Build Your Future

Deciding what to do in life can be exciting and challenging at the same time. People who find the most satisfaction in their careers are those who choose a career cluster that best fits their personality, abilities, interests, and values.

Agriculture, Food & Natural Resources

The jobs in this cluster are concerned with conservation, production, and selling of agricultural products.
Examples: Park ranger, forestry worker, landscape architect, wildlife manager, and zoologist.

Architecture & Construction

The jobs in this cluster are concerned with designing, planning, constructing and maintaining the built environment.
Examples: Architect, landscape designer, painter, plumber, electrician, highway maintenance worker, and project manager.

Art, A/V Technology & Communications

The jobs in this cluster help make, create, and/or share ideas, thoughts, or feelings, including visual and performing arts and design, journalism, and entertainment services.
Examples: Actor, dancer, commercial artist, floral designer, writer, musician, photographer, camera operator, movie director, and printer/press operator.

Business, Management & Administration

The jobs in this cluster help plan, organize, and operate businesses, industries, and government so that they will operate efficiently.
Examples: Accountant, bank teller, city manager, computer operator, mail carrier, store manager, administrative assistant, warehouse manager, and paralegal.

Education & Training

The jobs in this cluster help people learn about themselves and the world around them.
Examples: Teacher, principal, counselor, librarian, social worker, child care director, coach, and professor.


The jobs in this cluster help people and business with financial planning and management, banking, and insurance services.
Examples: Bank teller, stockbroker, loan officer, claims agent, treasurer, and economist.

Government & Public Administration

The jobs in this cluster help run local, state, and federal government, including management and administration, national security, foreign service, and revenue and taxation.
Examples: President, senator, governor, ambassador, foreign diplomat, city manager, census clerk, and military intelligence officer.

Health Science

The jobs in this cluster help people and animals stay healthy.
Examples: Registered nurse, dental hygienist, veterinarian, doctor, admitting clerk, lab technician, hospital administrator, and emergency medical technician.

Hospitality & Tourism

The jobs in this cluster help people enjoy their leisure time by providing services at restaurants, hotels, amusement parks, travel agencies, and recreational events.
Examples: Chef, baker, manager, reservations agent, housekeeper, meeting planner, travel planner, museum director, and ride operations manager.

Human Services

The jobs in this cluster help people with their employment, family, and human needs.
Examples: Preschool teacher, minister/rabbi/priest, social services worker, psychiatrist, and community service director.

Information Technology

The jobs in this cluster design, build, and manage information systems and create, store, and retrieve information using technology such as the computer.
Examples: Systems analyst, Web designer, desktop publisher, animator, software design engineer, maintenance technician, and programmer.

Law, Public Safety & Security

The jobs in this cluster help people and make their community safe.
Examples: Fire fighter, police officer, lawyer, judge, prison warden, corrections officer, animal control officer, criminologist, and court reporter.


The jobs in this cluster help with changing raw materials into useful products, such as plastic for making toys.
Examples: Welder, furniture maker, major appliance repairer, assembly worker, quality control technician, purchasing agent, and labor relations manager.


The jobs in this cluster deal with selling or marketing products and services.
Examples: Advertising agent, customer service representative, real estate agent, retail salesperson, inventory manager, research associate, and merchandise buyer.

Science, Technology, Engineering & Mathematics

The jobs in this cluster invent new ways to solve problems or provide scientific or technical support.
Examples: Meteorologist, marine biologist, surveyor, mathematician, mining engineer, conservationist, statistician, lab technician, and archeologist.

Transportation, Distribution & Logistics

The jobs in this cluster help move people and/or things to different places.
Examples: Truck driver, airplane pilot, bus driver, air traffic controller, ambulance driver, dispatcher, taxi driver, and train engineer.


Jobs that require a 2-year degree, certification, or apprenticeship are in high demand. By 2012, these jobs are predicted to grow even more. Currently, employers report having difficulty finding qualified and skilled workers.

Career-technical education programs, such as Information Technology, Construction-related Technology, or Health Care Services, offer degrees that may lead to immediate employment in higher paying jobs. Another bonus is that after completing a 2-year degree, transition to a 4-year college is possible, and employers may pay for further education.


The demand for employees with a 4-year college degree or more has not changed in 50 years, and by 2012 will only increase a few percentage points. The jobs most in demand requiring a 4-year or greater degree are in the high-growth fields of science, math, engineering, computer technology, and health care.

Far too many college graduates are underemployed due to the mismatch between degree/skills and available employment. Students need to be aware that getting a job requiring a 4-year college degree will be very competitive. The degree alone will not guarantee a job. Students with additional technical skills and strong interpersonal skills set themselves apart from other candidates. Students will benefit from being knowledgeable about trends in employment in Washington state and elsewhere.


Jobs that require a high school diploma or less have decreased steadily over the last 50 years. By 2012, it's predicted that only 5-7% of jobs will be available for those with a high school diploma or less, and those will typically be low paying, minimum wage jobs with few benefits. Today's job market requires employees to have strong skills in math, reading, writing, and problem-solving. It pays to stay in school.