If you are looking for a job in the growing healthcare industry, but want to do something a little bit different than your typically advertised healthcare jobs, becoming a nutritionist may be the perfect career track for you to take. Like other healthcare jobs, nutritionists need to be certified (and in most states, licensed as well), and there is a fair amount of educational background required to become one; but it's well worth it. You will be teaching individuals and families how to improve their overall well-being through one of our most important functions, which is eating.
What Is A Nutritionist?
A nutritionist informs groups and individuals about the impacts food and nutrition have on overall health, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Depending on which state, region, even country you travel to, nutritionists have different names, workplaces, and job responsibilities.
Common types of nutritionists include:
- Sports nutritionists
- Clinical nutritionist
- Nutrition scientist
- Nutritionist in the public health sector
Earn a degree in Nutritional Science
Depending on the state, nutritionists can be certified or licensed to work with an associate's or bachelor's degree from an accredited program. The type of job a candidate qualifies for will depend greatly on their education level. This is why many nutritionists choose to earn a graduate level degree in a Nutritional Science concentration to move up the ladder even higher down the road.
It is important to ensure that the program of study you choose has been deemed acceptable by the Clinical Nutrition Certification Board (CNCB). This board requires students to complete coursework in the areas of
- Anatomy and physiology
- Biology and biochemistry
- Chemistry and microbiology
- Elective nutrition courses specific to your area of nutrition study
Apply to the Board and Take Your Certification Exams
You will need to complete the Clinical Nutrition Certification Board paperwork and eventually take an examination to become certified as a nutritionist. This will involve having your degree examined to ensure you meet all of the educational requirements and sending a copy of your transcript to ensure your grades were up to par. The examination will require you to study hard and answer questions pertaining to everything you learned over the course of your nutritional science education. Passing this exam is necessary for certification.
Apply for a License as a Nutritionist
If your state requires you to apply for a specific state license to work as a nutritionist, you will need to complete this step before working in the field, professionally. If your state requires you to complete an internship, you could learn valuable skills and tools from others in your field.
Related Resource: 30 Most Affordable Online Master's in Nutrition Degrees
There are accredited nutritional science programs waiting for you to join and start your track to a new and rewarding career as a nutritionist. It's never too late to work towards a rewarding career in the healthcare industry.