Field of Study Overview

This major will allow you learn about the development and interactions between individuals, families, and communities. You will learn how economics and finances affect different groups of people, allowing you to come up with solutions to help. These problems do not affect just one area of people, but rather it affects everyone; no matter their age, race, or gender. The role you play is vital to helping the people you work with make decisions and solve problems that can better their life. Through public policy, personal coaching or positive business practices you can influence people to change their lives and live happier and healthier.

There are many different major opportunities and specializations within this field. If you are more interested in health and nutrition you can choose a major in Food & Nutrition. To study the development of families in society, choose a major in Human Development & Family Studies". Have an interest in fashion and clothing design? Major in Textile & Apparel Studies. Other majors in this field are General Family & Consumer Sciences, Housing, and Human Sciences Business Services.

Required Skills

Those who choose majors in the Family & Consumer Science field are typically interested in serving people in one form or another. Some essential skills are compassion, dedication and an open mind. Creativity will help you come up with new ideas and fresh approaches when working with people, clothing or food. Classes will involve a lot of abstract theory you will need to synthesize and apply in various real world settings. For example, you may need to determine the developmental needs of a child in order to place them in the best educational setting or home.

Regardless of your specialization, communication will be an essential skill. Writing, reading, speaking, and listening skills are important in every career option. Another skill set is being able to comfortably work on a team either as a team member or in the leadership role. You will have to take initiative while at the same time respecting the other people you are working with and accepting their point of view as well.


There are a variety of career opportunities for those who enter the family, consumer, and human sciences field. You may choose to stay in the human services route and work directly with clients. However, fashion and apparel design is a completely different career path that will allow you to design and manufacture clothing, or run your own fashion boutique. Interior design and housing is another option for a person in this field. Or you may become a registered dietician. Lastly, becoming a business administrator or working in management could be your career path. Here you would have less interaction with clients and do more behind the scenes work.

Salary can vary greatly depending on the major and career you choose. However, graduates in this field generally report an average starting salary of $34,711 and a mid-career salary of $52,554.


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Field at a Glance

  • Yearly Graduations
    (online) 4,724
    (associate) 959
    (bachelor) 25,577
  • Average Starting Salary
  • Average Mid-Career Salary

Explore Top Majors in this Field

Click Major to View Top CollegesPopularitySalary PotentialMajors Matcher
Family & Consumer Economics Average N/AN/A
Family, Consumer & Human Sciences (Other) Low N/AN/A
Food, Nutrition & Related Services High Low N/A
General Family & Consumer Sciences Average N/AN/A
Housing Low N/AN/A
Human Development & Family Studies High Poor N/A
Human Sciences Business Services Low N/AN/A
Textile & Apparel Studies Average Good N/A

College Ranking by Field of Study

Click rankings below to view the top colleges in this field
Salary data is estimated by College Factual using 2013 data provided by PayScale.
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