Career Clusters

Career Clusters

The National Career Clusters® Framework provides a vital structure for organizing and delivering quality CTE programs through learning and comprehensive programs of study.

About the National Career Clusters Framework

The National Career Clusters Framework serves as an organizing tool for Career Technical Education (CTE) programs, curriculum design and instruction. Currently, there are 16 Career Clusters in the National Career Clusters Framework, representing 79 Career Pathways to help learners navigate their way to greater success in college and career. The framework also functions as a useful guide in developing programs of study bridging secondary and postsecondary systems and for creating individual student plans of study for a complete range of career options. As such, it helps learners discover their interests and their passions, and empowers them to choose the educational pathway that can lead to success in high school, college and career.

Advancing the National Career Clusters Framework

In December 2022, Advance CTE announced the relaunch of an initiative to modernize the National Career Clusters Framework. This work is led by two national partners and supported by a National Advisory Committee, Industry Advisory Groups and other avenues to receive input from all stakeholders involved in delivering and experiencing the Framework. A new Framework will be unveiled in late 2024. Visit the Advancing the Framework page for additional information and to sign up to receive initiative updates. 

Additional Resources

Student Interest Survey

A career guidance tool that allows learners to respond to questions and identify the top three Career Clusters of interest based on their responses. Offered in both English and Spanish

Implementation Self-Assessment Rubrics

These rubrics are for state and local administrators to use as they assess the progress made on the implementation of the Career Clusters, focusing on critical components such as state plan/administrative support, professional development, partnerships, family and community support, teaching strategies and workplace learning.


A collection of crosswalks to support the linkage or bridging of different coding systems with the 16 Career Clusters and Career Pathways to assist in reporting, research and other applications.