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How Many Jobs Are Available in Capital Goods?

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In this article, we will be looking at the number of jobs that are available in the sector of Capital Goods. The Capital Goods Industry produce physical assets (like computers, buildings, and machinery) that other consumer goods companies use in their various manufacturing processes.


However, certain goods like vehicles and computers, may be classified as capital goods if used by a business, and consumer goods if used by individuals privately.

Depending on source of reference, the exact number of available jobs in capital goods varies. According to multiple research sources, it is estimated that there exists between 970,000 to 13 million available jobs in the industry of capital goods.

Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) and Federal Reserve Economic Data (FRED)

Roughly 1,000 occupations are being listed in the data containing employment numbers and projected job openings, being published by the BLS. There are about 80 occupations that overlap, although deciding which occupation should count towards total capital goods is somewhat subjective.

So far, in the present decade of 2020 – 2030, there have been an estimated annual average of 73 million job openings.

In June 2022 the total value of new orders for non-defense capital goods by manufacturers (excluding aircrafts) was about $74 billion, according to data from FRED. The total dollar value of new orders for manufacturing by manufacturers was about $555 billion, within the same period of time.

Therefore, using these statistical data, we can finalize that capital goods make up approximately 13% of all manufacturing. And if we go ahead to assume the number of jobs in capital goods to be parallel to the percentage of all its manufacturing orders, then that would put the estimate at about 973,800 available jobs annually.

Economist Data – How Many Jobs Are Available in Capital Goods

Several economists from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, when contacted about the number of available jobs in capital goods, pointed to the Job Openings and Labor Turnover Survey (JOLTS).

According to the data from JOLTS, on table 7 “Job Openings level and rates by industry”, up to 19 industries are listed. These industries range from logging and mining to local and state education.

See Also >>> Best Paying Jobs in Capital Goods Industry

The two industries on this report, that are closest to capital goods are the wholesale trade and manufacturing industries. In June 2022, the sum of the total available jobs fir the two industries were at 1,079,000.

On the internet today, many articles state that there are about 1.3 million jobs in the capital goods industry. It seems like that number is roughly accurate, based on the above sources, although the figure may be on the high side depending on how you may want to define the industry.

Therefore, for our own purpose it is sufficient to estimate that there are about 1 million available jobs in the capital goods industry. Now this means that there is an incredible amount of opportunities for job seekers all over.


What makes Capital Goods Industry an Appealing Choice of Career?

Here are 3 major reasons why people may find capital goods industry to be an appealing career choice:

  1. In the industry you will find many well-known companies that are considered to be stable, and have been around for decades – like John Deere, Caterpillar, and General Electric.
  2. Also, entry-level jobs are many in the industry, making it a great place to start a career and receive on-the-job training.
  3. The industry has shown visible growth and is expected to add more job positions in the coming years. We will explore this in detail in the next section.

Available Jobs in the Capital Goods Industry

A wide variety of roles are up for hiring in the capital goods industry, ranging from knowledge work (like design) to manual labor (like metal fabrication). There are numerous manufacturing roles in the industry, since the goods produced are physical products. However, you will also find available roles in fields like marketing, engineering, and sales in general. Here are descriptions for three common roles in the industry that you will always get to find:

  • Quality Control Inspector

It is the responsibility of this inspector to make sure that products are free from defects. The quality control inspector usually works in the manufacturing sector and receives training on quality protocols and specifications.

This job role can be an entry-level position that provides on-the-job training. The average annual income for a worker in this role is about $39,000, based on data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

  • Computer-Aided Design Technician (Drafter)

Every product being manufactured first goes through the design process. This process can include scientists, various types of designers, and engineers. Computer-Aided Design/Drafting (CAD) is a tool that facilitates the creation and manipulation of conceptual designs for testing, review, and analysis, before sending them out for production.

CAD technicians make use of software like AutoCAD to create product designs. CAD training programs that range from 6 to 24 months are offered in community colleges and trade schools. The average annual income for CAD technicians is at about $60,000, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

  • Mechanical Engineer – How Many Jobs Are Available in Capital Goods

The design, development, and testing of mechanical devices and products are done with the assistance Mechanical Engineers. With their application of knowledge from Physics and Mathematics, they make sure that products are designed to be functional, efficient, and safe. For this type of work in the industry, a Bachelor’s degree is usually the minimum requirement needed.

Mechanical Engineer is a role that is considered to be a highly-skilled work, and these engineers are highly sought after by variety of companies. Based on statistics from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the average annual income for engineers in this role is about $95,000.

Job Requirements

In the capital goods industry, the requirements need to get any of the well-paying jobs depends on the type of work you wish to go for. For instance, a machine operator or forklift driver do not really require any degree, and may even not require any prior work experience.

But other more technical roles like Engineering usually require a minimum of Bachelor’s degree, and may also require some level of related work experience.

One of the major benefits of working in this industry is the fact that there are numerous career paths within various companies. These career paths enable the employees to build their knowledge and skills over time and also move on to more lucrative and complex job roles.


For job seekers looking for entry-level roles, career development, job security, and on-the-job training, the capital goods industry represents a significant opportunity for getting these available jobs. Current trends in the industry indicates that growth in this sector will be continuous over the coming decades.

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