North Carolina Career Cluster Guide

Using This Guide for Career Planning


Are you planning for high school, college, the workforce, or a career change? You will find the North Carolina Career Clusters Guide a valuable resource as you make these important decisions. This guide is designed to be a tool for planning and preparing for a career. It provides you a structure for selecting careers based on linking what you know about yourself with information about occupations and typical training requirements.


The career-planning process is the cycle you follow when seeking employment in occupations that match your interests. You can repeat this process as needed to help you find your place in the world of work. Follow these steps to learn about Career Clusters, their multiple pathways, and to find career options that best fit you.

#1 Know Yourself

The Interest Profiler gives you one option for finding career clusters and occupations that match your personal characteristics, strengths, and preferred activities. Results do not tell you which occupation or cluster you should choose, but they do provide information for determining the kinds of work you might want to explore.


Additional Resource

Reality Check is an online tool designed to estimate the income necessary to support your desired lifestyle. State where you’d like to live in North Carolina and how you spend your money. From there, you’ll be directed to jobs that meet your financial needs.

#2 Explore Career Clusters

Career Clusters help you to organize all of the many occupations. Each career cluster contains occupations that have similar knowledge and skills. Career Pathways within each cluster help identify useful training to prepare for work in specific jobs. Connect your Interest Profiler results with clusters and occupations to discover which ones most closely match your work-related interests.


#3 Know Your Options

Use the results of your Interest Profiler and your knowlege of Career Clusters to start matching occupations. Select one cluster or all of them, and select one of your top interests from the Interest Profiler.



Review the job descriptions, employment growth, salary data, and interests for each of the matching occupations. Repeat this process with other clusters and your secondary Interest category.

#4 Experience Real Jobs

Getting experience while exploring career options will give you a head start on your future career. Take advantage of opportunities to "try out" a career through work-based learning programs, summer or part-time jobs, or as a community volunteer.


#5 Explore the Job Market

Whether you're still planning your future career or getting ready to enter the job market, getting a well-rounded understanding of what employers are looking for in job candidates is always helpful.


Printable Version

You've successfully reached the end of the NC Career Clusters Guide! If you're away from your computer and still need access to all the beneficial information contained on this site, don't worry. We've provided a printable version of the 2015 NC Career Clusters Guide for you to take on the go.