Be a Consumer Science Teacher: Education and Career Roadmap

In this lesson, you'll learn how to become a consumer science teacher. You'll discover the job description, the education and the licensing requirements, and find out how to start a career teaching consumer science courses. View article »

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  • 0:03 Consumer Science Teachers
  • 1:10 Earn a Degree
  • 1:55 Get a Teaching Certificate
  • 2:40 Consider Earning a…

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Video Transcript

Consumer Science Teacher

Consumer science classes typically supply instruction in cooking, child development, nutrition, family economics and textiles. Teachers in this field work with middle and secondary school students, as well as adults and special needs students. In order to become a licensed public school teacher in this field, individuals must earn a bachelor's degree and complete a teacher education program in family and consumer science, along with a student teaching experience and any required state licensure exams.

These professionals typically maintain consistent schedules during regular work hours; however, some adult classes may take place on weekends or evenings. In addition, many teachers have a two-month summer break from classes.

Degree Level Bachelor's degree
Degree Field Family and consumer sciences education
Licensure/Certification Teacher certification required
Experience Student teaching internship required
Key Skills Patience, instructional skills, communication skills
Median Salary (2015) $57,200 for secondary career/technical education teachers, while postsecondary home economic teachers earn $64,950

Sources: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, North Dakota State University

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, high school teachers earn a median annual salary of $57,200, while postsecondary home economic teachers, which are very similar to consumer science teachers, earn a median annual salary of $64,950, as of May 2015.

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Step 1: Earn a Degree

Many colleges and universities offer teacher education bachelor's degree programs in consumer science education. These degree programs combine the study of educational theory and practice with topics in consumer laws, consumer science, finance, public policies and resource management.

Student teaching is a certification requirement for teachers in most states and is a component of most teacher education programs. One will usually be assigned to a local school to satisfy the student teaching internship requirement.

For students who already have a bachelor's degree but are not certified to teach, a Master of Arts in Teaching (MAT) program in family and consumer science will include the necessary education, coursework and student teaching internship for certification.

Step 2: Get a Teaching Certificate

All states require the licensing of public school teachers. Specific requirements can be found through each state's board of education but generally involve completion of a teaching degree program along with a major subject area, followed by an examination. Most states require teachers to take continuing education courses in order to maintain an active license.

Success Tip:

  • Pursue certification from the American Association of Family & Consumer Sciences (AAFCS). Certification is open to bachelor's degree holders and attests to a certain level of knowledge and awareness of family and consumer sciences. A candidate must pass one of three available examinations to become certified.

Step 3: Consider Earning a Master's Degree

A Master of Science in Family and Consumer Sciences can be helpful for individuals interested in becoming curriculum specialists or instructional coordinators in a school district. A master's degree can also translate to a higher salary in one's current teaching job.

Master's degree programs require approximately two years to complete and cover areas like adolescent learning, instructional methods, philosophy of vocational education and curriculum development. A practicum and/or research project may be required as well.

In summary, becoming a consumer science teacher consists of earning the necessary education, including participating in teaching internships, and required certification, which is state specific, though the American Association of Family and Consumer Sciences offers a generalized certificate.

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