Designated Subjects (CL-888) (2023)

Designated Subjects
Career Technical Education Teaching Credential
Based on SB 1104 - Issued on or after January 1, 2009

Effective January 1, 2009, Designated Subjects Career Technical Education (CTE) Teaching Credentials may be issued to individuals who meet the requirements for either the preliminary or clear credential as outlined below. All applications must be submitted for processing through a Commission-approved CTE program sponsor. See the Commission website for a list of Commission-approved program sponsors.


The Preliminary Designated Subjects CTE Teaching Credential authorizes the holder to teach in the subject or subjects named on the credential in grades twelve and below and in classes organized primarily for adults, in career technical, trade or vocational courses. The Clear Designated Subjects CTE Teaching Credential authorizes the holder to teach in the subject or subjects named on the credential in grades twelve and below and in classes organized primarily for adults, including services to English learners in Specially Designed Academic Instruction Delivered in English (SDAIE) in career technical, trade or vocational courses.

Available subjects, also known as industry sectors, are as follows:

  • Agriculture and Natural Resources
  • Arts, Media, and Entertainment
  • Building and Construction Trades
  • Business and Finance
  • Education, Child Development, and Family Services
  • Energy, Environment, and Utilities
  • Engineering and Architecture
  • Fashion and Interior Design

Health Science and Medical Technology
Hospitality, Tourism, and Recreation
Information and CommunicationTechnologies
Manufacturing and ProductDevelopment
Marketing, Sales, and Service
Public Services

Requirements for the Three-Year Preliminary Credential

Individuals must satisfy all of the following requirements:

  1. Three years of work experience directly related to each industry sector to be named on the credential. One year equals a minimum of 1000 clock hours and the experience may be full-time or part-time, paid or unpaid. See Terms and Definitions for additional information regarding the experience requirement.
  2. High school diploma requirement by one of the following methods:
    1. Possess a high school diploma
    2. Possess a diploma based on passage of the GED Test
    3. Possess the foreign equivalent of a high school diploma
  3. Verification, signed by the Commission-approved program sponsor, that the applicant has been apprised of the requirements for both the preliminary and clear credentials, including the requirements of the program of personalized preparation.
  4. Completed application (form 41-4).
  5. Completed Live Scan receipt (41-LS), verifying fingerprints have been taken and fees have been paid, unless fingerprint clearance is already on file with the Commission.
  6. Application processing fee.
  7. Recommendation by a Commission-approved CTE program sponsor.

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Requirements for the Five-Year Clear Credential

Individuals must satisfy all of the following requirements:

  1. Possess a valid California Preliminary CTE Teaching Credential (three-year or five-year).
  2. Commission-approved program of personalized preparation that includes training in Specially Designed Academic Instruction Delivered in English (SDAIE).
  3. Verify completion of one of the following:
    1. Two years of successful teaching on the basis of the Preliminary CTE Teaching Credential in the industry sector(s) listed on the credential.
    2. A Commission-approved program of advanced personalized preparation as determined by the program sponsor agency.
  4. U.S. Constitution requirement by one of the following methods:
    1. Complete a course (at least two semester units or three quarter units) in the provisions and principles of the U.S. Constitution. Submit a copy of the course description for evaluation purposes.
    2. Pass an examination in the provisions and principles of the U.S. Constitution, given by a regionally-accredited college or university.
  5. Health education, including, but not limited to, the study of nutrition; the physiological and sociological effects of abuse of alcohol, narcotics, and drugs, and the use of tobacco. This requirement must also include training in cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) that covers infant, child, and adult CPR skills.
  6. Complete study in computer-based technology, including the uses of technology in educational settings.
  7. Completed application (form 41-4).
  8. Application processing fee.
  9. Recommendation by a Commission-approved CTE program sponsor.

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National Board for Professional Teaching Standards Certification

Teachers who are certified by the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards (NBPTS) in the area of Early Adolescence through Young Adulthood/Career and Technical Education will be issued a Clear Designated Subjects Teaching Credential in their selected subject area. Individuals applying under this route are exempt from all other credential requirements.

Individuals may apply directly to the Commission for a clear teaching credential by submitting the following:

  1. Photocopy of National Board Certification.
  2. Completed application (form 41-4).
  3. Fingerprint clearance (if not previously submitted to the Commission, including a completed form 41-LS Live Scan receipt). See Credential Leaflet CL-271 for more information.
  4. Appropriate application processing fee.

Period of Validity

The preliminary credential is valid for three years. The clear credential is valid for five years and must be renewed online every five year renewal cycle. Once issued, there are no additional academic requirements to renew the clear credential.

Transition from Vocational Education and Five-Year CTE Teaching Credentials

Holders of Life or Clear Designated Subjects Vocational or CTE Teaching Credentials issued under previous regulations and statutes may choose to either maintain their documents or transition to CTE credentials issued under the provisions of SB 1104, outlined in this information leaflet. Due to significant changes to the program standards, holders of these credentials may not qualify for the Clear CTE Teaching Credential under the new
program standards. For additional information, please see Coded Correspondence 09-01.

Transition to New Industry Sectors

Effective September 1, 2014, five of the 15 Industry Sectors listed on the Designated Subjects CTE Teaching Credential will have new titles. The new Industry Sector titles will be issued on all first time, new type, and renewed Designated Subjects CTE Teaching Credentials on or after September 1, 2014.

A Preliminary or Clear Designated Subjects CTE Teaching Credential originally issued prior to September 1, 2014 based on an occupation that moved to a new Industry Sector remains valid and appropriate for the service aligned with their occupation. Employing agencies should confirm the original issuance date of the credential and use the Crosswalk Guidance Chart in Appendix B and/or Table 2 found in Coded Correspondence 14-08 to determine if an educator’s occupational experience is appropriate for their assigned Industry Sector.

The holder of a Preliminary Designated Subjects CTE Credential who completes a Clear program after September 1, 2014 has the option of keeping their original authorization or, if their occupation has moved, may transition to the new Industry Sector. Educators who elect to change Industry Sectors must work with their program sponsor to verify that the occupational training and experience held at the time the initial Preliminary CTE Credential was recommended was appropriate for the newly aligned Industry Sector. See the guidance chart in Appendix A of
Coded Correspondence 14-08. The previously issued Industry Sector authorization will be removed from their credential. Educators should confirm with their local employing agency whether any change in Industry Sector is necessary for employment purposes.

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Terms and Definitions

Work Experience

Verification of work experience means written confirmation of the applicant’s qualifying experience, signed by the applicant’s past or present employer(s) on company letterhead that attests to and/or includes all of the following:

  1. Employer’s name, address, and telephone number.
  2. The working relationship of the person signing the verification to the applicant.
  3. Beginning and ending dates of employment.
  4. Complete description of duties.
  5. A statement as to whether or not the employment was full-time (If employment was less than full-time, an accounting of the number of hours the applicant was employed is required).

If the applicant was self-employed or if the applicant’s experience was avocational, verification shall include a statement, signed by the applicant under penalty of perjury, detailing the information described in 1–5 above, and must be further substantiated, in writing, by other person(s) having first-hand knowledge of the applicant’s self-employment or avocation, such as the applicant’s accountant, major supplier of goods, or major user of goods or services.

At least one year of the required work experience must be within the last five years, or two years within the last ten years, immediately preceding the issuance of the preliminary credential. 1000 clock hours shall be the minimum required for each year of work experience. Part-time work experience may be cumulated to equate to the required 1000 clock hours of work experience.

Completion of forty-eight (48) semester units of postsecondary vocational training related to the industry sector(s) named on the credential may be substituted for a maximum of two of the three years of required work experience. The course work must be verified by official transcript and may be made on a pro rata basis up to the two-year maximum.

Additionally, one of the following may be used as one year of work experience toward meeting the three years of required experience:

  • Possession of an advanced industry certificate related to the industry sector to be named on the preliminary credential, as determined by a Commission-approved CTE program sponsor.
  • One year of full-time general education teaching experience providing instructional services in preschool or grades K-12 earned in a public or private school of equivalent status.

An individual must have at least one year of actual work experience to qualify for the three-year preliminary credential.

For more information, visit the Professional Preparation Programs or the Commission's website.

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Industry Sectors

This chart is intended to be a guide. Some of the occupations, such as “drafting,” can be applied to more thanone Industry Sector. Program sponsors are encouraged to examine the work experience of the individualapplying for a credential and determine which Industry Sector best applies. Assignments should be consideredin the same way. The most important consideration is the background and the expertise of the individual.Effective September 1, 2014, some Industry Sectors have new titles, while some specific occupations movedinto different Industry Sectors. See Coded Correspondence 14-08 for more information.

Candidates applying based on National Board Certification in Career and Technical Education must select from the industry sectors shown below one that aligns with their area of certification.[1]

National Board Certification in Career and Technical Education Specialty AreasCorresponding CTC Industry Sector(s)
Agriculture and Environmental SciencesAgriculture and Natural Resources
Arts and CommunicationsArts, Media, and Entertainment
Business, Marketing, Information Management, and EntrepreneurshipBusiness and Finance; Information and Communication Technologies; Marketing, Sales, and Services
Family and Consumer SciencesEducation, Child Development, and Family Services; Fashion and Interior Design; Hospitality, Tourism, and Recreation
Health ServicesBusiness and Finance; Health Science and Medical Technology
Human ServicesEducation, Child Development, and Family Services; Public Services
Manufacturing and Engineering TechnologyBuilding and Construction Trades; Energy, Environment, and Utilities;
Engineering and Architecture; Manufacturing and Product Development; Transportation
Technology EducationBuilding and Construction Trades; Manufacturing and Product Development; Transportation

Note [1]:Teachers holding National Board Certification will be issued the specific California authorization based upon the industry sector that most closely aligns with their industry certification or work experience. Individuals must submit a copy of their NBPTS “My Profile” status page report. When logging into their NBPTS account, the “My Profile” information may be found using a link in the upper left hand corner of the web page. This information should be printed and attached to the copy of the National Board Certificate when applying.

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California Education Code, Sections 44260 and 44260.1; 5 California Code of Regulations, Sections 80034.1 and 80034.2.

CL-888 May, 2016

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