What Can You Do With a Nutrition Degree. Most people are aware that eating the correct foods in the proper amounts is important for maintaining overall health, controlling weight, preventing disease, and living a long life. However, many people find it difficult to sort through the copious amounts of (often contradictory) nutrition information accessible on their own, and some people have all the information they require but fail to significantly alter their eating habits despite having it.
People occasionally have life events that force them to radically alter their usual eating habits, such as being told they have a food allergy or a chronic inflammatory disease. These are just a few of the many factors that lead people to seek the advice of experts with nutrition degrees in order to improve their diets, health, and quality of life.
As a complicated discipline, nutrition requires significant schooling in chemistry, biology, physiology, human metabolism, and other subjects. In addition to advising clients to consume more fruits and vegetables, nutritionists evaluate each client’s particular needs and see nutrition as one element of the larger picture of human health.
The fields of health, wellness, nutrition, exercise, non-toxic living, and the relationship between what we put into our bodies and how we feel are quite popular today. More food options than ever before in human history are available to us, some of which are nutritious, some of which are unhealthy, and still others which fall somewhere in between. As a result, it is an excellent moment to obtain a degree in nutrition, which opens up a wide range of prospective employment options.
We will examine some of the most typical as well as some of the most unusual employment opportunities for someone with a nutrition degree in this post.
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What Can You Do With a Nutrition Degree?
Being a nutritionist is the easiest and most adaptable employment option for people with a nutrition degree. Nutritionists, in general, are medical specialists who focus on using food and nutrition to improve people’s health and prevent or lessen the effects of disease.
Nutritionists advise their patients on what foods to consume and in what amounts, sometimes in the form of detailed meal plans. Nutritionists advise their patients on choosing, preparing, and developing a love of healthy, nutrient-dense foods using research that is backed by data.
Schools, hospitals, nursing homes, and private practices are just a few places where nutritionists work. They frequently have the option to focus on a specific field of nutrition, such as sports nutrition, nutrition for people with eating disorders, pediatric nutrition, or nutrition for public health/community.
While some dietitians operate independently in solo practices, others collaborate with a sizable team of specialists in public venues including schools and hospitals. The job can be tailored to the abilities and interests of the nutritionist as well as the needs of the patients, and it lends itself to a variety of venues and work arrangements.
2. Registered Dietician (RD)
The difference between a nutritionist and a registered dietician (RD) is that the latter must go through a certification process, whereas anyone can call themselves a nutritionist. A bachelor’s degree in nutrition degree with a set of courses approved by the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics’ Accreditation Council for Education in Nutrition and Dietetics, at least 1,200 hours of supervised apprenticeship at an accredited facility, and passing a national Registration Examination for Dietitians administered by the Commission on Dietetic Registration are specifically required to earn RD certification and the right to use the title “RD.”
Similar to nutritionists, after an RD has finished all the requirements to become one, they can work in a variety of settings, including but not limited to corporations, schools, healthcare settings including hospitals and nursing homes, and the food and beverage sector. Where an RD works will determine the specifics of their job description, but in general, RDs advise patients on diet and nutrition. That could entail developing meal plans, spreading information, identifying the underlying causes of health problems, engaging the community, and/or carrying out research to develop fresh insights and understandings.
3. Food Safety Auditor
Food safety auditors fall under the category of Occupational Health and Safety Specialists, according to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics. Particularly those with years of experience under their belt, food safety auditors are frequently paid highly; according to ZipRecruiter, the highest-paid food safety auditors make up to $140,500 annually. Since many food safety auditors travel frequently for work, a sizable portion of their living expenses are covered by the business.
The 2016 Food Safety Modernization Act has helped to increase demand for food safety auditors, which is expected to continue. Following the passage of this Act, many more facilities than before were required to conduct food safety audits, and the demand for this specialized service is still present today.
Verifying that facilities adhere to the most recent standards established by the FDA for a certain industry is the aim of food safety auditing. Audits of food preparation facilities, farms, restaurants, food packaging facilities, and other locations may be conducted by food safety auditors. Food safety auditors are required to complete thorough documentation on their findings following an audit, which necessitates great attention to detail. Although food safety auditors frequently go to sites, a large portion of their work also entails reviewing daily reports from plants.
4. Health Coach
Health coaches frequently adopt a broad, all-encompassing perspective on health; they offer customers advice on lifestyle, exercise, mental health, relationships, and other areas that have an impact on their general well-being in addition to diet and nutrition. Because there is no official national certification body for the field of health coaching, it is significant to remember that anyone can call themselves one. As a result, obtaining a degree in nutrition is not a requirement for working as a health coach, but it does give one a solid foundation in the field of food and nutrition science. A health coach’s credibility may be increased with a nutrition degree.
Similar to sports coaches, health coaches encourage and challenge their customers, monitor their development, recognize their accomplishments, and keep them accountable for achieving their objectives. A health coach often plays a more active part in clients’ life, communicating frequently by text, email, or phone, as opposed to a nutritionist or registered dietician who is more like a clinician who meets patients once per week or two for a scheduled session. People who desire to look and feel better in all areas of their lives may be drawn to working with a health coach, as opposed to those who need particular advice on how to eat for a specific medical condition or how to lose a certain amount of weight.
5. Nutrition Educator
To spread knowledge about nutrition and good eating, nutrition degree educators are in charge of creating and delivering lessons, seminars, presentations, and interactive events. Occasionally, if a nutrition degree educator is also a licensed dietician, they may also provide client counseling and carry out examinations relating to diet and nutrition.
A significant portion of a nutrition degree educator’s job entails researching current trends and best practices in nutrition and dietetics and then devising clear, comprehensible, and interesting ways to communicate those findings to various audiences. In essence, nutrition educators are teachers with a focus on nutrition. Therefore, those thinking about a career in this field should feel at ease running online and in-person workshops, seminars, courses, and one-on-one sessions.
A career as a nutrition degree educator might be a good fit and a meaningful way to share potentially life-changing information with others for people who are skilled at research, gathering input from industry professionals like doctors and nutritionists, and packaging that information into actionable insights for particular audiences.
6. Blogger/Content Creator
Typical pay: $32,000+
Without current technological platforms and tools, there would not be the distinctive vocations that the internet and social media have given rise to (and still do). One such internet-based profession is blogging. One of the most well-liked and financially rewarding blogging topics is health and wellness, but there is a lot of competition in this area.
Instead of attempting to appeal to everyone, a blogger (or a “micro-blogger” on Instagram, or a video content creator on a site like TikTok) should select a relatively small target audience. For instance, a fresh graduate in nutrition might produce nutrition information for male undergrads using a college meal plan. Another nutrition degree graduate might concentrate on producing nutrition information for adolescent and young adult women training for marathon events. An advantage of being a health food blogger is being specific.
The typical work schedule for content producers is flexible, self-directed, and allows them to operate remotely from any location with an internet connection. The downside of this flexibility and independence is that it may take some time to gain a following, and money is not always guaranteed. Before a blog or Instagram account starts to generate income, years may pass. Because of this, it is usually advisable to approach blogging or content creation as a side business at first rather than your main source of revenue.
7. Food Scientist
Typical wage: $66,400
To learn how foods decay in various environments (such as the refrigerator versus a paper bag on the counter) and how they are digested, food scientists examine the microbiology and chemistry of foods. They provide the data required for food nutrition labeling and accurately assess the nutritional composition of food to establish its nutrient levels.
Food scientists also study the natural world for novel food sources and work on strategies to guarantee that processed foods have great flavor, nutritious profiles, are toxin-free, and promote rather than degrade health. Additionally, they look into ways to improve the manufacturing of processed meals.
Most food scientists are employed by the federal government, academic institutions or commercial businesses. In the course of their employment, they wear many hats, staying up to date with rules and ensuring food is nutritional, delicious, and safe. Additionally, they might try to enhance the food’s chemical make-up, nutritional value, flavor, color, and/or texture. Graduates with nutrition degrees who are considering a career in food science should be aware that working conditions frequently involve unusual settings, such as close proximity to animal products and extremely frigid temperatures (for storing and preserving food).
8. New Food Product Developer
Food product developers combine a variety of skills, such as the scientific training of a nutrition major with the “finger on the pulse” mentality of a trend-setter.
A developer must comprehend both the reality of the consumer market and the chemistry and nutrition of food in order to create a successful new food product. An ideal situation for a new food product creator is to be at the fore of a significant food trend. Iced coffee, Icelandic skyr yogurt, “superfoods” like chia seeds and acai, coconut water, and other innovative food products that have been developed successfully in the last ten years are a few examples.
Successful food developers are able to blend the science of nutrition with their entrepreneurial instincts to spot market gaps and unmet customer requirements. Developers of new food products routinely sample new goods and record the findings. They might also contribute to a product’s branding and marketing.
9. Corporate Wellness Consultant
Typical wage: $72,900
Many businesses now provide wellness initiatives and health programs to workers because happy, healthy employees are more productive and produce higher-quality work, which benefits the business in the long run. Corporate wellness programs so benefit both the firm and the employees. Businesses frequently hire a corporate wellness consultant or corporate wellness coordinator as part of their wellness programs to manage the initiative’s implementation and to supplement and improve it over time.
A certified wellness consultant can increase engagement and customize the program to the needs and interests of the workforce because corporate wellness initiatives frequently struggle to engage employees. The effectiveness of current programs is also evaluated by corporate wellness consultants, who also assist businesses in developing plans to reduce employee healthcare costs, which are rising as a result of the growing number of chronic health disorders among Americans.
As interest in health and wellbeing among the general public rises and businesses continue to see the advantages of investing in initiatives that keep staff healthy, careers in corporate wellness are set to become even more in demand.
10. Public Health Nutritionist
Public health nutritionists pursue improvements in health and dietary practices at the community level as opposed to clinical nutritionists, who work one-on-one with clients. Dieticians who prefer to concentrate their efforts on putting policies into place to improve a population’s health and nutritional status are often registered dieticians.
To do this, public health nutritionists must be adept in spotting gaps and concerns in a community’s level of nutrition degree and developing original and useful solutions to deal with those problems and eventually enhance nutrition. Since public health nutritionists operate at the community and population levels, they may be asked to create programs to inform the general public and provide educational materials to the community in an effort to improve the nutritional status of the population.
Public health dietitians must take into account a population’s resources, culture, and willingness to adopt new nutritional habits while coming up with a plan of action. In order to reach those who would greatly benefit from improved nutrition habits but are afraid to try them, these professionals may need to devise creative outreach strategies.
Public health nutritionists can work in a variety of settings, such as schools or nursing homes, where they can make sure that young children and the elderly receive meals that are nutritionally adequate. They may also work for government programs like WIC or food stamps. They use the greatest nutritional knowledge and techniques to not just specific patients but also to entire communities.
FAQS on What Can You Do With a Nutrition Degree?
What is the highest paying job in nutrition?
Registered dietitians receive some of the highest salaries. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), median salaries range from $42,530-$93,640 as of May 2021.
What degree is best for a nutritionist?
Typically, anyone who completes a degree in nutrition can refer to themselves as a nutritionist. This could be varying levels of education: a bachelor's degree in nutrition, a master's in nutrition or a Master of Public Health with a concentration in nutrition.
Is A nutritionist a doctor?
To hold the title of Nutritionist, a person should have carried doctoral studies in the field of nutrition and obtained a Ph. D. degree. On the other hand, the title of "Dietitian" is given to whoever carries studies in nutrition schools for three years and obtains a B.Sc
What type of job is a nutritionist?
Nutritionists provide information on food and healthy eating and can work in a range of areas, including in public health, in the private sector and in education and research.
Your choice of nutrition degree will be aided by your work experience, which will also provide you with invaluable contacts and experience. Some nutrition degrees include a year-long work placement in industries including food banks, hospitals, sports facilities or research organizations.
If there isn’t a placement option for your nutrition degree, you can explore for options on your own. Any community job, whether it is nutrition degree-related or not, will help you hone your skills in public health or community education.
Along with major food, pharmaceutical, and sporting goods corporations, hospitals and NHS Trusts frequently provide work experience opportunities. Businesses highly respect any type of business expertise, but notably work in the food industry like catering and hotels.
No matter what your professional goals are, it will be beneficial if you can have some experience working in the public, private, and not-for-profit sectors since you might wind up working in all three. To stay current on industry news and connect with peers, you might also want to think about signing up for a student membership with The Nutrition Society.
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