Home Economics Teacher: Career and Salary Facts

Explore the career requirements for home economics teachers. Get the facts about education and licensure requirements, training 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 Is a Home Economics Teacher?

Home economics teachers provide instruction in areas of home management like finance, nutrition, sewing and childcare. Home ec instructors prepare lesson plans, present lessons and impart knowledge in an engaging manner and can teach at the middle school, high school and postsecondary levels. Classrooms are typically very hands-on environments. The table below outlines the general requirements for a career as a home economics teacher.

Degree Required Bachelor's degree
Education Field of Study Family and consumer sciences, home economics, teacher education
Training Required Approved teacher training program
Licensure State licensure required at public schools, certification is voluntary
Job Growth (2014-2024) 4% (career and technical education teachers middle school, high school and postsecondary)*, -12% (postsecondary home economics teachers)*
Median Salary (2015) $56,130 (high school career and technical education teachers) *
$64,950 (postsecondary home economics teachers)*

Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

What Type of Degree Do I Need to Become a Home Economics Teacher?

A bachelor's degree is the minimum educational requirement to become a home economics teacher. A bachelor's degree meets the eligibility requirements for teaching at public and private high schools, and it may also be sufficient for teaching positions within vocational programs and community colleges. Relevant bachelor's degree programs are available in family and consumer sciences, home economics and teacher education. Some employers accept candidates who've earned degrees in other majors, given that you can demonstrate knowledge in home economics subjects and have met licensing requirements. To become a home economics teacher at a college or university, you typically need at least a master's degree.

Do I Need a License?

To work as a home economics teacher at a public high school in the U.S., you'll need to obtain a license. Licensing for secondary teachers is generally subject-specific. All states require you to earn a bachelor's degree and complete an approved teacher-training program in order to be eligible for licensing; however, as of December 2011, a number of alternative licensing options were available due to a shortage of qualified teachers. To learn more about alternative licensing options and state-specific licensure requirements, check with your state education board or licensure advisory committee.

You often don't need a license to teach at a private high school, but you may still need a bachelor's degree. Licensure generally isn't required for postsecondary home economics teachers either.

Although not required, voluntary professional certification is also an option for K-12 teachers. This certification is offered through the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards and may allow you to transfer your teaching license from state to state.

What Topics Might I Teach?

As a home economics teacher, you would educate students about a variety of subjects related to home management. For example, you might teach courses in nutrition, cooking, childcare, sewing and textiles, finance and family relations. Specific job duties of any teacher include moderating classroom discussions, planning curricula, preparing course materials, delivering lectures, assigning homework and grading student work. As a postsecondary teacher, you also might conduct research, keep office hours and provide student advisement services.

How Much Could I Earn?

As a high school home economics teacher, you could expect to earn about $56,130. This was the median annual wage reported by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) for secondary school teachers who taught career, technical and vocational subjects as of May 2015 (www.bls.gov). Based on national estimates, you can expect to earn a higher wage teaching home economics at a college or university, a position that could involve performing a combination of research and teaching. The BLS-reported median salary for postsecondary home economics teachers was $64,950 as of May 2015.

What Are Some Related Alternative Careers?

Elementary, middle and high school teaching is a professional alternative to teaching home economics, a vocational program. These positions require a bachelor's in education degree at least with a specialty area and licensure. Counseling or instructional coordination could also be alternative positions. Both positions require a master's degree but also work with students and teachers to prepare students for future careers.

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