Is Capital Goods a Good Career Path? (With List of Jobs)
Updated March 10, 2023
The manufacturing industry offers many job opportunities, including those associated with capital goods production and sales. There are many fields involved in capital goods production, including chemicals, textiles, construction, automotive, steel, electronics and packaged food production. Learning more about capital goods can help you decide if this is the right career path for you.
In this article, we discuss capital goods and offer a list of jobs in this field to help you learn more about your career options.
What are capital goods?
Goods can be divided into two categories, namely capital goods and consumer goods. Consumer goods are the products or services that customer purchase. Capital goods, or durable goods, are the items that are used to create consumer goods or are sold for use by another business. Capital goods are most likely property, plants and equipment (PPE), which are also considered fixed assets. There are a number of different items that are considered capital goods and some goods may be considered both capital and consumer goods, depending on their use.
For instance, a hammer used personally by somebody in their home to hang a picture on the wall is considered a consumer good. The same hammer might be considered a capital good if it's used in a construction site to build a home. As another example, a laptop computer purchased by a student is considered a consumer good. If a business purchases new computers for all employees to complete their work, it's considered a capital good.
Examples of capital goods
Here is a list of some examples of capital goods:
machinery to create toys
forklifts used in a supermarket warehouse
busses that are used to provide the service of public transportation
assembly line equipment used to make computers
chemicals used for cleaning business locations
lawnmowers used by lawn care companies
microwaves in a restaurant
fabric to make clothing
fuel to power equipment for manufacturing furniture
telecommunications equipment used by businesses
parts and tools used to create automobiles
Is capital goods a good career path?
You might be wondering "Is capital goods a good career path?" if you're trying to choose the field to pursue. Jobs related to capital goods can offer a fulfilling career path if you enjoy working with tangible objects, creating objects with your hands and contributing to supply chains that help other businesses and the economy function. Here is a list of some additional benefits of working in the capital goods industry:
Plenty of job opportunities
The capital goods sector offers many entry-level opportunities for you to pursue as you begin your career. As you gain knowledge, skills and experience, there are often many opportunities for you to progress in the company or industry where you work. For example, you may begin your career in entry-level manufacturing positions, then be provided with opportunities to move to supervisory and management roles within the company. This career path also offers many different opportunities in different industries.
As you work in the field and gain exposure to other roles and departments, you can choose which one to pursue based on your experience and goals. For instance, you may choose to pursue a role dealing with capital goods related to car production or might choose one that involves textiles or pharmacological production.
Minimal experience needed
Many of the roles related to capital goods provide on-the-job training, meaning that you can begin your career without extensive education or experience in the field. Working with others and gaining on-the-job training can also help you develop skills and learn tips for the workplace faster. This helps you minimize the amount of student debt you accumulate and can help you get started in your career faster than if you required certifications or educational qualifications.
High job satisfaction
As the field involves creating tangible objects as products of your work, you can gain a high level of satisfaction in your job. It also means that you're likely to maintain a physical lifestyle as you progress in your career, adding to your physical and mental well-being. The products that you create are also directly responsible for other companies' success, which can add a degree of satisfaction to your work.
Related: Defining Job Satisfaction
Despite changes in the markets and economy, careers in capital goods tend to be quite stable. This is because, despite increases and decreases for businesses, 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.
9 jobs related to capital goods production
There are a number of different jobs available to pursue if you're interested in working in the capital goods industry. These involve a variety of different roles and responsibilities, with the similar goal of manufacturing capital goods to be used by other businesses. Here is a list of jobs involving capital goods production for you to consider pursuing, along with their primary duties and the average national salary of each. For the most up-to-date salary information from Indeed, visit indeed.com/salaries.
National average salary: $39,930 per year
Primary duties: Warehouse workers are responsible for a number of tasks in a warehouse setting. They often work to fulfill orders and ensure they're packed and shipped accurately and on time. The job also involves loading and unloading delivery vehicles, securing items onto pallets and moving them around the workspace and unloading stock from delivery vehicles. This role also involves keeping the warehouse clean and tidy and maintaining safety compliance measures to help ensure workplace safety.
National average salary: $48,679 per year
Primary duties: Manufacturing technicians are typically responsible for operating and maintaining production equipment in their roles. They may also be responsible for creating and maintaining logs of their work and troubleshooting issues as they occur. The main duty of the role is to ensure all equipment and machinery operate effectively and maintain productivity. The role also focuses on safety regulations and guidelines, especially when dealing with hazardous materials. Part of their role may also involve communicating with others in the workspace about production, safety, or operational updates.
National average salary: $57,508 per year
Primary duties: Those working in customer service representative roles in the capital goods industry may be responsible for interacting with customers and consumers, interacting with potential customers to gain their sales, ensuring products meet customer specifications and acting as the point of contact for any issues. They're also usually responsible for liaising between consumers and company representatives and building relationships with existing and potential clients. They may be also responsible for administrative tasks, such as preparing invoices and preparing sales reports for business leaders.
National average salary: $61,151 per year
Primary duties: Operations managers typically are tasked with managing employees, setting goals and executing general business operations. The role might also include short and long-term goal-setting and reporting on workplace progress. Although the exact responsibilities of the role differ depending on the specific company, it typically involves working on company budgets, assisting other leaders of the company, such as general managers, in their tasks and ensuring high-quality output. Operations managers may also oversee employees in specific departments and act as the point of contact for escalated client issues.
National average salary: $64,828 per year
Primary duties: The role of a fabricator involves working to assemble components of a finished product. They often follow blueprints or other instructional documents in their work. For instance, depending on the company for which they work, they may be required to manipulate materials, such as steel or plastic, to create finished products. This may involve operating machines and tools and packaging and loading products. Fabricators also have the responsibility of keeping that workplace clean and safe and may be required to communicate with others on their team to increase productivity.
National average salary: $78,059 per year
Primary duties: Quality assurance managers typically oversee the operations and output of manufacturing processes if they work in the capital goods industry. As this is a managerial position, they may oversee other employees to ensure they work effectively and make appropriate assessments. The role typically involves identifying products that do not meet quality standards, assessing processes to ensure peak efficiency and output and monitoring employee teams to ensure safety measures are maintained. They may also be tasked to maintain cleanliness and organization in the workplace and may perform extensive tests on various components of the workplace to ensure high quality.
National average salary: $93,063 per year
Primary duties: Electrical engineers work to operate and maintain electrical systems and equipment. Depending on the type of workplace where they work, they may be responsible for testing and operating electronic equipment or manufacturing machinery. They may also help interpret product drawings, conduct tests to ensure effective machinery, maintain test documentation and conduct research on electrical components, systems and networks. The role might also involve designing and testing electrical components and equipment for production. Depending on their seniority, they may oversee and manage the electrical team to ensure effective and efficient processes.
National average salary: $114,164 per year
Primary duties: Software developers in the capital goods industry may develop programs that help machinery, equipment and computers perform the functions needed to produce capital goods. They may also troubleshoot any issues with existing programs and work with employees to ensure they can operate their equipment effectively. They may create or modify existing computer programs as per the company's needs and may create software that addresses business goals and customer needs. The role might also involve researching best practices for software solutions and communicating with business leaders to provide updates on their work and the business overall.
National average salary: $132,325 per year
Primary duties: Engineering managers are responsible for a number of important tasks that help keep the workplace operating efficiently and according to budget. For instance, they may be responsible for managing and setting capital expenditures, reviewing and setting the budget and creating effective processes that help reduce the energy consumed by the company. They're often also responsible for ensuring workplace safety and maintaining security. Their tasks might also involve overseeing the work of employees and contractors to ensure organizational goals are met. Engineering managers might also lead an engineering team and oversee the design and development of their work.
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