PHEc stands for Professional Human Ecologist or Professional Home Economist. In Alberta, human ecologists and home economists are university graduates. They have met qualifications set out in Alberta provincial legislation and, as a result, can use the letters after their name.

The PHEc designation protects the public by ensuring that human ecologists and home economists practice ethically in areas in which they are qualified. As a group, human ecologists and home economists have training and experience in money management, consumer education, food and nutrition, housing, clothing, textiles, family behavior and human development.

Human Ecology/Home Economics programs at various universities in North America vary: they include Home Economics, Human Ecology, Family and Consumer Sciences, and Nutrition and Food Sciences. At the University of Alberta, the Nutrition and Food Sciences program is offered as a separate degree program within the Faculty of Agriculture, Life and Environmental Sciences. Human Ecology students majoring in Family Ecology can minor in Community Nutrition. Students in the Nutrition and Food Sciences programs can minor in Human Ecology.

Where Can We Be Found?

Human ecologists and home economists advise, counsel, promote and teach in a variety of settings.

In business, human ecologists/home economists may work as consultants, advisors, designers, managers, administrators and quality control testers in companies and organizations that provide product and services that meet individual and family needs. We also work in human resources and consumer or public relations. You may find human ecologists or home economists working as food consultants, consumer service managers, fashion or textiles designers, product managers, store buyers, journalists, recipe developers, product promoters, product salespersons, financial planners, investment advisors, media commentators, food stylists or entrepreneurs.

Working with a community agency, human ecologists/home economists may co-ordinate volunteers, work as financial counselors, family outreach workers, life skills facilitators, rehabilitation workers or consumer advocates.

In health care, human ecologists/home economists with appropriate educational preparation in foods and nutrition areas, including a minor in Community Nutrition, could provide dietary or health promotion education. To work or use the titles of Registered Dietitian, Registered Nutritionist, Nutritionist or Dietitian requires that the professional be registered according to the requirements set out in the Health Professions Act (HPA) section 17 of the Registered Dietitians and Registered Nutritionists Profession Regulation, and Schedule 23 of the HPA.

In education, human ecologists/home economists could be public school teachers, college or university instructors, education consultants, curriculum and program developers or adult educators.

In government, you may find human ecologists/home economists working as researchers, museum curators, health educators, food and nutrition advisers or consultants, information specialists, product developers, policy developers, advocacy specialists or marketing specialists

As well, human ecologists and home economists volunteer in their communities – supporting individuals and families.

Look For The Ring

Your Professional Ring

Delegates from eight colleges across Canada voted in 1967 to adopt a ring as a national symbol representing professional home economists. The yellow gold of the ring represents the warmth of the family.

The human ecology and home economics ring is a gold band worn on the little finger of the working hand. It symbolizes our commitment to excellence in professional practice.
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