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Career Choices

Everyone will need to provide for themselves as they enter the adult world.  As part of our comprehensive guidance plan, students are encouraged to explore the various career pathways and career clusters and individual occupations during their first years at ZHS .  Students should find options that are enjoyable, interested, and rewarding.   While you do not have to identify "The Career" of your life, you should have some idea of areas of interest.  This can then be matched up to post secondary (after high school graduation) placement.  Hopefully you have completed a few job shadows prior to your senior year to experience a career in the real world.

To secure desirable employment some form of post secondary training/education is needed. A question that each student must answer for themselves is "How much education do you wish to invest in after high school?"   In general, the more time, money and energy that you invest in education and train, the greater the career choices and rewards.  Three general categories based on education levels completed are:

Entry Level Careers: Entry level occupations are usually the lowest skill level positions.  While they may be obtained with a high school diploma, many are minimum wage positions with little advancement opportunity.  This is a declining area in the economy as more occupations require some skilled training.  About 25% of all jobs fall in this category.

Skilled Level Careers: Skilled occupations require candidates to complete specialized training such as completion of a technical or community college program of 1-3 years in duration earning An Associate Degree. or some level of certification.   Many of the skills for these jobs can be obtained through free training in the military.  Higher wages and more opportunity for advancement are found.  This category is the fastest growing segment of our economy.  About 50% of all jobs fall in this category. 

Professional Careers: Professional occupations require candidates to complete specialized training such as completion of at least a 4 year college degree.  Many of the skills for these jobs require a masters or doctorate level degree.  This category has remained steady in demand for the past 20 years.  About 25% of all jobs fall in this category.

ZHS Career Pathways: Explore career information for Zillah High School using the pathways of Arts & Communications, Business, Science & Health, Social Services, and Technical-Industrial.

Washington Career Bridge: Connect your interests with a career by taking a quiz. Get career resources and career counseling. Career Bridge is here to help you reach your career goals.  Career Bridge is a one-stop, searchable database of education and training programs throughout Washington state where you'll discover: The new home of the state's Eligible Training Provider (ETP) List. Listed, are the average earnings and employment outlooks for each career choice, hot jobs for the future, and everything you'll need to learn to get those jobs. This site was created by the Workforce Training and Education Coordinating Board, a partnership of labor, business and government dedicated to helping Washington state residents obtain and succeed in family-wage jobs, while meeting employers' needs for skilled workers. 


Career Cluster Interest Survey:  This will open a document to allow a self guided survey of possible career fields based on student interest.  It will then open the door for further career research and post secondary options for students.

Get a regional view of occupations that are in-demand. Apprenticeships earn while you learn: here's how.

An easy to-use resource for helping students research careers, make decisions for their future, plan for further education after high school (High School and Beyond Plan HSBP), is the Occupation Outlook Handbook.  You can access the index at   Updated by the U. S. Bureau of Labor Statistics every two years, the information ranges from listing the jobs of the future (and the corresponding salaries) to the education or training required for those careers. There is a teachers (parent) guide at

The Occupational Outlook Quarterly  spotlights timely subjects like, "Paying for college: Strategies to-afford higher education today" and off-the-beaten-path careers like becoming a composer or an online seller.

Other valuable research sites include:

The Department of Labor's career search tool at  will help you explore careers by completing a keyword search. If you're not sure what you want to do, the tool also has an interest match search filter that will match your interests with possible career choices. Visit to explore the various careers options.

State of Washington Career Information:

Check Out a College Today
Washington Career Bridge
Washington State Department of Personnel
Washington State Labor Market Information
Washington State Work Force Training & Education Board
WorkSource of Washington
Washington State-Job Listings-Private Sector