There’s steady work available for engineers in construction, whether you want to design buildings, roads, or mechanical systems. You need a bachelor’s degree to be an engineer, and an internship or co-op experience may be required.
In Kentucky, civil engineers are in demand, with expected job growth of 9.59 percent from 2018-2028. Civil engineers design infrastructure—roads, buildings, airports, tunnels, dams, bridges, and systems for water supply and sewage treatment. They can specialize in different areas, such as geotechnology or transportation.
- Civil engineers: 9.59 percent increase from 2018 to 2028, from 3,596 to 3,941 positions. Median wage $82,707.
Environmental engineers are also in demand. Their work focuses on protecting the environment, properly disposing of waste and keeping water and air clean. They make sure construction projects follow environmental regulations.
- Environmental engineers: 9.77 percent increase from 2018 to 2028, from 430 to 472 positions. Median wage $81,124.
Mechanical engineering is a broad field. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics estimates that 22 percent of mechanical engineers work in architectural, engineering, and related services. Mechanical engineers can design, develop, build, and test mechanical systems in buildings, such as refrigeration and air-conditioning systems, machines like elevators and escalators, and material handling systems like conveyors.
- Mechanical engineers: 6.54 percent increase from 2018 to 2028, from 4,034 to 4,298 positions. Median wage $84,045.
Electrical engineers are among the highest paid engineers in the state. In construction, electrical engineers manage the design and construction of electrical systems.
- Electrical engineers: 6.31 percent increase from 2018 to 2028, from 1,982 to 2,107 positions. Median wage $90,133.
Computer hardware engineers research, design, develop, and test computer systems and components such as processors, circuit boards, memory devices, networks, and routers. They are fewer in number than other engineers in Kentucky, but demand is increasing.
- Computer hardware engineers: 18.66 percent increase from 2018 to 2028, from 268 to 318 positions. Median wage $81,879.
If you go into engineering 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.
Drafters and Technicians
An associate degree can lead to a well-paid job as a drafter or engineering technician.
Drafters prepare detailed working diagrams, converting the designs of engineers into technical drawings. The Kentucky Community and Technical College System offers associate degree programs in computer-aided drafting and design.
Engineering technicians assist engineers with planning, designing, and building. Local KCTCS colleges offer associate degrees in engineering technology.
These careers are in demand in Kentucky:
- Electrical and electronics drafters: 8.70 percent increase from 2018 to 2028, from 299 to 325 jobs. Average salary $68,529.
- Environmental engineering technicians: 7.03 percent increase from 2018 to 2028, 128 to 137 jobs. Median wage $47,948.
- Architectural and civil drafters: 5.92 percent increase from 2018 to 2028, from 811 to 859 jobs. Median wage $50.725.
- Mechanical engineering technologists and technicians: 5.75 percent increase from 2018 to 2028, from 678 to 717 jobs. Median wage $51,828.
- Civil engineering technologists and technicians: 4.5 percent increase from 2018 to 2028, from 2,242 to 2,343 jobs. Median wage $47,130.
Figures from Kentucky Occupational Outlook to 2028.