Schools Offering Nutrition Degrees
- Average Salary: $53,250
- Job Outlook: 20% (faster than average)
All stats from BLS.gov
The importance of what and how much people eat is a growing concern in the public today. Obesity and health conditions attributed to unhealthy weight are a huge concern. Portion sizes have increased, and delicious but dangerous processed foods have created a need for professionals who assist clients with healthier eating habits.
A career in nutrition supports those who want to eat healthy, many whom would like (or need) to lose weight. This work consists of planning programs that address issues related to food and nutrition, observing meal preparation, and supervising meals that are served. Clients with health conditions are supplied individual dietary modifications recommended to help alleviate illnesses or provide treatment for allergic reactions.
Nutrition careers are available in private business and public institutions like schools. By providing individual one-on-one client consultation, nutritionists can devise customized eating plans and give straightforward, meaningful guidance for struggling patients. Most careers in nutrition involve working in well-lit, well-ventilated, clean areas, but there may be occasions where the jobs occur in congested, hot kitchens.
Patience when advising others on their nutrition is important. Everyone changes habits differently, and there may be some added coaxing and inspirational attitude that nutritionists must possess for clients that are suffering from extreme difficulty with food addictions. The careers in nutrition that receive the highest pay are those that require specialized training. A salary is also benefited with an advanced degree and when the state's certification and other requirements are surpassed.
- Dietitian: Dietitians cover a broad area of nutrition. Food systems are managed, healthy heating habits are promoted, research is conducted, and education is at the center of every nutrition plan.
- Clinical Dietitian: Institutions like hospitals and nursing care facilities are the focus of clinical dietitians. A patient's needs are analyzed; clinical dietitians then prepare and apply a nutrition program and assess and report the results.
- Community Dietitian: Along with individuals, groups are counseled by community dietitians. Nutritional practices are created to promote health and prevent disease.
- Consultant Dietitian: Healthcare facilities and private practices contract out consultant dietitians. Nutrition screenings are conducted. Advice is then supplied by consultant dietitians on concerns with diet which may include cholesterol levels and weight management.
- Management Dietitian: Management dietitians monitor larger groups like prisons, healthcare facilities, schools, and company cafeterias. Food service workers and other dietitians are hired, trained, and instructed by a management dietitian while also preparing budgets for food, supplies, and equipment, enforcing safety and sanitary regulations, and preparing reports and records.
- Associate Degree: 2 years to complete
- Bachelor's Degree: 4 years to complete
- Master's Degree: 1.5-3 years to complete
- Doctorate Degree: 3-5 years to complete
Most careers in nutrition require at least a bachelor's degree or higher. However, an associate degree may be sought prior to a bachelor's degree for a number of reasons. Those that are not comfortable with the college experience may want to first obtain an associate degree to get acquainted with the atmosphere of a higher education curriculum.
Others may want to receive additional study in specific areas that they may not be comfortable with in a bachelor's degree program. Also an associate degree assists those that need to improve their understanding in specific areas in order to score high enough to transfer to a four-year college that they desire to attend.
A bachelor's degree in the areas of foods and nutrition, food service systems management, or dietetics are all possibilities to receive the necessary education for a profession in nutrition. Students should attend schools that are accredited by the American Dietetic Association's Commission on Accreditation for Dietetics Education. Most states also have requirement that nutritionists be licensed by the state in which they are working. Those certified as Registered Dietitians are awarded by the Commission on Dietetic Registration of the American Dietetic Association. This credential is not required; however, certification increases the chances of employment.
Another way to further differentiate from others is by receiving a master's or doctorate degree in nutrition. Careers can be advanced with either degree so that individuals can fill management or public health positions, or perform research related to nutrition. (BLS)
While most careers in nutrition all have the prerequisite of a bachelor's degree, there are a range of salaries for a career in nutrition. Salaries are dependent on where the nutrition career is located. Urban areas tend to have higher salaries than rural areas. Also the length of time an individual is employed in a career in nutrition contribute to the salary that is earned.
A salary of $31,460 is earned annually by the lowest 10 percent of nutritionists. Many of those that earn this salary are beginning their careers in nutrition. The average annual salary is $50,590. A salary of $73,410 is earned by the top 10 percent. More experienced nutritionists that pass state certification receive the top 10 percent salary. (BLS)
The Bureau of Labor Statistics determines that a career in nutrition will be average in growth when compared to other careers. Nutrition careers are forecast to rise by 9 percent from 2008-2018. The area that is expected to grow the most is in the specialization of preventing disease through improving diet habits. Demand for nutritional counseling is also anticipated to require more careers in nutrition because the elderly population is increasing and will need this expertise in institutional settings. (BLS)
A career in nutrition incorporates numerous other disciplines when performing the duties of improving health in individuals, groups, and communities. Some of those related disciplines that are also career options are psychology, health education, and sports and athletic training.
A career in psychology focuses on the underlying causes of a patient's undesired or abnormal behavior or mental state. In many cases, food addictions or other physiological problems can be treated through psychology. While nutritionists look to alter dietary choices, psychologists counsel to change behavior which may or may not be related to food.
Health educators provide a more broad approach to informing others on health. Nutritionists educate the public by specifically centering on food, but health educators analyze all aspects of an individual to improve health. Health educators may also be instructors for students interested in nutrition and other health-related matters.
Sports and athletic training involves proper diet along with exercise routines to improve the performance of an athlete. Clients of sports and athletic trainers include recreational, collegiate, and professional athletes. When injuries occur, sports and athletic trainers establish a plan to heal those sports-related injuries.
Accredited Schools Offering Nutrition Degrees
|School Type||Annual Tuition?||Recommend Rate|
|Kaplan University||For-Profit||$11,115 - $20,736||25% (4 reviews)|
|Liberty University Online||Non-Profit||$19,154||Add Review|
|Arizona State University||Non-Profit||$22,319||Add Review|
|Penn Foster Career School - Healthcare||For-Profit||---||0% (1 review)|
|Ashworth College||For-Profit||---||50% (6 reviews)|
|Arizona State University||Non-Profit||$22,319||Add Review|
|1 Campus: Tempe|
|Everest College (Canada)||For-Profit||---||0% (2 reviews)|
|14 Campuses: Barrie, Brampton, Hamilton, Kitchener, London, Mississauga, Nepean, Newmarket, Ottawa, Scarborough, Sudbury, Thunder Bay, Toronto, Windsor|
|Ashworth College (Canada)||For-Profit||---||Add Review|
|1 Campus: Online|
|University of the Rockies||For-Profit||---||Add Review|
|1 Campus: Colorado Springs|
|Keiser University||For-Profit||$14,176||43% (53 reviews)|
|14 Campuses: Daytona Beach, Fort Lauderdale, Melbourne, Pembroke Pines, Port St. Lucie, Tallahassee, Tampa, West Palm Beach, Fort Myers, Jacksonville, Lakeland, Miami, Orlando, ...|