Sikes began his engineering and surveying career upon completing graduate school at Texas A & M University. Upon graduation he joined the US Department of Commerce, National Oceanic Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) in 1969. Sikes rose to the rank of Lieutenant (03) in the Officer Corps of NOAA during his four-year term.
Sikes recognized an opportunity to start his own business shortly after earning his professional engineering registration. In 1977, he started Andrew Lonnie Sikes, Inc. (ALS, Inc.) offering a broad range of surveying and engineering services including geographic information systems (GIS) projects and hydrographic, global positioning systems (GPS) and aerial surveys.