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A credential attests to the qualifications, competence, or authority of an individual to perform at levels of proficiency established by a third party with the relevant or de facto authority and competence to do so. It is the ultimate demonstration of the Knowledge and Skills outlined in the Programs of Study. For the CTE student, it is the culmination of his/her individual Plan of Study—and the beginning of a lifelong career of achievement in his/her chosen field.

The credential listings provided below were revised in 2010 from the 2002 Career Cluster™ Resources Guide produced by the National Career Technical Education Foundation (NCTEF). All were reviewed by the Career Clusters™ Leaders and/or the National Advisory Committee, with new credentials added only at their recommendation. They’re organized by the 16 Career Clusters™ and divided into three primary sections:

  1. Education and Industry Licenses
  2. Education and Industry Certificates
  3. Postsecondary Degree Options

Each section is organized by the type of program, the organization or type of school that offers the certification, license or degree and the source for contact information or further details on the program. These are samples of existing credentials and are not meant to be all-inclusive. They are provided here for informational purposes only and are not endorsed by NCTEF or the National Association of State Directors of Career Technical Education Consortium.

Click on any of the Career Clusters™ below for credentials pertinent to that Career Cluster™.

Benchmarks and Certifications by Career Cluster™

A number of benchmark standards, certifications, and resources were identified as part of the review and revision process. The following provides access to the resources and includes additional information about how to access further information about the resource online. The resource is provided as an Excel workbook with 16 separate worksheets for each of the 16 Career Clusters. The inclusion of the resource does not imply endorsement, but rather is identified as a resource that was used to inform the revision process. Download here