How Many CTE Career Clusters Are There in Texas?

Texas Career and Technical Education (CTE) programs offer students countless opportunities to explore and develop skills in various industries. With a commitment to preparing students for success in college and careers, Texas has organized it’s CTE courses into 16 federally defined career clusters. Through hands-on learning experiences, industry partnerships, and rigorous coursework, students in Texas have the opportunity to discover new passions, develop valuable skills, and forge a path towards a successful and fulfilling career.

How Many Career Clusters Are There in CTE?

CTE, or Career and Technical Education, offers a wide range of opportunities for students to gain skills and knowledge in various career fields. These programs are organized into 16 career clusters, which serve as a framework for grouping related jobs and industries together. These clusters help students explore and develop their interests in specific career areas.

Within each career cluster, there are multiple career pathways that students can choose from. These pathways consist of a collection of courses and training opportunities that provide the necessary skills and knowledge for a particular career. For example, within the Health Science cluster, students can pursue pathways such as nursing, dental assisting, or medical laboratory technology.

They include Agriculture, Food, and Natural Resources; Architecture and Construction; Arts, A/V Technology, and Communications; Business Management and Administration; Education and Training; Finance; Government and Public Administration; Health Science; Hospitality and Tourism; Human Services; Information Technology; Law, Public Safety, Corrections, and Security; Manufacturing; Marketing; Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM); and Transportation, Distribution, and Logistics.

CTE classes and programs play a crucial role in preparing students for the workforce and higher education. They provide practical skills, hands-on experience, and industry certifications that can significantly enhance students employability and future success.

Career clusters in Texas are an integral part of the Foundation High School Program, offering students the opportunity to align their education with their desired career paths. By grouping related clusters together, students can receive specialized endorsements that support their career goals. This approach ensures that students have a clear understanding of the pathway they’re pursuing and the endorsement they’ll ultimately earn.

What Are Career Clusters in Texas?

Career clusters in Texas are a way to categorize related career fields and occupations into organized groups. These clusters provide a framework for students to explore various career options and select endorsements through the Foundation High School Program. By grouping careers together based on their similarities, students are able to identify the cluster that aligns with their career goals and determine the pathway they want to pursue.

These clusters include areas such as Business and Industry, Public Services, Arts and Humanities, Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM), and Multidisciplinary Studies.

Once students have identified the cluster that aligns with their interests and goals, they can then select an endorsement within that cluster. An endorsement is a focused area of study that provides students with specialized knowledge and skills in a particular field. For example, within the Business and Industry cluster, students can choose from endorsements such as Marketing, Finance, and Hospitality and Tourism.

The career clusters and endorsements in Texas not only help students in their educational journey but also provide valuable guidance to educators and parents. They serve as a roadmap for curriculum development and enable educators to align their instruction with the needs of the workforce. Parents can also benefit from these clusters by gaining insight into the different career options available to their children and the educational paths they can pursue.

These clusters provide a framework to support students in their career exploration and help them make informed decisions about their educational pathways.

Examples of Specific Careers Within Each Career Cluster in Texas

  • Health Sciences: Nurse, Doctor, Dentist
  • Information Technology: Software Developer, Network Administrator, Data Analyst
  • Finance: Accountant, Financial Analyst, Investment Banker
  • Agriculture: Farmer, Rancher, Agricultural Engineer
  • Education and Training: Teacher, School Counselor, Administrator
  • Business Management and Administration: HR Manager, Marketing Director, Operations Manager
  • Manufacturing: Production Supervisor, Quality Control Inspector, Process Engineer
  • Government and Public Administration: Lawyer, Public Relations Specialist, City Manager
  • Hospitality and Tourism: Hotel Manager, Event Planner, Tour Guide
  • Transportation, Distribution, and Logistics: Truck Driver, Logistician, Supply Chain Manager

In order to ensure that educators in Texas are adequately prepared to teach in specific career and technical education fields, the Texas Education Agency offers nine different CTE certification options. These certifications cover a range of areas including Trades and Industrial Education, Health Science Technology Education, and Marketing Education. Notably, the certification process for these particular fields also requires candidates to have relevant work experience, ensuring that educators have firsthand knowledge and expertise in their chosen professions.

What Is CTE Certification in Texas?

CTE certification, also known as Career and Technical Education certification, is a program offered by the Texas Education Agency. This certification is designed to provide individuals with specialized skills and knowledge in various career fields. The goal is to prepare students for success in the workforce by equipping them with practical, hands-on experience.

For example, Trades and Industrial Education certification focuses on preparing individuals for careers in construction, transportation, manufacturing, and other skilled trades. To obtain this certification, candidates must have work experience in the trade they wish to teach. This ensures that they’ve practical knowledge and skills that can be transferred to their students.

Similarly, Health Science Technology Education certification is aimed at individuals who want to teach healthcare-related subjects. To obtain this certification, candidates must have work experience in a healthcare setting. This could include roles such as a nurse, medical technician, or therapist.

Marketing Education certification is geared towards individuals who want to teach marketing, sales, and advertising. Like the other CTE certifications, this requires work experience in the marketing field. It ensures that individuals have practical knowledge and experience to effectively teach the subject.

By requiring work experience in the specific field of certification, the Texas Education Agency ensures that educators have the practical knowledge and skills necessary to prepare students for success in their chosen careers.

Source: Career and Technical Education | Texas Education Agency

Transition: These numbers highlight the significant participation in career and technical education (CTE) in Texas during the 2020-21 academic year.

How Many CTE Students Are in Texas?

In Texas, the number of students enrolled in career and technical education (CTE) programs has been steadily increasing. As of the 2020-21 academic year, there were a total of 1,860,775 participants in CTE across the state. This highlights the growing popularity and importance of vocational training in Texas.

When examining the gender distribution within CTE, it’s interesting to note that there’s a slight majority of male students. Out of the students who reported their gender, 51.9 percent were male, while 48.1 percent were female. This indicates that both genders are actively involved in CTE programs and are recognized for their contributions in various fields.

Career and technical education plays a crucial role in providing students with valuable skills and knowledge that are highly relevant to the workforce. These programs aim to equip individuals with the competencies needed to succeed in specific industries or professions. By participating in CTE, students can gain practical experience and develop career-specific expertise, thus increasing their chances of securing employment and achieving success in their chosen fields.

An almost equal representation of male and female students highlights the inclusivity and diversity within CTE programs. Texas strives to provide accessible and comprehensive CTE opportunities, recognizing the value they bring to both individuals and the states economy.


The implementation of these clusters highlights Texas' commitment to promoting career-readiness and fostering a workforce that’s well-prepared for the demands of the future.

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