Career Planning Clusters

The 16 Career Clusters® and related Career Pathways provide an important organizing tool that enables students, parents and school counselors to develop programs of study for the student’s career and education goals. Establishing career goals are important, because students exiting high school with career goals (even if these goals change) are more likely to persevere and complete degrees and/or industry certificates, than are students with no career goals. The National Career Clusters® Framework, comprised of 16 Career Clusters™ and related Career Pathways, presents a complete range of related career options to students, helps them discover their interests and passions, and empowers them to choose the educational pathway that can lead to success in high school, college and their chosen career

Career Clusters™ provides an entry point for business and industry to engage with Career and Technical Education  (CTE) at the local and state level. These pathways provide opportunities for local business and industry to interact with CTE programs through internships, work-based learning, apprenticeships, and cooperative education.

  • Agriculture, Food & Natural ResourcesAgriculture, Food & Natural Resources
    The production, processing, marketing, distribution, financing, and development of agricultural commodities and resources including food, fiber, wood products, natural resources, horticulture, and other plant and animal products/resources.
  • Architecture & ConstructionArchitecture & Construction
    Careers in designing, planning, managing, building and maintaining the built environment.
  • Arts, A/V Technology & CommunicationsArts, A/V Technology & Communications
    Designing, producing, exhibiting, performing, writing, and publishing multimedia content including visual and performing arts and design, journalism, and entertainment services.
  • Business Management & AdministrationBusiness Management & Administration
    Careers in planning, organizing, directing and evaluating business functions essential to efficient and productive business operations.
  • Education & TrainingEducation & Training
    Planning, managing and providing education and training services, and related learning support services such as administration, teaching/training, administrative support, and professional support services.
  • FinanceFinance
    Planning and related services for financial and investment planning, banking, insurance, and business financial management.
  • Government & Public AdministrationGovernment & Public Administration
    Planning and executing government functions at the local, state and federal levels, including governance, national security, foreign service, planning, revenue and taxation, and regulations.
  • Health ScienceHealth Science
    Planning, managing, and providing therapeutic services, diagnostic services, health informatics, support services, and biotechnology research and development.
  • Hospitality & TourismHospitality & Tourism
    Preparing individuals for employment in career pathways that relate to families and human needs such as restaurant and food/beverage services, lodging, travel and tourism, recreation, amusement and attractions.
  • Law, Public Safety, Corrections & SecurityLaw, Public Safety, Corrections & Security
    Planning, managing, and providing legal, public safety, protective services and homeland security, including professional and technical support services.
  • Information TechnologyInformation Technology
    Building linkages in IT occupations for entry level, technical, and professional careers related to the design, development, support and management of hardware, software, multimedia and systems integration services.
  • Human ServicesHuman Services
    Preparing individuals for employment in career pathways that relate to families and human needs such as counseling and mental health services, family and community services, personal care, and consumer services.
  • ManufacturingManufacturing
    Planning, managing and performing the processing of materials into intermediate or final products and related professional and technical support activities such as production planning and control, maintenance and manufacturing/process engineering.
  • MarketingMarketing
    Planning, managing, and performing marketing activities to reach organizational objectives such as brand management, professional sales, merchandising, marketing communications and market research.
  • Science, Technology, Engineering & MathematicsScience, Technology, Engineering & Mathematics
    Planning, managing, and providing scientific research and professional and technical services (e.g., physical science, social science, engineering) including laboratory and testing services, and research and development services.
  • Transportation, Distribution & LogisticsTransportation, Distribution & Logistics
    The planning, management, and movement of people, materials, and goods by road, pipeline, air, rail and water and related professional and technical support services such as transportation infrastructure planning and management, logistics services, mobile equipment and facility maintenance.