A sports nutritionist is a continuously growing profession in the nutrition industry. Nowadays, all the college-level sports organizations and even professionals are acknowledging the importance of having nutrition-conscious lifestyles. Recently the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA), Sports Cardiovascular and Wellness Nutrition (SCAN), and Professional Sports Dietician Association (CPSDA) have joined their forces for promoting active nutritious lifestyles among the athletes.
Online Master’s degree in integrative medicine from George Washington University specializes in nutrition to promote health and wellness in life.
The sports nutritionist profession is continuously gaining more recognition as the sports community is continuously working on the improvement in athletes’ performance by working on their nutrition education. Sports nutritionists enter into this field after having numerous formal training and education in the disciplines related to nutrition. Generally, the most successful sports nutritionists are registered, certified, or licensed to specialize in sports, athletic, and fitness training.
Here is the small list that includes the responsibilities of a sports nutritionist. According to the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics:
- Facilitate professional development with nutrition
- Menu developmental plans
- Administering the nutrition value for individuals
- Creating nutritious food service initiatives
- Nutrition counseling for individuals
Education for a sports nutritionist
Generally, the regulatory restrictions for sports nutritionists naturally differ from state to state. Sports nutritionists are hired after occupational proficiency degrees in a career-related major like sports nutrition, nutrition, kinesiology, dietetics, food sciences, exercise science e.t.c. However, the sports nutritionists who complete their graduation or post-graduation generally attract a large portion of clients and employers.
The students searching for degree programs for sports nutritionists must select the one recognized by a nationally recognized agency like the Accreditation Council for Education in Nutrition and Dietetics (ACEND). Furthermore, that program should prepare the students for the Board Certified Specialist in Sports Dietetics (CSSD).
Sports Nutritionist Certification and Licensing
Every state is free in setting the certification and licensing standards for sports nutritionists because it is not a federally regulated occupation. For practicing, some states demand sports nutritionists to obtain a certificate or license from their board of nutrition, while some states don’t have such demands. In case the sports nutritionists are not legally recognized to become licensed or professional nutritionists, they often earn their credentials by a national credential agency like (CDR) Commission on Dietetic Registration to establish professional competency in their field.
The Bureau of Labor Statistics in the United States reports that about 67,400 nutritionists and dieticians in 2012 got employed around the country. In 2022 this number is expected to rise about 21% in a decade, equal to 81,600. In the profession of nutritionists, here are some top employment industries:
- Nursing Care facilities
- Special food services
- Outpatient care centers
- Local government
Career Path on How to Become a Sports Nutritionist
As a result of this fastly growing profession, sports nutritionists find positions in most settings with nutritionists concept with infused physical activity. According to the academy of nutritionist and dietetics, the typical workplace for sports nutritionists include:
- Athletic clubs
- College and universities
- Food corporations
- Rehabilitation centers
- Sports organizations
Sports nutritionist Salaries
According to the recent research by the government of the United States. In 2013 the average annual wage of a sports nutritionist and a dietician was $56,300. Besides, a sports nutritionist’s salary mainly depends upon his specialized training, formal education, the industry of employment, legal education, and experience. The states that have the highest salaries of nutritionists include:
Furthermore, the industries that are paying very high to sports nutritionist include:
- Insurance carriers
- Federal executive branch
- Home health care services
- Federal executive branch
- Office administrative services