If you want to know what you can do by exploring the government and public administration career cluster, look no further than House of Delegates Sergeant-at-Arms Jay Pearson (shown carrying the ceremonial mace indicating that the House is in session). The Buckingham County High graduate also serves as the House of Delegates’ information and communications services director. Pearson continued his studies after high school at Central Virginia Community College, the University of Virginia School of Continuing and Professional Studies, Longwood University and Virginia Commonwealth University’s L. Douglas Wilder School of Government and Public Affairs.
The Government and Public Administration cluster is about executing governmental functions to include Governance; National Security; Foreign Service; Planning; Revenue and Taxation; Regulation; and Management and Administration at the local, state, and federal levels. The need for planners is growing as urban and suburban areas are dealing with increasing populations. Employment varies for many of the careers within this field because laws limit the length and number of terms a person can stay in office. Important issues change with every new administration causing the number of jobs in any given area to fluctuate as well.
Produced by: Booker T. Washington High School, Norfolk City Public Schools
Employment Projections: 2010-2020
Government and Public Administration is the smallest career cluster. Only 18 of the occupations tracked by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) are included in this cluster; thus, the total employment is only about 1.8 million workers. Cluster employment is projected to decline through 2020 with the loss of about 22,000 jobs.
The only occupations matched to this cluster are those that appear exclusively in government service (occupations such as Legislators, Postmasters, and Tax Examiners), but the vast majority of those employed in public service work in occupations that are not exclusive to this industry. Second, the list of government service occupations that the BLS tracks is small, and many government specialties are not included.
The occupations crosswalked to this cluster employed about 1.8 million workers in 2010. BLS industry data tells us that the entire Government sector employed about 22.5 million workers in 2010. But it is impossible to tell how many of those 22.5 million work in occupations that the designers of the career cluster system intended to include in Government and Public Administration.
The report Employment Projections for Government and Public Administration 2010-2020 includes data on occupations growing faster that the nation average, pathways employment overview, occupations with the most job openings, and employment projections.
What They Make...
Occupations in this cluster and what they make in Virginia
|Occupation||Employed in VA||Typical salary1||Typical entry-level Education|
|Animal control workers||440||$20K–$51K||High school diploma|
|Construction, building inspectors||2,880||$32K–$84K||High school diploma|
|Court, municipal, license clerks||1,950||$23K–$54K||High school diploma|
|Eligibility interviewers (government programs)||3,560||$27K–$56K||Associate's degree|
|Financial examiners||1,370||$43K–$141K||Bachelor's degree|
|Healthcare social workers||2,680||$31K–$74K||Master's degree|
|Mental health and substance abuse social workers||3,110||$26K–$67K||Bachelor's degree|
|Postal service clerks||1,990||$30K–$55K||High school diploma|
|Postal service mail carriers||7,650||$40K–$58K||High school diploma|
|Postmasters, mail superintendents||670||$35K–$85K||High school diploma|
|Tax examiners, collectors||1,650||$30K–$93K||Bachelor's degree|
|Urban and regional planners||1,380||$41K–$98K||Master's degree|
110th to 90th percentile
Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics
Career Cluster Planning
A resource for counselors, administrators, and educators
CTE Administrative Planning Guide (APG) – includes information to help local school divisions plan and schedule instructional programs. The APG is organized by career clusters, with a complete listing of courses, concentration sequences, and credentials available to students as they plan for career entry and continuing education. Users may access course information by cluster or by searching for specific courses or certifications.
Career Planning Guide – includes an easy way for students and counselors to look for courses to further career goals. One can search for occupations, browse by Career Clusters or favorite academic subjects.
Information and tips for instructional leaders, administrators, counselors and teachers/faculty for creating a career pathway academic and career plan of study.
- Government & Public Administration Cluster Information
- Checklist for Developing Career Clusters Plans of Study (Word)
Sample Academic and Career Plans of Study
School divisions are asked to develop sample plans of study based on the courses offered within their schools, the employment needs of the region, and the post-high school educational opportunities needed for these careers. Once these sample plans are developed, they can be customized to the needs of individual students so that all students have the opportunity to have an individualized academic and career plan of study.
Sample Pathway Plans of Study for Government & Public Administration:
- Foreign Service (Word)
- Governance (Word)
- National Security (Word)
- Planning (Word)
- Public Management & Administration (Word)
- Regulation (Word)
- Revenue & Taxation (Word)
- Blank Plan of Study (with fields) (Word)
Also see Sample Plans of Study for all clusters and pathways.
- The Council of State Governments
- Federal Government Job Site
- Commonwealth of Virginia
- National League of Cities
The Career Clusters logo and its extensions are the property of the National Career Technical Foundation, as managed by NASDCTEc. Some content on this page is from the publication, R U College & Career Ready? - 2014 Edition; and is used here with permission from the Virginia Business Publications LLC and Trailblazers in the Demographics and Workforce Section of the Weldon Cooper Center for Public Service at the University of Virginia.