Kentucky Occupational Statistics

  • Total Employees in the State: 1,889,900
  • 1 Year Change in Employment: -174,810 (-8.5%)
  • Average Annual Pay in the State: $43,223
  • 1 Year Change in Annual Pay: $4,648 (12.0%)

Occupation Categories

There are 1,889,900 employed workers in Kentucky. The occupation with the greatest number of workers is Office and Administrative Support Occupations, which employs 288,350 people. This represents 15.3% of all workers in the state. The next 2 occupations that have the most workers are Production Occupations and Transportation and Material Moving Occupations, which employ 197,030 and 180,490 respectively.

Occupation Category# Employees% of State
Office and Administrative Support Occupations288,35015.3%
Production Occupations197,03010.4%
Transportation and Material Moving Occupations180,4909.6%
Sales and Related Occupations178,0809.4%
Food Preparation and Serving Related Occupations177,5009.4%
Healthcare Practitioners and Technical Occupations124,2706.6%
Education Training and Library Occupations98,4505.2%
Management Occupations87,5304.6%
Installation Maintenance and Repair Occupations87,4204.6%
Business and Financial Operations Occupations73,6903.9%
Construction and Extraction Occupations70,9003.8%
Personal Care and Service Occupations57,0703.0%
Healthcare Support Occupations52,6002.8%
Building and Grounds Cleaning and Maintenance Occupations50,3902.7%
Protective Service Occupations38,4202.0%
Computer and Mathematical Occupations32,4501.7%
Architecture and Engineering Occupations28,2701.5%
Community and Social Service Occupations27,0801.4%
Arts Design Entertainment Sports and Media Occupations17,1300.9%
Legal Occupations10,1400.5%
Life Physical and Social Science Occupations8,2500.4%
Farming Fishing and Forestry Occupations4,3900.2%

Occupation Changes Since Last Year

The occupation with the largest increase in the number of workers is Transportation and Material Moving Occupations, which currently employs 180,490 people. In the last year, the number of workers has increased from 174,810 an increase of 5,680 or 3.2%. The next 2 occupations that have the next largest change in workers are Management Occupations and Installation Maintenance and Repair Occupations, which increased 2,180 and 2,130 respectively.

The occupation with the largest decrease in the number of workers is Food Preparation and Serving Related Occupations, which currently employs 177,500 people. In the last year, the number of workers has decreased from 179,790 or 1.3%. The next 2 occupations that have the next largest decreases in workers are Production Occupations and Office and Administrative Support Occupations, which decreased 2,060 and 990 respectively.


Occupation Changes Since 2009

The occupation with the largest increase in the number of workers, since the recession ended in 2009, is Transportation and Material Moving Occupations, which currently employs 180,490 people. Since 2009, the number of workers has increased from 148,320 an increase of 32,170 or 21.7%. The next 2 occupations that have the next largest change in workers are Production Occupations and Food Preparation and Serving Related Occupations, which increased 26,670 and 19,110 respectively.

The occupation with the largest decrease in the number of workers is Education Training and Library Occupations, which currently employs 98,450 people. Since 2009, the number of workers has decreased from 108,860 or 9.6%. The next 2 occupations that have the next largest decreases in workers are Construction and Extraction Occupations and Life Physical and Social Science Occupations, which decreased 7,970 and 2,460 respectively.

Occupation Category# Employees% Change
Personal Care and Service Occupations57,07044.7%
Business and Financial Operations Occupations73,69029.2%
Transportation and Material Moving Occupations180,49021.7%
Computer and Mathematical Occupations32,45018.2%
Architecture and Engineering Occupations28,27017.2%
Production Occupations197,03015.7%
Community and Social Service Occupations27,08015.6%
Food Preparation and Serving Related Occupations177,50012.1%
Healthcare Practitioners and Technical Occupations124,27011.9%
Protective Service Occupations38,4208.8%
Installation Maintenance and Repair Occupations87,4208.7%
Management Occupations87,5308.4%
Healthcare Support Occupations52,6005.1%
Arts Design Entertainment Sports and Media Occupations17,1302.3%
Building and Grounds Cleaning and Maintenance Occupations50,3901.5%
Office and Administrative Support Occupations288,3501.0%
Legal Occupations10,1400.6%
Sales and Related Occupations178,0800.2%
Farming Fishing and Forestry Occupations4,390-0.7%
Education Training and Library Occupations98,450-9.6%
Construction and Extraction Occupations70,900-10.1%
Life Physical and Social Science Occupations8,250-23.0%


Detailed Occupations

The detailed occupation with the greatest number of workers is Combined Food Preparation and Serving Workers Including Fast Food, which employs 65,410 people. This represents 3.5% of all workers in the state. The next 2 occupations that have the most workers are Assemblers and Fabricators All Other Including Team Assemblers and Laborers and Freight Stock and Material Movers Hand, which employ 61,480 and 59,760 respectively.

The Top 10 Occupations in Kentucky are:
Occupation Category# Employees% of State
Combined Food Preparation and Serving Workers Including Fast Food65,4103.5%
Assemblers and Fabricators All Other Including Team Assemblers61,4803.3%
Laborers and Freight Stock and Material Movers Hand59,7603.2%
Retail Salespersons55,7402.9%
Cashiers52,6602.8%
Registered Nurses46,1302.4%
Customer Service Representatives42,3002.2%
Office Clerks General36,5801.9%
Waiters and Waitresses31,2501.7%
Stock Clerks and Order Fillers30,5701.6%

Detailed Occupations Since 2009

The detailed occupation with the largest increase in the number of workers is Laborers and Freight Stock and Material Movers Hand, which currently employs 59,760 people. Since 2009, the number of workers has increased from 31,220 an increase of 28,540 or 91.4%. The next 2 detailed occupations that have the next largest change in workers are Combined Food Preparation and Serving Workers Including Fast Food and Office Clerks General, which increased 20,820 and 15,630 respectively.

The detailed occupation with the largest decrease in the number of workers is Executive Secretaries and Executive Administrative Assistants, which currently employs 5,120 people. In the last year, the number of workers has decreased from 18,590 or 72.5%. The next 2 occupations that have the next largest decreases in workers are Bookkeeping Accounting and Auditing Clerks and First-Line Supervisors of Retail Sales Workers, which decreased 4,410 and 4,030 respectively.


The Top 10 Detailed Occupations With The Largest Increase Since 2009 are:
Occupation Category# Employees% Change
Mechanical Door Repairers400700.0%
Adhesive Bonding Machine Operators and Tenders670570.0%
Personal Care Aides16,690429.8%
Human Resources Specialists7,300380.3%
Transportation Workers All Other1,170350.0%
Communications Equipment Operators All Other130333.3%
Amusement and Recreation Attendants3,940231.1%
Skincare Specialists320220.0%
Health Diagnosing and Treating Practitioners All Other180200.0%
Operations Research Analysts1,100197.3%


The 10 Occupations With The Largest Decrease Since 2009 are:
Occupation Category# Employees% Change
Extraction Workers All Other80-94.1%
Media and Communication Equipment Workers All Other30-90.0%
Drilling and Boring Machine Tool Setters Operators and Tenders Metal and Plastic90-85.0%
Plant and System Operators All Other50-84.8%
Computer Hardware Engineers250-81.5%
Electric Motor Power Tool and Related Repairers100-80.8%
Earth Drillers Except Oil and Gas150-77.3%
Word Processors and Typists90-76.9%
Cooks Short Order630-76.9%
Manicurists and Pedicurists80-76.5%

Occupation Pay

The occupation with the highest annual pay is Management Occupations, which pays an average of $94,270 per year. This represents 118.1% above the state average pay. The next 2 occupations that have the highest average pay are Legal Occupations and Architecture and Engineering Occupations, which pay $79,780 and $73,570 per year, respectively.

Occupation CategoryAvg Payvs State Avg
Management Occupations$94,270218.1%
Legal Occupations$79,780184.6%
Architecture and Engineering Occupations$73,570170.2%
Computer and Mathematical Occupations$70,890164.0%
Healthcare Practitioners and Technical Occupations$70,370162.8%
Business and Financial Operations Occupations$62,520144.6%
Life Physical and Social Science Occupations$60,960141.0%
Education Training and Library Occupations$50,170116.1%
Construction and Extraction Occupations$47,020108.8%
Installation Maintenance and Repair Occupations$46,440107.4%
Arts Design Entertainment Sports and Media Occupations$44,750103.5%
Community and Social Service Occupations$42,28097.8%
Production Occupations$39,05090.3%
Transportation and Material Moving Occupations$37,00085.6%
Protective Service Occupations$36,27083.9%
Sales and Related Occupations$34,48079.8%
Office and Administrative Support Occupations$34,17079.1%
Healthcare Support Occupations$30,36070.2%
Farming Fishing and Forestry Occupations$30,28070.1%
Building and Grounds Cleaning and Maintenance Occupations$26,85062.1%
Personal Care and Service Occupations$26,24060.7%
Food Preparation and Serving Related Occupations$21,45049.6%

Occupation Pay Changes Since 2009

The occupation with the largest increase in the average annual pay, since the recession ended in 2009, is Management Occupations, which currently pays an average of $94,270 per year. Since 2009, pay has increased from $81,840 an increase of $12,430 or 15.2%. The next 2 occupations that pay the most to their workers are Architecture and Engineering Occupations and Computer and Mathematical Occupations, which increased $11,390 and $10,100 respectively.

Occupation CategoryAnnual $% Change
Arts Design Entertainment Sports and Media Occupations$44,75024.3%
Building and Grounds Cleaning and Maintenance Occupations$26,85022.7%
Construction and Extraction Occupations$47,02021.9%
Healthcare Support Occupations$30,36020.0%
Production Occupations$39,05019.8%
Life Physical and Social Science Occupations$60,96019.1%
Architecture and Engineering Occupations$73,57018.3%
Installation Maintenance and Repair Occupations$46,44018.0%
Personal Care and Service Occupations$26,24017.1%
Business and Financial Operations Occupations$62,52017.0%
Farming Fishing and Forestry Occupations$30,28016.8%
Computer and Mathematical Occupations$70,89016.6%
Office and Administrative Support Occupations$34,17016.0%
Management Occupations$94,27015.2%
Food Preparation and Serving Related Occupations$21,45014.9%
Healthcare Practitioners and Technical Occupations$70,37014.8%
Protective Service Occupations$36,27014.2%
Legal Occupations$79,78012.7%
Community and Social Service Occupations$42,28011.4%
Sales and Related Occupations$34,48011.3%
Transportation and Material Moving Occupations$37,00011.2%
Education Training and Library Occupations$50,1709.1%


Detailed Occupation Annual Compensation

The detailed occupation that pays their workers the most is Anesthesiologists, which pays $278,590 per year. This represents 644.5% above the state average of $43,223. The next 2 occupations that pay their workers the most are Surgeons and Obstetricians and Gynecologists, which pay $268,550 and $263,820 respectively.

Highest Paid Occupations

The Top 10 Paying Occupations in Kentucky are:
Occupation CategoryAnn'l Pay% of State
Anesthesiologists$278,590644.5%
Surgeons$268,550621.3%
Obstetricians and Gynecologists$263,820610.4%
Physicians and Surgeons All Other$223,770517.7%
Family and General Practitioners$211,670489.7%
Psychiatrists$210,680487.4%
Dentists All Other Specialists$207,740480.6%
Internists General$194,150449.2%
Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons$188,750436.7%
Pediatricians General$183,140423.7%

Lowest Paid Occupations

The 10 Lowest Paying Occupations in Kentucky are:
Occupation CategoryAnn'l Pay% of State
Helpers--Painters Paperhangers Plasterers and Stucco Masons$18,37042.5%
Combined Food Preparation and Serving Workers Including Fast Food$19,15044.3%
Ushers Lobby Attendants and Ticket Takers$19,32044.7%
Waiters and Waitresses$19,45045.0%
Bartenders$19,53045.2%
Hosts and Hostesses Restaurant Lounge and Coffee Shop$19,61045.4%
Lifeguards Ski Patrol and Other Recreational Protective Service Workers$19,62045.4%
Dining Room and Cafeteria Attendants and Bartender Helpers$20,02046.3%
Counter Attendants Cafeteria Food Concession and Coffee Shop$20,15046.6%
Hotel Motel and Resort Desk Clerks$20,19046.7%



Data Sources




About the Writer

This page was created and is maintained by Kurt Tietjen, Founder of Stavera, High Peak Media & HomeGearWorks.com. Kurt is an executive, data scientist and software engineer who holds an MBA in Management Information Systems. In 2010, he partnered with scientists at Northwestern University to launch The Street Wire. This was one of the first mainstream uses of what would become “Narrative Science”, an artificial intelligence platform specializing in natural language generation. You can contact Kurt on LinkedIn here.