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Stay engaged with the career planning of your student. Your support can give them a significant advantage in their future career opportunities.

Greater Peoria Pathways is your resource hub for helping your student prepare for their career well before senior year.

parentsYou are the #1 influence on a student’s career planning, but do you know parental involvement in a student’s education starts to rapidly drop off at 6th grade?

If you can stay connected with your student and guide them toward preparing for their future in the workforce, they’ll have an advantage over the competition!

While they may not always listen to your advice or opinions, your student will be influenced by your guidance, direction, and example. GP Pathways gives you the tools to guide them to career success.

First, use Career Cruising

Thanks to funding provided by PERFECT, the Tazewell Area Education for Employment office, and CIVEC, you have access to the strongest career exploration & development tool available to students.

careercruisingCareer Cruising is a one-stop hub for students and their parents to research careers. As a parent on Career Cruising you can:

  • Guide & monitor your student’s career exploration,
  • Help them discover the money they can earn from different careers,
  • Learn about the training or education careers require after high school,
  • Find internships and work opportunities.

How to Access Career Cruising

Career Cruising is available to all students and their parents/guardians. Here’s how:

  1. Get your account login info. Ask the counselor at your student’s school. Or your student can send you your parent account info from inside their account (if you need help, ask their school counselor),
  2. Log in to Career Cruising to view your student’s activity and guide them into further exploration and planning.

Already have your login info?

Log in today →

Learn to use Career Cruising. Watch the tutorial video for parents. View now.

Next, understand the Greater Peoria job market

What are today’s hot jobs? Healthcare, technology, and manufacturing.


  • Registered Nurse
    Average Salary: $68,030
    Education: 4-year program
  • Licensed Practical Nurse
    Average Salary:$44,870
    Education: 2-year program
  • Certified Nurse Assistant
    Average Salary: $25,260
    Education: 1-semester program
  • Medical Assistant
    Average Salary: $31,230
    Education: 2-year program
  • Medical Lab Tech
    Average Salary: $43,070
    Education:  2-year program
  • Physical Therapy Assistant
    Average Salary: $32,970
    Education: 2-year program

Manufacturing & Engineering

  • Engine and Machine Assemblers
    Average Salary: $37,330
  • Welder
    Average Salary: $37,710
    Education: 1-semester & 1-year certificate programs
  • CNC Machinist
    Average Salary: $47,430
    Education: 1.5-year degree program
  • Maintenance Technician
    Average Salary: $48,180
    Education: 1.5-year certificate & 2-year degree program
  • Process Engineer 
    Average Salary: $79,120
    Education: 2 & 4-year degree programs
  • Mechanical Engineer
    Average Salary: $84,420
    Education: 2 & 4-year degree programs

Information Technology

  • Computer Systems Analyst
    Average Salary: $85,500
    Education: 4-year degree program
  • Applications Software Developer
    Average Salary: $85,740
    Education: 4-year degree program
  • Database Administrators
    Average Salary: $80,850
    Education: 2 & 4-year degree programs
  • Network and Computer Systems Administrators
    Average Salary: $77,520
    Education: 1-year certificate, 2 & 4-year degree programs
  • Computer Programmers
    Average Salary: $74,060
    Education: 2-year certificate, 2 & 4-year degree programs

See a career you think you might like? Access your Career Cruising account to learn about area schools and programs where you can get the education or training you'll need. Don't have your Career Cruising account info? Ask you school counselor.

Building Trades

  • Electricians
    Average Salary: $69,940
    Apprenticeship: 3 & 5-year paid
  • Boilmakers
    Average Salary: $64,270
    Apprenticeship: 4-year paid
  • Bricklayers
    Average Salary: $70,910
    Apprenticeship: 3.5-year paid
  • Elevator Constructors
    Average Salary: $83,020
    Apprenticeship: 5-year paid
  • Heat & Frost Insulators
    Average Salary: $78,420
    Apprenticeship: 5-year paid
  • Cement Masons
    Average Salary: $58,030
    Apprenticeship: 3-year paid
  • Iron Workers
    Average Salary: $79,600
    Apprenticeship: 3-year paid
  • Painters
    Average Salary: $57,020
    Apprenticeship: 3-year paid
  • Plasterers
    Average Salary: $76,620
    Apprenticeship: 4-year paid
  • Plumbers, Steamfitters, & Sprinklerfitters
    Average Salary: $71,810
    Apprenticeship: 5-year paid
  • Roofers
    Average Salary: $46,440
    Apprenticeship: 4-year paid
  • Sheet Metal Workers
    Average Salary: $65,230
    Apprenticeship: 4-year paid
  • Operating Engineers
    Average Salary: $69,980
    Apprenticeship: 4-year paid
  • Carpenters
    Average Salary: $56,860
    Apprenticeship: 4-year paid
  • Construction Laborers
    Average Salary: $51,630
    Apprenticeship: 3-year paid

Not every career requires a college degree. Check out the great careers in the Building Trades.

Workers in the building trades construct our buildings, infrastructure, and physical systems like electric, plumbing, and more. Your student can step into the building trades right out of high school and earn a great living. Apprenticeships are the entryway into the building trades, and most apprenticeships are paid. Start exploring the building trades today.

Get Started with the Building Trades

0For more information on the types of building trades careers and how to begin apprenticing, download the Union Building Trades Apprenticeship Programs booklet.


Tuition Reimbursement for Students Living in Peoria

logo2Peoria Promise is a scholarship fund available to many students living in the city of Peoria. The fund offers tuition reimbursement for Illinois Central College courses.

Learn more →

Get Involved with Hands-On Career and Education Exploration

Give your middle-schooler the college experience!

Illinois Central College’s College for Kids

icc-cfkFor two weeks this summer, your student can see what it’s like to be a college student and attend classes ranging from foreign languages, to culinary arts, to science, and more! Grades 4-10. Learn more →

Bradley University’s World of Wonder

bradleyThese two week-long sessions expose your student to the university atmosphere while fostering their critical thinking and creativity with classes like “Sensory Science”, “Patterns in Nature” and “The Science of Frozen“. Grades 1-8. Learn more →

Start a club and let your student explore the world of technology


FIRST_InspiresFIRST (For Inspiration & Recognition of Science & Technology) is an international youth organization that inspires students in engineering and technology fields through cooperative competitions.
Learn more →
Find a Local League →

Girls Who Code

girlswhocodeOnly 18% of today’s computer science graduates are women, but Girls Who Code is out to change that! Providing a thorough custom curriculum, teach girls programming, web development, mobile app, or robotics. Learn more →

Local opportunities for your student to get their science on!

Bradley’s BEST & CREST Summer Internships

bradleyThe Building Excellent Scientist for Tomorrow (BEST) and the Clinical Research for Excellent Scientists for Tomorrow (CREST) summer internships are for high school and undergraduate students interested in pursuingscience and technology-based careers. Interns research in labs throughout Greater Peoria, working side-by-side with top researchers and their teams to learn first-hand about the research process. Learn more →

4G Camp, Gadgets, Games, Girls, And GENIUS!

titleGirls entering grades 7 & 8 explore exciting engineering and scientific fields through daily field trips, hands-on activities, and group projects during this weeklong summer camp. Hosted by the Bradley University Center for STEM Education, University of Illinois Extension, Greater Peoria Economic Development Council, University of Illinois Graduate School of Library and Information Science, and Illinois Infomatics Institute. Learn more →

Peoria Riverfront Museum Children & Teen Classes

prm1The Peoria Riverfront Museum offers a variety of classes and workshops for children and teens that build science, technology, engineering, art, and math (STEAM) skills.

Learn more about classes →
Learn more about workshops →

CU Community Fab Lab

banner-long.fw_The Champaign-Urbana Community Fab Lab is an open and collaborative workshop space for computer-driven innovation, design and fabrication where you can imagine, design and create using open source software and DIY equipment. Visitors can explore the space, get help from staff and volunteers, use tools, and purchase materials at-cost. Families and individual adults may wish to attend their low-cost weekly orientation sessions to learn about more specific tools and activities like laser engraving, 3D printing or digital embroidery. Learn more →

Utilize Junior Achievement’s Online Tools

JA My Way

junior_achievement-140x95Your student can join JA My Way™ to get tips and tools to put your career on the express track. They can take the Personality Quiz then visit My Career to find job matches. Explore buying a car and saving for college in My Money, create pro resumes at My Resume, or get tips to start a business at My Business.

Sign Up →

JA Build Your Future

JA Build Your Future helps teens, their parents, and teachers break down the cost of achieving young people’s career goals. In JA Build Your Future, teens can assess more than 100 careers, see what levels of education are required, then calculate the cost of education. Teens can then adjust the level of money they and their parents may contribute, combined with student loans they may need to secure.

Sign Up →

Don’t miss these Greater Peoria career exploration events

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Don’t overlook the importance of soft skills

Employers are experiencing a talent gap between the existing and the incoming workforce. They are ready and willing to hire new workers, and one quality that will give your student an edge is an employable attitude.

An employable attitude demonstrates that a person has soft skills, skills related to working productively with others.


What are the soft skills?

  • A Strong Work Ethic…
  • Positive Attitude…
  • Good Communication Skills…
  • Time Management Abilities…
  • Problem-Solving Skills…
  • Acting as a Team Player…
  • Self-Confidence…
  • Ability to Accept and Learn From Criticism.
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