How to Become a Nutritionist by Tony Jacowski

The basic job of a nutritionist is to study, interpret and develop a revised diet for the patients. Besides this, a nutritionist also offers counseling on the required lifestyle and essential exercises, for a healthy life.

The increased awareness towards the right nutrition has made the job of a nutritionist a very sought after career option. It has carved a niche amidst several job opportunities available in food manufacturing, advertising and marketing.


In order to become a Nutritionist, you need to go study through a four-year nutrition degree, with an accredited college or university. The training enables students to plan menus, analyze case studies and practice cooking and various menu-developing skills, in a number of real life situations. The course demands thorough knowledge of subjects like Biology, Mathematics and Health Studies.

You also need to complete a short pre-nutrition course, to enhance your health care knowledge. Nutritionists need the specified certification, to practice as certified professionals.

Many states require a license for nutritionists. Therefore, it is essential to familiarize yourself with the various specifications of the state, before signing up for a program or a Nutritionist degree. You can also clear the American Dietetic Association credential exam, to be recognized as a Registered Dietician.

Types of Nutritionists

The major area of work as a nutritionist is included in clinical, community, consulting and nutrition management.

Clinical Nutritionists: Clinical nutritionists provide services to patients, by helping to assess specific nutritional needs. They also consult doctors and other experienced health professionals and coordinate medical and nutritional requirements. Many clinical nutritionists specialize in weight management, nursing care facilities and food management services.

Community Nutritionists: Community nutritionists counsel people on various practices designed to avoid health disorders and promote the importance of a well balanced diet. Their area of work involves developing nutritional plans, by evaluating individual specific health requirements. Nutritionists who work with home health agencies offer suggestions on grocery shopping and food preparation for children and adults.

Consultant Nutritionists: Consultant nutritionists generally work on a contract basis with health care facilities or manage their own private practices. Their area of work involves screening clients and offering advice on diet specifications, such as weight loss and cholesterol reduction.

Sometimes, their job even involves offering advice on wellness programs, supermarket do's and don'ts and other nutrition related businesses. In an effort to provide the proper treatment to their clients, they may also be required to consult food service managers and offer their expertise in sanitation, budgeting and food planning and safety procedures.

Management nutritionists: Management nutritionists supervise meal planning and preparation on a large scale for company cafeterias, schools, health care facilities and prisons. They generally hire, train and direct other food service workers, manage budgets for the purchase of food and supplies, enforce safety and sanitary regulations and prepare reports.

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the need for nutritionists is on the upswing and is likely to get better.

Tony Jacowski is a quality analyst for The MBA Journal. Aveta Solution's Six Sigma Online offers online six sigma training and certification classes for lean six sigma, black belts, green belts, and yellow belts.

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