To become a nutritionist, nutrition advisor, or nutrition counselor in Colorado does not require any specific education or credentials. Although Colorado does not require nutritionists to be licensed or certified in order to practice, many jobs may require a certain level of education to be considered as a candidate for employment.
Employment of nutritionists in Colorado is expected to grow by about 26% over the ten year period of 2012-2022, a faster than average rate of growth. In 2012, there were over 1,100 nutritionists and dietitians in Colorado. The projected number of nutritionists and dietitians in 2022 is more than 1,400. An entry level nutritionist can expect to earn about $17 per hour or approximately $36,000 annually. Education and experience can increase the rate of pay to more than $30 per hour and $62,000 or more each year. Other factors that would influence the rate of pay would include the type of employer (hospital vs self-employed, for example) and location (urban vs rural).
Many nutritionists have at least a bachelor's degree in nutrition, food science, or similar field of study. Others have obtained degrees or certification in fields such as nursing, public health, exercise science, or medicine and have chosen to focus on the nutrition aspects of their particular field.
For example, a nurse might specialize in helping diabetic patients make healthful diet choices, a public health specialist may work with low income mothers to ensure they help their children eat well for their growing bodies, and a personal trainer may include food and diet advice as part of their clients' fitness regimen. Working as a nutritionist in Colorado offers qualified candidates a wide variety of employment opportunities because food and nutrition is such a vital aspect of each person's life.
The Colorado Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics (CAND) is a professional organization affiliated with the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics (formerly known as the American Dietetic Association). According to the CAND’s website, Colorado has five universities with accredited nutrition programs. These include:
Colorado State University (Fort Collins)
Johnson & Wales University (Denver)
Metropolitan State University of Denver (Denver)
University of Colorado at Colorado Springs (Colorado Springs)
University of Northern Colorado (Greeley)
Other universities may also have programs that focus on food, nutrition, public health, and similar fields.
Nutritionists are experts in nutrition and as such, their knowledge and skills are highly sought in a variety of fields. Hospitals, such as Denver Health Medical Center in Denver, Swedish Medical Center in Englewood, and Children's Hospital Colorado in Aurora, are likely to employ a large number of nutritionists, as do other health care facilities. Nursing home and extended care facilities also utilize the services of nutritionists, as it’s important to maintain good nutrition even at advanced ages. Many elderly residents have special dietary needs and a nutritionist is well qualified to help address those issues. Advanced Health Care of Aurora and Boulder Manor in Boulder are examples of well-respected nursing home facilities.
Other nutritionists work in the public health arena, often focusing on education to help citizens get the best nutritional value at the most reasonable and economical cost. Public schools often utilize the services of a nutritionist in order to comply with state and federal meal program requirements. Some fitness centers offer the services of a nutritionist to help members with their overall health and fitness goals. There are also a number of nutritionists who work through more holistic health offices, such as with acupuncturists, herbalists, and homeopaths.
Jobs recently listed for nutritionists include the following:
Depending on the level of experience and education and the desire to advance your career, becoming a nutritionist in Colorado is an excellent occupational choice.