You’ve watched some of your friends suffer from eating disorders. You’re fully aware of the pressures people are under to be thin and the drastic measures they take to achieve that. You know that there is a healthy way and you want to help those who can’t get there on their own. Those are just some reasons you’re looking to get your nutritionist degree or your dietitian degree.
What a Nutritionist Does
Dietitians and nutritionists evaluate their clients and, based on their findings, advise them on foods to eat and avoid. Dietitians and nutritionists typically assess the nutritional health of their clients and counsel them from there. They develop meal plans for their clients that help them achieve a healthier lifestyle. The dietitian or nutritionist is qualified to create individualized food plans for those who have specialized needs, whether they are diabetic and in need of a balanced blood sugar or clients that have cardiovascular issues and need to follow a heart healthy diet.
How They Got There
Generally, a dietitian and nutritionist hold bachelor’s degrees in dietetics, food and nutrition, clinical nutrition, public health or any related fields. They also need to be licensed in addition to their degree. They will have several hundred hours under the supervision of somebody already qualified in the field, usually as in Intern.
Most states require dietitians and nutritionists to be certified. Since the requirements vary by state, it’s important to find out what your state expectations are. The common denominator, however, is that a bachelor’s degree is the minimum requirement, along with the internship in a related field.
Many dietitians earn the RDN (registered dietitian nutritionist). A nutritionist may choose to a Certified Nutrition Specialist credential. Many potential employers prefer these credentials because it adds a layer of trust to appeal to future clients.
How Much They Make
The Bureau of Labor Statistics says dietitians and nutritionists will make a median annual pay of $58,920. However, that’s the average rate. Some will make an average of $36,470 while the top make a median of $82,410 annually.
Employment for dietitians and nutritionists is expected to grow 14 percent through 2026 which is way higher than the average career. This is due to more people opting to live healthier lifestyles.
Dietitians and nutritionists mostly work full time. They do oftentimes work on weekends or late nights to meet with clients that couldn’t make it during regular business hours.