevent mud caking, rusting, icing, or other undesirable outcomes.

Several of the above jobs don’t require a college degree. That doesn’t mean that they don’t make an excellent career path by themselves; however, they’re also a good place to start to learn more about the industry before moving into a higher-paid position.

WHY CHOOSE A CAREER IN CAPITAL GOODS?

The capital goods industry is a broad sector, leaving room for several types of careers. Whether you like to be hands-on in the manufacturing process or not, there are choices in capital goods. That being said, all jobs in the industry have certain aspects in common. Here are some attributes to consider if you’re looking to start a career in capital goods.
You work well without a lot of supervision. This isn’t a must for all of the jobs listed here, but most of the engineering, designing and trades jobs are going to require you to work without direct supervision. You’ll have a boss, of course, but chances are good they won’t be an expert in what you do – that’ll be up to you.
The process of manufacturing interests you. Capital goods are a cog in the manufacturing machine. That means that you’ll likely specialize in manufacturing in some way, and having an interest in it as a whole will benefit you and your career.
You’re a team player. Manufacturing is, by its nature, impossible for one person or even a small group of people to do alone. This means that you’ll end up working with others on a regular basis. They’ll likely be your peers, but they’ll have different areas of expertise than you do.
Working in a huge company or industry doesn’t bother you. Because of the scale of manufacturing, it’s very likely that the company you’ll work for in capitals goods will be very large. There’s nothing wrong with a large company, but it has a very different feel from a small one, which some people find off-putting.
Not every career in capital goods is listed in this article, so there is, of course, room for other career paths. If the above list describes you, then you should strongly consider looking into job options in this industry.

EDUCATION AND CERTIFICATION REQUIREMENTS FOR A CAREER IN CAPITAL GOODS

Not all of the jobs listed in this article require a college degree to get, but having a higher education isn’t going to hurt your job prospects. If you’re looking to get a four-year degree, or are wondering if the one you have applies to capital goods, then here are some to consider.
Engineering. This is a broad degree that can help you get into any kind of engineering. If you know what you want to focus on, then you can also specialize. For example:
Industrial Engineering. If you want to be an industrial engineer.
Manufacturing Engineering. If you want to be a manufacturing engineer.
Mechanical Engineering. If you want to be a mechanical engineer.
Chemical Engineering. If you’re interested in process engineering.
Mechatronics and Robotics. A good path to take if you’re interested in mechanical engineering or machine design.

Chemistry.

This can work for process engineering or expertise in materials and chemical reactions, which are all essential to manufacturing.

Logistics.

If you’re interested in working in logistics.

Industrial Technology.

A degree in this goes over the different technologies and techniques of the industry. It can be applied to a lot of industrial jobs, such as industrial engineer or industrial designer.

Precision Metal Working.

This is typically an associate’s degree and is strongly recommended if you want to be a tool maker or other type of machinist.

A few of the jobs here require an apprenticeship or a certain level of training to achieve.

For instance:
Boilermakers require a training program – typically an apprenticeship – and some states require licensing.

Industrial mechanics have similar requirements as boilermakers and usually also need to pass a licensing exam.

For a machine operator, it’s likely you’ll need a license to operate heavy machinery, but it’ll depend on the machine and the state.

There are other certificates that you can get to show professionalism in your field or to assert that you’re familiar with safety. This will be dependent on your individual career, as it’s best to get a certificate that’s in the wheelhouse of your area of expertise.

If you work in capital goods, you can be involved in the acquiring of raw materials, the manufacturing process, or the setting up of an industrial complex. Capital goods are manufactured goods that aren’t meant for public consumption but for further manufacturing.

It doesn’t need to just be manufacturing, as an item like a bulldozer can be considered a capital good as it’s used to build roads or houses.
Many of these jobs require specializing in one way or another, be it in terms of education, training, or gaining work experience.

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