A home economist makes the lives of families and the communities better in the areas of homemaking, food and nutrition, family relationships and even on the purchases they make. This role will allow you to work with homemakers individually, with an entire community, with students or even reach a wider audience through radio and television shows. You could also work in the capacity of a consumer educator with companies operating in the utility, textile and food industries, among others.
As a home economist, you will play a very important role in helping the public understand concepts like budgeting, meal planning and energy conservation so they can apply these in their own families. By conducting home visits, educational programs and public demonstrations, you are able to concretize these concepts with your audience. If you are working for a company, you will find yourself doing a variety of tasks ranging from testing new equipment or household products to developing new recipes to writing promotional materials to conducting public relations work.
Research is also another area that you could find yourself doing as a home economist. If you work as a postsecondary home economics teacher, for example, you might be interested in doing research on topics about child development or family dynamics. For home economists working for firms that specialize in making household products, you could be doing research on how to make existing home products better or even develop new ones.
To succeed in this profession, you mustn’t only have thorough knowledge of your subject matter but know how to interact with other individuals of different ages very well. Having excellent communication skills is also going to be crucial. Moreover, you should possess a genuine interest in helping the public make wiser decisions when it comes to matters involving their homes and families.
Why Become A Home Economist
A career as a home economist is quite fulfilling for those who are fascinated with the field of consumer education and advocacy. Thus, this is the profession for those who really want to make others lead better lives. This is also the profession for those who love to teach and interact regularly with others. Another reason to become a home economist is the fact that it provides many different career opportunities in various industries. One can work as a home economics teacher, a consumer adviser for home appliances companies or as a consultant for food or textile companies, just to name a few.
Home Economist Work Environment
Home economists can be found in different industries. They can work for government agencies, utility firms, private companies operating in the food, clothing and fashion industries as well as educational institutions and nonprofit organizations. The work is often fulltime although there are those who work part-time. Travel is required for those who need to visit homes or communities to educate the public.
Home Economist Salary
The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics does not gather salary data specifically for home economists. However, it does have information specifically for postsecondary home economics teachers, one of the fields of home economics professionals. Their mean annual wage is $67,110. All other community and social service specialists, which is another occupational category that home economists can also do work in, receive a mean annual wage of $42,690.
Home Economist Career Outlook
The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics does not have the job outlook specifically for home economists. However, it does have the outlook for postsecondary home economics teachers. For this occupation, the projected employment increase for the decade covering 2012 to 2022 ranges from 8 percent to 14 percent, an average job growth. For community and social service specialists, the projected job outlook for the same time period is faster than the average for all job types which ranges from 15 percent to 21 percent.
Home Economist Degree
The educational entry point for this career is a bachelor’s degree in home economics, human services or related fields. For those who wish to become postsecondary teachers, postgraduate studies in the masteral and doctoral levels are necessary. High school home economics teachers, meanwhile, need a bachelor’s degree. They must also be enrolled in a teacher’s education program and have student teaching experience. Finally, they must have a license before they can teach the subject.