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Home Economics Teacher Career Info and Education Requirements

Home economics teachers, also known as family and consumer science teachers, help students build life skills in areas such as home management, culinary arts and child development. By completing a bachelor's degree program and obtaining any necessary licensure, home economics teachers can seek entry-level positions with public schools and community outreach programs. Read on for career information and education requirements for becoming a home economics teacher.

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Home Economics Teacher Career Info

Job Duties

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), home economics teachers are often listed under the category of vocational teachers since they provide students with lessons about life and career skills ( Most home economic teachers work with students in grades 6-12; however, some teachers may work with adults in community learning programs.

In a classroom setting, home economics teachers prepare lesson plans covering topics such as balancing work and family time, managing home finances, interpersonal family communication and consumer sciences. Although home economics teachers use traditional lecturing techniques, many also incorporate hands-on learning activities. For example, teachers may assign students fictitious budgets that students must allocate to cover the hypothetical costs of food, rent and other bills over the course of a month.

Besides teaching students about family and consumer science topics, home economics teachers also notate student progress in the classroom. Some teachers also provide students with one-on-one counseling concerning life and career choices. Home economics teachers usually report to administrative staff members to discuss topics such as student test scores, student club activities and other teacher committee projects.

Employment Outlook

From 2010-2020, the BLS predicted that career and technical education teachers, also know as vocational teachers, in general would experience a job growth rate of two percent; however, the growth rate can vary depending on the grade level taught. Open positions for career and technical education teachers at middle schools are expected to grow by nine percent, while positions for teachers at secondary schools are expected to grow by only one percent over the 2010-2020 decade, according to the BLS.

In May 2012, the BLS salary statistics reported that career and technical education teachers working at middle schools earned an annual median salary of $54,220. In comparison, the BLS reported career and technical education teachers employed by secondary schools earned an annual median salary of $55,160 during that same year.

Home Economics Teacher Education Requirements

Degree Programs

Although teaching requirements differ between states, applicants often need to hold a bachelor's degree related to family and consumer science. Family and consumer science degree programs include coursework in family finances, consumer life skills, lifespan development, apparel production, food preparation and nutrition. Many degree programs allow students to choose concentration areas, including child development, teaching, consumer science and fashion merchandising.

Additional Training and Licensing

Before becoming a licensed home economics teacher at a public school, most states require applicants to participate in additional teacher training coursework, sometimes known as a credential program. Teacher training programs usually consist of classroom lectures covering topics in teaching methodologies and state standards. Most programs also require applicants to participate in supervised student-teaching programs where applicants create actual lesson plans and teach children in participating schools.

After completing teacher training programs, workers can usually apply for state licensing. Since home economics teachers are viewed as vocational teachers, some states may not require workers to complete teacher training programs if applicants have applicable work experience in their field, according to the BLS.

Licensing protocols vary by state, but usually include meeting all eligibility requirements and passing state licensing exams. Many states require teachers to renew their licenses and credentials by participating in continuing education programs periodically.

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Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics