Salem High School’s Comprehensive Career and Technical Education (CTE) department is one of the few unique vocational programs in the state of Massachusetts. The instructors are well-respected masters in their technical areas. Salem High School is a comprehensive educational setting and one of the most flexible educational models available to secondary scholars in our society. scholars are introduced to the CTE programs through the ninth-grade exploratory. This fast-paced, constantly evolving program presents introductory information from all 8 Career and Technical areas to scholars over their ninth-grade year. After this experience, the scholars will choose three areas of concentration and enter one of their three choices for the remainder of the year. The acceptance into a program is followed by three years of progressively intensive study in their chosen field. During this time, the scholar is encouraged and directed to concentrate on the achievement of nationally recognized certifications and accreditations in their career area, including OSHA safety, Entrepreneurship, and general post-secondary education and career skills, including emotional intelligence.

All career and technical education scholars are on a direct pathway to post-secondary education in the form of an associate degree or higher. This career plan is accomplished through articulation agreements with multiple Colleges and Technical Institutes in the United States. Career and Technical Education scholars are leaders and role models of the school and hardworking young adults who are risk-takers, life-long learners, and the industry leaders of tomorrow. 

Salem High School Career and Technical Education (CTE) provides scholars with the academic and technical skills, knowledge, and training necessary to succeed in high-demand careers and to become lifelong learners. We focus on providing high-quality programs that are aligned with labor market demands and address career and college readiness goals, teaching real-world skills and competencies; such as collaboration, critical thinking, problem-solving, teamwork, innovation, and communication.

CTE Exploratory Program

The CTE Exploratory Program allows scholars to explore the technical programs offered at Salem High School. This is a valuable opportunity for scholars to spend time immersed in each program and gain insight into career options available, post-secondary training, and what skills are needed in each program. Through hands-on activities, they learn about safety, equipment, and trade terminology. This exploration allows scholars to develop independent ideas about their own interests.

The choices that young adults make in school have long-lasting impacts on their careers. A primary function of secondary education is to prepare scholars for post-secondary education and careers. The Exploratory and CTE programs in general provide them with the skills, knowledge, and encouragement they need to get the most out of their desired career path.

Scholars display higher levels of engagement and motivation when they have a clear understanding of what they want to do. Exploratory hones their focus so that they can make informed choices about their careers.

CTE Program Descriptions

Automotive Technology

Automotive Technology courses at Salem High offer an introduction to the automobile industry including safety practices, shop equipment and tools, vehicle subsystems, and vehicle maintenance. We prepare scholars for employment as entry-level technicians in the automotive repair business. Scholars will learn oil changes,  minor services, car inspections to Massachusetts RMV standards, used car inspections, tire service, tire replacement and balance, battery and charging system service, basic engine fundamentals,  brakes system diagnosis, and service. Scholars will learn repair orders and billing procedures. The classes focus on job readiness, hand skills as well as craftsmanship. The Salerno building at Salem High School is a stand-alone facility with a large shop consisting of multiple bays, lifts, and up-to-date tools. Automotive technology is a recipient of a $116,000 Capital Grant that is being used to upgrade technology and equipment to industry standards. scholars get hands-on experience in this actual auto shop “like” environment. scholars may seek immediate employment after graduation or may decide to continue post-secondary education.

Certifications/College Credit

  • 10 Hour OSHA General Industry

  • HotWorks certification

  • Chapter 74 Automotive Completion Certificate

Career Opportunities

  • Auto mechanic

  • Parts Department specialist

  • Service writer

  • Service manager

  • Dealership technician

  • Field engineer

Building Property & Maintenance

Building Property and Maintenance scholars learn how to maintain homes and commercial buildings while ensuring safe work environments. The program prepares scholars for employment in the field by teaching skills in multiple trade-related areas including electricity, plumbing, HVAC, painting, and carpentry. Scholars work on technical plans and prints and will utilize CAD technology to create, read and interpret drawings. Scholars also learn how to operate hand and power tools. BPM scholars focus on all types of building repair, building and ground maintenance, client relations and record-keeping, and green building technologies. scholars collaborate with other CTE programs and building personnel on extended activities and projects. scholars may seek immediate employment after graduation or may decide to continue post-secondary education.

Certifications/College Credit

  • 10 Hour OSHA Construction

  • HotWorks certification

  • Chapter 74 Building and Property Maintenance Completion Certificate

Career Opportunities

  • Building maintenance staff

  • Groundskeeper/Landscaper

  • Mechanical Maintenance Worker

  • Painter

  • Sheetrock/Plasterer

  • Facilities Manager

  • Construction Supervisor

  • Draftsperson

  • Architect

  • Civil Engineer


Carpentry scholars learn how to operate multiple types of hand and power tools, both stationary and portable. They are able to demonstrate safety protocol and the proper use of equipment. They work on technical plans and prints and will utilize CAD technology to create, read and interpret drawings. Carpentry scholars are also able to identify and describe many varieties of wood. They learn finishing techniques and precision work while building custom furnishings. SHS Carpentry scholars often work collaboratively with other CTE programs and other Salem schools on extended projects and activities. scholars may seek immediate employment after graduation or may decide to continue post-secondary education.

Certifications/College Credit

  • 10 Hour OSHA Construction

  • SHS Carpentry completion certificate

Career Opportunities

  • Carpenter

  • Tile Setter

  • Cabinet Maker

  • Construction Supply Salesperson

  • Roofer

  • Remodeler

  • Estimator

  • Building Inspector

  • Draftsperson

  • Surveyor

  • Civil Engineer

Culinary Arts

Culinary Arts students learn to cook and bake as they prepare for a career in the restaurant industry. They s

Culinary Arts scholars learn to cook and bake as they prepare for a career in the Food Service Industry. They study Safety and Sanitation, Cooking Techniques, Knife Skills, and Nutrition. Scholarsscholars also prepare to work in a restaurant, training in Front of the House (Service) as well as the Back of the House (Kitchen). Additionally, scholars receive training in management, OSHA, ServSafe, entrepreneurial skills, and related theory. Salem High School has a diner called the Black Cat Café which is open to staff and community partners. Scholarsscholars have the opportunity to participate in a variety of work-based learning experiences including cooking and serving at events for the Council on Aging and the Salem Rotary Club. Upperclassmen also participate in cooperative education and are employed at local area restaurants to hone their skills. Salem High School received over $150,000 from MA Capital funding for the Culinary Arts program and has a brand-new state-of-the-art kitchen. A graduate from this program possesses the necessary skills to be employed in a variety of service and food occupations. scholars also may decide to continue to post-secondary education.

Certifications/College Credit

  • ServSafe Food Handler certification

  • ServSafe Allergen certification

  • 10 hour OSHA general industry

  • Chapter 74 Culinary Arts Completion Certificate

Career Opportunities

  • Chef

  • Baker

  • Caterer

  • Restaurant manager/owner

  • Event Planner
  • Nutritionist

  • Hospitality worker

  • Host/Hostess

Early Education & Care

Early Education and Care students learn about children. The Early Education and Care Program at Salem High School prepares scholars for various careers working with children. scholars learn about EEC laws, policies, regulations. Scholarsscholars also explore and learn about different aspects of child development, developmentally appropriate practices, curriculum planning, health, nutrition, and wellness to be able to work with different ages (infancy through adolescence). Scholarsscholars in the EEC program will also get the chance to participate in opportunities that provide field experience through partnerships with YMCA and Elementary Schools in Salem. An EEC graduate possesses the necessary skills to be employed as a worker in the Early childhood field and/ or continue to post-secondary education.

Certifications/College Credit

  • Early Education and Care MA Teacher certification

  • Early Education and Care Essentials (MA Strong Start certificates)

  • Red Cross First Aid and CPR/AED

  • Articulation agreement with North Shore Community College (NSCC)

  • Chapter 74 Early Education and Care Completion Certificate

Career Opportunities

  • Child Care Provider/Director

  • Childcare Entrepreneur

  • Teacher

  • Nanny

  • Social Worker

  • Early Intervention Specialist

  • Pediatric Healthcare Worker


Electrical scholars learn the skills necessary to succeed in residential and commercial wiring. The scholars gain knowledge of equipment, blueprints, and safety skills. scholars will become proficient in a variety of electrical projects in compliance with the National Electric Code, Massachusetts Electrical Code, and NFPA (National Fire Protection Association) Safety Code. The classroom curriculum stresses mathematics and science. Emphasis is placed on the ability to solve practical problems. scholars work on projects both in the shop and in the school under the supervision of a master electrician. In their final year of the program, scholars participate in cooperative education and work for local Electrical companies during the school day and beyond. A graduate from the program will leave with hours to apply towards the requirements of the State of Massachusetts Electrical Board for the Electrical License Examination. scholars can go directly into the workplace as apprentice electricians and work towards their journeyman’s license. scholars may also decide to continue post-secondary education.

Certifications/College Credit

  • 10 Hour OSHA Construction certification
  • Chapter 74 Electrical Completion Certificate

Career Opportunities

  • Electrician

  • Lineman

  • Electrical Warehouse Supplier

  • Alarm Installer

  • Engineer

  • Draftsmen

  • Business Owner

Medical Assisting

The Medical Assisting program is a dynamic opportunity for scholars to obtain skills in the healthcare industry.  Scholars will gain the knowledge and skills to read and interpret a patient’s medical history, perform vital signs, and assist a primary care provider directly during an examination. Scholars also develop advanced skills in anatomy & physiology, medical terminology, and caring for the whole person. The program also offers specific training in Medical Simulation in our Medical Lab.

Scholars are trained to give injections, perform venipuncture for labs, and conduct Electrocardiography testing. They are able to choose any desired specialty in medicine and focus on their chosen area of study. A graduate from the program possesses the necessary skills to be employed as a medical assistant. scholars also may decide to continue post-secondary education.

Certifications/College Credit

  • 10 Hour OSHA General industry

  • American Heart Association First Aid and CPR

  • National Health Association CCMA Certified Clinical Medical Association exam/certification

  • Chapter 74 Medical Assisting Completion Certificate

Career Opportunities

  • Medical Assistant

  • Medical Records technician

  • Nurse Practitioner

  • Nurse

  • Phlebotomist

  • Pharmacist

  • EMT

  • Radiologist

  • Doctor

Programming & Web Design

Programming and Web design scholars learn computer programming and website development. They will enroll in Project Lead the Way (PLTW) courses including Computer Science Essentials, Computer Science Principles, Computer Science A, and Cybersecurity. scholars will be exposed to multiple coding languages with an emphasis on JavaScript and Python. They will use Unity3D to create games and applications for multiple devices. The program is designed to help scholars be successful in a technical and global world. The scholars will start with MIT App inventor as the introduction to programming and coding as an avenue for all levels to engage in the program. scholars will participate in work-based learning including school-based internships and cooperative education opportunities with local businesses. scholars also may decide to continue post-secondary education.

Certifications/College Credit

  • 10 Hour OSHA General Industry certification

  • SHS Programming and Web program completion certificate

Career Opportunities

  • Computer Programmer

  • Web Developer

  • Help Desk Support Specialist

  • Network Administrator

  • Database manager

  • Computer maintenance technician

  • Computer salesperson

  • Software Engineer

  • Cybersecurity and networking specialist