How to Become a Nutritionist
Nutritionist Job Details
Skills and Qualities Needed to Become a Nutritionist
Influential Professional Nutritionists
Leading Nutritionist Organizations
Top Cities for Nutritionist Jobs
Other Careers of Interest
High school students who are looking to pursue a career as a nutritionist should take courses in biology, chemistry, mathematics, health, and communications. College students should make sure they take courses in foods, nutrition, chemistry, biochemistry, biology, microbiology, institution management and health, communications, and physiology.
Thirty-five States and jurisdictions require licensure, and license requirements vary according to each State. In these States, only people who are licensed can work as dietitians and nutritionists. If you intend to become a nutritionist, you need to be aware of the requirements of the State in which you choose to practice before taking for any exam.
Although it is not required, the Commission on Dietetic Registration of the American Dietetic Association provides a Registered Dietitian credential to those individuals who complete the required academic course work, a supervised internship, and who pass their national exam. This is not the same as the licensure that is required by some States that was discussed previously.
To obtain a Registered Dietitian credential, you must complete an accredited Commission on Dietetic Registration program, which generally lasts 4 to 5 years. You can also complete an accredited 900-hour, supervised practice experience internship program, which can last from 6 months to 2 years. To maintain the status of Registered Dietitian, you must complete at least 75 credit hours of approved continuing education classes every 5 years.
Specifically, nutritionists plan diets for patients and educate people about eating healthy foods. Some supervise food preparation and service food operations for hospitals and schools, and promote sound, healthy eating habits through education.
Typically, the nutritionist plans and suggests diets for various cases. He or she supervises the preparation of food, and applies their knowledge for the development of diet therapies regarding various conditions. In such cases, the nutritionist analyzes foods, food content, and food labels, prepares literature for distribution, and provides detailed reports on dietary fiber, vitamin supplements, or the nutritional content of food recipes.
The skills and qualities you need to become a nutritionist are: the ability to lead and persuade others, a willingness to help and instruct others, being a problem-solver, demonstrating creativity and initiative, and enjoy contact with the public. Many nutritionists are on their feet for much of the workday, so good physical stamina is required.
As most nutritionists provide ongoing coaching and support to their patients and clients, you must possess caring and patience for the people you are helping. True dietary change takes time and continued effort, and most clients and patients require ongoing support. Therefore, a nutritionist must demonstrate the ability to work well with others, and be willing to be accountable to medical personnel, patients and clients.
The International & American Associations of Clinical Nutritionists (IAACN) is a professional organization of practicing clinical nutritionists who work in a variety of health care professions. The organization ensures that nutritionists maintain the highest standards of competency and practice in the nutrition and dietetics industry. Nutrition Entrepreneurs (NE) is a dietetic practice group of the American Dietetic Association. The organization's goal is to help members reach their professional and financial potential by providing them with the tools they need to build and maintain a successful nutrition-related business.
Dietitians plan food programs, supervise food preparation and service, and advise patients on how to modify their eating habits. Many individuals...
Emergency Medical Technician / Paramedic
EMTs are often among the first emergency responders to a scene and sometimes work with fire fighters and police workers. Their primary role is...
Licensed Practical Nurse / LPN / Licensed Vocational Nurse
LPN's perform various medical procedures that range from simple to complex. These procedure include: gathering patient health information, taking...
Nurse / Registered Nurse
Nurses performs a variety of functions that are essential for patient recovery. Regardless of their specialty or workplace setting, he or she treats...
An NP is trained in diagnosis and management of common and complex medical conditions. The core philosophy is individualized care and focus on patients'...
Nurse aides assist and care for others. Workloads can be physically demanding. Aides are on their feet all day, moving patients in and out of bed...
Nursing assistants are mainly responsible for providing medical support to doctors and nurse in hospitals and other health care facilities. They...
A rehabilitation nurse can be found in a variety of settings. They can work directly in a hospital or sign on at an inpatient or outpatient rehabilitation...
Respiratory therapists and respiratory therapy technicians are also known collectively as respiratory care practitioners. Their position involves...
Speech therapists treat various speech, language and voice related physiological disorders. They also research ways of preventing such disorders...
Surgical technicians assist in various surgical operations, always under the supervision of professional surgeons, registered nurses or other more...
An ultrasound technician works predominantly in hospitals and physician offices and clinics. Ultrasound is most commonly associated with pregnancy...