The Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics cluster is about planning, managing, and providing scientific research and professional and technical services (e.g., physical science, social science, engineering) including laboratory and testing services and research and development services. Job opportunities in this cluster will vary depending upon specialty. Over the next decade, jobs aligned with advancing technology are predicted to boom as new career opportunities open. Individuals with college-degrees and experience have the most potential for success within this industry.
Produced by: Cooper Elementary, Andrews PreK-8 and Phoebus High School, Hampton City Public Schools
Employment Projections: 2010-2020
Although the Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) career cluster has received a lot of attention in the past decade because of its powerful impact on our economy, it is still one of the smallest clusters. STEM had about 3.2 million workers in 2010; only the Arts, A/V Technology, and Communications and Government and Public Administration clusters were smaller. The Bureau of Labor Statistics projects that employment in STEM occupations will grow by 10 percent to 3.5 million in 2020.The report Employment Projections for STEM, 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
Employed in VA
Typical entry-level Education
|Aerospace engineers||4,160||$65K–$149K||Bachelor's degree|
|Agricultural and food science technicians||180||$22K–$53K||Associate's degree|
|Chemical engineers||1,270||$59K–$155K||Bachelor's degree|
|Chemical technicians||1,120||$26K–$71K||Associate's degree|
|Conservation scientists||410||$38K–$91K||Bachelor's degree|
|Electrical and electronics drafters||760||$35K–$88K||Associate's degree|
|Electrical engineers||5,960||$56–$137K||Bachelor's degree|
|Materials scientists||170||$47K–$134K||Bachelor's degree|
|Mechanical engineers||7,730||$52K–$122K||Bachelor's degree|
|Physicists||960||$58K–$177K||Doctoral or professional degree|
|Political scientists||630||$49K–$155K||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.
- Science Technology, Engineering & Mathematics 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 Science, Technology, Engineering & Mathematics:
- Engineering & Technology (Agriculture) (Word)
- Engineering & Technology (Technology) (Word)
- Science & Math (Word)
- Blank Plan of Study (with fields) (Word)
Also see Sample Plans of Study for all clusters and pathways.
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.