National Avg. Salary$58,410 More Salary Data →
Job Growth Rate16.3% More Growth Data →
Recommended DegreeBachelor's Programs & Degrees →
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Nutritionists guide others into making smart food intake choices in order to promote health and manage illness. They may work with individuals trying to lose weight, with people who have dietary restrictions, or with parents to educate about daily intake requirements for developing children and adolescents.
The following job responsibilities are common for individuals in nutritionist roles:
- Evaluate the needs of patients by understanding what conditions or issues they’re suffering from and collecting information about current eating habits
- Educate patients and caregivers about nutritional needs of individuals in certain age groups or with certain diseases or conditions
- Help patients create meal plans that fulfill their nutritional and budget needs
A Day in the Life
Nutritionists are health advocates that encourage and teach individuals to prevent and manage disease through healthy diets. Nutritionists can work in a variety of roles. Some work in doctor’s offices and hospitals and teach individuals with new dietary restrictions how to eat appropriately for conditions like heart disease or kidney failure. Some work for government organizations that teach new parents how to feed their children for proper nutrition. Some work for restaurants and help develop healthy recipes.
In addition to advocating for healthy nutrition and educating individuals, nutritionists also commonly give presentations to community members in groups. For example, they may go to individual schools in a community and teach classes of students about healthy eating. They may also work with groups of elderly patients in nursing homes. Nutritionists also commonly engage in ongoing education, research, and publication to become better at their jobs and to educate others on the importance of nutrition.
Some nutritionists work for health or weight loss facilities or organizations and teach people how to eat in order to lose weight, gain muscle, or participate in activities like marathons or triathlons. These individuals may work alongside physical trainers to form a fitness and nutrition program that meets the needs of individuals who join the gym, facility, or organization and opt in to health counseling services.
Typical Work Schedule
Nutritionists may work in part-time or full-time roles. While many nutritionists work during normal business hours, some work evenings or weekends to accommodate the schedules of their clients.
Projected Job Growth
Healthy eating has been becoming more and more popular in recent years, increasing the demand for individuals to fill nutritionist roles. Additionally, the large, aging Baby Boomer generation may increase demand for nutritionists as they search for ways to prevent and manage age-related health issues.
- Clinical nutritionists work in schools, nursing homes, hospitals, or prisons and help develop menus and nutrition programs for the institutions they work for.
- Community nutritionists work for health facilities, health insurance providers, and fitness centers and educate individuals and groups on what should be consumed for proper health.
- Administrative nutritionists develop large-scale nutrition programs. Their responsibilities include forming meal plans, managing a budget, and managing other nutritionists.
Nutritionists are most commonly hired to work for hospitals, but other common employers include government agencies, nursing homes and retirement communities, doctor’s offices, and restaurants.
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Nutritionist Salary Data
We've provided you the following to learn more about this career. The salary and growth data on this page comes from recently published Bureau of Labor Statistics data while the recommendations and editorial content are based on our research.
National Annual Salary
National Hourly Wage
How do Nutritionist salaries stack up to other jobs across the country? Based on the latest jobs data nationwide, Nutritionist's can make an average annual salary of $58,410, or $28 per hour. On the lower end, they can make $46,160 or $22 per hour, perhaps when just starting out or based on the state you live in.
Salary Rankings And Facts
#290 Nationally for All Careers
Above Average Salary Nationally
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How To Become
The minimum degree requirement for a nutritionist is a bachelor’s degree in nutrition, public health, dietetics, or food service systems management. Either during their college program or after college, nutritionists must also earn enter a supervised training program or internship that allows for on-the-job learning to take place. Aspiring nutritionist interns work alongside experienced nutritionists, learn the basics of the role, and gain valuable experience before setting out to do individual consulting.
Most states require practicing nutritionists to be licensed. The process of getting licensed entails completing the activities described above—earning a bachelor’s degree and completing a supervised internship—and passing an exam. Additionally, some employers will require that nutritionists have Registered Dietician Nutritionist (RDN) credentials. Getting RDN credentials requires the same steps as getting licensed as a nutritionist.
Nutritionists who desire to advance in their careers often go on to earn master’s or doctoral degrees and Certified Nutrition Specialist (CNS) credentials. The CNS credentials requires candidates to hold a graduate degree in a related field, to have accrued more than 1,000 hours of experience as a nutritionist, and to pass an exam. The CNS credential and an advanced degree may be required for nutritionists to move into administrative nutritionist roles and other higher-paying positions.
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Recommended Min. Degree
Highest Education Among Nutritionist
- 6.6% Doctorate
- 26.4% Masters
- 39.4% Bachelors
- 4.4% Associates
- 7.2% College
- 12.6% High School
- 3.3% Less than High School
Job Growth Projections and Forecast
2014 Total Jobs66,700
2024 Est. Jobs77,600
Job Growth Rate16.3%
Est. New Jobs10,900
How does Nutritionist job growth stack up to other jobs across the country? By 2024, there will be a change of 10,900 jobs for a total of 77,600 people employed in the career nationwide. This is a 16.3% change in growth over the next ten years, giving the career a growth rate nationwide of Above Average.
Growth Rankings And Facts
#87 Nationally for All Careers
Above Avg. Growth Nationally
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