What Do Capital Goods Jobs Pay: An In-Depth Salary Guide

The capital goods industry offers a wide range of job opportunities with competitive salaries. As an essential part of the economy, responsible for producing goods and machinery necessary for other industries, capital goods careers are not only fulfilling but also financially rewarding.

Many people who are considering a career in this field often wonder how much they can expect to earn in various roles.

Capital goods jobs cater to various fields, from engineering and business development to manufacturing and software development.

On average, workers in this sector can expect to earn around $85,400 per year, although this figure can vary depending on factors such as education, experience, location, and the specific job role. Some of the highest-paying jobs in capital goods can even earn more than $100,000 annually, especially in positions that require specialized skills or extensive experience.

For instance, engineering managers, business development managers, and manufacturing managers can earn average salaries ranging between $119,036 and $130,023 per year. Similarly, software developers and electrical engineers can expect to earn salaries of around $110,140 and $100,420, respectively. Ultimately, the dynamic nature of the capital goods industry ensures a variety of well-paying job opportunities for those interested in pursuing a career in this field.

Capital Goods Jobs Overview

Difference Between Capital Goods and Consumer Goods

Capital goods are tangible assets used to produce goods and services, such as machinery, equipment, and buildings. They are essential for businesses and industries to operate efficiently and generate economic growth. Consumer goods, on the other hand, are products that are consumed by individuals, such as food, clothing, and electronics.

While capital goods contribute to the creation and production of consumer goods, they serve different purposes. Capital goods are crucial for businesses to maintain and expand operations, while consumer goods satisfy the needs and wants of individual consumers.

Capital Goods Industry Sectors

There are various sectors within the capital goods industry that offer job opportunities. Some of the primary sectors include:

  • Manufacturing: This sector deals with the production of goods, from assembling and testing parts to creating finished products. Job titles in this sector include manufacturing manager, production supervisor, and assembly technician.
  • Engineering: This sector focuses on designing and developing products, equipment, and systems to fulfill specific needs. Roles in this sector include engineering manager, design engineer, and mechanical engineer.
  • Project Management: This sector oversees the planning, execution, and closure of projects on time, within scope, and on budget. Project management positions involve roles such as project manager, construction manager, and project coordinator.

The average salary for capital goods jobs ranges between $30,000 and $84,000, depending on the job title and industry sector. Some of the best paying jobs in the capital goods industry are:

  • Business development manager: average salary of $130,023
  • Manufacturing manager: average salary of $120,840
  • Engineering manager: average salary of $119,036

Keep in mind that salaries can vary based on factors such as experience, company size, and location.

Capital Goods Job Profiles and Salaries

Engineering and Design Jobs

In the capital goods industry, engineering and design professionals work with various products such as machines, vehicles, computers, and electronics. They can specialize in areas like mechanical, electrical, robotics, and metallurgical engineering. Key positions in this field include:

  • Mechanical Engineer: Median salary of $90,160 per year. They design, develop, and maintain mechanical systems for various industries.
  • Electrical Engineer: Average salary of $100,420 per year. They design and implement electrical systems, components, and infrastructure.
  • Robotics Engineer: Median salary of $106,027 per year. They design, develop, and implement robotics systems for automation and efficiency.
  • Metallurgical Engineer: Median salary of $91,542 per year. They develop and process metals and alloys for different industries.

Sales and Marketing Jobs

Sales and marketing professionals in the capital goods industry focus on selling and promoting products such as vehicles, construction equipment, and machinery. Key positions in this field include:

  • Sales Engineer: Average salary of $124,210 per year. They translate complex technical information into accessible language for clients and assist in closing deals.
  • Sales Manager: Median salary of $126,640 per year. They oversee a team of sales professionals, setting targets and managing performance.
  • Marketing Manager: Average salary of $150,709 per year. They develop and implement marketing strategies to promote products and services in the capital goods sector.

Production and Manufacturing Jobs

Production and manufacturing jobs in the capital goods industry entail overseeing the production process, managing the workforce, and ensuring product quality. Professionals in this sector work with vehicles, steel, electronics, and other capital goods. Key positions in this field include:

  • Manufacturing Engineer: Median salary of $87,040 per year. They design, develop, and optimize production processes to maximize efficiency and product quality.
  • Industrial Engineer: Median salary of $87,040 per year. They analyze and optimize production systems to minimize costs and maximize output.
  • Industrial Designer: Median salary of $69,430 per year. They design the aesthetics and ergonomics of products using CAD software and prototyping.
  • Warehouse Worker: Average salary of $34,149 per year. They handle inventory, load and unload goods, and perform general maintenance tasks in a warehouse setting.

Education and Experience Requirements

Educational Qualifications

Capital goods jobs typically require various levels of education, depending on the position. Entry-level roles may only need a high school diploma, while others require more advanced education.

  • High school diploma: For job opportunities like Customer Service Representatives, a high school diploma is sufficient for starting a career in capital goods.
  • Bachelor’s degree: Many engineering roles, such as electronics and metallurgical engineers, require a minimum Bachelor’s degree in their respective fields. Similarly, software developers often hold a Bachelor’s degree in Computer Science or a related discipline.
  • Advanced degrees: Some positions may necessitate advanced degrees like a Master’s or Doctorate, particularly for specialized fields or roles in research and development.

Relevant Experience

Experience requirements for capital goods jobs also depend on the specific role and level within the industry.

  • On-the-job training: Many entry-level roles in capital goods provide on-the-job training, allowing you to acquire relevant skills and knowledge with minimal prior experience. This is often the case for jobs that involve the operation of tools, equipment, and processes necessary for the production of capital goods.
  • Years of experience: For more advanced positions, such as engineers and software developers, a few years of experience in a related area may be required to qualify for the role. As an example, manufacturing managers typically need at least 5 years of industry experience before they can secure a position in a capital goods company.
  • Specialized experience: Certain roles may demand specialized experience with investments, buildings, or other relevant aspects. For instance, an engineer in charge of designing manufacturing facilities would likely need prior experience working on similar projects.

In summary, the education and experience requirements for capital goods jobs can vary significantly depending on the role and the individual’s career path. Aspiring professionals should consider their desired position and tailor their education and experience accordingly to maximize their job opportunities in this lucrative field.

Career Path and Opportunities

Career Growth and Advancement

The capital goods sector offers a wide range of job opportunities, catering to various skill sets and educational backgrounds. These jobs encompass multiple fields such as chemicals, textiles, construction, automotive, steel, electronics, and packaged food production. Due to the diverse nature of capital goods careers, there is potential for significant career growth and advancement.

Some of the best-paying jobs in capital goods include:

  • Manufacturing Engineers
  • Civil Engineers
  • Production Managers
  • Logistics Managers
  • Business Development Managers

Salaries in this sector can vary greatly depending on the specific job and level of experience. For instance, a civil engineer’s annual salary can range from $60,550 to $133,320, while a business development manager may earn between $103,000 and $178,000 per year.

Job Security and Satisfaction

Capital goods are essential in today’s economy as they provide the means for businesses to expand and create new jobs. With their vital role in the production of consumer goods, demand for skilled professionals in the capital goods sector is expected to remain stable.

Job satisfaction in the capital goods field can usually be attributed to the stimulating and challenging nature of the work that keeps professionals engaged. Furthermore, the potential for career growth and opportunities to make a significant impact on the economy contribute to a high level of job satisfaction.

In summary, the capital goods career path provides ample opportunities for growth, advancement, and job security. Coupled with competitive salary and benefits, this sector serves as an attractive option for those considering a career in the industry.


Top Companies and Employers in the Capital Goods Industry

The capital goods industry is diverse and encompasses a wide range of subsectors. The jobs in this sector have different pay scales depending on the company and its operations. Here, we provide a summary of some top companies in the capital goods industry, including their main products or services and employment opportunities.

  • Lockheed Martin: One of the world’s leading aerospace and defense companies, Lockheed Martin is known for producing advanced technology systems and products, such as aircraft, missile systems, and space exploration vehicles. As a multinational corporation with over 100,000 employees, the company offers various positions within engineering, manufacturing, cybersecurity, and finance.
  • General Electric (GE): This well-established conglomerate operates in a range of sectors including aviation, power, renewable energy, and healthcare. Some of their high-quality products include aircraft engines, medical devices, and wind turbines. GE employs more than 200,000 employees worldwide, offering opportunities for professionals in engineering, manufacturing, sales, and more.
  • Caterpillar: Renowned as a top manufacturer of construction and mining equipment, engines, and industrial gas turbines, Caterpillar is a global leader in the capital goods industry. To support their vast operations, they employ over 95,000 individuals in varied fields like engineering, manufacturing, and supply chain management.
  • Honeywell International: Specializing in technologies ranging from aerospace to safety and productivity solutions, Honeywell International has made a significant impact in various industries. With over 100,000 employees globally, there’s no shortage of opportunities in engineering, data analysis, manufacturing, and other specialized roles within the company.

As mentioned, the capital goods industry also encompasses various sectors, such as chemicals and property. Some of the prominent companies in these fields include:

  • Dow Chemical Company: A significant player in the chemical industry, Dow manufactures and supplies chemicals, plastics, and agricultural products to various markets. Jobs within Dow span the areas of research & development, manufacturing, and sales.
  • CBRE Group: As the world’s largest commercial real estate services and investment firm, CBRE Group offers a broad range of job opportunities in property management, leasing, valuation, and investment management.

These top companies in the capital goods industry offer competitive wages and benefits, while providing employees the opportunity to work with cutting-edge technology and innovation.


Capital goods jobs offer competitive salaries, with many positions paying well above the average income. These jobs can provide lucrative opportunities for individuals in various industries, such as engineering, business development, and management.

For instance, electronics engineers in the capital goods sector can expect a median salary of around $107,540, while engineering managers can earn up to $196,000 per year at top-tier companies. Furthermore, business development managers can make up to $130,412 on average.

It is essential to consider various factors such as the industry, location, and required experience and education levels while researching individual job opportunities in the capital goods market. Although salary ranges can vary widely, it’s clear that capital goods jobs consistently pay well, providing workers with stability, good benefits, and rewarding career paths.