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Career Clusters & The ONET

By Dr. Mary Askew

A wealth of information exists that explains the relationships between school subjects and
careers. Across the nation, children, teens, teachers, and counselors use Career Interests Areas or
Clusters to explore careers and to make school study plans. There are sixteen (16) Interests Areas
or Clusters:

1. Agriculture, Food, & Natural Resources

2. Architecture & Construction
3. Arts, A/V Technology & Communication
4. Business, Management & Administration
5. Education & Training
6. Finance
7. Government & Public Administration
8. Health Science
9. Hospitality & Tourism
10. Human Services
11. Information Technology
12. Law, Public Safety & Security
13. Manufacturing
14. Marketing, Sales & Service
15. Science, Technology, Engineering & Mathematics
16. Transportation, Distribution & Logistics

The most well-known career cluster resource is the ONET.

The ONET OnLine and ONET Content Model

The ONET OnLine and Content Model had six descriptors or domains –

 Worker Characteristics
 Worker Requirements
 Experience Requirements
 Occupation Requirements
 Occupation Specific
 Occupation Characteristics

Worker Characteristics are the acquired knowledge, skills, effective work performance.

 Abilities — Qualities that influence performance

 Occupational Interests — Preferences for work environments
 Work Values —Specific needs that are important to a person's satisfaction
 Work Styles — Personal characteristics that can affect how well someone performs a

Worker Requirements are characteristics descriptors relating to work-related qualities that are
acquired and/or developed through experience and education.

 Basic Skills — Developed abilities that facilitate learning or the gaining of knowledge
 Cross-Functional Skills — Developed skills that increase performance of activities that
occur across jobs
 Knowledge — System of principles and facts
 Education — Prior educational experience required to perform in a job

Experience Requirements — requirements that are required to perform to work activities and
explicitly linked to certain types of work activities.Experience and Training — When someone
is hired to perform a job, there are the following requirements –

 Basic Skills - Entry Requirement — Entry requirement for skills that are need to
increase learning or the gaining of knowledge
 Cross-Functional Skills - Entry Requirement — Entry requirement for developed
abilities and skills that impove performance of activities that occur across jobs
 Licensing — Licenses, certificates, or registrations that are awarded to show that a job
holder has gained certain skills.

Occupation-Specific Information

 Tasks — Occupation-Specific Tasks

 Tools and Technology — Machines, equipment, tools, software, and information
technology workers used to perform work tasks.
Workforce Characteristics

 Labor Market Information — Current labor force characteristics of occupations

 Occupational Outlook — Future labor force characteristics of occupations

Occupational Requirements are factors that describe what various occupations require.

 Generalized Work Activities — General types of job behaviors

 Detailed Work Activities — Detailed types of job behaviors
 Organizational Context — Characteristics of the organization that influence how people
do their work
 Work Context — Physical and social factors that influence the nature of work

Source: ONET OnLine Career Exploration Tools

DOL/ETA (U.S. Department of Labor, Employment and Training Administration) is the

exclusive owner of all rights under U.S. copyright laws and international treaty provisions in the
O*NET ™ Career Exploration Tools. Any other copyright notices refer only to Learning for Life
Resource Center's original work in the product.

O*NET and O*NET IN IT and logos are trademarks of the DOL/ETA (U.S. Department of
Labor, Employment and Training Administration).

Dr Mary Askew specializes in career tests, websites, and books for students. Students need eye
appealing, easy to use, yet comprehensive career resources. Find out how students can reach
their career potentials at Contact Dr. Askew at