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Houston Region Career and Technical Education (CTE)


Public school districts in the Houston Gulf Coast area offer many CTE programs to students with unique interests. 

The Texas CTE Resource Center lists more than 120 focus areas in each of the CTE 14 Career Clusters. The Career Clusters organization is used as a tool for CTE curriculum creation and training.  It provides essential knowledge and skills for Career and Technical Education Career Pathways. It provides a useful guide to develop educational plans for CTE students. The cluster system benefits CTE students by helping them find  their individual interests and talents.  It allows students to select an educational path that aims for success in high school, trade school, college, and other future careers.

The 14 Career Clusters in CTE include:

  • Agriculture, Food, and Natural Resources
  • Architecture and Construction
  • Arts, A/V Technology, and Communications
  • Business, Marketing, and Finance
  • Education and Training
  • Government and Public Administration
  • Health Science
  • Hospitality and Tourism
  • Human Services
  • Information Technology
  • Law and Public Service
  • Manufacturing
  • Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics
  • Transportation, Distribution, and Logistics

CTE in Houston Area Schools

Some Houston-area public schools are magnets or academies, sometimes called “early college” and “theme academies.”  The focused curriculum incorporates CTE courses, and in some cases, it provides the opportunity for students to obtain an associates degree before they graduate from high school.

Transportation and STEM Clusters

Aeronautics is the science of the study, design, and manufacturing of air flight–capable machines, as well as the techniques of operating aircraft and rockets within the atmosphere.  With nearby NASA Johnson Space Center, Houston area public schools offer popular programs in aerospace and rocketry.  

Many schools participate in NASA’s Texas High School Aerospace Scholars program. Texas High School Aerospace Scholars is a STEM learning experience for students to engage with NASA scientists and engineers. Brazosport ISD‘s rocketry program gives students the opportunity to design, build, and launch a rocket capable of breaking the sound barrier. 

Other popular STEM-related careers in the Houston area include petroleum engineers and chemical engineers.  Petroleum engineering jobs are abundant in the Gulf Coast’s oil and gas industry.   Petroleum engineers can work to design or manage drilling, mining, and fracking operations. Chemical engineers work in laboratories and refineries to apply chemistry, physics, biology, and math to solve problems with products like fuel, drugs, and food.

Arts, A/V., and Communications Cluster

Careers in Digital Media include video game designer, social media marketer, production assistant, graphic designer, video editor, photographer, web application developer, and web analytics specialist.

Deer Park High School Commercial Photography program encompasses areas of photography and marketing.   Deer Park ISD students learn skills like capturing photos for advertising purposes.

Health Science Cluster

Houston is home to the largest medical complex in the world at Texas Medical Center, and it ranks second in cities with emerging trends for life sciences, biotech, and life science research.  For this reason, Houston is popular for numerous jobs in the health science CTE cluster.  In-demand jobs include medical office assistant, nursing assistant, dental hygienist, emergency medical technician, phlebotomist, certified medical assistant, and other medical assistant jobs.

Area public school districts offer programs in the health science cluster.  Alvin ISD’s Alvin High School offers classes that allow students to explore and develop health care skills.  Dual credit courses are taught via laboratory experience, clinical rotation, and real-world situations.  C.E. King Med Academy in Sheldon ISD has a health sciences program that focuses on healthcare diagnostics, therapeutics, and nursing.  Clear Creek ISD high schoolers can obtain their Registered Dental Assistant certification through the dentistry program.  

Agriculture, Food, and Natural Resources Cluster

CTE careers in the Houston area are in demand as the area is abundant with agriculture and natural resources.  Jobs in these fields include geologists, environmental scientists, wind turbine technicians, geotechnical engineers, construction material testing managers, hydrologists, and conservationists.   Local school districts also have high membership in school district FFA organizations and participate regularly in the Houston Livestock Show.  Friendswood ISD FFA students compete year-round in various agriculture competitions.

Find Out More:

San Antonio parents and students are encouraged to examine the many Career and Technical Education options available.  They compare to K12 school programs and online high school courses, but with more hands-on training and experience.  CTE in public schools offers students an extensive set of skills and practical experiences that are designed to give them an edge after graduation and well into the future.

Industry-Based Certification Resources– TEA

Cosmetology School Near Me– San Antonio

Electrician Trade School– San Antonio

FBI- San Antonio

CTE Guide– Parent Resources

CTE Programs

Career and Technical programs allow students to learn academic and technical skills while getting hands-on training. 

CTE News

Schertz-Cibolo-Universal City ISD's STEMKAMP


Schertz-Cibolo-Universal City ISD has once again brought a week of higher-level thinking to its students through STEMKAMP. Thanks to Dee Thomas, the district’s DoDEA Grant

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