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Professional Development Program

Involvement in SkillsUSA builds and reinforces self-confidence, positive attitudes toward work and communications skills. SkillsUSA helps students believe in themselves and in their abilities. It can open doors to exciting opportunities for you, your classmates and your community. It takes leadership, determination, pride and dignity to progress in the world of work. SkillsUSA provides the tools to help you succeed.

In the SkillsUSA Professional Development Program Awards there are six degrees that can be earned by the student. Each Degree builds upon the preceding Degree. The local SkillsUSA chapter presents the Trainee Degree (Level 1), Leader Degree (Level 2), Professional Degree (Level 3), and the Master Degree (Level 4). The State SkillsUSA Association awards the American Degree (Level 5) during the State Leadership and Skills Conference. The International Degree (Level 6) is awarded by the National SkillsUSA at the SkillsUSA National Leadership and Skills Conference.

Levels 1 - 4

The local instructor verifies the first four degrees. The requirements for the degrees are set up in the SkillsUSA Professional Development Program Student Workbook. Each award has a set of competencies that has to be completed.

Certification Forms

Level 1 - The Trainee Degree
Level 2 - The Leader Degree
Level 3 - The Professional Degree
Level 4 - The Master Degree
Level 5 - The American Degree
Level 6 - The International Degree

Level 5 – The American Degree

The American Degree is the highest honor that can be bestowed upon members of SkillsUSA while they are still students. This award recognizes outstanding achievement by an individual in academic, career, technical and professional skill development. To earn the American Degree, a student must demonstrate academic, career, technical and professional development and pass a state test.

The American degree is the fifth level of achievement in the Professional Development Program, SkillsUSA Student Workbook. The student must complete an American Degree notebook that includes appropriate documentation and verification and a professional portfolio. The candidate must apply to the State Association by March 1. The American Degree will be awarded at the State SkillsUSA Championships by the State Association Director.

Level 6 – International Degree

The International Degree is the highest individual honor earned by SkillsUSA members. The activities in the Special Projects Level will build multiple skills that involve high levels of thinking and problem solving. Achieving these skills will require long-term commitment by you, your instructor and your mentor. This degree can be applied for after the student has been out of school for one year. It is very hard to accomplish. This award is given on the national level.

The application, notebook (Level 6) and five copies of the professional paper must be sent to the State Association by April 1. The SkillsUSA office must have the materials by May 1. Applicants and the State Association will be notified by May 15th on the candidate’s status. Successful applicants who complete all four steps will be awarded the International Degree by SkillsUSA at an appropriate award ceremony during the week of the National Leadership and Skills Conference.