The Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics cluster uses your abilities in problem solving and prepares for careers using science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) skills. People in this Career Cluster conduct in-depth research to provide solutions to a variety of technical problems within many different fields. A postsecondary degree and relevant work experience are necessary to succeed in this field.
Employment of mechanical engineers is expected to increase, although that will vary by industry. The fields of alternative energies, nanotechnology, and remanufacturing are promising job areas for mechanical engineers. Mechanical engineers trained in the latest software will have better job prospects. The next decade also should see a larger need for biological technicians. These technicians play a vital role in helping scientists and researchers develop new treatments for diseases, such as cancer and Alzheimer’s.
Hiring of architectural and engineering managers should increase with the growth being dependent on the industries in which the managers work. Job applicants in this field should have better prospects if they have technical knowledge, good communication skills, and years of work experience.
Produced by: Cooper Elementary, Andrews PreK-8 and Phoebus High School, Hampton City Public Schools
Employment Projections: 2016-2026*
The Science, Technology, Engineering & Mathematics cluster employed approximately 67,900 Virginians in 2016 and is expected to employ nearly 8,100 more Virginia workers in 2026, for a total of about 76,000. This represents 12 percent growth over the decade, greater than the anticipated national average growth of 8 percent among all occupations in this cluster, a figure based on Trailblazers analysis of information provided by the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
*NOTE: The methodology for classifying occupations within the cluster/pathway system has been updated since the previous data cycle (2014-24), so 2016-26 Trailblazers employment projection data may not be comparable to data from previous cycles.
For more information on occupations in the Science, Technology, Engineering & Mathematics Cluster, visit Trailblazers – Career and Technical Education in Virginia (PDF).
|Selected Occupation(s)||Employed in Virginia
|2017 Median Wage||Predominant Level of Education|
|Mechanical Engineers||6,997||$92,870||Bachelor's or more|
|Electrical Engineers||6,443||$100,170||Bachelor's or more|
|Social Scientists and Related Workers, All Other||5,374||$107,100||Bachelor's or more|
|Electronics Engineers, Except Computer||4,919||$111,340||Bachelor's or more|
|Engineers, All Other||4,751||$118,640||Bachelor's or more|
|Architectural and Engineering Managers||4,107||$145,920||Bachelor's or more & Work experience|
|Industrial Engineers||3,642||$87,390||Bachelor's or more|
|Environmental Scientists and Specialists, Including Health||3,043||$71,040||Bachelor's or more|
|Nuclear Engineers||2,770||$83,170||Bachelor's or more|
|Aerospace Engineers||2,421||$128,450||Bachelor's or more|
- Wage data: United States Bureau of Labor Statistics, Virginia Occupational Employment and Wage Estimates, May 2017.
- Employment projections data: Virginia Employment Commission, Virginia Long-Term Occupational Projections, 2016-2026.
- Predominant education level: Trailblazers through the Demographics and Workforce Section of the Weldon Cooper Center for Public Service at the University of Virginia.
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 Sample) (Word)
- Engineering & Technology (Energy and Power Sample) (Word)
- Engineering & Technology (Engineering Sample) (Word)
- Engineering & Technology (Technology Sample) (Word)
- Science & Math (Word)
- Blank Plan of Study (with fields) (Word)
Also see Sample Plans of Study for all clusters and pathways.
Cluster Analysis Document for VirginiaReport: Education, Employment and Earnings: Analyzing Data from Science, Technology, Engineering, & Mathematics (STEM)
Current research relative to employment sectors and information on occupation supply and demand. The information is presented in two formats: a summary brief and a detailed report.
Nontraditional Careers: Occupational and Employment Information
- Executive Summary – Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics in Virginia (PDF)
- Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics in Virginia (PDF)
- State Science and Technology Institute
- American Marine Technology Society
- American Society of Civil Engineers
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? - 2017 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.