State Requirements for Nutrition and Dietitian Fields


Becoming a Nutritionist in Iowa

Iowa, nicknamed the Hawkeye state in honor of Chief Black Hawk, leader of the Sauk Indians, has a population of 3,090416 (2012), making it the fifteenth least populated state in the U.S. It was ranked second best in the “Quality of Life” survey reported annu8al by the Congressional Quarterly Press. The survey compares such things as education, environment, safety, health care and cost of living. Iowa just might be the ideal place for you to become a nutritionist.

Nutritionist Degree Certification and Licensing in Iowa

Like most states, dieticians in Iowa are licensed but nutritionists are not. However, it is possible in Iowa to be licensed as a certified clinical nutritionist. All of these careers require formal training in the science of food and nutrition but there are educational requirement difference. Also, dieticians emphasize specific foods and eating habits while nutritionists focus more on the nutritional value of foods.

Nutritionist Educational Requirements. You can become a nutritionist in Iowa with just an Associate’s degree; however, almost all good jobs require at least a bachelor’s degree in nutrition. Many nutritionists in Iowa begin working with a bachelor’s degree and later earn a master’s.

Courses you are likely to take to earn a Bachelor of Science degree in nutrition include:

  • Science courses like Chemistry, Biology, Anatomy and Biochemistry
  • The principles of Human Nutrition
  • Advanced Nutrition and Metabolism
  • Medical Nutrition and Disease
  • Food Laws and Regulations
  • Functional Food
  • Pediatric and Geriatric Nutrition
  • Obesity Across the Lifespan
  • Biopsychology
  • Nutritional Counseling
  • Nutritional Supplements
  • Medical Terminology

Certified Clinical Nutritionist Requirements. The first step toward becoming a certified clinical nutritionist is to satisfy the core educational requirement of at least a bachelor of science (most applicants have a master’s or doctoral degree) that includes three semester hours in each of these subjects:

*Featured Master's Program:

American University’s online Master of Science in Nutrition Education will prepare you to become an influential leader in nutrition education and advocacy. With a master’s in nutrition education, you will be well positioned to bring about real change through the development of educational programs that promote nutrition and healthy lifestyle choices in your community and beyond.

Request free information to find out more about American University’s flexible online Master of Science in Nutrition Education program.

  • Anatomy
  • Physiology
  • Chemistry
  • Human Biology
  • Microbiology
  • Biochemistry
  • Introduction to Nutrition
  • Advanced Nutrition
  • Nutrition and Disease
  • Nutritional Assessments
  • Nutrition Counseling Strategies
  • Nutrition and Aging
  • Nutritional Supplements
  • Herbology

Depending on your background, you are likely to be required to complete the 52-hour, online program, “Studies in Clinical Nutrition.” You will then have to submit your credentials for approval before being allowed to take a written test that demonstrates your competence in clinical nutrition. Once you pass and are certified you can submit your licensure application to the Iowa Board of Medicine.:

Nutrition Schools in Iowa- The following Iowa cities all have colleges or universities with bachelor’s and master’s programs in nutrition:

  • Ames
  • Ankeny
  • Davenport
  • Forest City
  • Iowa City

There are approximately 140 students graduating from Iowa schools each year with degrees in nutrition.

Nutritionist Salary and Job Growth

There are currently 780 actively employed nutritionists in Iowa earning an annual median salary of $50,300. The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) predicts that number will increase by eight percent, or to 850 jobs, by 2018.

Nutrition Job Description and Job Opportunities in Iowa

You can either open a private practice as a nutritionist or work for an employer. .Depending on employer, you might have any of these duties as a nutritionist:

  • Educating the public about nutrition issues
  • Assessing a patient’s or client’s nutritional needs
  • Creating school lunch programs
  • Planning school breakfast programs for low-income children
  • Providing individual nutrition counseling
  • Calculating caloric needs
  • Planning meals for diabetics and heart patients
  • Doing nutritional research
  • Testing prepared foods to assure the veracity of food labels
  • Teaching nutrition classes
  • Design nutritional posters and brochures

You might work for a wide variety of employers as a nutritionist, including:

  • Iowa Department of Health
  • Iowa Department of Education Nutrition Program
  • Non-profit food service organizations
  • Hospitals, medical clinics, rehab facilities
  • Spas, hotels, resorts
  • Schools
  • Senior centers
  • Fitness clubs
  • Food manufacturers
  • Holistic health groups

It is noted that manufacturing is the biggest contributor to Iowa’s economy and food processing is the largest manufacturing sector. Iowa is home to food giants like Heinz, General Mills, Quaker Oats, Tyson and others.
Skills you need to be an effective nutritionist are:

  • Public speaking ability
  • Scientific curiosity
  • Critical thinking
  • Problem solving
  • Compassion/sensitivity
  • Reading comprehension
  • Ability to write clearly and succinctly
  • Flexibility
  • Good judgment
  • Open mindedness
  • Cultural awareness


Back to Top

Iowa Resources

General Resources


Career Specialties

American University