A Licensed Nutritionist has earned credentials from a nationally recognized nutrition licensing body, such as the Commission on Dietetic Registration (CDR) of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics (AND), the Certification Board for Nutrition Specialists (CBNS) or the Clinical Nutrition Certification Board (CNCB). Some states require licensure of nutritionists while others do not. A list of such state regulations is published by the CDR. Licensed Nutritionists are regulated by their certification board as well as by the state in which they practice. Once licensed to practice in a particular state, a Licensed Nutritionist may legally provide nutrition counseling, nutrition services and advice. Settings in which Licensed Nutritionists may work include hospitals, long-term care facilities, schools, community programs and nonprofit organizations.
A Licensed Nutritionist has studied nutrition and all of its specialties. This training will enable the Licensed Nutritionist to work in various settings, each of which carries its own job duties. A Registered Dietitian may be considered a Licensed Nutritionist, depending upon a state’s licensing laws, but not all Licensed Nutritionists are Registered Dietitians. The general job description of a Licensed Nutritionist includes:
Specializations for Licensed Nutritionists, determining the settings in which they may work, include (but are not limited to):
Skills that are necessary to be a good Licensed Nutritionist include:
Most states that require licensure of nutritionists also mandate that they are registered or certified through a particular organization. Many states require that Licensed Nutritionists follow the educational requirements for Registered Dietitians (RD), set forth by the Commission on Dietetic Registration (CDR) of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics (AND). This requires that all Licensed Nutritionists earn a minimum of a bachelor’s degree from a university or college accredited by the Accreditation Council for Education in Nutrition and Dietetics (ACEND) of the ADA. Programs must include classroom coursework and a supervised internship.
Other states that require nutritionists to hold a license state that Licensed Nutritionists must hold at least a graduate degree.
Finally, some states require that students by certified through another organization, such as the Clinical Nutrition Certification Board (CNCB). This entails earning at least a bachelor’s degree and coursework in the following areas (these courses are typically required of all Licensed Nutritionists, regardless of their certification status):
States vary in their licensure requirements for nutritionists. See this link to determine the requirements for your state. All Licensed Nutritionists must also fulfill the requirements of the body that certified them, whether it is the CDR, CNCB or another credentialing body.
The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) of the U.S. Department of Labor groups dietitians and nutritionists together for statistical purposes. They note that as of May 2012, the average salary for a Licensed Nutritionist was $56,170. The pet food manufacturing business produced the highest average incomes for Licensed Nutritionists, at $88,100.
It is estimated that in the decade from 2010 to 2020, employment opportunities for Licensed Nutritionists will grow by 20 to 28 percent, per the BLS.