What Are the 10 Career Clusters You Need Know

What Are the 10 Career Clusters You Need Know

The National Career Clusters Framework, which includes 10 career clusters, is an organizational tool used with the Career Technical Education (CTE) program. It groups careers to help you find one that matches your skills and interests. The clusters include 79 unique pathways to pursue, and there are a variety of careers within those pathways.

Here are the 10 career clusters:

1. Agriculture, Food and Natural Resources

The Agriculture, Food and Natural Resources cluster includes everything related to the creation of agricultural products. This includes farmers, ranchers, scientists, engineers and veterinarians. Some career pathways in this cluster may require a bachelor's degree in their specific field, while others train people through on-the-job experience. The work environment is mostly outdoors, so most people who work in this field enjoy being outside.

Career pathways in this cluster include:

  1. Agribusiness Systems

  2. Animal Systems

  3. Environmental Service Systems

  4. Food Products and Processing Systems

  5. Natural Resources Systems

  6. Plant Systems

  7. Power, Structural and Technical Systems

2. Architecture and Construction

The Architecture and Construction cluster includes people who are involved in designing, building and maintaining homes, industrial facilities, streets or bridges. The roles vary from carpenter helper to safety engineers, so educational requirements vary, but most skilled tradespeople, like carpenters and plumbers, usually complete training directly on the job. The people who work in this field have strong skills in math and are passionate about design, home improvement and decor. The typical work environment can be an office or the homes and businesses of your customers.

Pathways in the Architecture and Construction cluster are:

  1. Construction

  2. Design/Pre-Construction

  3. Maintenance/Operations

3. Arts, Audio/Visual Technology and Communications

The Arts, Audio/Visual Technology and Communications cluster may be the best career cluster for creative people, and it includes journalists, actors, dancers, singers, radio announcers and behind-the-scenes workers. Studying film and media arts or theater and drama could be beneficial if you're interested in becoming an actor and there are specialized certificate programs you could attend to become a sound engineer or a telecommunications technician. The work environment can be a film, TV or recording studio or a theater. Most people who work in this cluster have an authentic passion for music, dance, cinema or fashion.

Career pathways in the Arts, Audio/Visual Technology and Communications cluster are:

  1. Audio and Visual Technology and Film

  2. Journalism and Broadcasting

  3. Performing Arts

  4. Printing Technology

  5. Telecommunications

  6. Visual Arts

4. Business, Management and Administration

The Business, Management and Administration cluster includes business analysts, accountants, HR professionals and managers, and many entry-level positions, like receptionists, secretaries and typists. Most of the roles in this cluster require a bachelor's degree, and some accounting positions may also require the Certified Public Accountant license. The typical work environment is an office, and many roles require working directly with customers. People who are interested in this career cluster usually have strong communication skills and business acumen.

The Business, Management and Administration cluster has pathways like:

  1. Administrative Support

  2. Business Information Management

  3. General Management

  4. Human Resources Management

  5. Operations Management

5. Education and Training

The Education and Training career cluster includes teacher, tutor and instructor roles, but area also employs counselors, school psychologists and speech-language pathologists who offer support and guidance to students. Elementary and secondary school teachers require both a bachelor's degree and a license, while college teachers need an advanced degree. The typical work environment is a school or college. This career cluster may be of interest to people who have strong leadership skills or want to act as role models for younger people. If you aspire to work in this field, it's beneficial to have a passion for the subject you plan to teach.

Pathways in the Education and Training cluster are:

  1. Administration and Administrative Support

  2. Professional Support Services

  3. Teaching/Training

6. Finance

The roles in the Finance cluster include auditor, financial analyst, treasurer, economist, bank worker, debt counselor or insurance sales agent. Many of the jobs in the Finance career cluster require a bachelor's degree or specialized certifications, and getting a Certified Public Accountant or Certified Internal Auditor license may be helpful for certain roles. The typical work environment is an office, an accounting studio or a tax collecting agency. The workers in this field usually have strong math skills and the ability to explain difficult concepts to customers who don't work in the field.

The pathways in the Finance cluster are:

  1. Accounting

  2. Banking services

  3. Business finance

  4. Insurance

  5. Securities & Investments

7. Hospitality and Tourism

The Hospitality and Tourism cluster includes jobs you can do in restaurants, bars, tourist attractions, resorts, hotels and travel agencies. Entry-level positions usually only require a high school diploma or equivalent, but some higher roles like a tour guide or travel agent may require a bachelor's degree and the knowledge of multiple languages.

The typical work environment can range from the kitchen of a restaurant to a ticket office, hotel reception or an airport. The career paths related to bars and restaurants may be of interest to people who love food and don't mind working long hours standing. Career paths related to tourist attractions may appeal to people who have a passion for culture, arts and traveling.

Here are the career pathways in the Hospitality and Tourism cluster:

  1. Lodging

  2. Recreation, Amusements & Attractions

  3. Restaurants and Food/Beverage Services

  4. Travel & Tourism

8. Human Services

The Human Services career cluster includes not only psychologists, social workers and child advocacy professionals, but also paths like hairdresser, manicurist and cosmetologist. The career pathways that relate to counseling and mental health require a minimum of a bachelor's degree and a license. Those related to beauty and wellness require specialized training. For example, a person who wants to become a cosmetologist could attend a specific college course and then an apprenticeship at a beauty salon.

The work environment can be a hospital, a spa or a beauty salon. Environments vary grately based on the specific career path. The workers in this cluster usually have strong interpersonal and listening skills and patience and empathy towards others.

The Human Services cluster's pathways are:

  1. Consumer Services

  2. Counseling and Mental Health Services

  3. Early Childhood Development and Services

  4. Family and Community Services

  5. Personal Care Services

9. Law, Public Safety, Corrections and Security

Workers in the Law, Public Safety Corrections and Security cluster protect citizens, succh as police officers, security guards, attorneys, paralegals and FBI agents. Attorneys earn a bachelor's degree, complete three years of law school and then pass the final bar exam. Police officers pass the law enforcement entrance exam and graduate from the police academy.

The work environment can be a jail, court, police station or public places where people need to be protected. This may include pools, beaches and playgrounds. Working in this cluster may be of interest to people who are brave and have a strong desire to protect others.

Pathways for the Law, Public Safety, Corrections and Security cluster are:

  1. Correction Services

  2. Emergency and Fire Management Services

  3. Law Enforcement Services

  4. Legal Services

  5. Security and Protective Services

10. Manufacturing

The Manufacturing cluster can be great for people who enjoy physical work with careers like equipment operators, millwrights, assemblers and warehouse workers. These roles usually only require on-the-job training, but there are other pathways that may require a bachelor's degree. For example, there are workers who ensure safety in the factories, while others inspect the quality of products and services.

A typical work environment is an industrial unit. However, some workers can also work directly at their client's home, such as to fix household appliances. A career in Manufacturing may be suitable for people who have strong manual skills and love do-it-yourself activities.

Career pathways in the Manufacturing cluster are:

  1. Health, Safety and Environmental Assurance

  2. Logistics and Inventory Control

  3. Maintenance, Installation and Repair

  4. Manufacturing Production Process Development

  5. Production

  6. Quality Assurance