How To Become A Nutritionist
Career Video: Nutritionist
A nutritionist teaches people all about the benefits of healthy eating. They meet with patients, understand their needs, and come up with individualized goals for their health. In this position, you will work directly with others, communicating with them and teaching them about nutrition. A nutritionist is passionate about science and good health. There are several years of education required to become a nutritionist.
Why Become A Nutritionist
As a nutritionist, you will help people thrive in their own lives. You will help people look and feel better, all by improving their diet and lifestyle. This is a great career choice for somebody who is passionate about healthy eating and wants to help others.
Nutritionists meet with clients. They listen to them and understand their goals as far as their personal nutrition. They come up with a strategy to help people meet their personal goals. They help develop meal plans for people. They teach people about the proper foods to eat, based on their individual needs. Nutritionists may run educational programming. They prepare and hand out educational brochures and materials. Nutritionists keep records on clients to help understand their progress. A nutritionist works with people towards meeting their goals, and write individualized reports.
People see nutritionists for a variety of reasons. Some people have allergies and want to know if a certain food is causing them to have an allergic reaction. Some people have trouble with constipation or irregular bowel movements and want to see a specialist to improve their diet. Others have medical issues, such as celiac disease, acid reflux, diabetes, and other illnesses. Some people see nutritionists because they want to lose weight. They have tried many diets but are unable to reach their weight loss goals. People go to nutritionists because they are trusted experts. Nutritionists know how to use diet to help people feel better and function better in their lives.
Nutritionist must possess the following qualities and skills:
- Active Listener
- Good Communicator
- Healthy Lifestyle
Nutritionist Work Environment
Approximately one third of nutritionists are employed in local hospitals. Others are employed by federal and state governments, local school systems, nursing homes and other residential care facilities, outpatient care clinics, and other treatment facilities.
Nutritionists work with people. They are on their feet for much of the day, walking from room to room, visiting patients. This is often a full time job, although many nutritionists work part-time. They may have to work evenings and weekends to meet the needs of their clients.
The median annual salary for nutritionists was $57,910 in May 2015, according to the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics.
There are many factors when determining salary. The location that a person works may affect their salary, whether they choose to work in a hospital, an outpatient care center, a nursing home, or other facilities. Some nutritionists are employed full time, while others work part time. Approximately 25 percent of nutritionists worked part time job roles. This all affects the amount of pay a nutritionist receives.
Nutritionist Career Outlook
Job opportunities are expected to grow by 16 percent for nutritionists from 2014 to 2024. This is faster than most careers in the United States.
Around the world, people are taking an interest in leading healthier lifestyles. There is a shift in wanting to eat better, exercise more, and overall contribute to a better way of living. Nutritionists promote this by teaching people what kinds of foods are healthiest and helping people towards their lifestyle goals. Job opportunities for nutritionists are expected to grow as people continue to have an interest in healthy living. Nutritionists are important community members in helping people achieve their lifestyle goals.
Read below to find out how to become a nutritionist.
Step 1: Undergraduate education. Receive a bachelor’s degree in the program of your choice. There are many programs that would be great, including dietetics, food and nutrition science, public health, clinical nutrition, or any other field. Your undergraduate work will be your first insight into learning more about possible career choices. You will gain foundations in science, math, and learn if nutrition is right for you.
Step 2: Intern. Receiving training is a big part of being a nutritionist. After graduating from your college program, you will enroll as an intern in a supervised program. In order to become a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist (RDN), you must complete 1,200 hours of supervised training.
Step 3: Continuing education. Continue to educate yourself on new and exciting research in the world of nutrition. In order to maintain the RDN credential, you must complete 75 continuing professional education credits every 5 years.
Step 4: Consider graduate education. There are many master’s degree programs available in nutrition. These programs will help you gain even more knowledge in your field and be more desirable to employers.
Step 4: Go advanced. The Certified Nutrition Specialist (CNS) is a credential which designates a nutritionist with an advanced level of knowledge in the field. To qualify for this credential, you must have a master’s degree and have completed 1,000 hours of experience. You must also pass an exam.