Career Clusters and Career Pathway Programs of Study


The National Career Clusters® Framework serves as an organizing tool for Career and Technical Education (CTE) programs, curriculum design and instruction. There are 16 career clusters in the National Career Clusters® Framework, representing more than 70 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.

Career clusters identify groups of occupations in the same field of work that require similar skills. Each cluster contains several smaller groups called career pathways that connect to educational programs, industries and careers. While a career cluster paints a broad picture of a group of occupations, a pathway helps students focus on and develop a clear, more informed educational plan over time. The structure of the National Career Clusters® Framework of 16 career clusters and more than 70 related career pathways supports students’ growing career awareness and exploration.

For more information on career clusters, visit


CTE Concentrators 

Concentrating in CTE can provide students a strong foundation of technical knowledge and employability skills to complement their academic studies and prepare them for both college and career options. To complete a CTE concentration, students must complete an approved career pathway program of study.  Students completing a CTE concentration are designated as “CTE Concentrators” or “CTE Completers” and may be eligible for additional opportunities including:

  • Participation in the National Technical Honor Society
  • Career Endorsement on the North Carolina high school diploma
  • National Career Readiness Certification through ACT WorkKeys® assessment system


The following career pathway programs of study are offered in one or more of our traditional high schools:


Career Cluster

Career Pathway

Required Courses for CTE Concentration

Agriculture, Food & Natural Resources

Animal Science

AA21 Animal Science I
AA22 Animal Science II or AA23 Animal Science II Small Animal

Agriculture, Food & Natural Resources

Natural Resources

AN51 Natural Resources I
AN52 Natural Resources II

Agriculture, Food & Natural Resources

Plant Systems

AP41 Horticulture I
AP42 Horticulture II or AP44 Horticulture II Landscaping

Agriculture, Food & Natural Resources

Power, Structural, and Technical Systems

AS31 Agricultural Mechanics I
AS32 Agricultural Mechanics II or AS33 Agricultural Mechanics II Small Engines

Architecture & Construction


IC00 Construction Core
IC21 Carpentry I
IC22 Carpentry II

Architecture & Construction

Interior Design

FI51 Interior Design I
FI52 Interior Design II

Architecture & Construction


IC00 Construction Core
IC11 Masonry I
IC12 Masonry II

Arts, Audio/Visual Technology & Communication

Adobe Academy

II31 Adobe Visual Design
II33 Adobe Video Design

Business Management & Administration


ME11 Entrepreneurship I
ME12 Entrepreneurship II

Business Management & Administration

General Management

BF10 Principles of Business and Finance
BB40 Business Management I
BB42 Business Management II



FE21 Teaching as a Profession I
FE22 Teaching as a Profession II


Financial Securities and Investments

BF10 Principles of Business and Finance
BF21 Financial Planning I
BF22 Financial Planning II

Health Science

Biomedical Technology

HU40 Health Science I
HB11 Biotechnical Technology

Health Science

Healthcare Professional

HU40 Health Science I
HU42 Health Science II

Hospitality & Tourism

Culinary Arts

FH10 Culinary Arts & Hospitality I
FH12 Culinary Arts & Hospitality II 
FH13 Culinary Arts & Hospitality III

Hospitality & TourismNational Academy FoundationCN50 Principles of Hospitality (0.5 credit course)
CN53 Customer Service (0.5 credit course)
CN52 Hospitality Marketing (0.5 credit course)
CN54 Sustainable Tourism (0.5 credit course)

Hospitality & Tourism

Sports & Entertainment Marketing

MH31 Sports & Entertainment Marketing I
MH32 Sports & Entertainment Marketing II

Hospitality & TourismTravel & TourismBF10 Principles of Business and Finance or MM51 Marketing
MH42 Hospitality & Tourism

Human Services

Early Childhood Development

FE60 Child Development
FE11 Early Childhood Education (2 credit course)

Human Services

Food & Nutrition

FN41 Food and Nutrition I
FN42 Food and Nutrition II

Information Technology

Computer Science

BP41 Computer Science I
BP42 Computer Science II

Information TechnologySAS Computer ProgrammingBP41 Computer Science I or 0A02 AP Computer Science Principles
BP20 SAS Base Programming

Information Technology

AP Computer Science

0A02 AP Computer Science Principles
2A02 AP Computer Science

Information TechnologyElectronicsIM31 Electronics I
IM32 Electronics II


Metals Manufacturing

IM41 Metals Manufacturing I
IM42 Metals Manufacturing II


Marketing Management

MM51 Marketing
MA52 Marketing Applications



MI31 Sales I
MI32 Sales II

Transportation, Distribution & Logistics

Automotive Services

IT11 Automotive Service Fundamentals
IT16 Automotive Service I
IT17 Automotive Service II

Transportation, Distribution & Logistics

Drone Technology

ID11 Drone Technology I
ID12 Drone Technology II


Questions regarding career pathway programs of study offered at each high school or completing a CTE concentration should be directed to the Career Development Coordinator at each school.