What is a nutritionist?
This is a health care professional who specializes in nutrition and food much like a dietitian does. The difference between the two is that a dietitian is considered legally to an expert in nutrition and have to have completed a bachelor’s degree program that has been accredited by the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics’ Accreditation Council for Education in Nutrition and Dietetics while being a nutritionist does not require any formal education and are not considered legally an expert in nutrition. Being a nutritionist you specialize in nutrition which covers diseases that are related to nutrient deficiencies, the science of nutrition, and preventive nutrition. One important thing to remember when you are considering whether to see a nutritionist or dietitian is that not all nutritionist are dietitians but dietitians can be considered a nutritionist. The title of “nutritionist” can be used in both alternative and standard medicine.
Job description of a nutritionist
When working as a nutritionist some of the duties you might perform can include:
- Evaluating the nutritional needs of their patients
- Educate the public about nutrition
- Provide nutritional counseling along with creating a nutritional treatment plan
- Consult with other health care professionals on nutrition management for their patients
- Research the affect that nutrients have on your body, both good and bad affects.
- Offering advice and direction on things that are related to nutrition and food along with the impact it has on your health.
- Helping to prevent and treat different illnesses by developing nutrition and food programs, monitoring food preparation, encouraging healthy lifestyles, and helping them to learn new dietary habits.
- Advising patients as what to eat so they can live a normal healthy life
- Working in a research capacity making recommendations in regards to food and nutrition and analyzing findings.
- Monitoring the effectiveness of nutrition and diet plans of their clients and when necessary make adjustments to make it more effective.
- Develop and display healthy eating educational programs at community health fairs and in schools.
How to become a nutritionist?
Being a nutritionist you are not regulated by any legally protected term or by any professional regulated body so basically anyone can call themselves a “nutritionist.” It does not matter if they have a post graduate degree in nutrition or are self-taught. There are certificate programs that can be found at various levels of study if you want to become a certified nutritionist. To do this you can enroll in a graduate certificate program in nutrition and food or in an undergraduate certificate program in nutrition. If you are already working as a nutritionist you could further your education and career by become a registered dietitian. To do this you would have to take a post-bachelor’s certificate program in dietetics. You would become a registered dietitian through the Commission on Dietetic Registration of the American Dietetic Association. Enrolling in this program can teach you:
- How to help individuals maintain and manage a healthy weight
- How your body processes nutrients
- How to promote healthy eating habits when eating in public health settings and restaurants.
- To realize what the repercussions of poor eating habits are
Many of these programs also provide internship opportunities in clinical settings along with classroom instructions. Earning a certificate in nutrition is an undergraduate certificate program that is designed for those who do not have or does have a bachelor’s degree but want to work in the field of community health or allied health. Enrolling in this program you will be studying nutrition science which covers fitness and digestion and metabolism diseases. The course will teach students how to educate others the effects that inadequate or adequate nutrition has on adults, the elderly, and children population and what the importance is of optimal nutrition. Two of the other topics that will be studied are public health and health promotion. To be admitted to this program you will need at least 24 hours of previous undergraduate work and either a GED or high school diploma.
When you have completed an undergraduate nutrition certificate program you can work in community and allied education and health working as a community health worker, nurse, or social worker. You can also enroll in a bachelor’s degree program in nutrition and food, dietetics, or holistic nutrition to prepare yourself for the designation of registered dietician. You can also enroll in post-bachelor’s certificate programs in sports and alternative nutrition if you already have a bachelor’s degree.
Work environment and schedule
A nutritionist can be found working in a hospital, schools, public health settings, outpatient clinics, community health settings, scientific research, food and culinary services, private practice, or many other health care facilities. Nutritionists can even work from home as there is no specific training required to be a nutritionist. Approximately 15% of nutritionists are self-employed allowing them to work on a contract basis in different healthcare settings or have their own private practice.
Their work schedule is as flexible as where they can work but if you are working in a medical center you would be most likely to work standard business hours. If you are self-employed you may choose to work post-business hours so you can have a bigger clientele to help build your reputation. When working at community health fairs this may require you to work on a Saturday. Nutritionists are never on call and most will have the weekends and holidays off.
Some nutritionists become sports nutritionists and are employed by sports teams or individual athletes. Most of the work that a sport nutritionist does is on a contractual basis and what they would make will vary.
Pros and cons of being a Nutritionist
The job of a Nutritionist will always play an important part when it comes to offering the right information to the public. A nutritionist is dedicated to bringing a sense of awareness of how important it is to life a healthy life. The con that can be seen right from the start is the not many funds are granted for this specific area of health and in some jobs due to this there is a very increased stagnation.
A nutritionist must always be aware of the fact that the information that he provides to the public health or the patients must be accurate and clear. Accuracy is important because many people will want a chance in their lifestyle (regarding changes to lifestyles) when it comes to eating habits due to some rising health issues. This will also involve a high dose of stress that could emerge from time to time.
The pros that will accompany this job are obviously linked with the opportunity of giving people a better viewpoint on how to improve their eating life and instantly of living healthier. The major opportunities when it comes to this job are linked with the process of being self-employed and having a flexible schedule compared with other careers.
The salary of a nutritionist is positively a pro since the median income for one of this professionals can be estimated at $55,010 per year with the opportunity to increase it. On the other hand, you’ll need some educational requirement that many times will prove to be quite expensive not to mention they will involve a lot of your time and your money.
According to each state and the requirements that you’ll have to fulfill you’ll be also asked for additional credentials, and if you’ll want to advance in this career then you’ll need a graduate degree. Another con that might appear or not is linked to the job, since many times you’ll do exactly the likewise thing again multiple times without any exception. However, if you are sure that is the job that will suit you the most, then nothing will hinder you from achieving what you’ve wished for.
Nutritionist job growth
For the next five to ten years the employment growth of nutritionists is projected at 16%, according to the BLS. Over the years is started to grow and develop a clear interest in a living a healthy lifestyle and towards wellness and the role that food plays. In other words, the number of demanding has grown gradually especially since these health care professionals play an important part in helping to solve obesity problems. There are many people that throughout the country are dealing and confronting with such issues as well as with other diseases.
There are plenty of employment opportunities for these professionals. For instance, many public health schools or clinics are employing these professionals in order to help with meal planning while nursing homes hire nutritionists due to the baby boomer generation that is aging and is entering into these institutions.
The average annual nutritionist salary in the United States is $54,000 but what it is exactly depends on a variety of factors such as the industry they are working in, if they are self-employed or working for someone else, how much experience they have, and if they have any type of training. If you are working as a sport nutritionist the average annual salary would be $50,000-$300,000 but it all depends on who they are working for and if it is a sports team or an individual athlete. Their salary could also be a percentage of the prize money the athlete has won.
Some of the top paying states for nutritionists are:
- New Jersey at $60,280
- Maryland at $60,500
- California at $60,250
- Hawaii at $59,390
Working as an equine nutritionist your average annual salary would be $111,770 but it all depends on the geographic region as to what it would actually be. For example, the average annual salary would be:
- Georgia at $130,000
- New York at $153,000
- Florida at $112,000
- Washington at $106,000
- Virginia at $113,000
- California at $120,000
It appears that there is more money to be made when being a nutritionist for horses than for humans. There is also the position of clinical nutritionist who works with patients in hospitals and nursing care facilities. Their average annual yearly nutritionist salary would be $41,000 for one who has a lot of experience and $35,000 for those with the least experience or just starting out in this field. In New York working as a clinical nutritionist the average annual salary would be $50,000 and in Alabama it would be $40,000. It has also been shown that women have an average annual salary that is less than a man’s salary. A woman’s average annual salary is $29,459-$84,042 and a man’s average annual salary is $32,215-$94,363,
There is also the benefit package that can include paid vacation and sick days, health insurance, vision and dental, life insurance, 401K, pension, social security, short and long term disabilities, paid holidays, travel reimbursement if you are required to travel in your job. If you are self-employed you would not have any of these benefits.
Salary of a Nutritionist in 2015
The salary of nutritionist for the year 2015 in the US is influenced a lot according to the geographical factors such as state, location and area in which one works. Another influence is brought by the training and the education that one professional has, also according to the gender, the type of employment this will include the job industry and other.
The nutritionist salary is estimated to grow with every year due to the growing cases of obese people that are more and more common, this allowing a growth and an extended need for these professionals. The average salary that can be attained by a nutritionist can be estimated at $51,010 per year. The income will increase or decrease also based on the highest point or the lowest one’s that can be found in the economy of a state.
What is certain is that a nutritionist will always be a specialist of great aid when it comes to bringing back the balance in the process of eating a lot healthier.
Nutritionist Salary in 2016
In the United States, a nutritionist income in 2016 is estimated at an average that reaches at around $41,810 per year, according to PayScale. The starting point in the salary of these professionals is estimated at $29,491 per year and climbing up to $71,126 per year. The bonuses that are usually added can reach up to $4,954 per year this leading in the end to a total payment with an estimated average situated from $28,589 and $69,697.
The salaries that affect and impact the earnings of nutritionists are based upon geographical location, type of industry in which one individual has found work, years of experience in the field as well as other. For instance, those professionals that possess a professional certificate of RD, or else known as a Registered Dietitian can expect to earn generally from $41,986 and up to $72,010.
On the other hand nutritionists, income varies greatly from industry to another, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. The industries that pay the highest salaries for nutritionists are animal food manufacturing where the earnings tend to reach at a median annual payment of $88,110, and the miscellaneous non-durable goods merchant wholesales that offer earnings of around $74,272 per year.
Those professionals who found work in surgical hospitals can expect to take home around $55,972 per year while nutritionists that work in special food services earn on average around $53,652 per year. The years of experience are another factor that impacts the incomes.
According to the PayScale salary reported statistics, the incomes of nutritionists with 1 and up to 4 years of working experience are estimated to start from $28,691 per year and go up to $55,123 per year. At the same time, those working between 5 and 9 years in the field can expect to take home earnings estimated to range from $32,108 and $72,130. nutritionists with 10 and up to 19 years at the working site can expect to gain from $34,184 per year and up to $54,046 per year.
The late-career nutritionists with more than 20 years in the field can expect to earn average yearly incomes that are estimated from $39,306 per year and up to $112,330 per year. There is also a difference between a female nutritionist income and a male nutritionist income. Nutritionist’s women usually gain earnings that have an annual average comprised from $29,452 and up to $84,043 while nutritionists men report earnings that usually range between $32,216 and up to $94,364.
Nutritionist salary in Canada, Australia, and UK
- UK—the average annual salary is 34,050 but most of the time a nutritionist’s salary is based on their age. If you are in your 20’s your average annual salary would be $25.538, in your 30’s it would be 33,369, in your 40’s and 50’s it would be 39,498
- Australia—the average annual nutritionist salary would be AU$38,263-AU$76,978
- Canada—the average annual nutritionist salary would be CAD$65,000-CAD$75,000
Conclusion on nutritionist salary
Because the average annual salary for a nutritionist is so low many will opt to further their education and qualifications in order to have a larger salary. On average the annual salary for a nutritionist is $54.000.
The highest salary received by a nutritionist is more than $68,330 and the lowest paid was less than $29.860 according to the U.S, Bureau of Labor and Statistics (BLS). In the coming decade The Bureau of Labor and Statistics the rate of employment for nutritionists is going to grow approximately 21% because more people are going to seek dietary means for preventing and treating potential health problems, including the health problems they may have now. If you are self-employed you would not receive a benefit package but for those that do it is a great incentive to become a nutritionist.
- First Published Date: 26 August, 2014
- Last Updated Date: 23 August, 2016