Skilled & Technical Sciences

Kearney High School has a variety of programs of study in the Skilled and Technical Sciences (STS). These include Architecture and Construction, Manufacturing, STEM, and Transportation/Distribution/Logistics. Its designated color at Kearney High School is ORANGE.

Architecture and Construction Overview

The Architecture and Construction Career Cluster is divided into three pathways. Pathways are grouped by the knowledge and skills required for occupations in these fields. Each pathway provides instruction as a basis for success in an array of careers and educational pursuits. This diverse Career Cluster prepares learners for careers in designing, planning, managing, building and maintaining the built environment. People employed in this cluster work on new structures, restorations, additions, alterations and repairs.

Architecture and construction comprise one of the largest industries in the United States. Based on the latest statistics, this career cluster has 7.8 million jobs. In the next few years, many new jobs will be added and many employment opportunities will result from the need to replace experienced workers who leave jobs.

Manufacturing Overview

There are many challenging educational and training opportunities within the high-skilled world of Manufacturing. Learners need a solid background in math, science and technical skills. Education and training can be obtained in high schools, technical colleges/institutes and universities.

Along the way, career guidance professionals assist learners in assessing their educational goals, interests, abilities and skills to facilitate a good match to the cluster's many pathway options. Learners participate in relevant educational opportunities framed in the context of the cluster. They gain knowledge and skills through coordinated workplace learning experiences such as site visits, job shadowing and internships. If they choose, they may achieve valuable skill certifications that lead to employment. Colleges and universities offer advanced degrees and industry certifications that prepare learners for professional and technical careers. Apprenticeship programs prepare learners for journey-worker status.

Industry plays a major role in training and career development by supporting apprenticeships, training, joint industry/school programs and industry training leading to certification and college/university credit.

This diverse Career Cluster prepares learners for careers in planning, managing, and performing the processing of materials into intermediate or final products. Careers also include related professional and technical support activities such as production planning and control, maintenance and manufacturing/process engineering.

There are approximately 12 million jobs in the occupations that are assigned to the manufacturing cluster. Technological advancements are replacing many of the manufacturing workers that make up a large share of the production occupations. Fewer workers are needed in the manufacturing sector as many processes have become computer-controlled. While production occupations are projected to decline 3 percent through 2024, installation, maintenance, and repair occupations are projected to grow 6 percent, about as fast as the average for all occupations. Median annual wages for these occupations range from $21,490 for sewing machine operators to $78,350 for nuclear power reactor operators.

Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM) Overview

There are many challenging educational and training opportunities within the high-skilled world of Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics. Learners need a solid background in math, science and technical skills. Education and training can be obtained in high schools, technical colleges/institutes and universities.

Along the way, career guidance professionals assist learners in assessing their educational goals, interests, abilities and skills to facilitate a good match to the cluster's pathway options. Learners participate in relevant educational opportunities framed in the context of the cluster. They gain knowledge and skills through coordinated workplace learning experiences such as site visits, job shadowing and internships. If they choose, they may achieve valuable skill certifications that lead to employment. Colleges and universities offer advanced degrees and industry certifications that prepare learners for professional and technical careers.

A career in science, technology, engineering or mathematics is exciting, challenging, and ever-changing. Learners who pursue one of these fields will be involved in planning, managing, and providing scientific research and professional and technical services including laboratory and testing services, and research and development services.

Given the critical nature of much of the work in science, technology, engineering and mathematics, job possibilities abound even in times of economic downturn. More scientists, technologists and engineers will be needed to meet environmental regulations and to develop methods of cleaning up existing hazards. A shift in emphasis toward preventing problems rather than controlling those that already exist, as well as increasing public health concerns, also will spur demand for these positions. Median annual wages for these occupations range from $38,310 for social science research assistants to $132,320 for petroleum engineers.

Transportation, Distribution, and Logistics Overview

There are many challenging educational opportunities within the high-skilled world of Transportation, Distribution and Logistics. Students can begin preparing in high school or middle school. Learners need a solid background in communications, math, science and technology.

Along the way, career guidance professionals assist students in assessing their educational goals, interests, abilities and skills to ensure a fit to the cluster's many pathway options. Students can participate in coordinated workplace learning experiences such as site visits, job shadowing, and internships. If they choose, they may achieve valuable skill certifications while in high school that lead to employment. Colleges and universities offer advanced degrees and industry certifications that prepare students for entry-level, professional and technical careers.

This diverse Career Cluster exposes students to careers and businesses involved in the planning, management, and movement of people, materials, and products by road, air, rail and water. It also includes related professional and technical support services such as infrastructure planning and management, logistic services, and the maintenance of mobile equipment and facilities.

Transportation, distribution and logistics is a critical sector of the United States economy. Over 10 million people are employed in transportation or transportation-related occupations. The Bureau of Labor Statistics projects an increase in employment in this sector through 2024. There will be a growing number of career opportunities in a variety of professional and technical occupations as well as high-paid, entry-level occupations that can provide career advancement opportunities. Median annual wages for these occupations range from $19,500 for parking lot attendants to $121,280 for air traffic controllers.