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Family & Consumer Economics Major

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Family & Consumer Economics

1,301 Bachelor's Degrees Annually
243 Master's Degrees Annually
#153 in Popularity
$52,700 Median Salary

Types of Degrees Family & Consumer Economics Majors Are Getting

The following table lists how many family and consumer economics graduations there were in 2018-2019 for each degree level.

Education Level Number of Grads
Bachelor’s Degree 1,301
Master’s Degree 243
Graduate Certificate 30
Associate’s Degree 10
Doctor’s Degree 9

What Family & Consumer Economics Majors Need to Know

People with careers related to consumer economics were asked what knowledge areas, skills, and abilities were important for their jobs. They weighted these areas on a scale of 1 to 5 with 5 being the highest.

Knowledge Areas for Consumer Economics Majors

According to O*NET survey takers, a major in consumer economics should prepare you for careers in which you will need to be knowledgeable in the following areas:

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  • Education and Training - Knowledge of principles and methods for curriculum and training design, teaching and instruction for individuals and groups, and the measurement of training effects.
  • English Language - Knowledge of the structure and content of the English language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition, and grammar.
  • Customer and Personal Service - Knowledge of principles and processes for providing customer and personal services. This includes customer needs assessment, meeting quality standards for services, and evaluation of customer satisfaction.
  • Food Production - Knowledge of techniques and equipment for planting, growing, and harvesting food products (both plant and animal) for consumption, including storage/handling techniques.
  • Biology - Knowledge of plant and animal organisms, their tissues, cells, functions, interdependencies, and interactions with each other and the environment.

Skills for Consumer Economics Majors

When studying consumer economics, you’ll learn many skills that will help you be successful in a wide range of jobs - even those that do not require a degree in the field. The following is a list of some of the most common skills needed for careers associated with this major:

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  • Active Listening - Giving full attention to what other people are saying, taking time to understand the points being made, asking questions as appropriate, and not interrupting at inappropriate times.
  • Speaking - Talking to others to convey information effectively.
  • Reading Comprehension - Understanding written sentences and paragraphs in work related documents.
  • Complex Problem Solving - Identifying complex problems and reviewing related information to develop and evaluate options and implement solutions.
  • Service Orientation - Actively looking for ways to help people.

Abilities for Consumer Economics Majors

A major in consumer economics will prepare for your careers in which the following abilities are important:

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  • Oral Expression - The ability to communicate information and ideas in speaking so others will understand.
  • Oral Comprehension - The ability to listen to and understand information and ideas presented through spoken words and sentences.
  • Speech Clarity - The ability to speak clearly so others can understand you.
  • Written Comprehension - The ability to read and understand information and ideas presented in writing.
  • Written Expression - The ability to communicate information and ideas in writing so others will understand.

What Can You Do With a Family & Consumer Economics Major?

Below is a list of occupations associated with consumer economics:

Job Title Job Growth Rate Median Salary
Farm and Home Management Advisors 7.7% $49,840

Who Is Getting a Bachelor’s Degree in Family & Consumer Economics?

1,301 Bachelor's Degrees Annually
72% Percent Women
34% Percent Racial-Ethnic Minorities*
This is a less frequently chosen undergraduate major. Only 1,301 students graduated with a bachelor’s degree in family and consumer economics in 2019, making it rank #153 in popularity. This major is dominated by women with about 72% of recent graduates being female.

Racial-Ethnic Diversity

At the countrywide level, the racial-ethnic distribution of consumer economics majors is as follows:

Racial-Ethnic Diversity of Consumer Economics Students with Bachelor's Degrees
Race/Ethnicity Number of Grads
Asian 42
Black or African American 196
Hispanic or Latino 157
White 812
International Students 29
Other Races/Ethnicities 65

Geographic Diversity

Students from other countries are interested in Consumer Economics, too. About 2.2% of those with this major are international students. The most popular countries for students from outside the country are:

  • China
  • South Korea
  • Vietnam
  • Japan
  • Canada

How Much Do Family & Consumer Economics Majors Make?

Bachelor’s Degree Starting Salary

Data from the U.S. Department of Education shows that family and consumer economics students who graduated in 2015-2017 with a bachelor’s degree made a median starting salary of $33,400 per year. During this timeframe, most salaries fell between $30,000 (25th percentile) and $38,300 (75th percentile).

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It’s important to note that just because the people reporting these salaries have a degree in consumer economics, it does not mean that they are working in a job related to their degree.

Salaries According to BLS

Consumer Economics majors often go into careers with median salaries of $52,700. This median refers to all degree levels, so the salary for a person with just a bachelor’s degree may be a little less and the one for a person with an advanced degree may be a little more.

To put that into context, according to BLS data from the first quarter of 2020, the typical high school graduate makes between $30,000 and $57,900 a year (25th through 75th percentile). The average person with a bachelor’s degree (any field) makes between $45,600 and $99,000. Advanced degree holders make the most with salaries between $55,600 and $125,400.

Median Salary for a Family & Consumer Economics Major  52,700
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250K
Median Salary for a High School Graduate  ( 30000 to 57900 )
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250K
Median Salary for a Bachelor's Degree Holder  ( 45600 to 99000 )
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250K
Median Salary for an Advanced Degree Holder  ( 55600 to 125400 )
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250K

Some careers associated with consumer economics require an advanced degree while some may not even require a bachelor’s. Whatever the case may be, pursuing more education usually means that more career options will be available to you.

Find out what the typical degree level is for consumer economics careers below.

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Education Level Percentage of Workers
Bachelor’s Degree 24.1%
Post-Baccalaureate Certificate - awarded for completion of an organized program of study; designed for people who have completed a Baccalaureate degree but do not meet the requirements of academic degrees carrying the title of Master. 3.5%
Master’s Degree 58.6%
Post-Master’s Certificate - awarded for completion of an organized program of study; designed for people who have completed a Master’s degree but do not meet the requirements of academic degrees at the doctoral level. 6.9%
Doctoral Degree 6.9%

Online Family & Consumer Economics Programs

In the 2018-2019 academic year, 43 schools offered some type of family and consumer economics program. The following table lists the number of programs by degree level, along with how many schools offered online courses in the field.

Degree Level Colleges Offering Programs Colleges Offering Online Classes
Certificate (Less Than 1 Year) 2 0
Certificate (1-2 years) 1 0
Certificate (2-4 Years) 0 0
Associate’s Degree 3 0
Bachelor’s Degree 5 4
Post-Baccalaureate 2 0
Master’s Degree 13 4
Post-Master’s 0 0
Doctor’s Degree (Research) 3 0
Doctor’s Degree (Professional Practice) 0 0
Doctor’s Degree (Other) 0 0

Is a Degree in Family & Consumer Economics Worth It?

The median salary for a consumer economics grad is $52,700 per year. This is based on the weighted average of the most common careers associated with the major.

This is 32% more than the average salary for an individual holding a high school degree. This adds up to a gain of about $256,000 after 20 years!

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You may also be interested in one of the following majors related to consumer economics.

Major Number of Grads
Human Development & Family Studies 43,687
Food, Nutrition & Related Services 5,318
General Family & Consumer Sciences 3,753
Textile & Apparel Studies 3,476
Housing 785
Human Sciences Business Services 477
Family, Consumer & Human Sciences (Other) 192
Work & Family Studies 0

References

*The racial-ethnic minorities count is calculated by taking the total number of students and subtracting white students, international students, and students whose race/ethnicity was unknown. This number is then divided by the total number of students at the school to obtain the racial-ethnic minorities percentage.

More about our data sources and methodologies.

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