CTE Career Field Comparison: How much school do you need? How much experience? What do they pay?

The CTE career fields vary in the experience and education needed as well as salary and demand. There can also be a wide range of jobs within each career field. For example, Business Management and Administration jobs range from a secretary to a manager and Arts, A/V Technology and Communications range from an architect to a lobby attendant. To get a better sense of the range of jobs in a field and what is required, we have supplied a sampling of jobs.

Taken from a sampling of jobs in different CTE career areas, we have complied a chart that expresses some of the general lowest, highest, and average paying jobs in each field. In the Health Science field an interesting trend is that while it contains some of the highest and lowest paying jobs, it also has the highest paying average job among the fields. Information and Technology (IT) has the highest paying jobs in the lowest paying range. While Arts, A/V Technology and Communications has a lower highest paying salary, its lowest paying and average paying salaries are higher than most other fields.

Click the different career clusters to jump to a sampling of jobs in that field.

CTE Career Clusters Highest paying Lowest paying Average paying
Business Management and Administration $97,260 $24,550 $51,450
Architecture and Construction $73, 266 $22,018 $29,748
Health Science $161,599 $20,944 $61,778
Information Technology $119,317 $32,313 $49,312
Arts, A/V Technology and Communications $80, 266 $25,131 $52,739
Law Public Safety Corrections and Security $124,603 $20,151 $48,008

Business Management and Administration

In this career cluster, there are a wide range of positions with two main groups: management positions that usually require a degree and non-management positions that do not typically require a degree.

Graphic_PHS_5 Numbers-01Highest: Sales Manager

  • Wage: $97,260
  • Growth: 14.95%
  • Openings: 127
  • Education: Bachelor’s degree plus experience. Most have a college degree or better.
  • Job Description: Direct the actual distribution or movement of a product or service to the customer. Coordinate sales distribution and establish sales territories, quotas, and goals and establish training programs for sales representatives. Analyze sales statistics gathered by staff to determine sales potential and inventory requirements and monitor the preferences of customers.

Graphic_PHS_5 Numbers_Artboard 2Average: Training and Development Specialist

  • Wage: $51,450
  • Growth: 23.33%
  • Openings: 107
  • Education: Bachelor’s degree. Most have a high school degree or better.
  • Job Description: Conduct training and development programs for employees.

Graphic_PHS_5 Numbers_Artboard 3Lowest: Receptionist and Information Clerk

  • Wage: $24,550
  • Growth 15.18%
  • Openings: 480
  • Education Short-term on-the-job training. Most have a high school diploma.
  • Job Description: Answer inquiries and obtain information for general public, customers, visitors, and other interested parties. Provide information regarding activities conducted at establishment; location of departments, offices, and employees within organization.

Architecture and Construction

The majority of jobs in this career cluster are held by people with no more than a high school diploma and training or experience. For a higher paying job, you will not necessarily have to invest in further education, but you will have to build your level experience. It may be a good idea to start entry level jobs in high school so you can learn the trade and build connections for future jobs.

Graphic_PHS_5 Numbers-01Highest: Architect, except Landscape and Naval

  • Wage: $73, 266
  • Growth 18%
  • Openings: 374
  • Education: Bachelor’s degree. Most have college or better.
  • Job Description: Plan and design structures, such as private residences, office buildings, theaters, factories, and other structural properties.

Graphic_PHS_5 Numbers_Artboard 2Average: Drywall and Ceiling Tile Installer

  • Wage: $29,748
  • Growth: 20%
  • Openings: 472
  • Education: Moderate-term on-the-job training. Most only have a high school diploma.
  • Job Description: Apply plasterboard or other wallboard to ceilings or interior walls of buildings. Apply or mount acoustical tiles or blocks, strips, or sheets of shock-absorbing materials to ceilings and walls of buildings to reduce or reflect sound. Materials may be decorative quality. Includes lathers who fasten wooden, metal, or rockboard lath to walls, ceilings, or partitions of buildings to provide support based for plaster, fireproofing, or acoustical material.

Graphic_PHS_5 Numbers_Artboard 3Lowest: Painter, Wallpaperer, Plasterer, and Stucco Mason-Helper

  • Wage: $22, 018
  • Growth 14%
  • Openings: 71
  • Education: Short-term on-the-job training. Most only have a high school diploma.
  • Job Description: Help painters, paperhangers, plasterers, or stucco masons by preforming duties of lesser skill. Duties include using, supplying, or holding materials or tools, and clearing work area and equipment.

Health Science

Wage differences in this field tend to directly correlate to education levels: doctorate, masters, bachelors, associates, postsecondary award, job-training. For a higher paying job, you will have to invest in further education rather than years of experience.

Graphic_PHS_5 Numbers-01Highest: Family and General Practitioner

  • Wage: $161,599
  • Growth: 26%
  • Openings: 2,250
  • Education: First professional degree.
  • Job Description: Diagnose, treat, and help prevent diseases and injuries that commonly occur in the general population.

Graphic_PHS_5 Numbers_Artboard 2Average: Registered Nurse

  • Wage: $61,778
  • Growth: 38%
  • Openings: 59,6000
  • Education: Associate’s degree
  • Job Description: Assess patient health problems and needs, develop and implement nursing care plans, and maintain medical records. Administer nursing care to ill, injured, convalescent, or disabled patients.

Graphic_PHS_5 Numbers_Artboard 3Lowest: Nursing Aide, Orderly, and Attendant

  • Wage: $20,944
  • Growth 31%
  • Openings: 29,100
  • Education: Short-term on-the-job training. Most only have a high school diploma.
  • Job Description: Provide basic patient care under direction of nursing staff. Preform duties such has feeding, bathing, dressing, grooming, or moving patients, or changing linens.

Information Technology

Many jobs in this field do not require extensive education, rather you may need to invest in special training. Like with the Architecture and Construction field, it may be a good idea to start entry level jobs in high school so you can learn the trade. In the lower paying jobs bracket, this field has some of the highest salaries.

Graphic_PHS_5 Numbers-01Highest: Computer and Information Systems Manager

  • Wage: $119,317
  • Growth: 22%
  • Openings: 3,400
  • Education: Bachelor’s degree plus experience. Most have college or better.
  • Job Description: Plan, direct, or coordinate activities in such fields as electronic data processing, information systems, systems analysis, and computer programing.

Graphic_PHS_5 Numbers_Artboard 2Average: Electrical and Electronics Repairer, Commercial Equipment

  • Wage: $49,312
  • Growth: 21%
  • Openings:1,250
  • Education: Postsecondary award. Most have some college.
  • Job Description: Repair, test, adjust, or install electronic equipment, such as industrial controls, transmitters, and antennas.

Graphic_PHS_5 Numbers_Artboard 3Lowest: Computer-controlled Machine Tool Operator

  • Wage: $32,313
  • Growth 24%
  • Openings: 2,300
  • Education: Moderate-term on-the-job training. The majority have at most a high school diploma.
  • Job Description: Operate computer-controlled machines or robots to preform one or more machine functions on metal or plastic work pieces.

Arts, A/V Technology and Communications

Jobs in this field extend across a large range of positions and specialties. If you have particular position as your goal, you should create a plan to tailor your experience and training to your career goal.

Graphic_PHS_5 Numbers-01Highest: Art Director

  • Wage: $80,266
  • Growth 13%
  • Openings: 152
  • Education: Bachelor’s plus experience. Most have college or better
  • Job Description: Formulate design concepts and presentation approaches, and direct workers engaged in artwork, layout design, and copywriting for visual communications media such as magazine, books, newspapers, and packaging.

Graphic_PHS_5 Numbers_Artboard 2Average: Multimedia Artist and Animator

  • Wage: $52,739
  • Growth: 31%
  • Openings: 383
  • Education: Bachelor’s degree. Most have college or better.
  • Job Description: Create special effects, animation, or other visual images using film, video computers, or other electronic tools and media for use in products or creations, such as computer games, movies, music videos, and commercials.

Graphic_PHS_5 Numbers_Artboard 3Lowest: Usher, Lobby Attendant, and Ticket Taker

  • Wage: $25,131
  • Growth 24%
  • Openings: 863
  • Education: Short-term on the job training. Most have a high school diploma
  • Job Description: Assist patrons at entertainment events by preforming duties such as collecting admission tickets and passes, assisting in finding seats, and searching for lost articles.

Law, Public Safety, Corrections, and Security

A large number of the jobs in this field do not require a college degree. With the exception of lawyers, most of the wages for job requiring experience or a degree range from $40,000-$60,000. However, qualifying for one of the highest paying jobs will require extensive education.

Graphic_PHS_5 Numbers-01Highest: Lawyer

  • Wage: $124,603
  • Growth:17%
  • Openings: 7,750
  • Education: Doctoral/first professional degree.
  • Job Description: Represent clients in criminal and civil litigation and other legal proceedings, draw up legal documents, and manage or advise clients on legal transactions. May specialize in a single area or may practice broadly in many areas of law.

Graphic_PHS_5 Numbers_Artboard 2Average: Police and Sheriff’s Patrol Officer

  • Wage: $48,008
  • Growth: 21%
  • Openings: 11,300
  • Education: Long-term on-the-job training. Most have some college.
  • Job Description: Maintain order, enforce laws and ordinances, and protect life and property in an assigned patrol district. Preform a combination of the following duties: patrol a specific area on foot or in a vehicle, direct traffic, issue traffic summonses, investigate accidents, apprehend and arrest suspects, or serve legal processes of court.

Graphic_PHS_5 Numbers_Artboard 3Lowest: Crossing Guard

  • Wage: $20,151
  • Growth 13%
  • Openings: 400
  • Education: Short-term on-the-job training. Most only have a high school diploma.
  • Job Description: Guide or control vehicular or pedestrian traffic at such places as streets, schools, railroad crossings, or construction sites.

To read the Achieve Texas magazines from which this information was taken, click the career cluster headers.

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Bridget Weisenburger

Author Bridget Weisenburger

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