Healthy Careers – All About Nutritionist Jobs
Nutritionists jobs are important to institutions that oversee the management and treatment of the health of others. Most often nutritionist will be found in health settings where patient and staff meals are often managed to ensure that healthy choices are available to help manage illness and to promote healthy eating habits in both patients and staff.
Nutritionist are also commonly referred to as Dietitians and will also be found in academic settings like grade schools, high schools, colleges and universities or anywhere where a large number of meals may be regularly planned and prepared.
Qualifications for Becoming a Nutritionist
All nutritionist will need at least a Bachelor’s degree to begin their careers. Various registration, licensing and certification requirements may also have to be met and will vary by state. To qualify as a nutritionist, your degree will need to be in an area related to food service systems, dietetics, food service management or food and nutrition. Some of relevant courses you take may include, but are not limited to the following:
- foods, nutrition or nutrition management
- biology & microbiology
- chemistry, biochemistry & physiology
- psychology & sociology
- institution management or business
There are hundreds of Bachelor degree and Master degree programs approved by the American Dietetic Association that give college students a wide variety of schools and programs to choose from.
Currently, 46 states have laws regulating dietetics and nutrition. Of the 46 states or jurisdictions, 33 require nutritionist to be licensed and 12 others require nutritionists and dieticians to be certified with the state. Only 1 state requires registration. Before beginning your career, it is up to you to know and understand what your state requires to practice as a nutritionist or dietician.
Nutritionist Job Descriptions and Duties
Nutritionist and Dietitians will plan and manage the meals and promote healthy eating for patients in schools, hospitals and nursing homes. They will also work with doctors and facility managers to ensure nutritional planning is done to meet the health needs of specific patients. Here are some specific types of nutritionist jobs and their descriptions.
1. Community Dietitians will work with families and individuals through community based offices and groups to promote healthy eating practices. They will also provide educational programs for community members and will even assist the elderly with grocery planning, shopping and food preparation.
2. Clinical Dietitians mainly work within health institutions to plan and manage food service programs. They will consult with and report to physicians to tailor diet plans and meals for specific patient needs.
3. Healthcare Consultants are nutritionist that often work as contractors to the various health facilities and organizations. They may also maintain a private practice where they advice, plan and consult for others on a contract basis. They can work for hospitals, amateur and professional sports teams, or even consult food service managers who have less experience and training in nutrition and dietetics.
4. Nutritionist may move into management and become responsible for the nutrition department of larger health facilities. There management skills can also translate into private practices and be used for other careers such as consulting and sales, where products related to health and nutrition are sold.
Health is a major concern all across the country. Nutritionist jobs continue to be created and filled to help manage and promote the healthy eating habits of students, healthcare patients and to service communities at large. Nutrition continues to offer a healthy number of career choices for students interested in a career in health and nutrition.