How To Become A Nutritionist And A Registered Dietitian

How to become a Nutritionist and a Registered Dietitian: Fields in Nutrition

Nutritionists give complete guidance to people about their diet. They tell them about how to improve their diet and can live a healthier life. If you are interested in Dietetics and other food-related science, then adopting a Nutrition career will be the right choice. In this whole text, I will guide you about almost everything related to this career, like their responsibilities, becoming a nutritionist, or frequently asked questions associated with this career.

What skills does a nutritionist have?

A nutritionist is a specialist in diet and food sciences. Furthermore, he guides other people about how to they can improve their lifestyle by exchanging current diet plans with healthier ones. They also give complete awareness about how to manage a disease with a diet. People can meet their health-related goals by consulting with a nutritionist.

Nutritionists verified by the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics are known as Dietitians. National acknowledged professionals are titled Registered Dietitians in the U.S. While on the other hand, each state promotes their nutritionists.

A nutritionist always needs communication, systematic and organizational skills. Nutritionists work individually to improve livings of other people and work with a team as well.

Nutritionists and registered dietitians pursue their careers in hospitals, nursing centers, and food-related departments and also work with their clients in homes as well as in schools, colleges, and universities.

Mean Wage

The mean annual income for a nutritionist in the U.S is about $52,669. Besides this, some income range Is from $14,000 to $123,000 per annum. Their income mostly depends upon their qualifications, experience, and location. Registered nutritionists and dietitians earn more because of licensures and certificates.

How to pursue a career as a nutritionist?

Following are some steps for someone who wants to opt nutrition career.

  1. Select whether you want to become a nutritionist or a registered dietician
  2. Earn your Bachelor’s degree in health-related science
  3. Raise your Education status by a Master’s and doctoral degree in nutrition
  4. Internship
  5. Search about certification requirements of your state
  6. Earn a registered nutritionist certificate
  7. Be registered as a certified nutritionist
  8. Keep your Registration maintain

1. Select either you want to become a nutritionist or a registered dietitian

Certified nutritionists and dietitians choose nutrition to guide people to improve their lifestyle and overall well-being with a healthier diet plan. But some points also affect their selection of field.


Generally, nutritionists control food-related tasks. But dietitians can check out nutritional diseases and try to treat them with a proper healthy diet.

Legal Requirements

Every state has its legal requirements for nutritionists. In some states, certifications are not required for nutritional advice. But on the other hand, some states declare certification compulsory for nutritionists and dietitians. And the Commission on Dietetics and Registration (CDR) issues these certificates.

Title Recognition

The title “nutritionist” is not known nationally. While the title “registered dietitian” is recognized everywhere. This title is legally approved. It is clear that all nutritionists are not dietitians, but all dietitians are nutritionists.

2. Carrying a Bachelor’s Degree in food or health-related fields

After selecting your field, earn a bachelor’s degree in food and nutrition-related degree. These fields may include Food Service System Management, Dietetics, etc. Famous degrees in nutrition career are Bachelor of Science in Nutrition Bachelor of Science in Health Care Administration Leadership or Bachelor of Arts in General Health Studies.

If you want to be a clinical nutritionist, you will pursue a Bachelor’s degree in Clinical Nutrition. Because this degree will guide you to more complex topics as modern biochemistry, research-based practices, and communicational skills. If you are a clinical nutritionist, you should emphasize your focus on their clients’ diet. They do not focus on the necessities of general people.

If you want to be a certified dietitian, choose a health and nutrition-related degree registered by the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics Accreditation Council for Education in Nutrition and Diet.

3. Raise your Education status by a Master’s and doctoral degree in nutrition

Nowadays, advanced degrees promote us to positions of educators and researchers in any profession or career. Though these professional degrees are not required to work as a nutritionist. But with these degrees, nutritionists are paid more. These degrees help nutritionists to earn certificates are licensure to register themselves. Master’s degree completes in about two years of regular schooling. It includes public policy, population health issues, medical nutrition therapy, statics, and molecular biology.

If you want to opt for a doctoral degree in nutrition, you must have a Master’s degree in any health-related field like in food, advanced nutrition, or in their research applications. A doctoral degree is a researched-based degree.

4. Add an internship

To attain communication skills and experience, you must add an internship at the end. Because this internship makes you more experienced and professional. You can add an internship period to your education during your undergraduate program. You can also complete your internship in a short period after graduating. Experience is essential for licensures and certificates. This internship may complete 500 hours to 1200 hours of practice and work in any nutrition and health-related field.

5. Search about state requirements to become a nutritionists

Every state has different requirements for issuing certificates and licensures to nutritionists. Some state’s legal requirements include certifications and licensures, while some do not require them.

The Commission of Dietetic Registration of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics gives a detailed list of states that don’t need any certifications and licensures for nutritionists. But some companies also require certificates from nutritionists in that states. So, learn about all requirements in your area and state.

6. Earned Nutritional Certificates and Licensures

To earn more employment options, you should be registered with approved organizations. Here are some famous and authentic certificates.

  • Certified Nutrition Specialist: You need a master’s degree in a health-related field to earn this certificate. You also require about 1,000 hours of internship or experience. Additionally, passing grades for certification are also needed from the Certification Board for Nutrition Specialists (CBNS).
  • Clinical Nutritionist Certificate: to earn this credential, you need a bachelor’s or master’s degree in clinical nutrition or any other related field. These additional courses include herbology and nutrition, and aging. Additionally, passing grades for certification also required from the Certification Board for Nutrition Specialists (CBNS).
  • Certified Health Coach: To earn this certificate, you must have a bachelor’s degree in the nutrition program. In addition to it, a passing grade is also required to examine any certification association like the National Society of Health Coaches and the American Council Exercise (ACE).
  • Certified Sports Nutritionist: To earn this certificate, you must have a bachelor’s degree in nutrition. You may also require a passing grade in the Board-Certified Specialist exam in sport Dietetics.
  • Certified Holistic Nutritionist: You must finish a complete course certified by the National Association of Nutrition Professionals. And also have about 500 hours of experience and even passing grades in the Holistic Nutrition Credentialing Board exam.

7. Be registered as a certified Nutritionist

If you want to gain Certificates for Registered Dietitian (RD) or Registered Dietitian Nutritionist (RDN), you need to have a bachelor’s degree program in Nutrition or Health-related fields. In addition, the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics must recognize these certificates. You also must have at least 1,200 hours of experience from any certified foodservice corporation, healthcare facility, or community agency. Additionally, you must have passing marks in the exam held by the Commission of Dietetic Registration nationally.

8. Keep your Registration maintain

Registered Dietitians and Registered Dietitian Nutritionists must have to keep their certifications continue. Furthermore, for more experience, employment and wage, they have to do it. For example, in every two years of service, registered clinical nutritionists need 40 hours to continue education. Every five years, they also need a reregistration exam. Similarly, registered dietitians must have to develop a learning program to maintain their certification.

Frequently Asked Questions

Here are some of the common questions about pursuing the field of nutrition and dietician:

Can I become a nutritionist without holding any degree?

Generally, every state has its requirements for nutritionists. Besides, it may be possible in some states that you can practice as a nutritionist without holding an official degree. In these states, companies hire those candidates who have certifications from the Clinical Nutrition and Certification Board (CNCB) and the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics (AND).

Can a Nutritionist be a Dietitian?

To become a Dietitian, you need a little bit more effort. Because being a dietitian is a little bit different from being a nutritionist. Besides, you must have a bachelor’s degree certified by the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. You also have about 1,200 hours of professional practice and passing grades in the Commission on Dietetic Registration exam.

Are nutritionists in demand?

It is expected that about 115 employments will increase between 2018 to 2028, growing faster than the average of all other professions. 



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