What Types of Jobs are Available for Nutritionists?

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The types of jobs available for nutritionists aren't limited to just those typically found in health care and public health organizations. Agribusiness firms, food manufacturers and corporations that sell consumer food products all employ nutritionists. Even private health and wellness companies, such as spas and fitness centers, employ nutritionists. Below introduces three potential careers for registered and licensed nutritionists.

Research Nutritionist

A research nutritionist may find employment in corporations that sell food products. Research nutritionists may create and maintain accurate nutritional database for test menu items. They collaborate with product development, manufacturing and experiment leaders to accurately understand and transcribe menu items used in food tasting sessions. They may recommend new food items or recipe changes based on nutritional trends, food taster feedback and consumer dietary preferences.

Research nutritionists identify and explain the potential risks associated with menu items to product development leaders. After they collaborate with suppliers, nutritionists will work on teams who develop, test and implement better alternatives for proposed food items. Research nutritionists may monitor field testing and manufacturing operations to ensure compliance with nutritional claims. Research nutritionists build and maintain nutritional profiles for each new product and recipe change. They proactively advise product development leaders on potential nutritional trends that could influence menu selection and product design.

Public Health Nutritionist

A public health nutritionist is responsible for providing services to clients of government programs, such as the federal Women, Infants and Children (WIC) and Supplemental Nutritional Assistance (SNAP) programs. These nutritionists usually have formal certification in nutrition counseling and education. They also have on-the-job training in formula approvals, program eligibility verification and federal nutrition assessments. Public health nutritionists are responsible for providing one-on-one nutritional counseling for clients.

These nutrition counseling services include nutrition assessments, client-centered counseling and nutrition plan documentation. Public health nutritionists assess eligibility and certify clients for their assigned program by performing and interpreting interviews, screening tests and medical measurements. They assign appropriate food packages, issue food instruments, document client files and refer clients to other local programs and state agencies. Some public health nutritionists primarily conduct high-risk nutrition education and outreach programs. This includes facilitating in-person and online group discussions.

Dairy Nutritionist

Dairy nutritionists are employed by agribusiness companies and commercial animal nutrition companies. They work with a full range of animal nutrition products, which includes feed supplements, animal health products and feed ingredients. They may also work directly with corporate livestock growers and poultry that produce egg, meat and milk products that are processed into consumer food products. Dairy nutritionists provide field technical support for assigned customers by supplying technical materials and training sessions.

Dairy nutritionists may conduct on-site customer calls in farms every day, or they may work in labs on ration and product formulation activities. These latter nutritionists may assist with dairy nutrition research and development programs. Qualified job candidates will need to have advanced training in animal nutrition or veterinary sciences. These nutritionists must possess excellent analytical, communication and interpersonal skills. They must be comfortable with training, public speaking and working outside in incremental weather in farm production facilities.

Related Resource: How Do You Become A Nutritionist?

Almost all types of jobs available for nutritionists are only open to registered dietitians or registry eligible graduates with a bachelor's degree from a regionally accredited university or college. The degree program must be approved by the Accreditation Council for Education in Nutrition and Dietetics (ACEND). Nutritionists must usually be certified per state requirements.