How to be a home economics teacher usa and canada

Home economics teachers instruct students on how to run a home and lead a healthy life. They need at least a bachelor’s degree and licensure in most circumstances. Home economics teachers typically work in middle schools and high schools.

Essential Information

A home economics teacher, also called a ‘home ec’ teacher, is a vocational instructor who teaches a wide array of topics relating to personal, home and family care. The scope of home economics may include specialized areas, such as dietetics, fitness, child development and education. Aspiring home ec teachers need at least a bachelor’s degree; public school teachers also need state licensure and/or certification.

Required Education Bachelor’s degree or alternate certification in a state approved program
Other Requirements State teaching license or certificate
Projected Job Growth (2018-2028) 1% decline for career and technical education teachers*
Median Salary (2018) $56,750 for career and technical education teachers*

Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

Education Requirements

Typically, home ec teachers earn a bachelor’s degree in family and consumer science, home economics or a related subject, in addition to enrolling in a teacher preparation program. Aspiring home ec teachers usually prepare for a secondary education teaching credential, as most elementary schools do not offer home ec classes. Some home ec teachers also take postgraduate classes in specialized areas of home economics or undergo additional training to stay on top of latest trends in personal care, nutrition and finance.

Licensure

Every state in the U.S. and the District of Columbia requires teachers, including home ec teachers, to be licensed or certified to teach in public schools. Licensing usually requires a bachelor’s degree and completion of a teacher education program, including supervised teaching experience. Many states also have alternative licensing procedures for highly qualified or experienced individuals who have a bachelor’s degree or high school diploma but haven’t completed a teacher preparation program.

Additional Certification

The American Association of Family and Consumer Sciences (AAFCS) offers a voluntary certification for home economics teachers, which may enhance a teacher’s job prospects. According to the AAFCS, requirements for this certification include a bachelor’s degree and passing a national exam in one of four areas: Family and Consumer Sciences; Human Development and Family Studies; Hospitality, Nutrition, and Food Science; or Personal and Family Finance Educator.

Job Description

Home ec teachers work in many settings, including middle and high schools, community colleges, vocational schools, occupational programs and area skill centers. They are responsible for developing lesson plans, giving presentations, planning assignments and grading the work of students. Their lesson plans may include having their students plan a family budget, decipher a nutrition label, create and prepare a menu for an event, conduct an early childhood education class under supervision or sew and market clothing.

Career Opportunities

Some home ec teachers advance to supervisory or administrative roles. Some high school home ec teachers may decide to teach classes at postsecondary institutions, such as community colleges or technical schools.

Salary Information

In 2018, the median annual wage of career and technical education teachers in secondary schools was $60,250, reports the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Vocational teaching positions at this level were projected to grow by 2% between 2018 and 2028.

Those aspiring to become home economics teachers will need to complete a minimum of a bachelor’s degree and gain certification in the state they wish to teach. They may also benefit from becoming AAFCS certified by passing a national exam. Job growth in this field is expected to be slower than average from 2018-2028.

How Long Does It Take, What Degree Do You Need, and More

How to be a home economics teacher usa and canada

Postsecondary Home Economics Teachers

teach courses in childcare, family relations, finance, nutrition, and related subjects pertaining to home management. Includes both teachers primarily engaged in teaching and those who do a combination of teaching and research.

Last updated: April 28, 2020

Table of Contents

What degree do you need

One of the most common questions that we always get is what major or degree do I need to become Home Economics Professors or what courses do I need to take.

We also asked Home Economics Professors what did they major in college or university and here are the top 5 most popular majors that came up.

Family and Consumer Sciences or Home Economics Teacher Education
Family and Consumer Sciences or Human Sciences
Business Family and Consumer Sciences or Human Sciences
Foodservice Systems Administration
Human Development and Family Studies

Home Economics Teachers, Postsecondary who work for 4-year colleges and universities are most often required to have a doctoral degree in their field. However, a master’s degree may be enough for some postsecondary teachers at community colleges.

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How hard is it

You will need an extensive amount of skill, knowledge and experience to be a Postsecondary Home Economics Teacher . Many require more than five years of experience. For example, a surgeon must complete four years of college and an additional five to seven years of specialized medical training to be able to do their job.

Careers in this difficulty category may need some on-the-job-training, but most of these careers assume that the person will already have the required skills, knowledge, and work-related experience and training. These careers usually involve coordinating, training, supervising, or managing the activities of others to accomplish goals. Very advanced communication and organizational skills are required. Similar careers include pharmacists, lawyers, astronomers, biologists, neurologists, and veterinarians.

Family and consumer sciences teachers prepare students for life as independent individuals, parents and spouses. Learn more about academic programs and job responsibilities, as well as career outlook and salary potential for this field.

Is Family and Consumer Sciences Education for Me?

Career Overview

Family and consumer sciences teachers, also called career and technical teachers or home economics teachers, provide students with skills they can use in the adult world. You may teach students how to handle relationships, finances, health and time management. You may also instruct them on cooking and sewing. Middle schools, high schools and community colleges may employ family and consumer sciences teachers. You may also teach in non-traditional classrooms, such as the Head, Heart, Hands and Health (4-H) Club, a youth program administered by the National Institute of Food and Agriculture.

Employment Outlook

As of May 2012, about 614,000 people taught middle school, and over 955,000 instructors taught high school, according to U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS, www.bls.gov). Employment was expected to increase by six percent for high school teachers and 12% for middle school teachers between 2012 and 2022. At the postsecondary level, there were 4,700 people who taught home economics, and the BLS projected that postsecondary teaching positions would increase by 19% between 2012 and 2022.

Salary Statistics

The BLS stated that as of May 2013, the median annual salary for high school teachers was $55,360, and middle school teachers made a median wage of $53,940. The median annual salary for postsecondary home economics teachers was $62,740 as of May 2013. Many 4-H positions are volunteer positions, but you can have the opportunity to mentor students towards a productive adult life.

How Can I Work in Family and Consumer Sciences Education?

Educational Requirements

To become a home economics teacher at a middle school or a high school, you must have at least a bachelor’s degree and student teaching experience. You must then pass the licensing exam administered by your state’s board of education. Bachelor’s degree programs are available in family and consumer sciences, sometimes with an education option. Some family and consumer sciences programs might require you to earn a separate teaching certification.

Topics of Study

Through a bachelor’s degree program in family and consumer sciences, you may take a variety of arts courses, including textiles, design and culinary arts. Other family and consumer sciences courses address math and science through studies in human development, familial relationships, cultural studies and personal finance. In your teaching courses, you can study classroom management, educational psychology, curriculum development and lesson planning. You must also complete a student teaching experience. Some family and consumer sciences schools offer specializations in areas like food and nutrition, fashion merchandising and family studies.

Graduate Program Options

You must have at least a master’s degree to teach at the postsecondary level, and most 4-year colleges and universities require that you have a doctorate. Through a master’s degree program, you may explore trends in family and consumer sciences, nutrition, advanced studies in finance, interior design and adult life. Research is another component of the degree program. You may conduct research in a certain area of family and consumer sciences, such as financial management, work and family, childcare or teaching.

Necessary Skills

According to the BLS, teachers should be creative, patient, knowledgeable and dependable. They must be able to gain their students’ trust, inspire their confidence and encourage them to excel. You need to be able to work with students from a variety of cultural and economic backgrounds. Family and consumer sciences teachers need to have skills in a variety of areas, including culinary arts, child development and interior design.

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The increasingly common perception about schooling is that it’s all about getting a job — that if it doesn’t have a vocational purpose, it isn’t relevant. And yet schools, together with family, teach young people about social norms and values and how to live in more thoughtful ways. This includes how to be an intelligent consumer. For decades, home economics has been part of this important element of education, but its place in Canadian schools is under threat.

According to the International Federation for Home Economics, it is an area of study that brings together many different ways to “read” the world through food, health, financial, consumer and environmental literacies. It is a multidisciplinary field that “connects elements such as knowledge, skills, culture, systems, and behaviours to enhance quality of life.”

The first home economics programs were introduced in Ontario in the 1890s, viewed as a way to train young people to cope with the changes that came with industrialization. According to the British Columbia educators Gale Smith and Mary Leah de Zwart, the focus then included health and hygiene, and an emphasis on the importance of education for women.

In today’s home economics classes, young people still sew and prepare food. Students acquire a better understanding of (and hopefully an appreciation for) the art of construction or the making of an item.

But the home economics classroom is about more than making. Young people learn about design, mindfulness, food sustainability and textile production, and the impact of our food, clothing and shelter decisions on the environment. Thus, knowing how to make a particular dish or garment also requires knowing how a food or fabric is produced and the associated supply chain needed to get the items to where we shop. There is an attempt to understand the use of chemicals and particular processes that have a heavy impact on our health, on workers’ health and on the natural environment.

The home economics classroom is about more than making. Young people learn about design, mindfulness, food sustainability and textile production, and the impact of our food, clothing and shelter decisions on the environment.

Knowing what human and environmental resources are used to make something makes for a critical consumer. The consumer in home economics terms is not a person who purchases needlessly. Rather, such a consumer will make a critical judgment about the quality of an item: what it is made from, how it is made, by whom and under what circumstances.

Sometimes being a savvy consumer means not buying what someone else is selling, because you have the skills to know that while it might be sold as cheap, it just isn’t a “good deal.” This element of home economics remains pivotal in the education of young people as they take the lead in making intelligent and sustainable decisions.

Unfortunately, there are few institutions in Canada that prepare home economics teachers or professionals. Undergraduate departments or schools have been closed and their resources sold or given to other disciplines. Academics aligned to home economics have had to reinvent themselves to fit into new structures, or they have simply disappeared. And schools are increasingly finding it difficult to find sufficiently trained home economics teachers in Canada and other Western countries.

While home economics courses continue to be popular among students in certain jurisdictions, in some cases the subject has disappeared as an identifiable course of study. Its content has been fragmented and dispersed into two or more areas. For example, in British Columbia the content is mainly located in the Applied Design, Skills and Technology curriculum, with the nutrition and health education component included in Physical and Health Education. Home economics simply does not fit into curriculum development models that utilize narrowly defined disciplines.

Joyce Slater, of the University of Manitoba, identified a dramatic decline in that province from 2000 to 2010 in the enrolment of students in home economics classes between grades 7 and 12, due to a devaluing of food and nutrition education.

And yet at the same time, individuals and families in society are having a harder time taking care of themselves, partly because of a decline in food handling skills and financial literacy. There is a growing concern around both under- and over-nutrition, the impact of homelessness, especially on young people, and environmental degradation. Governments are increasingly being called on to address these and other concerns linked to everyday life. However, by the time a government agency or community group has to intervene, a person’s problems are often at a chronic or critical stage.

There is a way to build the capacity of individuals and families to care for themselves and others: home economics education. Policy-makers should support curriculums that focus on practical skills and should address the shortage of skilled home economics teachers. These measures would build capacity for individual and community well-being and contribute to the development of future generations of intelligent consumers.

This article is part of the Recalibrating Canada’s Consumer Rights Regime special feature.

Photo: Shutterstock, by REDPIXEL.PL

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Best Family and Consumer Sciences/Home Economics Teacher Education colleges in the U.S. for 2021

CUNY Queens College offers 3 Family and Consumer Sciences/Home Economics Teacher Education degree programs. It’s a large, public, four-year university in a large city. In 2019, 14 Family and Consumer Sciences/Home Economics Teacher Education students graduated with students earning 8 Master’s degrees, 4 Certificates, and 2 Bachelor’s degrees.

Central Washington University offers 3 Family and Consumer Sciences/Home Economics Teacher Education degree programs. It’s a large, public, four-year university in a faraway town. In 2019, 6 Family and Consumer Sciences/Home Economics Teacher Education students graduated with students earning 5 Bachelor’s degrees, and 1 Certificate.

SUNY Oneonta offers 4 Family and Consumer Sciences/Home Economics Teacher Education degree programs. It’s a medium sized, public, four-year university in a remote town. In 2019, 4 Family and Consumer Sciences/Home Economics Teacher Education students graduated with students earning 4 Bachelor’s degrees.

University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point offers 1 Family and Consumer Sciences/Home Economics Teacher Education degree programs. It’s a medium sized, public, four-year university in a faraway town. In 2019, 30 Family and Consumer Sciences/Home Economics Teacher Education students graduated with students earning 30 Bachelor’s degrees.

Western Michigan University offers 2 Family and Consumer Sciences/Home Economics Teacher Education degree programs. It’s a very large, public, four-year university in a small city. In 2019, 28 Family and Consumer Sciences/Home Economics Teacher Education students graduated with students earning 23 Master’s degrees, and 5 Bachelor’s degrees.

Southeast Missouri State University offers 2 Family and Consumer Sciences/Home Economics Teacher Education degree programs. It’s a large, public, four-year university in a small city. In 2019, 15 Family and Consumer Sciences/Home Economics Teacher Education students graduated with students earning 8 Bachelor’s degrees, and 7 Master’s degrees.

South Dakota State University offers 3 Family and Consumer Sciences/Home Economics Teacher Education degree programs. It’s a large, public, four-year university in a remote town. In 2019, 13 Family and Consumer Sciences/Home Economics Teacher Education students graduated with students earning 12 Bachelor’s degrees, and 1 Master’s degree.

Texas Tech University offers 3 Family and Consumer Sciences/Home Economics Teacher Education degree programs. It’s a very large, public, four-year university in a large city. In 2019, 9 Family and Consumer Sciences/Home Economics Teacher Education students graduated with students earning 5 Doctoral degrees, and 4 Master’s degrees.

North Dakota State University-Main Campus offers 3 Family and Consumer Sciences/Home Economics Teacher Education degree programs. It’s a large, public, four-year university in a midsize city. In 2019, 11 Family and Consumer Sciences/Home Economics Teacher Education students graduated with students earning 10 Bachelor’s degrees, and 1 Master’s degree.

Messiah University offers 2 Family and Consumer Sciences/Home Economics Teacher Education degree programs. It’s a small, private not-for-profit, four-year university in a large suburb. In 2019, 1 Family and Consumer Sciences/Home Economics Teacher Education students graduated with students earning 1 Bachelor’s degree.

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Foreign teachers have the opportunity to teach in accredited primary and secondary schools in the United States.

Participants

Teachers must:

  • Meet the qualifications for teaching in primary or secondary schools in their country of nationality or last legal residence;
  • Be working as a teacher in the home country or country of legal residence at the time of application, or, if not working as a teacher, otherwise meet the eligibility qualifications and (a) have recently (within 12 months of application) completed an advanced degree and (b) have two years of full-time teaching experience within the past eight years;
  • Have a degree-equivalent to a U.S. bachelor’s degree in either education or the academic subject field in which they intend to teach;
  • Have a minimum of two years (24 months) of teaching or related professional experience;
  • Satisfy the standards of the U.S. state in which they will teach;
  • Be of good reputation and character;
  • Be seeking to enter the United States for the purpose of full-time teaching as a teacher of record at a primary (including pre-kindergarten) or secondary accredited educational institution in the United States (pre-kindergarten teachers must teach full-time, and at the pre-kindergarten level, may teach only language immersion at an accredited host school);
  • Possess sufficient proficiency in the English language.

Benefits

Educational and cultural enrichment: Exchange teachers sharpen their professional skills and participate in cross-cultural activities in schools and communities, and they return to their home school after the exchange to share their experiences and increased knowledge of the United States and the U.S. educational system.

Repeat participation

  • Teachers are eligible to repeat the program provided that they have resided outside the United States for two years and continue to meet the eligibility requirements.

“This program gave me the opportunity to learn about another country’s education and learning system.”