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The 16 Career Clusters®

One of the keys to improving student achievement is providing students with relevant contexts for studying and learning. Career Clusters® do exactly this by linking school-based learning with the knowledge and skills required for success in the workplace. The National Career Clusters® Framework is comprised of 16 Career Clusters® and related Career Pathways to help students of all ages explore different career options and better prepare for college and career.

Each Career Cluster® represents a distinct grouping of occupations and industries based on the knowledge and skills they require. The 16 Career Clusters® and related Career Pathways provide an important organizing tool for schools to develop more effective programs of study (POS) and curriculum.

  • Agriculture, 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 & Construction

    Careers in designing, planning, managing, building and maintaining the built environment.

  • Arts, 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 & Administration

    Careers in planning, organizing, directing and evaluating business functions essential to efficient and productive business operations.

  • Education & 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.

  • Finance

    Planning and related services for financial and investment planning, banking, insurance, and business financial management.

  • Government & 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 Science

    Planning, managing, and providing therapeutic services, diagnostic services, health informatics, support services, and biotechnology research and development.

  • Hospitality & 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.

  • Human 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.

  • Information 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.

  • Law, Public Safety, Corrections & Security

    Planning, managing, and providing legal, public safety, protective services and homeland security, including professional and technical support services.

  • Manufacturing

    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.

  • Marketing

    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 & 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 & 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.