There is widespread agreement among business and industry, labor, educators and policy makers that the CTE system must focus on the preparation of students for high skill, high wage, or high demand occupations. After considerable research, it was determined that CTE programs in California should be clustered around 15 industry sectors, reflecting the intersection of California’s economic needs and the educational needs of its K-12, ROP and Adult Education students.

In addition, within each of the 15 sectors are identified two or more career pathways for a total of 58 pathways. The pathways are made up of coherent sequences of rigorous academic and technical courses that allow students to apply academics and develop technical skills in a curricular area. The pathway standards focus on what students actually need to know and be able to do in each career area; they provide specific content needed to guide the development of high-quality, consistent, and relevant career-focused programs. In doing so they ensure that pathways prepare students for both post-secondary education and future careers.

The sectors and pathways are as follows:

Industry Sector
Career Pathways
Agriculture and
Agricultural Business
Natural Resources
Agricultural Mechanics


Animal Science

Forestry and Natural Resources

Ornamental Horticulture

Plant and Soil Science
Arts, Media
Media and Design Arts
and Entertainment
Performing Arts

Production and Managerial Arts
Building Trades
Cabinetmaking and Wood Products
and Construction
Engineering and Heavy Construction

Mechanical Construction

Residential and Commercial Construction
Education, Child
Child Development
Development and
Consumer Services
Family Services

Family and Human Services
Energy and Utilities
Electromechanical Installation and Maintenance

Energy and Environmental Technology

Public Utilities

Residential and Commercial Energy and Utilities
Engineering and
Architectural and Structural Engineering
Computer Hardware, Electrical, and Networking Engineering

Engineering Design

Engineering Technology

Environmental and Natural Science Engineering
Fashion and
Fashion Design, Manufacturing and Merchandising
Interior Design
Interior Design, Furnishings, and Maintenance
Finance and Business
Accounting Services

Banking and Related Services

Business Financial Management
Health Science and
Biotechnology Research and Development
Medical Technology
Diagnostic Services

Health Informatics

Support Services

Therapeutic Services
Hospitality, Tourism,
Food Science, Dietetics, and Nutrition
and Recreation
Food Service and Hospitality

Hospitality, Tourism, and Recreation
Information Technology
Information Support and Services

Media Support and Services

Network Communications

Programming and Systems Development
Manufacturing and
Graphic Arts Technology
Product Development
Integrated Graphics Technology

Machine and Forming Technology

Welding Technology
Marketing, Sales,
and Services

International Trade

Professional Sales and Marketing
Public Services
Human Services

Legal and Government Services

Protective Services
Aviation and Aerospace Transportation Services

Collision Repair and Refinishing

Vehicle Maintenance, Service, and Repair