Give Your Students the Work Ready Advantage

ACT National Career Readiness Certificate

The ACT National Career Readiness Certificate (ACT NCRC®) is central to Work Ready Communities as a measure of a well-rounded community.

ACT NCRC is an assessment-based credential powered by ACT WorkKeys®. Issued at four levels, the ACT NCRC measures and certifies the essential work skills needed for success in jobs across industries and occupations.

The ACT NCRC is widely used by employers, educators, workforce developers, and others with a stake in the success of the economy. Over 4.5 million ACT NCRCs have been issued nationwide since the credential was introduced in 2006.

ACT NCRC Highlights

  • Awarded at four levels—Platinum, Gold, Silver, and Bronze
  • Powered by ACT WorkKeys research-based Assessments – Workplace Documents, Graphic Literacy and Applied Math
  • Measures and certifies broadly relevant foundational work skills
  • Recognized and recommended by thousands of employers
  • Recommended for college credit by the American Council on Education (ACE)
  • Learn More

ACT's New Career Report Provides Customized Guidance

A new ACT report, The Condition of Career Pathway Readiness in the United States, features information on the skills individuals need to succeed in various careers and “career clusters”—groupings of occupations that can be used by education and training providers to help students in educational settings. Its aim is to open opportunities for job seekers and help employers ... identify high potential candidates within different career pathways.

Job seekers who’ve taken the ACT® WorkKeys® Assessments and earned an ACT® WorkKeys® National Career Readiness Certificate® (NCRC®) can compare their scores to the benchmark scores displayed in the report for various career clusters, within different educational levels. For example, a high school student interested in carpentry can compare their WorkKeys scores to the career pathway benchmarks for entry-level Architecture and Construction to understand the foundational skills required to succeed in that career cluster.

This type of career exploration is designed to help high school students and adults understand their career options based on their skills and determine the types of jobs available to them. The report also features the projected number of future job openings and salary information alongside the benchmarks for each of the top occupation openings. A public Tableau dashboard featuring data from the report can be accessed here.

Resources for Educators

Help Your Students Prepare for Workforce Success.jpg
Help Your Students Prepare for Workforce Success
Ensure Your Learners are Career Ready
Ensure Your Learners are Career Ready
Apprenticeship Programs
Apprenticeship Programs
A Better Prepared Workforce
A Better Prepared Workforce
Prepare Your Students for the Workforce
Prepare Your Students for the Workforce
Get Your Students Noticed
Get Your Students Noticed
NCRC Earnings Outcomes
NCRC Earnings Outcomes
Jefferson College
Directly linking what is taught to the credential

Case Studies

North Carolina

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Preparing students for workplace success.

Western Alabama

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Ensuring a skilled workforce.

NCRC Examinee

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Wages and NCRC/WorkKeys skill levels.

This website reports the ACT® WorkKeys National Career Readiness Certificates earned at the county and state level and the progress being made by those participating states and counties in the ACT Work Ready Community initiative. This site only represents data stored in the ACT RegiSTAR™ system, a web-based reporting and management tool for ACT WorkKeys National Career Readiness Certificates.

State and national ACT WorkKeys NCRC data runs from January 2006 through , while county-level data is starting from January 2012. State job profile data runs from January 2007 through , while national job profile data reaches back to 1993. Again, please note that county-level ACT WorkKeys NCRC data collection began in January 2012 for WorkKeys Internet Version, and in July 2012 for pencil and paper assessments. State and national certificate totals include historical data prior to 2012.

WorkKeys® assessments are used across the nation, and many states have built their own Career Readiness Certificates based upon WorkKeys assessment results. You will find an asterisk denoting those states. This website will continue to evolve as the first two rounds of participating states give us feedback on what they would like to see -- and based on your feedback, as well.

Please contact us if you have comments, questions or would like to receive more information.