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Career and Technical Education (CTE) Authorization General Information

CTE Definitions


A credential is the content area in which the CTE Authorization permits you to instruct.

Initial CTE Authorization

Issued for three (3) years, an initial CTE authorization is available to applicants who meet the educational and occupational requirements for the particular CTE credential sought, but have not meet the coursework requirements for issuance of a professional (five-year) CTE authorization. An initial CTE authorization may be issued only once and is non-renewable. Upon issuance, CDE will assign specific coursework that is required to advance to a professional, five-year authorization.

Occupational Experience (non-teaching)

Career experience is required for all CTE credentials and must be verified, paid, non-teaching experience unless otherwise stated on the evaluation worksheet. An occupational experience form (or forms) must verify applicable professional experience for the content area requested.


Broad groupings of careers that share similar characteristics and whose employment requirements call for many competencies.

Professional Credential

Issued for five (5) years, a professional CTE authorization is available to applicants who have completed all coursework and experience requirements specific to the individual CTE credential held. Once an applicant has obtained a five-year CTE authorization, if he/she also holds a professional teaching license, the CTE authorization will be reflected on the teacher license and no longer issued as a separate credential.

Renewal Requirements of Professional Credential

A valid CTE professional authorization may be renewed every five (5) years with the combined equivalent of six (6) semester hours or 90 contact/clock hours* of related renewal credit. A combination of college credit, professional development and in-service workshops earned no more than five (5) years prior to the submission date of the CTE: Renewal/Reinstatement application will be accepted with proper documentation.

Those whose CTE credential is reflected on a professional teacher license need only to submit an application to renew the teacher license, and the CTE credential(s) will be renewed appropriately.

Reinstatement of a Credential

To reinstate a professional (5-year) CTE authorization that has lapsed for two (2) or more years, in addition to the requirements assigned at the time the CTE credential was issued, the applicant must provide verification of 1,000 hours of related occupational experience completed in the content area within the last five (5) years. For instructors who have been teaching in the CTE content area for the last seven (7) or more years, three (3) years of full- time teaching experience in the credential area may be substituted for the 1,000 hours of relevant occupational experience required to renew a lapsed credential.

If the credential has expired/lapsed for less than two years, only the requirements for renewal (or advancement to a professional authorization) apply.

Requirements to Advance a 3-Year CTE Authorization to a 5-Year CTE Authorization

Specific, individual requirements are emailed to each applicant upon issuance of a three-year initial CTE authorization. More information can be found at


CTE Credentials

Specific criteria must be met for each CTE credential being sought, prior to issuance of the authorization. The Evaluation Worksheets for each CTE Authorization include the specific requirement details (credential titles hyperlinked below):

Agriculture and Natural Resources

  • Agriculture, Food and Natural Resources to include:
    • Agribusiness Systems Pathway
    • Animal Science Pathway
    • Environmental Service Systems Pathway
    • Food Products and Processing Systems Pathway
    • Natural Resources Pathway
    • Plant Science Pathway
    • Power, Structural and Technical Systems Pathway
  • Energy to include:
    • Energy Research Pathway
    • Fossil Energy Production, Transmission, & Distribution Pathway
    • Production Process Technology Pathway
    • Renewable Energy Production Pathway
  • Outdoor Recreation Leadership -- NEW!

Business/Marketing and Public Administration

  • Business/Marketing* to include:
    • All Finance:
      • Accounting Pathway
      • Banking Services Pathway
      • Corporate Finance Pathway
      • Insurance Pathway
      • Securities and Investments Pathway
    • All Government and Public Administration:
      • Foreign Service Pathway
      • Governance Pathway
      • Legal Services Pathway
      • Planning Pathway
      • Public Management and Administration
      • Regulation Pathway
      • Revenue & Taxation Pathway
    • All Management & Administration:
      • Administrative Services Pathway
      • Business Information Technology Pathway
      • Corporate/General Management Pathway
      • Human Resource Management Pathway
      • Operations Management Pathway
    • All Marketing:
      • Marketing Communications Pathway
      • Marketing Management Pathway
      • Marketing Research Pathway
      • Merchandising Pathway
      • Professional Sales/ Sales Management Pathway

*Please note: Individual business and marketing credentials have been eliminated. Those holding an individual business or marketing authorization will be issued the combined business/marketing credential upon advancing to or renewing a professional CTE.

Health Sciences & Public Safety

Hospitality, Human Services & Education

Skilled Trades & Technical Sciences

Engineering, Technology and Media Arts

*Please note: STEM and Visual Design Arts have been discontinued and only will be issued on renewed or advanced CTE authorizations.

Specialty Areas


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