Average salary in Kentucky

1 min readLast updated February 1, 2024by Charlie Barton

Learn about the average salaries and highest paying counties in Kentucky

Kentucky is a state located in the southern United States with a diverse economy. Its largest industries include healthcare, manufacturing, and retail, among others. Like many other states, the average salary in Kentucky can vary greatly depending on location, occupation, and other factors.

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While the median household income in Kentucky is lower than the national median household income, the cost of living in Kentucky is also lower than many other states. There are also high paying jobs available in rural areas, particularly in the mining and agricultural industries. But which cities and counties offer the highest average salaries?

Average salary in Kentucky by city

City living is often more expensive than living in more rural areas, but it’s also where the money is. Kentucky has a number of highly populated cities with average household income sitting above $60,000, while some hover closer to $40,000.

Average earnings by city—or any other geographical metric—is just one way of calculating wealth, and certainly shouldn’t be the only way you look at your own earning potential in a given place. It doesn’t take into account the type of jobs that people do to earn above or below this average bracket, and omits any consideration for the number of people living in a household. However, it’s certainly one way of establishing which place offers good earning opportunities.

The US Census Bureau’s latest American Community Survey has calculated the average earnings for the largest cities in Kentucky, which you can find ranked below.

CityAverage household income
Louisville $60,174
Lexington $57,522
Bowling Green $52,124
Owensboro $49,882
Covington $40,538
Richmond $43,421
Georgetown $72,373
Florence $75,818
Hopkinsville $47,358
Nicholasville $69,854

Average salary in Kentucky by county

Reviewing average salaries in Kentucky by city is not necessarily an adequate metric for average salaries across the state, since it’s entirely urban focused. A good idea is to weigh these figures up against the average salary in Kentucky by county, as this will take areas outside the main cities into account and offer a broader idea of salary ranges.

The same survey from the US Census Bureau gives further insight this way, with the average household income calculated for each county.

CountyIncome
Adair County $40,773
Allen County $45,116
Anderson County $68,024
Ballard County $45,681
Barren County $47,313
Bath County $39,324
Bell County $33,150
Boone County $86,405
Bourbon County $55,745
Boyd County $45,622
Boyle County $50,722
Bracken County $43,214
Breathitt County $28,529
Breckinridge County $45,973
Bullitt County $70,601
Butler County $41,283
Caldwell County $42,322
Calloway County $47,764
Campbell County $62,808
Carlisle County $38,881
Carroll County $48,619
Carter County $34,973
Casey County $42,970
Christian County $51,804
Clark County $57,478
Clay County $33,707
Clinton County $35,654
Crittenden County $43,062
Cumberland County $35,508
Daviess County $51,514
Edmonson County $40,809
Elliott County $28,167
Estill County $37,150
Fayette County $66,596
Fleming County $39,967
Floyd County $33,491
Franklin County $66,497
Fulton County $30,355
Gallatin County $54,883
Garrard County $52,718
Grant County $63,729
Graves County $47,051
Grayson County $42,674
Green County $40,006
Greenup County $42,981
Hancock County $47,698
Hardin County $57,531
Harlan County $30,245
Harrison County $47,232
Hart County $40,197
Henderson County $49,385
Henry County $59,145
Hickman County $34,924
Hopkins County $45,772
Jackson County $32,903
Jefferson County $62,616
Jessamine County $73,287
Johnson County $39,240
Kenton County $65,986
Knott County $31,215
Knox County $36,703
LaRue County $49,423
Laurel County $47,523
Lawrence County $35,207
Lee County $28,243
Leslie County $28,254
Letcher County $32,789
Lewis County $38,874
Lincoln County $43,181
Livingston County $43,697
Logan County $48,491
Lyon County $50,701
McCracken County $52,578
McCreary County $33,278
McLean County $49,410
Madison County $53,557
Magoffin County $28,780
Marion County $48,791
Marshall County $58,989
Martin County $40,826
Mason County $48,106
Meade County $63,944
Menifee County $43,313
Mercer County $53,750
Metcalfe County $43,196
Monroe County $39,334
Montgomery County $49,313
Morgan County $41,664
Muhlenberg County $46,124
Nelson County $64,354
Nicholas County $44,306
Ohio County $48,481
Oldham County $109,815
Owen County $52,450
Owsley County $29,340
Pendleton County $57,619
Perry County $40,577
Pike County $36,910
Powell County $39,493
Pulaski County $42,652
Robertson County $53,833
Rockcastle County $40,406
Rowan County $45,681
Russell County $41,851
Scott County $73,113
Shelby County $73,974
Simpson County $53,420
Spencer County $92,973
Taylor County $56,890
Todd County $54,823
Trigg County $53,693
Trimble County $62,125
Union County $50,533
Warren County $57,625
Washington County $59,049
Wayne County $41,237
Webster County $47,051
Whitley County $41,817
Wolfe County $24,349
Woodford County $72,765

Highest paying jobs in Kentucky

There’s another weighty factor that will influence how much you earn if you live in Kentucky: your job type. Average salaries for various sectors and job roles can vary massively across the state, so it’s absolutely something to consider when looking at salaries by location.

Zippia has calculated a comprehensive list of annual salaries by occupation area, which you can also find below.

OccupationAnnual mean wage
Management $138,148
Business & Financial Operations $84,198
Computer & Mathematical $119,872
Architecture & Engineering $105,770
Life, Physical, & Social Science $91,100
Community & Social Service $58,272
Legal $117,935
Education, Training, & Library $64,168
Arts, Design, Entertainment, Sports, & Media $69,625
Healthcare Practitioners & Technical $105,245
Healthcare Support $33,159
Protective Service $52,280
Food Preparation & Serving Related $31,993
Building & Grounds Cleaning & Maintenance $37,461
Personal Care & Service $34,047
Sales & Related $38,049
Office & Administrative Support $46,994
Farming, Fishing, & Forestry $31,169
Construction & Extraction $62,681
Installation, Maintenance, & Repair $58,497
Production $40,168
Transportation & Material Moving $37,578

Frequently asked questions about salaries in Kentucky

What is the average salary in Kentucky by age?
Alongside location and occupation, salaries in Kentucky are also dependent on age, since more senior workers will be paid more. Then, when they retire, their income will dip again as they will rely on pensions and other forms of set income.

The Census Bureau data finds that householders under 25 have a median household income of $38,701; householders aged 24 to 44 years old have a median income of $60,227; those aged 45 to 64 years old have a median income of $66,735; and those 65 and older have a median income of $44,307.

What is a ‘good’ salary in Kentucky?
Defining what is considered a good salary in Kentucky depends on various factors like cost of living, occupation, and location. The median income in Kentucky is $52,295.

What is the average salary in Kentucky by hour?
If Americans work an average of 1,801 hours per year—at 37.5 hours a week—then the average hourly salary in Kentucky is $28.99.

Getting expert advice before you make significant financial decisions can really benefit you in the long term. Protect your financial future and speak to one of our financial advisors today.

Writer

Charlie Barton

Charlie Barton is a writer at Unbiased. He has been writing about personal finance and investing since 2017, with extensive knowledge of platforms and products. Charlie has a first-class degree from the London School of Economics.

Want to make your salary go further?

A financial advisor can help you develop a financial plan to meet your goals.