The number of nutritionists being licensed in New York is steadily increasing, with 217 licenses issued in 2009, 280 licenses issued in 2012, and 319 licenses issued in 2013. As of January 1, 2014, there were 5,391 licensed dieticians and nutritionists in New York.
The New York State Education Department, Office of the Professions, certifies dieticians and nutritionists in New York. As such, the titles certified dietician-nutritionist, certified dietician, and certified nutritionist within New York requires certification.
The Education Department, Office of the Professions recognizes the primary function of a certified nutritionist in New York as providing nutrition care services that include: assessing nutrition needs and food patterns; planning for the provision of food as related to physical and nutritional needs; and providing nutrition counseling.
Note: There is currently proposed legislation underway (Bill S4999) that would amend the current New York State certification of dieticians and nutritionist and provide for a protected scope of practice under licensure.
To become a certified nutritionist in New York, candidates must be at least 18 years old and must meet all education, experience, and examination requirements of one of the following:
Individuals must complete at least 800 hours of planned work experience, which may be the structured part of the educational program or may be completed after the completion of the educational program. This work experience must consist of continuous work experience in the field of dietetics/nutrition and must be under the supervision of a NYS certified dietician-nutritionist or is a member of a national nutrition or dietetic association that is acceptable to the Department. The experience must include:
Individuals must have completed at least 10 years of full-time education (a full-time equivalent year is 1,600 hours) and supervised experience within 15 years preceding the application for certification. The experience must include:
It must also include at least 2 ½ years of continuous planned work experience in dietetics-nutrition, which must have been under the supervision of a NYS certified dietician-nutritionist or is a member of a national nutrition or dietetic association that is acceptable to the Department; AND
Individuals qualifying for certification through this pathway must also obtain the endorsement of three dietitians or nutritionists acceptable to the Department.
To satisfy the examination requirements for certification in nutrition, candidates must take and pass the Certified Nutrition Specialist examination through the Certification Board for Nutrition Specialists.
Candidates should contact the Certification Board for Nutrition Specialists at 202-903-0267 or at firstname.lastname@example.org to learn more about admission requirements and the necessary procedures for taking the examination.
Candidates for certification as a nutritionist must complete an Application for Certification and send it, along with all required documentation and the certification fee of $294 (made payable to the New York State Education Department), to the New York State Education Department, Office of the Professions, at P.O. Box 22063, Albany, NY 12201.
Required documents may include one or more of the following:
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, New York nutritionists made the top 10 list in a number of categories, as of May 2013:
New York was one of the first states to enact a Clean Indoor Air Act. In effect since 2003, this law makes it illegal to smoke in public places such as work places, restaurants and bars and become the model for similar smoking laws in many other cities throughout the nation. According to the New York State Department of Health, this law has greatly reduced the statewide smoking rate. As of 2015, Governor Andrew M. Cuomo announced that the smoking level across New York had been reduced to its lowest level in recorded history, at 14.5 percent for adults (well below the national average of 17.8 percent).
Health coaches in New York help clients change unhealthy behaviors such as smoking, overeating, low levels of physical activity, and poor dietary habits. While health coaches are more commonly found in urban areas of New York, some of them work in rural areas in the central and western part of the state. Special incentives are often offered to health coaches to attract them to work within these high needs areas, which have become notorious for being medically underserved.
Some health coaches in New York turn their interest, education and training in health and wellness into entrepreneurship. For example, Health coach Lauren Berlingeri joined forces with investment banker Katie Kaps to create HigherDOSE (with DOSE standing for: Dopamine, Oxytocin, Serotonin and Endorphins), an infrared sauna company. They have installed infrared saunas in health clubs, spas, wellness facilities and even private homes across the state. Their infrared saunas have become very popular, as they are purported to give clients all the benefits of a traditional sauna without any of the health risks.
Another New York health coach teamed up with Pressed Juice, LLC to create the cold-press juice company Juice Dr. This innovate company not only offers a monthly subscription that brings a selection of amazing cold pressed juices right to their customers’ doors, but also provides all customers with free access to health coaching services.
When it comes to the education for a career in health coaching, you may choose from a variety of majors since there are no legal mandates regarding health coaching in New York. This gives you a tremendous amount of freedom to choose an area of study that most interests you – whether exercise science, nutrition and dietetics, or holistic health.
Some jobs may call for applicants with Registered Nurse (RN) or Registered Dietitian (RD) credentials, both of which require the proper education and registration with national and state licensing boards.
Some entry-level positions in health coaching in New York accept candidates with associate degrees or undergraduate certificates, however, most employers expect their health coaches to hold a bachelor’s degree in such areas as:
If you are ready to follow your passion by making a career change to health coaching and already hold a bachelor’s degree in a non-health-related area, you may consider a master’s degree or graduate certificate in one of these majors.
In addition to the right education, you may decide to seek professional certification to improve your marketability as a health coach. You’ll find no shortage of health coach certification options out there, which can make selecting a reputable certification agency challenging. In most cases employers want to see their health coaches holding a specific certification that aligns with the objectives of the organization – whether it’s specific to exercise, nutrition, or a more general certification in health coaching. For this reason, employers routinely hire qualified candidates and pay their way through the certification process during their first few months on he job.
Just two of the options available to you in New York are shown here as examples:
As you search through the help wanted ads, you might notice that many of the health coaching jobs in New York require applicants to be bilingual, either in Chinese or Spanish (along with English) because of the diverse population of clients. In addition to your academic credentials, being bilingual could be the ultimate leg-up when starting a career in health coaching.
The following job vacancy announcements, sourced in September 2016, represent the types of employment opportunities available to properly credentialed health coaches in New York. These job vacancy announcements are shown for illustrative purposes only and are not meant to represent job offers or provide an assurance of employment.
Health Coach for Coalition of Asian-American IPA, Inc. – New York, NY
Working closely with primary care physicians, you will find new ways to inspire healthier habits among clients. You will promote wellness and help clients and employees improve their health through education, positive support and encouragement.
Community Health Worker for Academy of Medical & Public Health Services- Brooklyn, NY
You will help clients navigate and access community health services and resources. You will also guide them in adopting healthier behaviors. You will work with immigrant families and clinicians in social service counseling, translation, advocating for needs, and community outreach.
Health Coach for Community Health Action of Staten Island- Staten Island, NY
You will work with at-risk clients to provide community support, accompanying them to medical appointments, and following up. You will also provide leadership and peer support to staff.
Health Coach- Bilingual Spanish/English for Iora Health – New York, NY
Working for Grameen PrimaCare, you will engage and encourage clients to take an active role in maintaining their own health, helping them to change bad behaviors and adopt healthier ones. You will work with the patient from the time they begin the program until they leave and beyond.
Additional Resources for Health Coaches in New York
New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene
New York State Department of Health
Albany County Department of Health
Erie County New York Department of Health
Wayne County Public Health Department
Onondaga County Health Department
Monroe County Public Health
Niagara County Department of Health