Best Paying Jobs in Industrial Machinery

In the ever-evolving landscape of industrial machinery, lucrative job opportunities abound for those with the right skills and qualifications. As technology advances and automation continues to dominate manufacturing processes, companies increasingly seek talented individuals who can maximize efficiency, minimize costs and ensure the smooth operation of sophisticated machinery. These high-paying positions not only ensure a stable career path but also provide a sense of accomplishment as professionals contribute to pivotal advances in this essential industry.

One such in-demand role is that of a CNC Field Service Engineer, which offers a salary range of $63,500 to $80,000 per year. These experts are primarily responsible for installing, diagnosing, and repairing computer numerical control (CNC) machines while generating comprehensive technical reports to document their work. Additionally, research and development engineers boast an estimated annual salary range of $56,000 to $109,028, providing another excellent career path within the industrial machinery sector.

Operations managers are also indispensable in this field, with a median national salary of $98,890 per year. Tasked with overseeing organizational operations and ensuring peak efficiency, these professionals combine engineering prowess with leadership capabilities to elevate and optimize the workflow of manufacturing plants. As the industry continues to innovate and grow, so too will the lucrative opportunities available for those seeking to make a lasting impact in industrial machinery.

Overview of Industrial Machinery Industry

The Industrial Machinery industry plays a crucial role in manufacturing processes and contributes significantly to the larger basic industries sector. It revolves around the production, development, and maintenance of machinery and equipment utilized in various sectors such as manufacturing, construction, agriculture, and mining. These industrial machines range in function from the production of components and parts to the assembly of complex machines and systems.

Within the realm of industrial machinery, there is a wide array of subsectors and specializations. Some of the key areas include:

  • Material handling equipment
  • Construction machinery
  • Agricultural machinery
  • Machine tools
  • Automation systems

The basic industries sector thrives due to the growth and advancements in industrial machinery. As new technologies emerge and the demand for skilled labor increases, the opportunities for high-paying jobs in the industry also rise. Employment in the machinery industry can encompass roles in design, production, operations management, research and development, and maintenance, among others.

As the industry continues to grow, it is important for professionals to stay updated with the latest technological advancements and trends to remain competitive in the job market. In summary, the industrial machinery industry plays a vital role in the basic industries sector, offering substantial opportunities for high-paying jobs and long-term career growth.

Best Paying Jobs in Industrial Machinery

Machinery and Equipment Manufacturing

In the machinery and equipment manufacturing industry, some of the best-paying jobs include:

  • Automation Engineers: These professionals work on designing and implementing automated systems. They typically require a degree in engineering or a related field, and have a median salary of around $75,000 per year.
  • Industrial Designers: They create innovative designs for machinery and equipment, ensuring their functionality and meeting industry standards. Typically holding a degree in industrial design or engineering, they earn a median salary close to $65,000 per year.

Construction and Mining Machinery Manufacturing

The construction and mining machinery manufacturing industry offers various high-paying jobs, such as:

  • Millwrights: They install, maintain, and repair machinery in construction and mining sites. Earning an average salary of around $56,000 per year, millwrights usually complete an apprenticeship or vocational training.
  • Crane Operators: These professionals operate cranes to move and position heavy equipment or materials. With an average annual salary of about $55,000, crane operators typically require certification or vocational training.

Industrial Design and Technology

The industrial design and technology sector encompasses some top-paying jobs such as:

  • Research and Development Engineers: They create new products or improve existing ones, often focusing on efficiency and sustainability. With a median income of $70,000, these engineers typically have a bachelor’s degree in engineering or a related field.
  • Mechanical Engineers: Designing, building, and testing mechanical devices, these professionals make an average salary of about $88,000 per year. They usually have a bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering.

Automotive and Energy Sector Jobs

In the automotive and energy sectors, some well-paid jobs include:

  • Powertrain Engineers: They design, develop, and test new powertrain systems for vehicles. Requiring a bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering or a related field, these professionals earn around $92,000 per year on average.
  • Instrumentation Engineers: Responsible for designing, implementing, and maintaining control systems, these engineers make around $80,000 per year. They usually have a bachelor’s degree in electrical or electronics engineering.

Apart from these specialized roles, there are well-paying jobs in areas such as marketing, sales, human resources management, and financial management in the industrial machinery industry. Industrial Production Managers, for example, oversee the organization’s operations, earning a median national salary of $98,890 per year. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics and ZipRecruiter, jobs within this industry are expected to grow in the coming years, offering numerous opportunities for professionals with various skill sets.

Job Requirements and Qualifications

When considering a career in industrial machinery, it’s important to understand the various job requirements and qualifications demanded by employers. There are several high-paying jobs in this field, and they all require a unique combination of education, experience, and skills. Let’s explore some of the most common requirements for these roles.


A high school diploma is typically the minimum requirement for many positions in industrial machinery. Higher-paying roles may demand more advanced education, such as a Bachelor’s degree in engineering, industrial design, or a related field. Some specialized roles may even require a Master’s degree, depending on the level of expertise needed.


Experience in the field is another critical factor for securing high-paying jobs in industrial machinery. Entry-level positions may require one or more years of on-the-job training, while more advanced roles may necessitate several years of industry experience. As a general rule, a greater depth of experience is likely to result in higher earnings.

Technology and Computer Skills

Many industrial machinery jobs require a strong foundation in technology and computer skills, especially for roles that involve the use of computerized equipment or machinery. Proficiency in using CAD/CAM software, CNC programming, and other relevant software applications may be necessary. Additionally, a familiarity with various machinery types, such as milling machines, lathes, and lasers, is often beneficial for these roles.


A solid understanding of mechanics is crucial for most high-paying jobs in industrial machinery. Professionals in this field may be responsible for maintaining, repairing, or programming machinery, and a strong background in mechanical principles and diagnostics is invaluable.


Obtaining relevant certifications can also enhance your qualifications for high-paying jobs in industrial machinery. Examples include certification programs for specific machinery or software, safety training courses, and industry-specific certifications that demonstrate your expertise.

Job Growth

Job growth in the industrial machinery sector is generally positive, with a projected 6% increase in operations manager roles between 2020 and 2030, for example. This suggests that there will continue to be opportunities for qualified candidates in this field. However, consider that job growth prospects may vary depending on the specific role and industry.

By fulfilling these requirements and qualifications, candidates can position themselves for success in the competitive industrial machinery job market.

Skills and Expertise

In the industrial machinery industry, certain skills and expertise are imperative for professionals to excel in their jobs. Some of the key skills and expertise required for high-paying jobs in this industry include:

  • Problem-solving skills: As industrial machinery often involves complex systems, professionals need to be able to tackle problems efficiently. This skill allows them to diagnose issues, identify potential solutions, and implement those solutions to ensure smooth operation of equipment.
  • Communication skills: Professionals in this industry often work in teams or interact with clients, making effective communication essential. Clear and concise communication ensures proper understanding and coordination within the team and with other stakeholders.
  • Management skills: For higher-level positions, such as project managers or team leads, strong management skills are necessary. This includes time management, resource allocation, and the ability to lead and motivate a team to achieve project goals.
  • Troubleshooting: In the industrial machinery industry, issues can arise that affect the efficiency and productivity of machines. Professionals should possess the ability to troubleshoot these problems swiftly to minimize downtime and keep operations running smoothly.
  • Adjustments: Professionals working with industrial machinery should be capable of making adjustments to machinery and programming computerized aspects of the equipment. This helps in optimizing machine operations and ensuring the desired output is achieved consistently.
  • Engineering principles: A solid understanding of mechanical engineering principles and practices is crucial in this industry. This knowledge enables professionals to design, maintain, and repair industrial machinery effectively.

In addition to these key skills and expertise, professionals in the industrial machinery industry should also be familiar with:

  • Reading and interpreting technical drawings, schematics, and blueprints
  • Proficiency in using various types of hand and power tools
  • Knowledge of safety procedures and guidelines in a manufacturing or industrial environment

Career Growth and Opportunities

The industrial machinery sector offers a wide range of career opportunities with promising job prospects for those interested in pursuing this field. In-demand positions include industrial engineers, industrial machine mechanics, electricians, and welders, catering to varying levels of education and skillsets.

Entry-level positions in industrial machinery typically require a high school diploma or an associate degree, with many individuals advancing their careers through on-the-job training and continued education. For example, industrial machine mechanics can begin their careers with a high school diploma and further build their skills through technical programs or apprenticeships.

For those with a college degree, becoming an industrial engineer presents an attractive career path. According to data, the number of jobs for industrial engineers was around 483,200 in 2020, with a projected job growth of 14% by 2030. The median national salary for this role stands at $59,380/year.

Some of the top-paying jobs in industrial machinery include:

  • Industrial Maintenance Manager: Salary range of $68,000-$95,500/year
  • Industrial Electrician
  • Industrial Machine Mechanic
  • Welder: National average salary of $38,484/year

These careers offer a good balance between job stability and potential for growth. Experienced professionals in the industrial machinery sector can move into management roles or specialized areas, ensuring a steady progression in their careers.

Upgrading one’s knowledge and skills through certifications and continued education can also lead to better career opportunities and salary prospects. Specializations in data analysis, manufacturing operations, waste management, occupational safety, consulting, and computer automation are just a few examples of the niche areas professionals can explore to further advance their careers.

In summary, the industrial machinery sector offers a variety of career paths with the potential for growth, high salary, and numerous in-demand opportunities, making it an attractive choice for those interested in pursuing a career in this dynamic and evolving field.