Oklahoma’s 2014 State of the State’s Health Report revealed that Oklahoma ranked 50th in fruit consumption and 44th in vegetable consumption nationally. Oklahoma also ranked the 6th most obese state in the nation. As a result, there is a greater need for health care providers like nutritionists to build careers in the Sooner State. By offering nutrition guidance and counseling service, nutritionists are in a unique position to help create a healthier future for Oklahoma residents.
Presently, there are no license requirements needed to become a nutritionist in Oklahoma. However, since dieticians must obtain a license to practice in the state, nutritionists are prohibited to use the title of “licensed dietician.” As unlicensed professionals, nutritionist must exhibit their occupational proficiency through an accumulation of formal education, experience, and training.
Although nutritionists are not encumbered by education requirements in Oklahoma, the majority nutritionists have at least a bachelor’s degree. In fact, the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that among employed dieticians and nutritionists between the ages of 25 and 44:
There are several community colleges, colleges and universities in Oklahoma that offer both undergraduate and graduate degree programs in nutrition. Students that enroll in these programs can expect coursework to focus on subjects such as human nutrition, chemistry, food science, physiology, management, and food service administration. Examples of nutrition-related degree programs offered in the state include:
The Oklahoma Employment Security Commission reports that in 2010 there were 850 dieticians and nutritionists gainfully employed in Oklahoma. Employment projections indicate that by 2020, these professionals will reach 1,040. This employment increase within ten years indicates a 22% growth change. Jobseekers can expect 50 new job openings each year due to an increasing demand for these professionals and the need to replace workers leaving the field.
A nutritionist’s salary or wage in Oklahoma is often determined by several factors such as education, experience, training, geographic location, and industry of employment. According to the Oklahoma Employment Security Commission, in 2013 the median wage for dieticians and nutritionists was $22.86/hr. and the median salary was $47,500/yr. Additional pay statistics across varying percentiles include:
Nutritionists in Oklahoma are frequently qualified to for job positions as health and wellness coordinators, sports nutritionists, nutrition education specialists, health educators, nutrition coordinators and nutrition consultants. As such, nutritionists are not just employed by outpatient care centers, hospitals, and nursing care facilities. Today, colleges and universities, corporations, and state health departments are also actively hiring nutritionists. Local employers may include:
Professional associations are excellent resources for nutritionists looking for communities of nutrition professionals that improve occupational standards by provide information regarding education, job opportunities, training courses, occupation-related events, current news, and research projects. Professional associations for Oklahoma nutritionists include: