North Carolina Career Cluster Guide

Your Future Career Awaits


Planning for high school, college, the workforce, or a career change? You will find the North Carolina Career Clusters Guide a valuable resource. Designed to be a tool for planning and preparing for a career; this guide has you covered. It gives you a structure for selecting careers by linking what you know about yourself with information about occupations and typical training requirements.


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

#1 Know Yourself

The Interest Profiler gives you one option for finding career clusters and occupations that match your interests 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 Career Clusters

Career Clusters help you sort through more than 900 careers. 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 Explore Your Career 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 Prepare for Work

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. View a map with links to all public and private 2-year and 4-year colleges and universities in North Carolina.


Additional Resource

Need help planning, applying, and paying for college? The College Foundation of North Carolina (CFNC) website has data and information to help you navigate higher education options for all 2- and 4-year public and private colleges and universities in North Carolina.

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 2018 NC Career Clusters Guide for you to take on the go.