SelectUSA Machinery and Equipment Industry
The economic impact of machinery manufacturing extends throughout the U.S. economy. Machinery industries provide essential and highly sophisticated technology for many other manufacturing and service industries. Industrial process controls and other automation technologies enable end-users to maximize the productivity of their equipment. Sales of many types of machinery are accompanied by a variety of high-value services as well, including specialized architecture, engineering, and logistics.
Tens of thousands of companies manufacture machinery in the United States. A majority of these manufacturers are small and medium enterprises (SMEs), but there are also many large, public companies and iconic American brands that trade on a global scale. Machinery is manufactured in almost every state, but production is concentrated particularly in the industrial Midwest, California, and Texas.
Almost 1.1 million Americans are employed in the machinery manufacturing sector. These jobs are primarily in highly-skilled, well-compensated trades and professions. Leading employment categories include team assemblers, machinists, welders, tool-and-die makers, and mechanical and other engineers. Machinery manufacturing also supports the jobs of hundreds of thousands of Americans in a variety of other manufacturing and service industries.
This industry includes equipment used to grow, process, package, transport, and distribute food and beverages. Agricultural and Food Machinery and Equipment includes agricultural equipment, food processing and packaging machinery, commercial and industrial refrigeration equipment, and commercial food service equipment. There were 1,141 establishments in the industry in 2017, and the latest employment figures estimated 79,600 workers in November 2020.
Machinery in this subsector include machine tools, material handling equipment, welding equipment, and process control technology. Foreign direct investment contributed over $20.7 billion to the aerospace industry in 2019, and foreign-owned businesses employed 66,400 workers in the industry in 2018 (almost 13 percent of total employment in the industry for that year). According to the latest employment estimates, there were 487,800 employees in the aerospace manufacturing industry as of November 2020.
The most common occupations in the aerospace product and parts manufacturing industry are production occupations. As of 2019, 164,620 workers were employed in production occupations, earning an average annual wage of $56,610. The most common job within this occupation group is assemblers and fabricators with 61,500 employees in 2019 earning an average annual wage of $53,230. The second-most common occupations in the industry are architecture and engineering occupations. There were 113,970 workers in these occupations in 2019, earning an average annual wage of $104,990. Most of these workers are employed as engineers; in 2019, there were 96,570 engineers in the aerospace industry earning an average annual wage of $110,850.
Automotive machinery and related systems, including machine tools, material handling equipment, welding equipment, and process control technology make up this industry. As of 2017, there were 7,236 establishments in this industry across the United States. Foreign direct investment contributed $143.3 billion to the industry in 2019, and foreign-owned businesses employed 490,100 workers in the automotive manufacturing industry in 2018 (almost half of all employment in the industry for that year). The latest employment figures estimated 932,200 workers in the automotive manufacturing industry at the end of 2020.
The automotive manufacturing industry is made up of three subsectors: motor vehicle manufacturing; motor vehicle body and trailer manufacturing; and motor vehicle parts manufacturing. Production occupations, especially assemblers and fabricators, are the top occupations in each subsector. In the motor vehicle manufacturing subsector, there were174,120 workers in production occupations in 2019, and they earned an average annual wage of $49,770. That same year, there were 115,350 workers in production occupations in the motor vehicle body and trailer manufacturing subsector, earning average annual wages of $40,000. There were also 395,100 workers in the motor vehicle parts manufacturing subsector, and these workers earned an average annual wage of $36,950.
Construction and mining equipment and related systems. This subsector includes self-propelled equipment, implements, accessories and components for use in construction, forestry, mining, and utilities. Off-road diesel engines and fluid power technology are also important components of off-road equipment. As of 2017, there were 743 establishments in this industry, and the latest employment figures estimate that 65,000 workers were employed in this industry as of November 2020.
The energy machinery manufacturing industry includes equipment and machinery for generating, transmitting and distributing electric power. Major categories include turbines, power transmission equipment, and internal combustion engines (except automotive gasoline and aircraft) for electric utility and industrial applications. There were 4,965 establishments in this industry in 2017, and the latest employment figures estimate that there were 88,700 employees in the energy machinery manufacturing industry at the end of 2020. Foreign direct investment contributed $22.6 billion to the industry in 2019, and 51,600 workers were employed by foreign-owned companies in 2018 (over half of total employment in the industry for that year).
The most common occupations in the energy machinery manufacturing industry are production occupations. There were 44,040 workers in production occupations in the industry in 2019, and the most common positions were assemblers and fabricators (17,680 employees earning an average annual wage of $39,450) and metal workers and plastic workers (15,900 employees earning an average annual wage of $45,050). The second-most common occupations in the industry are architecture and engineering occupations. There were 17,680 workers in these occupations in 2019, and the majority of them were employed as engineers (13,290 employees earning an average annual wage of $93,130).
Equipment and machinery used to mine and extract natural resources. These include mining and materials handling equipment and process controls, pumps, electric motors, and fluid power, as well as machinery used for oil and gas exploration and production. There were 873 establishments in this industry as of 2017, and the latest employment figures estimated that 57,300 employees worked in this industry as of November 2020.
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