More and more Americans are learning the importance of healthy eating. Obesity is one of the largest contributors to health care costs and leading causes of death in the United States. Diabetes has more than doubled in the past twenty years.
New rules and regulations are being enacted regarding food labeling and fat restrictions in this country to help protect the public. Americans are becoming more aware and more attentive to what and how they eat. Our diets have a significant impact on our health and well–being.
Help People Take Control of Their Health
This has resulted in increased demand for registered nutritionist. Many people need their professional expertise for proper education and to implement a plan for dietary controls and management. By making dietary changes, people can help prevent or control serious health problems such as obesity, diabetes, hypertension, and certain risk factors for heart disease and cancer.
A Varied Career
Nutritionists work in a variety of different capacities. There are Clinical Nutritionists, Community Nutritionists, Nutritional Consultants, and Sports Nutritionists. There are also Nutrition Technicians, which are trained and registered to support nutritionists and their patients. Nutritionists need specific education and training, and have to pass state licensing exams. Nutritionist schools can help prepare you for a rewarding career as a nutritionist.
Nutritionist vs. Dietitian
The title of Nutritionist and Dietitian may be used interchangably but their are distinctions between the two. At a minimum, a dietitian needs to have four year Bachelor’s degree in nutrition and dietetics, have completed an internship, and have passed a national registration exam from the Dietetic Association. Once they have completed these requirements, they can become a registered Dietitian in their state. While a four year degree in nutrition or a food related science is required, nutritionist typically do not need to pass a licensing or registration exam.
Because they are registered and licensed, a dietitian salary can be higher. They may be better prepared to counsel patients on nutrition and make recommendations. However, while nutritionist may not be registed, they may have more advanced education and have obtained a master’s degree in Nutrition. Dietitians can also go on and get a master’s degree in Nutrition or other food related science. For further discussion, see our nutritionist vs. dietitian difference article.
Different Areas of Focus
Nutritionists may specialize in areas such as diabetic, renal, cardiovascular, or pediatric dietetic care. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (bls.gov),the mean dietitian and nutritionist salary is about $55,000 a year. This is similar to that of food service managers, health educators and registered nurses. Pay is dependent upon their specialization, experience, and where they practice.
If you enjoy helping people, excel in biology and science, and are passionate about good health, being a nutritionist may be a great career for you. Find nutritionist schools in your area or online on our website.