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The highest-earning industries in Kentucky revealed

Kentucky utility industry workers earn the highest average salary of any sector state-wide, at around $100,000 per year.  

  • Workers in electric power, natural gas, sewage, and more receive the highest average salary of any industry in Kentucky.   
  • The average utility employee in Kentucky earns just over $100,000 per year.   
  • Finance and management are also among the top-earning sectors in the state.  

Research from business advice company Venture Smarter has shed light on the highest-earning sectors across Kentucky. Figures from the United States Census Bureau on employment numbers and total salary per sector as of March 2021 were analyzed to reveal the average annual salary of each industry.  

With the highest average annual salary of $100,329, those working in utilities are in the best position in Kentucky. 8,110 people work in this sector across electric power, natural gas, steam supply, water supply, and sewage removal.  

Kentucky residents working in utilities were paid $813,671,000 over a year, equating to just 1.03% of the accumulated earnings of employees all over the state.  

People in management roles at companies and enterprises were the second-highest earners in Kentucky. Individuals working in this sector secured an average annual salary of $90,643.  

Approximately 40,899 workers are in these management roles across Kentucky, earning an accumulated $3,707,203,000 per year. The earnings of those in management roles at companies and enterprises comprised 4.71% of the total wages state-wide.  

The third highest-earning industry in Kentucky is finance and insurance, with the average annual wage at $81,565. Approximately 71,459 people work in finance and insurance across the state, including positions like insurance brokers, financial advisors, and more.  

Employees in finance and insurance earn an accumulated annual salary of $5,828,582,000, which makes up 7.4% of the total state-wide earnings across every sector.  

Ranking Industry Total number of employees Total Annual Payroll Average annual salary per employee
1 Utilities 8,110 $813,671,000 $100,329
2 Management of companies and enterprises 40,899 $3,707,203,000 $90,643
3 Finance and insurance 71,459 $5,828,582,000 $81,565
Despite being one of Kentucky’s most populated industries with 157,386 employees, people in the accommodation and food services sector earn the lowest average annual salary at $19,285. Job roles within this industry include servers, housekeepers, and various other hospitality positions.

Residents in arts, entertainment, and recreation are the state’s second-lowest paid, with an average wage of $28,493 annually.   

A spokesperson from Venture Smarter commented on the findings: “Employed people all over Kentucky earn around $78,784,630,000 each year, with the average state-wide annual salary sitting at $49,919.”  

“Utilities, finance, and higher management continue to be some of the most profitable industries across America, while the nation’s most populated industries like retail and food services appear to be some of the lowest paid on average.”   

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