Career Assessment Inventory™- The Vocational Version (CAI)

Career Assessment Inventory™- The Vocational Version (CAI)


Career Assessment Inventory™ The Vocational Version (CAI) is a vocational interest inventory for individuals who plan to enter careers immediately after high school or to attend community college or trade school.

Career Assessment Inventory™ The Vocational Version (CAI) is a vocational interest inventory for individuals who plan to enter careers immediately after high school or to attend community college or trade school.


Charles B. Johansson, PhD


Vocational interest inventory for individuals who plan to enter careers immediately after high school or to attend community college or trade school

Age Range:

Individuals 15 years and older


Paper-and-pencil, computer or online administration

Scoring Option:

Q-global™ Scoring & Reporting, Q™ Local Software or Mail-in Scoring Service

Reading Level:

8th grade

Completion Time:

35–40 minutes (305 items with 5-point rating scales)


1,500 working adults

Report Options:

Profile and Interpretive

Publication Date:


Updated: The Career Assessment Inventory has been updated to provide additional occupations, new suggested readings, new vocational codes, and career resources on the web. See the Profile Report and Interpretive Report descriptions later on this page for more information.

The Enhanced Version of the CAI inventory focuses on careers involving at least 4 years of post-secondary training.

The Career Assessment Inventory – Vocational Version compares an individual’s vocational interests to those of individuals in 91 specific careers that reflect a range of positions in today’s workforce – including skilled trades and technical and service professions – requiring 2 years or less of post-secondary training. The inventory is used by school counselors, job training specialists, psychologists, and personnel professionals who provide career guidance, adult career development, and human resource development.

How to Use This Inventory

This inventory can be used to help:

  • Guide students to focus on the patterns of interest that are important in making educational and occupational choices
  • Explore new career options with clients in vocational rehabilitation settings or one-stop career centers
  • Advise individuals who are re-entering the workforce, in workforce development, considering a career change, or who have been displaced
  • Clarify vocational opportunities for individuals in Tech Prep and School to Work programs

Key Features

  • Provides scales for 91 occupations, enabling the counselor to explore a variety of career possibilities with the client.
  • Easy to administer, taking only about 30 minutes on average to complete.
  • Graphic and narrative test reports can be shared with the client and the narrative report provides a 3-page counselor’s summary.
  • Combined gender scales allow for the broadest interpretation of survery results.
  • Uses occupational themes based on the widely-accepted RIASEC model to assist in the interpretation and explanation of interest scores.


General Theme Scales
R Realistic Theme
I Investigative Theme
A Artistic Theme
S Social Theme
E Enterprising Theme
C Conventional Theme


Basic Interest Area Scales

Realistic Theme

Manual/Skilled Trades
Animal Service

Investigative Theme


Artistic Theme


Social Theme

Social Service
Child Care
Medical Service
Religious Activities

Enterprising Theme


Conventional Theme

Office Practices
Food Service

Occupational Scales

Realistic Theme

Aircraft Mechanic
Auto Mechanic
Bus Driver
Camera Repair Technician
Conservation Officer
Dental Laboratory Technician
Emergency Medical Technician
Forest Ranger
Hardware Store Manager
Mail Carrier
Musical Instrument Repairer
Navy Enlisted
Park Ranger
Police Officer
Radio/TV Repairer
Security Guard
Sheet-Metal Worker
Telephone Repairer
Tool/Die Maker
Truck Driver
Veterinary Technician

Investigative Theme

Computer Programmer
Dental Hygienist
Electronic Technician
Math/Science Teacher
Medical Laboratory Technician
Radiologic Technician
Respiratory Therapy Technician

Artistic Theme

Advertising Artist/Writer
Advertising Executive
Counselor-Chemical Dependency
Interior Designer
Legal Assistant
Newspaper Reporter
Piano Technician

Social Theme

Athletic Trainer
Child Care Assistant
Elementary School Teacher
Licensed Practical Nurse
Nurse’s Aide
Occupational Therapy Assistant
Operating Room Technician
Physical Therapy Assistant
Registered Nurse

Enterprising Theme

Card/Gift Shop Manager
Food Service Manager
Hotel/Motel Manager
Insurance Agent
Manufacturing Representative
Personnel Manager
Private Investigator
Purchasing Agent
Real Estate Agent
Reservation Agent
Restaurant Manager
Travel Agent

Conventional Theme

Bank Manager
Bank Teller
Cafeteria Worker
Court Reporter
Data Entry Operator
Dental Assistant
Executive Housekeeper
Medical Assistant
Pharmacy Technician
Teacher’s Aide

Nonoccupational Scales

Fine Arts-Mechanical
Occupational Extroversion/Introversion
Educational Orientation
Variability of Interests

Psychometric Information

Reference Samples (for the General Theme Scales andthe Basic Interest Area Scales)

The reference sample consisted of 1500 employed adults (750 male,750 female).

Reference Samples (for the Theme Scales, Basic Interest Area Scales,and Occupational Scales)

The reference sample consisted of 1,200 employed adults and students. The sample was stratified by selecting cases from a larger sample so that100 females and 100 males had their highest score on each of the six different theme scales.

Criterion Samples (for the Occupational Scales)

To be included in a criterion sample for one of the occupational scales, an individual had to:

  1. Be currently employed in the appropriate job
  2. Have at least two years of experience on the job
  3. Respond positively to the question “Do you like your work?”
  4. Be less than 60 years old
  5. Have the proper accreditation or degree required for the occupation

Report Options

Profile Report (Product Number 51461)
The profile report provides a graphical depiction of the individual’s score on each scale, a list of Additional Occupations to investigate, and a page of career resources on the web. There is an option to print “Understanding Your Results,” an in-depth description of how the results apply to the test taker.

View a sample Profile Report.

Interpretive Report (Product Number 51463)
The interpretive report presents several pages of graphs and narrative statements that explain the significant score elevations on each scale. It also provides additional reference information relevant to the highest scores, such as a list of Additional Occupations to investigate and a page of career resources on the web, new O*Net codes (SOC-Standard Occupational Classification) and older DOT codes (Dictionary of Occupational Titles) if required, and page references to the Occupational Outlook Handbook. There is an option to print a Counselor’s Summary, which graphically represents the individual’s scores on each scale, and “Understanding Your Results,” which is an in-depth description of how the results apply to the test taker.

Scoring Options

Q™ Local Software – Enables you to score assessments, report results, and store and export data on your computer.

Q-global™ Web-based Administration, Scoring, and Reporting – Enables you to quickly assess and efficiently organize examinee information, generate scores, and produce accurate comprehensive reports all via the Web.

Mail-in Scoring Service – Specially designed answer sheets are mailed to us for processing within 24–48 hours of receipt and returned via regular mail.

– Allows you to score the assessments at your site.

Getting Started with Q-Global Training Series

View these brief training modules about Q-global

Module 1: Gaining Access to Q-global

Module 2: Signing in and setting up your account

Module 3: Managing sub-accounts

Module 4: How to generate reports


Frequently asked questions follow. Click on a question to see the response.

  • What is the difference between the Vocational Version and the Enhanced Version of the Career Assessment Inventory instrument?

  • If I want to give one assessment to everyone (college-bound and non-college-bound), which assessment would you recommend?

  • Does the Career Assessment Inventory instrument provide a counselor’s summary?

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