Lesson Introduction

Overview of the Health Science Career Cluster

Health Science Career Cluster logo
The Health Science Career Cluster focuses on careers in planning, managing, and providing health care. Health science includes a broad range of high-demand, high-skilled occupations. There are programs of study appropriate for students who have strong interpersonal skills and a desire to help others and who prefer to work independently, analyze complex problems, and develop advanced technological solutions.

Career Pathways

There are five career pathways in this career cluster:

  • Therapeutic Services
  • Diagnostic Services
  • Health Informatics
  • Support Services
  • Biotechnology Research and Development

Teacher Resources


To help students learn more about careers in Health Science, download and distribute the Health Science College and Career Planning Guide. The guide makes an excellent critical reading assignment for students enrolled in a practicum course in this career cluster.

WBL Experiences

Work-based learning (WBL) experiences in the Health Science Career Cluster can be incorporated into several courses. Be sure to review the related Texas Essential Skills and Knowledge (TEKS) before you create an outline of training.

Health Science

In non-practicum Health Science courses, WBL experiences often take the form of clinical rotations where the work experience is essentially the same for all students. Instead of a training plan agreement, the school and facility complete an affiliation agreement plus a memorandum of understanding (MOU). The MOU outlines the occupational training that will be provided. Students and their parents still need to sign an agreement that has an outline of the training attached.

Health Science Practicum

The Practicum in Health Science is appropriate for students pursuing a wide variety of career paths, ranging from nursing and emergency medical response to biotechnology research and health informatics. The practicum can be taken for two or three credits and is designed to give students practical application of previously studied knowledge and skills. Training stations for this practicum can occur in a variety of locations appropriate to the nature and level of the student's experience. 

Take a moment to bookmark the TEKS for Health Science Course and the TEKS for Health Science Practicum.

Course Prerequisites

There are no mandatory prerequisites in the TEKS for Health Science or Practicum in Health Science. However, there are recommended prerequisites for both courses.

Health Science

The Health Science course is recommended for students in grades 10–12 who have completed Principles of Health Science and Biology.

Practicum in Health Science

This Practicum in Health Science course is recommended for students in grades 11 or 12 who have completed Health Science and Biology. Local education agencies may impose additional mandatory or recommended prerequisites, so long as they are applied fairly and equitably to all students.

Legal and Safety Considerations

Practicums in Health Science can take place in a wide variety of locations such as local hospitals, nursing/rehabilitation facilities, and clinics. Participating in clinical rotations allows students to learn and practice hands-on skills, practice basic medical terminology, and explore multiple career options in the medical field. As part of the practicum experience, it is common for health science students to receive training in
  • CPR/first aid and
  • Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) implications.

Pre-Employment Requirements

Legal and safety considerations for the health science industry are countless. Most training stations for health science practicums require

  • drug tests;
  • criminal background checks;
  • TB screenings; and
  • hepatitis B vaccinations.

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 Health Science 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. The CTSO most closely related to careers in health sciences is the Health Occupations Students of America (HOSA). Several other CTSOs may be helpful to students pursuing careers in health science, depending on the students' specific career goals.



Take a few moments to bookmark the Health Occupations Students of America (HOSA) website to explore later. 



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.

There are several professional association related to health science careers. The Texas Health Occupations Association (THOA) is the one most closely related. You may also want to check with your colleagues for advice.



Take a moment to bookmark the Texas Health Occupations Association (THOA) website to explore later.


Lesson Conclusion