Careers in Nutrition for Health Conscious Students

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Nutrition Meal PrepChoosing a career isn’t always easy. You may know you want to work in the nutrition field, but unsure what you want to do. Hopefully, these careers in nutrition can help you make a decision.

Registered Dietitian (RD)

What They Do: RDs teach and counsel people on selecting healthy foods and preparing them. They also teach the importance of nutrition and healthy eating habits.

Is It Right for You? RDs must have excellent people and communication skills. They should be able to explain information easily and clearly. Public speaking skills are great for those who must present information to groups. Being able to lead and manage nutrition groups may also be important depending on the job.

Various Career Fields: Most RDs work in hospital settings. However, some have a private practice with their own office. There are RDs in health clinics and some doctors’ offices as well.

Education and Training Needed: You will need a bachelor’s degree from an accredited institution. You will then need to complete the ACEND-accredited DPD I Nutrition and Dietetics program. Proceeding the program, an ACEND-accredited Dietetic Internship must be completed. Finally, you must pass the Commission of Dietetic Registration (CDR) examination.

Salary: The median salary per year is $55.240.

Nutritionist

What They Do: Nutritionists work as consultants to educate employees and individuals on healthy eating habits. They can also conduct research to learn more about foods and their nutritional content.

Is It Right for You? Nutritionists who work as advisors work with people every day. Patience, good communication skills, and a supportive attitude are all important traits to have when working in this capacity. As a researcher, you may work independently and have to report findings to an audience, so public speaking skills are needed.

Various Career Fields: You may work in public health clinics or for food companies. Some nutritionists work in communication as well. Researchers work in a lab at a university or institute specializing in food studies.

Education and Training Needed: In some states, all you need is a bachelor’s degree. In others, you’ll need a bachelor’s degree and a license. Check with the state you intend on working in to verify if a license is required. If a license is needed, you may need to take additional courses, complete a specified number of internship hours, and possibly take a licensing exam.

Salary: A nutritionist earns approximately $41,375 per year.

Chef

What They Do: Chefs prepare meals for people. They create their own recipes or use those that are given to them.

Is It Right for You? Sometimes, you’ll work independently in a fast paced environment. You need to have multitasking skills and patience. Some chefs work with other chefs and staff, so being able to work as part of a team is important as well as management skills if you’re head chef.

Various Career Fields: You may work in restaurants, in hotels, or as a private chef in people’s homes. You may also hold workshops teaching people how to choose healthy foods and prepare them.

Education and Training Needed: Chefs are hired based on their education and experience. A degree in nutrition best prepares you for this occupation. Those who are licensed nutritionist for the state they want to work in may have a better chance of securing work.

Salary: The salary range for an executive chef is $44,866 to $87,291.

Weight Loss Specialist

What They Do: Weight loss specialists work with individuals who desire to lose and maintain weight. They educate them on how to select and prepare healthy foods. They provide support and encouragement to increase their chances of reaching their weight loss goals or remaining at their desired weight.

Is It Right for You? Weight loss specialists must have good people, communication and teaching skills. They must be able to provide support, comfort and encouragement. Sometimes, weight loss specialists must counsel individuals to help them understand the challenges they face with weight loss and maintenance.

Various Career Fields: Weight loss specialists work in hospitals, gym, and wellness clinics. They can also have their own private practice.

Education and Training Needed: A degree in nutrition best prepares you for this career. Other degree programs such as exercise science and psychology can also help individuals interested in becoming a weight loss specialist.

Salary: A weight loss specialist can earn $58,000 per year.

Food Technologist

What They Do: Food technologists ensure food products meet government and industry standards. They can also work in development to ensure products are being processed according to regulations and standards. Nutritional content and manage product recalls can also be part of this career.

Is It Right for You? Having good attention to detail and reporting skills are necessary. Communication and problem solving skills are also important to be able to alert staff of problems and possible solutions.

Various Career Fields: Food technologists work for food manufacturers, the government, and organizations interested in researching the nutritional content of foods.

Education and Training Needed: Food technologists have a degree in nutrition and/or other related fields such as food science and chemistry. On-the-job training is usually provided to understand regulations and standards.

Salary: The average salary is $66,870.

The nutrition industry is growing faster than average with healthy lifestyle trends capturing the attention of people worldwide. A career in nutrition may be perfect for you if you enjoy working with people and care about their health.


About the Author

Sarah Landrum

Sarah Landrum is a freelance writer, blogger, and aspiring world traveler. Sarah is also the founder of Punched Clocks, a site on which she shares advice for young professionals on navigating the work world, and finding happiness and success at work. For more on all things career follow her @SarahLandrum

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