Areas that a person should acquire to live a happy and independent life in today’s world.

Life and vocational skills are areas that a person should acquire to live a happy and independent life in today’s world.  Life skills and vocational skills are learned from early toddler stages (like potty training) through adulthood (like completing a resume).  These skills often will combine multiple developmental milestone domains.  More times than not, life and vocational skills require multiple steps to complete one task.  For example, making a sandwich requires a person to:

  1. Open the bread package
  2. Pull out 2 pieces of bread
  3. Use a utensil to spread condiments on the bread
  4. Place meat, cheese, etc. onto bread
  5. Put together two pieces of bread with meat/cheese
  6. Clean up the area

This break-down of a simple task like making a sandwich is called task analysis.  Many life and vocational skills can be taught with more accuracy if we use a task analysis.

The chart below identifies several areas your child should demonstrate by vocational and life skills across their life span:


Life and Vocational Skills
Toddlers to School Aged


Age Range:

2  to 5 years


Independently toilets with minimal accidents
Completes sorting and matching
Sleeps in their own bed
Drinks from an open cup, eats with utensils
Pours drinks
Cleans up after themselves and washes their hands
Identifies community helpers (fire, police person, teacher, mail person etc)


Life and Vocational Skills
School Aged


Age Range:

5  to 8 years


Can attend for longer time
Set up a dinner table
Begins to help with household chores (sweeping, putting dishes away)
Begins to utilize a computer or similar device
Can determine what clothing to wear based on the weather
Identifies their home address and important phone numbers


Life and Vocational Skills


Age Range:

8 to 17 years


Can attend for longer time
Independently cleans up after themselves (i.e. bedroom)
Throws trash away, sweeps, vacuums, mops etc.
Can cook and prepare different meals (i.e. sandwich, boils water etc.)
Maintains personal hygiene (bathe, use deodorant etc.)
Counts money and can purchase items at the store


Life and Vocational Skills


Age Range:

17 years and above


Self-manages time and scheduling
Utilizes transportation, drives an automobile etc.
Cooperates with employers and colleagues

Can utilize multiple community resources