3 Career Sectors Worth Considering in Kentucky
Kentucky might be famous for bourbon and fried chicken, but there's a lot more going on in this southeastern state. The 4.4 million people living in the Commonwealth make their livings in a wide range of industries, many of which are poised to expand. In fact, on average, more than 239,337 job openings are expected in Kentucky every year between 2016 and 2026, according to the Kentucky Center for Statistics. The opportunities may continue multiplying for years to come.
Some job sectors with a promising future include:
1. Health Care
Health care is one of Kentucky's biggest industries. The state features more than 175 health care facilities, and that number continues to rise.
In fact, data from the Kentucky Center for Statistics shows that health care support occupations are expected to grow by 14.3 percent over the 10-year period from 2016 to 2026, making them one of the fastest-growing groups of careers in the state. Health care practitioners and technical occupations aren't far behind, with expected growth of 12.7 percent.
To give you an idea of the potential of this field, here's how much each of the following occupations is expected to grow between 2016 and 2026:
- Medical assistants—23.3 percent
- Phlebotomists—18.6 percent
- Registered nurses—12.2 percent
- Emergency medical technicians and paramedics—10.1 percent
- Nursing assistants—8.1 percent
That's why the health programs offered by Kentucky trade schools and colleges could be a wise choice. With the right qualifications, you could take your place in this expanding industry.
2. Logistics and Transportation
Located within an easy drive or short flight of more than two-thirds of the American population, Kentucky is uniquely positioned for quick and easy distribution of products and materials throughout the country.
And the state has also been widely recognized for its global shipping connections. UPS has its largest sorting facility in Louisville, processing an average of two million packages every day. The DHL package-handling facility in Hebron, which serves the Americas and the Caribbean, is one of only three such mega-hubs the company has in the entire world. Plus, Amazon has plans to establish a Prime Air hub at the Cincinnati-Northern Kentucky Airport that is expected to bring over 2,500 new jobs to the area.
So it's no surprise that transportation and material moving occupations are expected to see healthy growth in Kentucky, with about 249,800 total job openings projected between 2016 and 2026, according to the Kentucky Center for Statistics. Training in this area could lead you to some solid opportunities.
Manufacturing is big business in Kentucky, accounting for almost one-fifth of the state's total economic output, according to the National Association of Manufacturers. Companies throughout the state produce a wide range of products, from cars and textiles to appliances and beverages. Consider these facts:
- Kentucky is a major U.S. hub for aerospace manufacturing. In fact, aerospace is the state's largest export product. In 2018, aerospace-related exports brought almost $12.6 billion into Kentucky's economy
- Automotive manufacturing is another key industry. With four major assembly plants based in Kentucky, the state is the nation's largest producer of cars, SUVs, and light trucks (per capita). That's according to the Kentucky Cabinet for Economic Development. The cabinet also notes that auto-related companies employ more than 100,000 people across the Commonwealth.
- The state is home to about 4,500 manufacturing facilities. Together, they employ over 250,000 Kentuckians
That all adds up to plenty of opportunities for Kentuckians in the manufacturing field.