Design and Pre-construction

If you build it, they will come. But first you must design it. That’s where architects, cartographers, surveyors, and drafters come in.

If you want to design buildings, there’s room for you in Kentucky. While nationwide demand for architects over 2019-2029 is expected to grow just 1 percent, in Kentucky the future is rosier. The number of jobs for architects in Kentucky is expected to increase 14.41 percent from 2018 to 2028.

If outdoor design is calling you, consider landscape architecture, which is expected to grow 7.56 percent.

Both architects and landscape architects must earn a bachelor’s degree, complete an internship, and pass an exam.

  • Architects, except landscape and naval: 14.41 percent increase from 2018 to 2028, from 1,242 to 1,421 positions. Median wage $65,352.
  • Landscape architects: 7.56 percent increase from 2018 to 2028, from 119 to 128 positions. Median wage $58,029.

If you go into management, you can earn more money.

  • Architectural and engineering managers: 5.05 percent increase from 2018 to 2028, from 1,942 to 2,040 positions. Median wage $117,339.

The Lay of the Land

Surveyors mark and document property lines, research land titles, and provide data for mapmaking. They can determine proper depth for the foundation of a building and survey the grade and topography of roads. Kentucky requires professional land surveyors to have a four-year college degree.

According to the National Society of Professional Surveyors, these Kentucky schools offer surveying programs: Eastern Kentucky University, Murray State University, Western Kentucky University, and Big Sandy Community and Technical College.

  • Surveyors: 4.12 percent increase from 2018 to 2028, from 655 jobs to 682 positions. Median wage $54,862.

Demand for cartographers is driven by the increasing use of maps for government planning, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Cartographers use geographic information to create maps and charts. Photogrammetrists specialize in using aerial or satellite images to make measurements. To enter this field, you’ll need a bachelor’s degree in cartography, geography, geomatics, or surveying.

  • Cartographers and photogrammetrists: 17.16 percent increase from 2018 to 2028, from 134 to 157 positions. Median wage $68,611.

Drafters and Technicians

With a two-year associate degree, you can get started in a career as a drafter or civil engineering technician. Architectural and civil drafters prepare detailed drawings of architectural and structural features of buildings and topographical relief maps. Civil engineering technologists and technicians help engineers plan, design, and build infrastructure projects and commercial, industrial, residential, and land development projects.

  • Architectural and civil drafters: 5.92 percent increase from 2018 to 2028, from 811 to 859 positions. Median wage $50,725.
  • Civil engineering technologists and technicians: 4.50 percent increase from 2018 to 2028, from 2,242 to 2,343 positions. Median wage $47,130.

Surveying and mapping technicians assist surveyors as well as cartographers and photogrammetrists. They often need some postsecondary education to learn about technology applications like Geographic Information Systems (GIS), according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

  • Surveying and mapping technicians: 8.79 percent increase from 2018-2028, from 671 to 730 positions. Median wage $38,284.

Figures from Kentucky Occupational Outlook to 2028.

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