Steps to Become A Nutritionist

Find out all you need to know about the steps to become a nutritionist, including their job duties, education requirements and job prospects, in the guide below.

What Does a Nutritionist Do?

Nutritionists are experts who use nutrition and food to manage health and several diseases. They typically perform the following duties:

  • Plan meals for people keeping in view their budget
  • Promote healthy lifestyle
  • Provide nutritional counselling services
  • Access the health and nutritional needs of their clients
  • Change and evaluate the effect of the recommended meal plan
  • Create educational material about clean and healthy food choices
  • Keep up with the latest nutritional science and food research
  • Keep a record of patients’ progress
  • Provide customized information to specific people
  • Schedule appointments, preparing educational programs and keeping records

Source: US Bureau of Labor Statistics

Steps to Become a Nutritionist                                

  1. Get a Bachelor’s Degree

Prospective nutritionists are required to earn an undergraduate degree which lasts for 4 years. Relevant majors include dietetics, nutrition science and food management. Some schools combine these titles under one major. Basic science, nutrition therapy, food principles and food safety are some of the courses offered in this major.

  1. Get  a Master’s Degree

Having a Master’s degree is not mandatory but a few aspiring nutritionists opt for it as it is required by some employers. Doctoral and Master’s degree are offered in nutrition and relevant sciences. Those who aspire to have a setup of their own can pursue a degree in business.

  1. Licensing and Other Requirements

All states require nutritionists to be licensed. However, there are a few that require statutory certification. Theses states do not provide any title to professionals unless they have the required certificate. However, they are allowed to practice.

  1. Certification

The American Dietic Association’s Commission on Dietic Registration (CDR) provides the certificate of nutritionists to professionals. Those who have completed a licensed dietic program and passed the exam or those who have a bachelor’s degree are given the Registered Dietician (RD) designation. It also requires an internship/academic program of a minimum of 1,200 hours. CDR also offers certificates to people who have specialized in a certain area like Pediatric Nutrition, Gerontological Nutrition, etc.

  1. Find a Job

According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, employment for Dieticians and Nutritionists is expected to grow 11% from 2018-2028. In recent years, people are more interested in adopting healthy eating habits which has increased the demand for nutritionists. With a high job growth, candidates are expected to get multiple opportunities in the field.

What Much Does a Nutritionist Earn in the US?

As per the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, the annual mean salary earned by a nutritionist is $62,330 in 2019. Among the highest paying states, California tops the chart with $77,040, followed by Alaska, with an annual mean wage of $72,640.

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