For Teachers

Teaching by Topic: Career Prep

Here are a bunch of tips, learning objectives, worksheets, and pre-built lesson plans to help you build your curriculum to teach students all about career prep!

classroom-with-teacher-preparing-lesson-plan

The benefit of money education for your students is to prepare them for future careers and how they handle the income they’ll receive. They need to learn good financial habits, organization, and how to maximize their skills to find their ideal career.

You can find the materials you need to teach student career prep, regardless of your students’ levels. Here are budgeting lessons, worksheets, activities and games, and some essential tips –  by grade. We also include student career learning objectives for each grade, which are pulled straight from the National Standards for Personal Finance Education.

National Standards for Personal Finance Education

Download Our Free Teachers' Cheat Sheet

Our free cheat sheet covers every learning objective in the National Standards for Personal Finance Education and the corresponding Kids' Money Lesson Plans - we cover each and every standard!

Pre-K

Your pre-K students are introduced to careers and jobs but still need to build the foundation to gain progress towards more advanced learning objectives. They can work on money awareness, gain organizational skills, and learn how to find information. Here are some activities to develop their skill sets.

Tips for Teaching Career Prep to Pre-K Students

  • Focus on organizing materials.
  • Practice sorting and counting money.
  • Show them different uniforms and tools people use in various professions.

For more resources on other topics, check out our Pre-K Money Lesson Plans Center.

Kindergarten

Learning Objectives

Your kindergarteners begin to see different professions and the skills and tools they may use. They should be able to:

  • List different types of jobs.

Kindergarten Career Prep Lesson Plans

  • KMLP Kindergarten – Services: Students see several jobs, particularly those that revolve around services. They read a book, complete an activity, and learn about the specific requirements of doctors, police officers, and others.

Kindergarten Career Prep Worksheets

Kindergarten Career Prep Games and Activities

Tips for Teaching Career Prep to Kindergarten Students

  • Differentiate between goods and services.
  • Use role-play and acting often.
  • Introduce the idea of earning income.

For more resources on other topics, check out our Kindergarten Money Lesson Plans Center.

1st Grade

Learning Objectives

1st-graders see how to earn income and that people make different amounts. They should be able to:

  • Give examples of how an individual’s knowledge, skills, and experience could affect their ability to earn income.

1st Grade Career Prep Lesson Plans

  • KMLP 1st Grade – Earning: In this lesson, students watch a video about jobs and read a book about careers. They learn about clothes and uniforms that accompany various professions and the training involved.

1st Grade Career Prep Worksheets

1st Grade Career Prep Games and Activities

Tips for Teaching Career Prep to 1st Graders

  • Have students continue to look at careers through uniforms and tools.
  • Show them that some jobs provide a service.
  • Have kids act out more careers and start to pay them with play money.

For more resources on other topics, check out our 1st Grade Money Lesson Plans Center.

2nd Grade

Learning Objectives

2nd-grade students see more extensive careers and learn how to earn income. They should be able to:

  • Explain why employers pay people for their labor.

2nd Grade Career Prep Lesson Plans

  • KMLP 2nd Grade – Income: Students see different ways people can earn income. They see the many career paths they can take in the future.

2nd Grade Career Prep Worksheets

2nd Grade Career Prep Games and Activities

Tips for Teaching Career Prep to 2nd Graders

  • It’s not too early to start researching careers.
  • Begin giving interest inventories to see what kind of work settings they prefer.
  • Build leadership skills for career prep.

For more resources on other topics, check out our 2nd Grade Money Lesson Plans Center.

3rd Grade

Learning Objectives

In 3rd grade, students dive into career research to get an idea of what they want to do for work. They should be able to:

  • Brainstorm ways to improve one’s ability to earn income.

3rd Grade Career Prep Lesson Plans

3rd Grade Career Prep Worksheets

3rd Grade Career Prep Games and Activities

Tips for Teaching Career Prep to 3rd Graders

  • Focus on teaching teamwork.
  • Have students look into income differences based on training and education.
  • Have students reflect on their learning frequently.

For more resources on other topics, check out our 3rd Grade Money Lesson Plans Center.

4th Grade

Learning Objectives

4th-graders break down income earning and which careers pay in certain formats. They should be able to:

  • Describe the difference between wages, salaries, commissions, and tips.

4th Grade Career Prep Lesson Plans

  • KMLP 4th Grade – Earning Income: Students learn that people earn income by working, which can look different based on the job. They role-play a game that shows how various jobs work.

4th Grade Career Prep Worksheets

4th Grade Career Prep Games and Activities

Tips for Teaching Career Prep to 4th Graders

  • Have kids use multiplication and division to calculate monthly salaries based on annual amounts.
  • Continue to act out different professions.
  • Research and report often.

For more resources on other topics, check out our 4th Grade Money Lesson Plans Center.

5th Grade

Learning Objectives

5th-graders learn about personal habits and interests and how they relate to career choices. They should be able to:

  • Assess personal skills and interests and match them to various career options.

5th Grade Career Prep Lesson Plans

  • 5th Grade – Career Readiness: In this lesson plan from mckasd.net, students take a career interest survey. They also write a letter to a future employer.

5th Grade Career Prep Worksheets

5th Grade Career Prep Games and Activities

Tips for Teaching Career Prep to 5th Graders

  • Students should begin to focus on specific industries.
  • Introduce the idea of taxes and how they impact career earnings.
  • Explain the pros and cons of entrepreneurship.

For more resources on other topics, check out our 5th Grade Money Lesson Plans Center.

6th Grade

Learning Objectives

6th-grade students see how to find the specifics of different careers. They should be able to:

  • Conduct research on a specific career field.

6th Grade Career Prep Lesson Plans

  • 6th Grade – College and Career Readiness: This lesson from lubbockisd.org has students perform various career prep activities. They play a game, complete worksheets, watch a video, and take notes on how to reach certain careers.

6th Grade Career Prep Worksheets

6th Grade Career Prep Games and Activities

Tips for Teaching Career Prep to 6th Graders

  • Use group work often to show the importance of collaboration.
  • Link the ideas of college and careers.
  • Mesh career prep into other subjects such as Social Studies.

For more resources on other topics, check out our 6th Grade Money Lesson Plans Center.

7th Grade

Learning Objectives

7th-grade students focus on learning life skills related to career prep. They should be able to:

  • Discuss how specific skills training can improve a young person’s human capital, productivity, and income-earning potential.

7th Grade Career Prep Lesson Plans

  • 7th Grade – Career Readiness: This extensive lesson plan set from exploring.org offers a wide variety of activities. It goes over basics like professional behavior, how to dress, and how to interview for a job.

7th Grade Career Prep Worksheets

7th Grade Career Prep Games and Activities

Tips for Teaching Career Prep to 7th Graders

  • Continue to role-play job-based scenarios.
  • Work on interview skills and fill out job applications.
  • Focus on emotional support and keeping kids prepared for adult life.

For more resources on other topics, check out our 7th Grade Money Lesson Plans Center.

8th Grade

Learning Objectives

8th-grade students start to hone in on careers, looking into the specific requirements of each. They should be able to:

  • Compare the education and training requirements, income potential, and primary duties of at least two jobs available to high school students.

8th Grade Career Prep Lesson Plans

  • 8th Grade – Career Exploration: This lesson plan from bizworld.org has students research 3-5 specific careers and find information. They find personal interests, see aligned careers, and learn the incomes involved.

8th Grade Career Prep Worksheets

8th Grade Career Prep Games and Activities

Tips for Teaching Career Prep to 8th Graders

  • Talk with individuals about the pros and cons of their career choices.
  • Remind them to be flexible and research often.
  • Focus on leadership, communication, and collaboration.

For more resources on other topics, check out our 8th Grade Money Lesson Plans Center.

9th Grade

Learning Objectives

In 9th grade, students take a realistic and authentic approach to career prep. They should be able to:

  • Identify different types of jobs and careers where wages and salaries depend on a worker’s productivity and skills.

9th Grade Career Prep Lesson Plans

  • 9th Grade – Career Exploration and Planning: In this lesson plan from ptech.org, students learn hands-on skills like how to build a professional social media presence. They also see the many career exploration sites and tools available.

9th Grade Career Prep Worksheets

9th Grade Career Prep Games and Activities

Tips for Teaching Career Prep to 9th Graders

  • Have students reflect on their learning styles as well as career interests.
  • Have students build online portfolios (safely and responsibly, of course).
  • Include practical information like how to read a pay stub.

For more resources on other topics, check out our 9th Grade Money Lesson Plans Center.

10th Grade

Learning Objectives

10th-graders learn how to align values with career options, such as working outside, working with their hands, solving puzzles, and more. They should be able to:

  • Evaluate the tradeoffs between income and non-income factors when making career or job choices.

10th Grade Career Prep Lesson Plans

  • 10th Grade – What Matters to Me?: In this lesson from californiacareers.info, students identify work values and which careers are a match. They see why their habits and principles matter for their career choice.

10th Grade Career Prep Worksheets

10th Grade Career Prep Games and Activities

Tips for Teaching Career Prep to 10th Graders

  • Focus on public speaking and presentation.
  • Research, research, research.
  • Use current events to show various careers in action.

For more resources on other topics, check out our 10th Grade Money Lesson Plans Center.

11th Grade

Learning Objectives

In 11th grade, students look inward to see the best fit for their future, not only for income but also to find something they will enjoy doing. They should be able to:

  • Discuss the pros and cons of small business ownership as their primary source of income.

11th Grade Career Prep Lesson Plans

  • 11th Grade – Career Awareness: In this lesson from mckasd.net, students complete self-analyses of their skills and abilities. They learn about current trends in their career area of focus.

11th Grade Career Prep Worksheets

11th Grade Career Prep Games and Activities

Tips for Teaching Career Prep to 11th Graders

  • Every student is unique, so ensure they take many self-reflective tests.
  • Have students create detailed reports linking college aspirations to their intended careers.
  • Go over the costs of reaching the job goals for each student.

For more resources on other topics, check out our 11th Grade Money Lesson Plans Center.

12th Grade

Learning Objectives

12th-graders are in full preparation mode for their future lives, researching daily and creating reports to gather and clarify information. They should be able to:

  • Evaluate the costs and benefits of investing in additional education or training.

12th Grade Career Prep Lesson Plans

  • 12th Grade – Introduction to Career Preparation: In this lesson from txcte.org, students analyze future outlooks in their intended occupation. They also describe entrepreneurial opportunities in the field and research rewards and demands in their career.

12th Grade Career Prep Worksheets

12th Grade Career Prep Games and Activities

Tips for Teaching Career Prep to 12th Graders

  • Research every day.
  • Form small-group cohorts to encourage and work together.
  • Have guest speakers and have students attend college and career fairs.

For more resources on other topics, check out our 12th Grade Money Lesson Plans Center.

More Resources

About the Author

Peter Brown

Peter Brown is a National Board Certified teacher with over two decades of experience in the classroom. He loves working with students of all ages in many subjects, but particularly in practical areas like money education, to help kids achieve their goals. When he is not teaching or writing about financial literacy, you can find him surfing, hiking, skiing, or traveling to new places.

Last updated on: September 13, 2022