(Last Updated on February 16, 2024)
To become a nutritionist, you must complete a degree from a recognized university. Beyond the degree, most states require nutritionists to acquire formal licensing and certification. They need it before they are allowed to begin working.
Employers who hire nutritionists may give their preferred qualifications to meet the needs of their clients. Nearly every university in the US offers nutrition and diabetic course although students may choose to enroll abroad. The following information is important if you want to become a nutritionist.
What type of nutritionist do you want to become?
You can study as a general nutritionist or specialize in a nutrition field. The fields you can specialize in are:
- Pediatric nutrition if you want to focus on children’s nutrition only
- Sports nutrition if your focus is on sportspeople
- Oncology nutrition if you want to focus on helping cancer patients with the right diets
- A registered dietitian is you are seeking to work in a larger field like advising about nutrition and health at a higher level and a wider scale.
- Holistic nutrition focuses on using natural food as remedies for treating specific ailments.
Training students to become a nutritionist
If you want to become a professional nutritionist, you need to join an academy of nutrition and dietetics. You must graduate with a degree in dietetics. As a nutrition student, you will learn nutrition and how to help people to eat health. Training as a nutritionist can be combined with other education.
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Understand where to study nutrition
There are thousands of universities around the world where you can study nutrition. It is in your best interest if you choose a well-recognized university. Here are some of the best universities where you can study nutrition.
In the US, you can enroll in universities like Arizona State University, Liberty University, Washington State University, Pace University, and Florida International University.
Other universities around the world
If you want to enroll in a university abroad, you have a wide choice of universities like.
The University of Sydney, McGill University – Montreal, Canada, Agricultural University of Athens, and University of Sao Paulo, Brazil.
The best nutrition degrees to study
You need to complete a bachelor’s degree or masters in clinical nutrition. You may require extra courses like herbology, aging, and nutrition. After that, you need to take a Clinical Nutrition Certification Board assessment test.
The majors you may consider are food science, chemistry, nutrition, diabetics, biochemistry, or biology. You may also consider community nutrition, psychology, clinical nutritional care, diabetics, and microbiology.
Licensing and certification requirements
Licensing and certification requirements depend on the state or country you are in. In the US, you need to pass special skills tests apart from your course tests. Search the requirements in your state or country. Some of the certifications are:
Registered Dietician, Registered Dietician Nutritionist. The tests for these certifications are given by the Commission of Diabetic Registration. Some states need practicing nutritionists to continually improve their education requirements.
If you earn a master’s degree, you must first work for up to 1000 hours to gain experience. After that, you will be issued the Certified Nutrition Specialist certificate. The certificate is issued by the Certification Board of Nutrition Specialists (CBNS).
The board encourages nutritionists to advance their education to the highest degree level. Other skills that can be useful if you acquire them are good communication skills. It also includes assessment skills, decision-making skills, and research skills. You may first work under an experienced specialist to help you acquire practical skills.
There are several programs you can consider if you want to advance to a higher degree in nutrition. You need to spend another two years in school to complete the course. Your course options are:
- Molecular biology
- Medical nutrition therapy
- Public health
- Probability, and statistics
To become a nutritionist, there are several sets of skills and academic qualifications that you need to achieve. You must enroll in a nutrition course preferably from a recognized university.
After graduation, there are several tests that you will be required to pass to get certificates and licenses. Nutritionists require to have other soft skills like problem-solving, communication, and research skills.
The licensing board advises nutritionists to continually advance in education to the highest levels.