In 2010, Indiana State Department of Health officials became concerned about the health and eating habits of its citizens and produced the Indiana Comprehensive Nutrition and Physical Activity Plan, 2010 – 2020.
Goals of the highly publicized and widely distributed report emphasize improving the health of Hoosiers by reducing obesity (65 percent of Indiana’s adults were found to be overweight or obese), increasing both exercise and fruit/vegetable consumption, providing healthier school lunches and decreasing the consumption of sugar-sweetened beverages. The report has increased the demand for nutritionists in Indiana. The following tells you what you are required to do in order to become a practicing nutritionist in Indiana.
A bachelor’s degree or better is the minimum education requirement for both dieticians and nutritionists. As in most states dieticians, but not nutritionists, must be licensed and registered. However, nutritionists can be certified, which is sometimes necessary to receive insurance reimbursements for services rendered. It is noted that Indiana’s governor recently vetoed a bill passed by the state legislature which would have limited certification to registered dieticians, excluding nutritionists from Medicare and other insurance payments.
In 2013, 127 students graduated from Indiana colleges or universities with degrees in nutrition. The following Indiana cities have colleges or universities which offer nutrition degrees:
You can earn a bachelor’s degree in nutrition at the schools in all of these cities; four of them have master’s programs and.one offers a two-year Associate’s degree. Four schools have nutritionist certification programs.
In addition to general education requirements, courses you might take as a nutrition major include but are not limited to:
Post-baccalaureate nutritionist certification programs generally require two semesters of courses that improve your communication skills and deepen your knowledge of:
Your job functions as a nutrition might include any of the following:
As a nutritionist you will have an extremely broad array of job opportunities from which to choose. You will have to decide if you wish to be self-employed or employed by others. Self-employed nutritionists counsel individual clients, write about nutrition issues, open a health food store or create healthy food products.
Potential employers for nutritionists include:
The Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that there were 67,400 nutritionists and dieticians working in the U.S. in 2012 for a median annual wage of $55,240..The average annual wage varies by city as follows (highest to lowest):
It is estimated that there are 1,330 nutritionists currently working in Indiana. The BLS predicts that number will increase nine percent, or to 1,450 jobs, by 2018. That means job growth in Indiana is good but not as high as the 21 percent growth predicted nationally.
Indiana School Nutrition Association – dedicated to the promotion of healthy child nutrition in Indiana schools.
Indiana Association of Nutrition and Food Service Professionals (ANFP) – dedicated to providing optimum nutritional care through food service and management.