State Requirements for Nutrition and Dietitian Fields


Maryland Nutritionist Certification

The Maryland State Board of Dietetic Practice, which was created in 1985 to operate under the Maryland Dieticians and Licensed Nutritionists Act, is responsible for protecting the public by setting standards for the practice of dietetics in Maryland. The Board recognizes and licenses both nutritionists and dieticians.

According to the Maryland Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, there are about 1,300 licensed nutritionists and dieticians in Maryland.

Applying to Become a Licensed Nutritionist in Maryland

To apply to become a licensed nutritionist in Maryland, candidates must complete the Maryland State Board of Dietetic Practice Application for Licensure in its entirety and have it notarized.

They must also provide the Board with an official transcript from the accredited college or university where they obtained their nutrition education. It must be mailed directly to the Board from the registrar of the university/college.

Applicants must also submit a fee of $75 (made payable to the Board of Dietetic Practice), which covers the cost of the Certification Nutrition Specialists Examination (CNS) examination fee.

The completed application and all related documentation must be sent to:

Maryland State Board of Dietetic Practice
4201 Patterson Avenue, Room 312
Baltimore, Maryland 21215

Passing the Examination for Licensure

Only those candidates for nutritionist licenses in Maryland who have met the supervised experience and educational requirements and have completed an application for licensure may qualify to take the Certification Nutrition Specialists Examination (CNS) of the Certification Board for Nutrition Specialists (CBNS).

After submitting the results of the examination to the Board, applicants must wait for the Board to notify them of their eligibility for a license. Applicants are then required to pay the licensing fee of $225.

Academic and Experience Requirement for Licensure as a Nutritionist in Maryland

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Candidates for licensure as a nutritionist in Maryland must be at least 18 years old and must possess a master’s or doctoral degree from an accredited college or university in nutrition sciences, with an emphasis in one of the following:

  • Food and nutrition
  • Dietetics
  • Community nutrition
  • Public health nutrition

All regionally accredited masters and doctoral programs in nutrition include the following course components:

  • At least 6 credit hours in biochemistry
  • At least 3 credit hours in physiology or anatomy/physiology
  • At least 12 credit hours in nutrition science

Individuals may also qualify for licensure as a nutritionist if they possess equivalent academic training in an area such as food science or nutrition education.

Upon completion of the necessary educational requirements for licensure as a nutritionist in Maryland, applicants must complete a course of pre-planned professional experience that results in 900 hours of supervised experience in nutritionist practice.

Maintaining a Maryland Nutritionist License

All licensed nutritionists in Maryland must keep their Maryland nutritionist license current by completing at least 30 hours of continuing education related to nutrition. The CEU’s approved by the Board include (but are not limited to):

  • The Certification Board for Nutrition Specialists
  • The American College of Nutrition
  • American Society for Nutrition
  • The Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education
  • The Accreditation Council for Pharmaceutical Education
  • American Osteopathic Association
  • The Red Cross
  • United States Department of Agriculture, including, but not limited to, Agricultural Research Services
  • National Institutes of Health
  • Food and Drug Administration
  • Accredited colleges and universities

Licensed nutritionists in Maryland are able to complete their renewal online. Those individuals eligible for renewal will receive an instruction letter from the Board regarding the renewal process. To complete the renewal process, nutritionists will need the following:

  • Maryland Board of Dietetics practice license number
  • Social Security number
  • Continuing education records
  • Visa or MasterCard for the renewal payment

Salary Statistics for Maryland Nutritionists

As of May 2013, the Bureau of Labor Statistics reported that Maryland ranked as the fourth top-paying state in the nation for licensed nutritionists. Maryland nutritionists during this time earned an annual mean salary of $64,120, behind only nutritionists in California, Nevada, and Hawaii.

Further, the metropolitan area of Washington-Arlington-Alexandria, DC-VA-MD-WV ranked tenth in the nation for its employment level of nutritionists, as of May 2013. Licensed nutritionists in this metropolitan area earned an annual mean salary of $58,530 during this time.

Professional Associations for Maryland Nutritionists

One of the best ways to stay current on the latest happenings in the field of nutrition is through membership and involvement in state professional associations/organizations, such as:

Maryland School Nutrition Association
Maryland Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics
Maryland Association of Nutrition and Food Service Professionals


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