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.
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.