Is Capital Goods a Good Career Path? – Everything You Need To Know
- What Are Capital Goods?
- Is Capital Goods a Good Career Path for Job Security?
- Is Capital Goods a Good Career Path for Earning Money?
- The Main Pros of a Career in Capital Goods
- The Main Disadvantages of a Career in Capital Goods
- Getting Started in the Capital Goods Industry
- Frequently Asked Questions
- Final Thoughts
While all industries are subject to changes, capital goods are generally seen as a good, stable industry for a career path and one that offers good compensation.
The industries involved in capital goods are often not dramatically affected by economic factors, which can give you more job security than many other industries.
As technology keeps advancing, so does the need for skilled professionals in the capital goods industry.
Whether you’re looking for an entry-level position, have a background, or already work in capital goods but want to switch fields, knowing about the industry’s prospects can help you make an informed decision about your future career path.
Here, we’ll answer all your questions about capital goods, including what they are, different job opportunities, whether it’s a rewarding career path and how to find a job in the industry.
Let’s get started!
What is a capital good? When we look at capital goods vs consumer goods, consumer goods are goods pursued by customers, whereas capital goods are tools for making consumer goods.
Also known as durable goods, capital goods are typically made by one business and sold to another. They can be anything from equipment, plants, property, or any other fixed assets manufacturers need to create consumer goods.
There are also some overlaps between consumer and capital goods, as some items can be considered both, depending on how they’re used.
For example, small construction tools can be used at both a construction site (capital goods) and by homeowners (consumer goods).
The same applies to gadgets used in offices and homes. If they belong to a company but are used by office workers, they’re capital tools.
If they belong to a private owner who uses them at home, they’re consumer goods.
Many other items are strictly considered capital goods.
Let’s look at some examples:
- Industrial forklifts used in warehouses
- Assembly lines to create toys, gadgets or other pieces of technology
- Industrial cleaning chemicals
- Vehicles used for public transportation
- Lawnmowers used by lawn care businesses
- Fabric used by clothes manufacturers
- Industrial kitchen appliances used by restaurants
- Fuel to power equipment for manufacturing
- All parts and tools used to create vehicles
- High tech Telecommunications equipment used by companies
- Aviation manufacturing
- Packaged foods
- Farm equipment manufacturing
Many well-known businesses make capital goods, including Boeing, Caterpillar, Union Pacific and GE.
This is, naturally, just a fraction of the list.
In reality, any company that makes capital products can be enlisted as part of the capital goods market.
With the market demand on the rise, companies operating in the capital goods industry see the opportunity to continue investing in new technology equipment and workpower.
With a 6% rise in projected job openings between 2016 and 2026, plenty of work opportunities are available in the capital goods industry.
The most prominent sector is manufacturing, but construction and engineering aren’t far behind either.
At the beginning of 2023, these industries had over 100 thousand job vacancies.
With these substantial employment prospects, capital goods offer thousands of positions across various sectors.
These are often advertised at industry events, job fairs, and trade exhibits.
The manufacturing sector alone generates enough employment opportunities to significantly contribute to global economic growth and provide indispensable equipment and tools used in other sectors, like the production of goods and services.
Looking at the capital goods industry as a whole, we can see that it is filled with many unique requirements for employers and potential employees.
You can find many different positions, from engineers to project managers to apprenticeships. It’s only a question of finding the right fit for you.
You’ll find most jobs in the equipment and machinery manufacturing section.
Over half of the jobs offered in the capital goods industry come from here.
Process control, construction and electrical are other subsectors of manufacturing that offer plenty of secure job opportunities.
While the capital goods industry overlaps with several other industries, the job opportunities might vary.
By 2030, the capital goods sectors will offer around 7.3 million job opportunities annually.
Some of these are entry-level positions, and others are for seasoned professionals.
However, anyone looking for not only a secure job but also possibilities for advancement can consider a career path in capital goods.
Even in times of global economic upheavals, this market remains one of the strongest, showing steady growth and opportunities for new job seekers.
If you’re wondering if capital good roles are good for earning a high salary, below you’ll find examples of the average pay in the sector, including both higher and lower-end salaries.
- Warehouse Workers earn an average of £32,625.21 per year, with their salary ranging from £8 to £22 per hour.
- Manufacturing technicians earn an average of £39,773.67 per year, with their salary ranging from £12.64 to £24.77 per hour.
- A Customer service representative will be around £46,987.50 per year, with a salary starting from £8.27 per hour.
- General operations managers earn an average of £49,964.05 per year, with annual minimums of £30,209.17 and maximums of £83,754.39.
- Quality assurance managers earn an average of £63,778.90 per year, with annual minimums of £44,646.62 and maximums of £95,388.51.
- A Software developer's average salary is around £93,278.86 per year, with annual minimums of £60,017.97 and annual maximums of £151,986.27.
- An engineering manager's average salary is around £108,117.49 per year, with annual minimums of £69,935.45 and annual maximums of £16,3095.02.
Interested in a career in the capital goods industry?
Here are the main benefits for those looking for a new line of work.
The constant technological and infrastructural changes make the capital goods industry an ever-growing market that ensures constant and secure job opportunities.
In capital goods, new sectors are opened, and older ones are expanded on an ongoing basis.
This expanding tendency makes capital goods an attractive career path.
Despite changes in the ups and downs of global and nationwide economies and markets, careers in capital goods remain relatively stable.
Businesses come and go, but there is always demand for work in the industry, so employers can often those involved in capital goods typically maintain high demand and are less affected by economic factors.
This can help you feel confident about your choice to pursue a job in the field and can provide you with a better quality of living when economic conditions change.
With so many entry-level opportunities, the capital goods industry can be a great place to begin your career.
For these roles, there is often minimal to no experience needed, and you can gain it through an apprenticeship.
Because you can rely on on-the-job training, you can start your career without having to pursue expensive or extensive education.
Working alongside experienced workers can also help you hone the skills you need to advance.
With tips from your coworkers and using your skills in practice, you can advance in your career faster than if you learned them through educational qualifications and then started applying them.
Because you’re creating tangible objects, you can have a greater sense of achievement after the completed work.
To further raise your degree of satisfaction, your work will also contribute to your and another company’s success.
Due to the physical nature of the work, you’ll stay in shape and in good health and have a fulfilling life.
Even if you start at an entry-level job (with little to no qualifications), with hard work and dedication, you can advance your career in many fields in the capital goods industry.
Many sectors offer training programs and courses for continued education, so you’ll have no problem landing higher-paying jobs over time.
Another benefit of the capital goods industry is working in dynamic work environments.
Whether you’re overseeing projects or around products you have to inspect, working in these sectors is never dull.
Many capital goods companies require employers to be on their feet (often literally) and be prepared to act to scale their business and raise their bottom line, which can be a uniquely rewarding work experience.
Despite its many advantages, working in the capital goods industry also has its disadvantages.
Below are some of them.
Working in many fields of the capital goods industry is physically demanding and can even be perilous.
For example, if you work on active construction sites, work around heavy machinery, or oversee a factory, you can get into dangerous situations.
While working in the marketing department might not be hazardous, it still requires many hours of intensive work, for which you must be physically and mentally prepared.
Many roles don’t give you creative power, and you are forced to build things based on others’ designs because the company you work for is set in its way.
Even if you manage to put in a word and start changing something, there will be several levels of management to go through, so the change will happen extremely slowly.
Large companies in the capital goods industry can stay afloat because they continuously adapt to technological changes and shifting market demands.
However, depending on the role you fulfil, these changes might lead to automation, rendering your job obsolete.
Likewise, the number of opportunities might be reduced in the field, making more candidates compete for the open positions.
Many employers require potential employees to take aptitude tests assessing different skills.
This is no different in the capital goods industry either, so check if these tests are needed in the field you are interested in.
You can inquire about them in job centres or at potential employers’ job postings and websites.
Taking an aptitude test is also a fantastic way to determine whether working in a specific field aligns with your skills.
The capital goods industry has many entry-level openings, so many roles can be obtained through an apprenticeship.
However, other positions might require additional qualifications, like a college degree or certificates from the relevant fields.
Some roles may require advanced degrees in engineering or relevant fields.
In fields requiring working with particular types of machinery, specialized training experience and certification might also be necessary.
When browsing for a job in any capital goods sector, carefully review the role description to determine whether you have the necessary qualifications.
Other skills required for the top positions in capital goods:
- Hard skills – These include knowledge in engineering, robotics, sciences and technology.
- Soft skills – Many capital goods fields require [strong soft skills](/
interview-advice/competencies/soft-skills) such as project management and communication skills.
- A good physical shape – Many of these are physically demanding jobs, so you want to be as fit and healthy as possible to keep up.
- Specialized skills – Obtained through qualifications and needed for those who work on producing and developing high-quality goods.
- Work ethic – Due to the long working hours and physical demands, capital goods positions require a strong work ethic and dedication.
- Attention to detail – Because the produced goods are used in other industries, even the smallest mistakes can have devastating consequences. Therefore, workers in the industry must have keen attention to detail and do meticulous work in every sector.
Whether a career path in capital goods is good depends on your interests and skills.
It can be a promising field for those who enjoy engineering, manufacturing, or sales related to industrial equipment.
Capital goods refer to long-lasting, durable products and machinery used by businesses to produce other goods and services.
Examples include industrial machinery, construction equipment and manufacturing tools.
How many jobs are available in capital goods can vary by location and economic conditions.
Check with local job listings and industry reports for current opportunities.
There are tens of thousands, but some notable ones are Boeing, Caterpillar, Union Pacific and GE.
However, there are likely to be capital goods companies in your area that you have never heard of before.
The best-paying jobs in capital goods often include positions like industrial engineers, sales managers and mechanical engineers, with salaries varying based on experience and location.
Salaries in capital goods jobs vary widely depending on the role, experience, and location.
Entry-level positions may start at around £25,000 per year, while experienced professionals can earn six-figure salaries or more.
To get a job in capital goods, consider pursuing relevant education and training in fields like engineering or business management.
Networking within the industry and applying to companies that manufacture or sell capital goods equipment is also essential.
Tailor your resume to highlight relevant skills and experiences.
The capital goods industry is essential to the development and future of the global economy. It promises many benefits for employers and employees alike.
Whether it’s producing necessary equipment or essential goods, this industry holds great potential for career seekers.
With new technologies and markets emerging, the world is seeing a growing demand for capital goods products, creating many new career paths.
Well-established career options like manufacturing, sales, management or engineering are also available.
With proper qualifications, diligence and experience, you can build a highly lucrative career in this industry.
If you have an exceptional work ethic, attention to detail, and qualifications/willingness to take an apprenticeship, this could make an excellent career choice.