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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 5,837,842 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 about College Credit and the NCRC (PDF)

ACT's New Career Report Provides Customized Guidance

A female professor teaching college aged students in a classroom

A new ACT report, The Condition of Career Pathway Readiness in the United States (PDF), 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.

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.

ACT WorkKeys Success Story

Industry Readiness Profile

small preview of the Industry Readiness Profile chart

For 16 industries, this in depth report provides data on:

  • Required Scores
  • Mean Annual Wages
  • Typical Education Needed
  • Total Employed People