Lesson Introduction

Overview of the Arts, A/V Technology and Communications Career Cluster

Arts, A/V Technology and Communications Career Cluster logo
The Arts, A/V Technology and Communications Career Cluster encompasses a wide range of occupations in which students have opportunities to apply both their creative talents and technical skills. It includes pathways that lead to careers in audio/video production, multimedia design and development, journalism, photography, and fashion design, as well as telecommunications, videogame programming, computer animation, and broadcasting.

Career Pathways

There are six career pathways in this cluster:

  • Audio-Video Technology and Film
  • Journalism and Broadcasting
  • Performing Arts
  • Printing Technology
  • Telecommunications
  • Visual Arts

Teacher Resources


To help students learn more about careers in arts, A/V technology and communications, download and distribute the Arts, A/V Technology and Communications College and Career Planning Guide. The guide makes an excellent critical reading assignment for students enrolled in an AAVTC practicum course.

WBL Experiences

The AAVTC Career Cluster has six practicum courses, each with its own TEKS and prerequisites. Bookmark the TEKS as you learn about the practicums so that you can review them before you create the outline of training.

To learn about the six practicums in the AAVTC Career Cluster, click each title.

Course Prerequisites

Before taking any of the practicums in the AAVTC Cluster, students must have taken a minimum of two occupation-related courses for a minimum of three credits. Refer to the current CTE Master Course List for information about possible occupation-related courses.

Prerequisites in occupation-related courses help ensure that when students are placed at a training station they have the fundamental skills needed for an entry level position. The prerequisites for each practicum are listed under the practicum course name.

Practicum in Audio/Video Production
Audio/Video Production II and Audio/Video Production II Lab

Practicum in Graphic Design and Illustration
Advanced Graphic Design and Illustration, Advanced Commercial Photography, or Advanced Animation

Practicum in Fashion Design
Advanced Fashion Design

Practicum in Printing and Imaging Technology
Printing and Imaging Technology II and Printing and Imaging Technology II Lab

Practicum in Commercial Photography
Commercial Photography I and Commercial Photography I Lab along with teacher recommendation

Practicum in Animation
Animation II and Animation II Lab

Legal and Safety Considerations

You should always discuss safety and legal considerations with training sponsors when developing a student's training plan. Students will have different legal and safety considerations depending on which practicum that they are enrolled in. Typically, the responsibilities for these considerations are organized as follows:
  • Training sponsors normally provide job-specific safety training. A good sponsor will be able to direct the teacher-coordinator and the student to appropriate resources for occupation-specific safety and legal considerations.
  • Teacher coordinators are responsible for providing general safety instruction and for ensuring that all training takes place.
  • Teachers may assign students to research and report on specific safety and legal considerations for their job or industry. 

In Section 5, you learned about hazardous occupations listed in Child Labor Bulletin No. 101 (WH-1330), which you bookmarked. Some of the occupations related to this cluster will involve hazardous activities. For example, a student working for a printing company might be asked to operate a power-driven stapling machine, an envelope die-cutting press, or a paper cutter. Revisit WH-1330 as necessary to refresh your memory about hazardous occupations.

Pre-Employment Requirements

When coordinating a practicum, teachers should ask whether a student's training station will require any special testing or permits prior to employment. For occupations in the AAVTC cluster, two of the most common requirements are:

  • OSHA 10-hour training for general industry and
  • signed parental consent allowing a minor student to appear in a video, broadcasts, or other types of visual or audio recordings.

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. Because of the diversity of occupations included in the AAVTC Career Cluster, there are several CTSOs that are beneficial. Become familiar with them all so you can help students select the organization that best supports their career goals.




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

Business Professionals of America (BPA)
DECA, Texas Association
Family, Career and Community Leaders of America (FCCLA)
Future Business Leaders of America (FBLA)
Texas Technology Student Association (TSA)

Professional Associations

Get involved in at least one career and technical education (CTE) professional association. They are excellent sources of career cluster-specific teaching tools, ideas, networking, and mentors. Join the associations which most closely supports your or your students’ areas of interest.




Take a moment to bookmark the links to explore later.

Family and Consumer Science Teachers Association of Texas (FCSTAT)
Marketing Educators of Texas (MET)
Texas Business and Technology Educators Association (TBTEA)
Texas Industrial Vocational Association (TIVA)
Texas Technology and Engineering Educators (TTEE)

Lesson Conclusion