Lesson Introduction

Overview of the Human Services Career Cluster

Human Services Career Cluster logo
The Human Services Career Cluster encompasses careers that relate to families and human needs. Cosmetology, childcare, elder care, nutrition, counseling and mental health are just a few of the fields included in this cluster. Human Services careers may overlap with careers found under other clusters, such as
  • Health Science;
  • Education and Training;
  • Hospitality and Tourism; or
  • Government and Public Administration.

Career Pathways

This career cluster has five career pathways to guide students to their desired occupation in human services:

  • Consumer Services
  • Counseling and Mental Health Services
  • Early Childhood Development and Services
  • Family and Community Services
  • Personal Care Services

Teacher Resources


To help students learn more about careers in human services, download and distribute the Human Services College and Career Planning Guide. The guide makes an excellent critical reading assignment for students enrolled in a Human Services practicum course.

WBL Experiences

A high school student reading to a group of young children
There is only practicum course in the Human Services Career Cluster. The Practicum in Human Services provides occupation-specific training for two or more courses in a coherent sequence in the Human Services Career Cluster.  The TEKS for the course accommodate the diverse career options. Be sure to review the related TEKS for this career cluster and the other courses that you are going to incorporate before you create the outline of training.

In addition to the Practicum for Human Services, the TEKS for Human Services includes several laboratory-based courses, such as cosmetology, that provide students with realistic opportunities to learn and apply workplace knowledge and skills. You can place students in the Practicum course or one of the laboratory-based courses depending on which is most appropriate for the individual student.


If you haven't already done so, tTake a moment to bookmark the TEKS for Human Services.

Course Prerequisites

The Practicum in Human Services is designed for students in grades 11 and 12 and there are no mandatory prerequisites in the TEKS. However, local education agencies may impose recommended or mandatory prerequisites so long as they are applied in a fair and equitable manner to all students.

Legal and Safety Considerations

Work-experiences in the Practicum for Human Services include legal and safety considerations similar to those in business, education, health science, public administration, marketing, and hospitality services. While students participating in WBL experience can be as young as 16 years, those working in a daycare/childcare facility must be at least 18 years of age.

Pre-Employment Requirements

At the heart of human services activities is a focus on providing high quality customer service. Therefore, pre-employment requirements for students participating in the Practicum for Human Services may include

  • background checks and/or drug tests;
  • child protection training;
  • food handler permits;
  • ServSafe or CPR/first aid certification;
  • Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) training;
  • screening for TB and other communicable diseases;
  • non-disclosure agreements; and
  • safety and/or security training specific to the industry, occupation, or training station.

Curriculum Resources

To promote educational excellence in career and technical education, the Texas Education Agency (TEA) launched the Texas CTE Resource Center.






Take a moment to bookmark the Texas CTE Resource Center website. Later, be sure to explore curriculum guidelines and instructional resources for the AFNR Career Cluster.


Career and technical student organizations (CTSOs) provide students with additional opportunities to acquire and demonstrate skills and abilities related to their chosen career field.

There are several CTSOs related to human services. Become familiar with those that are closely related to human services so you can help students select the organization that best supports their career goals.

You can also direct students to the nine state-recognized CTSOs listed in Lesson 10.5: Integrating CTSO Activities.



Take a few moments to bookmark the CTSO websites below to explore later. 

Business Professionals of America (BPA)
Family, Career and Community Leaders of America (FCCLA)
Future Business Leaders of America (FBLA)
SkillsUSA Texas
Texas Association of Future Educators



Professional Associations

Get involved in at least one career and technical education (CTE) professional association. They are excellent sources of cluster-specific teaching tools, ideas, networking, and mentors.

There are several professional association related to human services careers, including those listed below. You may also want to check with your colleagues for advice.




Take a few moments to bookmark the CTE professional association websites below to explore later.

Family and Consumer Science Teachers Association of Texas (FCSTAT)
Marketing Educators of Texas
Texas Business and Technology Educators Association (TBTEA)
Texas Health Occupations Association
Texas Industrial Vocational Association (TIVA)


Lesson Conclusion