How to Become a Home Economics Teacher in 5 Steps

Explore the career requirements for home economics teachers. Get the facts about education requirements, job duties, job outlook and salary to determine if this is the right career for you. Schools offering Teaching & Learning degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

What Does a Home Economics Teacher Do?

A home economics teacher trains students on various aspects of home management, including sewing, cooking, and consumer sciences. Like all other teachers they have to create lesson plans that teach students approved curriculum. They also use assessments to monitor and measure students progress. Sometimes they may need to adapt lessons plans to meet the needs of the students. Unique to the subject matter is the need to teach and follow safety protocols when students are working with stoves, sewing machines and other household equipment. Find out about education programs for this profession, along with licensure and certification requirements.

Degree Required Bachelor's
Field of Study Education
Family and consumer science
Key Responsibilities Plan and implement lessons
Home management instruction
Teach lessons on sewing, cooking, nutrition and wellness
Assess and track student progress
Certification State certification required
Job Growth (2014-2024) 6% (for all middle school teachers)*
6% (for all high school teachers)*
13% (for all postsecondary teachers)*
Median Salary (2015) $55,860 (for all middle school teachers)*
$57,200 (for all high school teachers)*
$64,950 (post secondary home economics teachers)*

Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

What Is a Home Economics Teacher?

A home economics teacher is a trained professional who provides instruction on family and consumer sciences as it pertains to homemaking. As a home economics teacher, you would train students on home management disciplines, such as nutrition, family relations, sewing, consumer education, cooking, parental education, housecleaning and finance.

Step One: Get Trained

You must first complete a baccalaureate teaching program. Depending on the school, 4-year bachelor's degree programs that are geared toward home economics may be categorized under human services or family and consumer sciences. In addition to general liberal arts classes, such as English and history, you'll have targeted coursework in studies such as family issues, textiles, health and wellness, resource management and nutrition. Your curriculum will consist of classroom instruction and hands-on experience through student teaching/internship programs. Baccalaureate student teaching programs consist of supervised fieldwork in schools and other related community outlets.

A bachelor's degree is sufficient for many elementary, middle and secondary school jobs within public and private institutions. However, postsecondary teaching jobs, such as those at colleges, universities and vocational schools, may require graduate degrees. Your coursework in graduate studies includes advanced training in dietetics, child sociology, human growth and development and interior furnishings.

Step Two: Obtain a License

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reports that every state and the District of Columbia require licensure for public school teachers (www.bls.gov). Licensing is provided at the state level, with varied requirements. Most private schools don't require licensure. Contact your state board for specific information on licensing.

Step Three: Consider Certification

While certification isn't required, it is recommended. The BLS reports that some states and institutions offer special benefits for certified teachers. Certification may be obtained through various organizations, including the American Association of Family and Consumer Sciences and the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards (NBPTS).

Step Four: Acquire Work Experience

As a home economics teacher, you could work in various environments, such as in public and private schools, community service agencies and in a corporate setting as a business consultant. BLS reports that between 2014 and 2024, the job growth rate is projected to increase by 6% for middle school teachers, and 6% for high school teachers (www.bls.gov). As of 2015, the median annual salary for secondary school teachers was $57,200, while the corresponding figure for middle school teachers was $55,860. The job growth rate for all postsecondary teachers between 2014 and 2024 is expected to increase by 13%. The median annual salary for a post secondary home economics teacher in 2015 was $64,950. Your specific salary will be determined by factors, such as your experience, your geographic location and your employer.

Step Five: Join a Trade Organization

Professional trade associations generally offer members numerous benefits, including professional networking opportunities, industry updates and educational outlets. The American Association of Family and Consumer Sciences is an example of a trade organization within your profession.

What Are Some Related Alternative Careers?

Related to home economics teachers are vocational teachers. Found at the secondary and post-secondary level these instructors teach skills related to a particular career, usually a hands on one. When it comes to planning careers, a primary function of school counselors is to help students lay out career plans. If you like working with students with special needs you may also want to consider working in special education. Special education teachers specialize in giving students with disabilities the extra assistance they need to succeed.

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