How to Become a Home Economist

Career Path Guide

If you want to become a home economist, you first need to determine if this career path is a good fit for your skills, interests and personality traits. If the following description sounds like you, then you’re probably well suited for this line of work:

 

• You have a keen interest in helping people improve their daily lives

• You enjoy teaching and advising others

• You have excellent listening skills and are able to determine the needs of others

• You have initiative

• You enjoy work that involves creativity

 

Below we've outlined what you'll need to begin a career as a home economist. We've also included helpful information for this career, such as job description, job duties, salary expectations, a list of possible employers and much more!

 

 

Education Needed to Become a Home Economist

To qualify for work in this field, you'll likely need to have completed a four year Bachelor of Science (B.Sc.) degree in an area such as home economics, human ecology, family and consumer sciences, or nutrition and food sciences (although this isn't always the case).

 

 

 

 

General Job Description

Home economists are responsible for helping to improve the well being of individuals, families and the community, in areas such as nutrition, interior design and house cleanliness, resource management, family interaction and consumer behaviour.

 

To do so, they develop and deliver programs on topics such as human relationships and human development, financial management, business development and marketing, food, nutrition, clothing, textiles and housing.

 

 

Areas of Specialty Within This Field

Home economists can be generalists, or they can specialize in a particular subject area. For example, home economists might:

 

• Teach adults and children in areas such as food preparation, daily nutrition, clothing, financial management, time management, family relationships or life skills

• Assist in developing new food products

• Work as specialists or consultants in nutrition and food processing or food storage, preparation and safety

• Work as specialists in textile and apparel product development (in areas such as fashion and costume design, and protective clothing for industry)

• Work as specialists in interior decorating, museum conservation or retail management

• Educate and advise consumers about housing-related issues such as home appliances, home energy or home design and construction

• Provide guidance to start-up entrepreneurs who are developing small to medium-sized businesses

• Work as retail buyers, or marketing or merchandising specialists

• Introduce individuals and families to community resources relevant to their needs

 

 

Typical Job Duties

• Plan and execute projects related to interior design, kitchen planning, catering, personal organization, financial management and stress reduction 

• Prepare invoices and collect payment from clients

• Demonstrate cooking techniques and interesting ideas in entertaining

• May write for newspapers or magazines on a freelance or permanent basis

• May be involved in promoting products

• May teach courses in adult education classes

• Expand client base by speaking at seminars, attending trade shows, distributing promotional items and using other methods

 

 

Skills Needed to Become a Home Economist

To be effective in a career as a home economist, and perform your job duties with competence, you need to posses a certain set of skills, including:

 

• Able to determine the needs of clients by listening

• Able to apply specialized knowledge to help clients meet their needs

• Knowledge of the relationship between nutrition and overall well-being

• Knowledge of the relationship between clothing and design and well-being

• Excellent communication and presentation skills

• Excellent organizational skills

 

 

 

 

Characteristics Needed to Become a Home Economist

To enjoy performing the duties of a home economist, you need to have certain personality traits. Taking enjoyment from your duties as a home economist is important, as it helps you maintain a positive attitude towards your work, which usually leads to having a long and successful career.

 

• A deep interest in helping others

• Enjoy consulting with and advising consumers

• Willing to take initiative

• Accountable and responsible

• Willing to work irregular hours

• An interest in work that involves creativity and working with food products, textiles or other consumer goods 

 

 

Typical Salary Level

The salary level of "home economists" can vary depending on a multitude of factors, such as:

 

• Their level of education

• Their level of experience and aptitude

• Their area of specialty

• Whether or not they are self-employed

• The region in which they work

 

There is no salary information available from reliable sources specifically for this profession. We can however, get a good idea of what they earn by looking at the salary level of workers in closely related professions.

 

Home Economist Salary Canada: According to the 2011 Alberta Wage and Salary Survey, Albertans working in the Interior Designers occupational group earn a mean salary of $60,599 per year, and those working in the Marriage and Family Counsellors occupational group earn a mean salary of $60,658 per year. According to WorkBC (Province of British Columbia), those working the same occupational groups earn an annual provincial median salary of $45,760 and $52,000 respectively.

 

Salary - United States: According to the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median salary level of American workers in the Interior Designers occupational is $53,370 per year, and American workers in the Mental Health Counselors and Marriage and Family Therapists occupational group earn a median salary of $50,090 per year.

 

 

Who Employs Home Economists?

The following types of employers typically employ home economists on a part-time, full-time, or contractual basis:

 

• Consulting firms

• Community, government or non-governmental agencies

• Utility companies

• Retail stores

• Food manufacturers, distributors, retailers or marketers

• Home design or decorating firms

• Fashion manufacturers or retailers

• Not-for-profit and non-profit organizations

• International aid and development agencies

• Marketing and communications firms

 

 

Current Job Postings

Our job board below has "home economist" postings in Canada, the United States, the United Kingdom and Australia.

 

 

 

Satisfying and Demanding Aspects of This Profession

Satisfying aspects of working as a Home Economist

 

• Having a chance to help others

• Teaching skills to others that can be used in everyday living

• Work offers variety

• Working without close supervision

 

Some demanding aspects of working as a home economist

 

• Might have to work irregular hours

• Might have to travel long distances

• May have to work in rural areas

• May have to endure periods of little or no income, if self-employed

 

 

Similar Careers in Our Database

Listed below are careers in our database that are similar in nature to "home economist", as they may involve many of the same skills, competencies and responsibilities.

 

Career Counselor

Credit Counselor

Family Counselor

Interior Designer

Nutritionist

 

 

References

Please consult the references below to find more information on the various aspects of a career as a home economist.

 

Alberta Learning Information Service website: alis.alberta.ca

Ontario Home Economists Association website: www.ohea.on.ca

United States Bureau of Labor Statistics website: www.bls.gov

WorkBC website: www.workbc.ca

 

 

Scholarships for Becoming a Home Economist

Scholarships in our database that are relevant for becoming a home economist are all of those that can be found on the following pages:

 

Human Ecology Scholarships

Interior Design Scholarships

Nutrition Scholarships

 

Success Tip: Be sure to apply for any scholarships that you even barely qualify for, as there are millions of dollars of scholarships that go unused every year due to a lack of applicants!

 

 

Relevant Fields of Study

Studying one of the university majors listed below is an excellent starting point for working in this field. Click on the links to find out what else you can do with these majors!

 

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Home Economist