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General Family & Consumer Sciences Major

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General Family & Consumer Sciences

3,572 Bachelor's Degrees Annually
543 Master's Degrees Annually
#95 in Popularity
$64,340 Median Salary

Types of Degrees General Family & Consumer Sciences Majors Are Getting

The following table lists how many general family and consumer sciences graduations there were in 2017-2018 for each degree level.

Education Level Number of Grads
Bachelor’s Degree 3,572
Master’s Degree 543
Associate’s Degree 61
Doctor’s Degree 50
Basic Certificate 3
Undergraduate Certificate 1

What General Family & Consumer Sciences Majors Need to Know

In an O*NET survey, consumer science majors were asked to rate what knowledge areas, skills, and abilities were important in their occupations. These answers were weighted on a scale of 1 to 5 with 5 being the most important.

Knowledge Areas for Consumer Science Majors

Consumer Science majors often go into careers in which the following knowledge areas are important:

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  • English Language - Knowledge of the structure and content of the English language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition, and grammar.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Psychology - Knowledge of human behavior and performance; individual differences in ability, personality, and interests; learning and motivation; psychological research methods; and the assessment and treatment of behavioral and affective disorders.
  • Computers and Electronics - Knowledge of circuit boards, processors, chips, electronic equipment, and computer hardware and software, including applications and programming.

Skills for Consumer Science Majors

consumer science majors are found most commonly in careers in which the following skills are important:

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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.
  • Instructing - Teaching others how to do something.
  • Learning Strategies - Selecting and using training/instructional methods and procedures appropriate for the situation when learning or teaching new things.

Abilities for Consumer Science Majors

Consumer Science majors often go into careers where the following abilities are vital:

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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 General Family & Consumer Sciences Major?

People with a consumer science degree often go into the following careers:

Job Title Job Growth Rate Median Salary
Farm and Home Management Advisors 7.7% $49,840
Home Economics Professors 8.6% $71,380
Secondary School Teachers, Except Special and Career/Technical Education 7.5% $60,320

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

3,572 Bachelor's Degrees Annually
88% Percent Women
49% Percent Racial-Ethnic Minorities
This is a less frequently chosen undergraduate major. Only 3,572 students graduated with a bachelor’s degree in general family and consumer sciences in 2018, making it rank #95 in popularity. This major is dominated by women with about 88% of recent graduates being female.

Racial-Ethnic Diversity

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

Racial-Ethnic Diversity of Consumer Science Students with Bachelor's Degrees
Race/Ethnicity Number of Grads
Asian 270
Black or African American 694
Hispanic or Latino 662
White 1,645
International Students 88
Other Races/Ethnicities 213

Geographic Diversity

Students from other countries are interested in Consumer Science, too. About 2.5% of those with this major are international students. The most popular countries for students from outside the country are:

  • China
  • South Korea
  • Saudi Arabia
  • Japan
  • Iran

How Much Do General Family & Consumer Sciences Majors Make?

Bachelor’s Degree Starting Salary

Data from the U.S. Department of Education shows that general family and consumer sciences students who graduated in 2015-2017 with a bachelor’s degree made a median starting salary of $27,300 per year. During this timeframe, most salaries fell between $24,900 (25th percentile) and $29,300 (75th percentile).

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We don’t know for sure if all of these people took jobs related to consumer science so take that into consideration.

Salaries According to BLS

Average salaries range from $52,700 to $77,170 (25th to 75th percentile) for careers related to consumer science. This range includes 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 General Family & Consumer Sciences Major  ( 52700 to 77170 )
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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 science require an advanced degree while some may not even require a bachelor’s. In general, the more advanced your degree the more career options will open up to you. However, there is significant time and money that needs to be invested into your education so weigh the pros and cons.

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

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Education Level Percentage of Workers
Post-Secondary Certificate - awarded for training completed after high school (for example, in agriculture or natural resources, computer services, personal or culinary services, engineering technologies, healthcare, construction trades, mechanic and repair technologies, or precision production) 0.7%
Some College Courses 0.4%
Bachelor’s Degree 27.1%
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. 9.2%
Master’s Degree 38.1%
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. 3.4%
First Professional Degree - awarded for completion of a program that: requires at least 2 years of college work before entrance into the program, includes a total of at least 6 academic years of work to complete, and provides all remaining academic requirements to begin practice in a profession. 0.1%
Doctoral Degree 21.0%
Post-Doctoral Training 0.3%

Online General Family & Consumer Sciences Programs

In 2017-2018, 124 schools offered a consumer science program of some type. 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) 4 0
Certificate (1-2 years) 1 0
Certificate (2-4 Years) 0 0
Associate’s Degree 18 4
Bachelor’s Degree 3 2
Post-Baccalaureate 4 0
Master’s Degree 40 9
Post-Master’s 1 0
Doctor’s Degree (Research) 8 0
Doctor’s Degree (Professional Practice) 0 0
Doctor’s Degree (Other) 0 0

Is a Degree in General Family & Consumer Sciences Worth It?

The median salary for a consumer science grad is $64,340 per year. This is based on the weighted average of the most common careers associated with the major.

This is 61% more than the average salary for an individual holding a high school degree. This adds up to a gain of about $488,800 after 20 years!

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

Major Number of Grads
Human Development & Family Studies 44,209
Food, Nutrition & Related Services 5,451
Textile & Apparel Studies 3,471
Family & Consumer Economics 1,673
Housing 701
Human Sciences Business Services 466
Family, Consumer & Human Sciences (Other) 104
Work & Family Studies 0

References

More about our data sources and methodologies.

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