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Job Shadowing

Job Shadowing

Job shadowing is one type of school-supervised work-based learning activity meant to support student career exploration activities as part of a quality Academic and Career Planning delivery system. Job shadowing is short-term and exploratory in nature. The experience should be planned to provide opportunities to explore all aspects of the business or industry as well as the specific of job to be shadowed. Students may practice hands-on tasks but not perform actual work for the employer. Job shadowing provides:

  • An opportunity for students to see “real-world” work in an area of interest
  • An incentive for students to prepare for their futures by connecting academic work to career work
  • Input into career decision-making for a student

School Role

The school is responsible to see that student job shadow experiences have met the following criteria.

  • Prepare worksite supervisors/mentors for process and expectations.
  • Ensure any required documents are complete, including district insurance documentation, prior to the student experience.
  • Schedule students and keep records of job shadow experiences- names, dates, worksites, supervisor/mentors.
  • Follow up with worksites for feedback on job shadows.
  • Monitor completion of student assignments.
  • Provide availability for any emergency situations that may arise during the job shadow.

Workplace Role

It is important that the supervisor/mentor understand that job shadow students are NOT present to do work. They are there to observe and ask questions. Upon agreeing to participate in a school-supervised job shadow, the supervisor/mentor will:

  • Inform the student of any relevant safety and policy regulations at the worksite.
  • Answer relevant questions about the profession.
  • Determine areas of career interest to shadow.
  • Arrange for job shadow experience(s) with staff.
  • Monitor student; Contact teacher of there are any issues.


Setting up a Job Shadowing Program? See the Education Planner Website.