Becoming a nutritionist can lead to a rewarding career, both financially and emotionally. A nutritionist can play a leading role in the wellness of an individual.
Definition Of A Nutritionist
To be considered a certified or otherwise licensed nutritionist, a person will need to complete coursework in dietetics, nutrition, food service management, or a related field. The Commission on Dietetic Registration of the American Dietetic Association offers coursework and an internship, though this is not necessary to become a registered nutritionist.
Educational Requirements To Become A Nutritionist
Currently, 46 states require some sort of licensure or certification to become a registered nutritionist. A nutritionist should have a bachelor’s degree, and there are graduate degrees available as well. Continuing education is necessary to keep licenses current.
Nutritionists can obtain a master’s degree in the field. This is often necessary if they want to work in research or scientific study.
Skills Necessary To Become A Nutritionist
A nutritionist needs to remain up to date with a constant array of studies and programs, as the entire medical field is constantly evolving. In addition, people skills are paramount. Because nutritionists might be working with people who have been newly diagnosed with life-altering diseases, compassion, patience, and resiliency are necessary.
Nutritionists who wish to go into business on their own will need business and accounting skills as well.
Job And Career Outlook For A Nutritionist
The Bureau of Labor Statistics forecasts the job growth for nutritionists to be average. Like in many medical fields, those who pursue higher degrees and certifications can expect to have the best career outlook.
Nutritionists with the highest training can advance to management positions within hospitals or nursing homes. It’s also possible for a nutritionist to start a business and offer his or her services to local schools or businesses.
The average starting salary for a registered nutritionist varies by state and industry. Roughly speaking, a brand new nutritionist can expect to make $40,000 to $50,000 per year.