State Requirements for Nutrition and Dietitian Fields

South Carolina

Becoming a Nutritionist in South Carolina

In September 2012, the United States Center for Disease Control and Prevention released a report documenting South Carolina’s nutrition, physical activity, and obesity profile. The reported revealed that among the state’s adult population, 66.9% were overweight and 31.5% were obese. These conditions are often linked to diets lacking nutritional content. By helping state residents develop healthier lifestyle changes, nutritionists continue to combat the prevalence of destructive weight conditions in South Carolina.

One of the reasons that nutritionists are inclined to practice in South Carolina is due the state’s lack of regulatory restrictions. Nutritionists are not bound by any licensing, education or training mandates. However, nutritionists are legally prevented from using the professional titles of “dietician” or “licensed dietician” as all dieticians are required to obtain licensure to practice here.

Nutrition Education and Degrees in South Carolina

Although there are no educational requirements for nutritionists in South Carolina, these professional often earn at least a field-related bachelor’s degree to show occupational prowess and credibility. Undergraduate and graduate degree earners are also better equipped to contend in today’s competitive job market. According to the South Carolina Department of Employment and Workforce, candidates looking for dietician and nutritionists jobs in 2014 had the following levels of education:

  • High school diploma—25.93%
  • Bachelor’s degree—40.74%
  • Master’s degree—18.52%

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Students searching for nutrition degree programs in South Carolina should locate one that is accredited by an agency like the Accreditation Council for Education in Nutrition and Dietetics (ACEND). Upon enrolling in a nutrition program, students can expect courses to cover topics in child nutrition, education research, community nutrition, data analysis, and food management. Examples of popular nutrition degree programs in South Carolina include:

  • Bachelor of Science in Nutrition and Food Management
  • Bachelor of Science in Human Nutrition
  • Master of Science in Nutritional Sciences: Nutritional Health Care
  • Master of Science in Nutritional Sciences: Food and Nutrition
  • Master of Science in Human Nutrition

South Carolina Nutritionist Salary and Employment

The South Carolina Department of Employment and Workforce predicts that the number of dieticians and nutritionists employed in the state will rise from 796 in 2012 to 941 by 2022. As of June 2014, the greatest number of job openings for dieticians and nutritionists were in Richland, Florence, and Laurens. Examples of local employers that hire nutritionists in South Carolina:

  • Fresenius Medical Care Holdings, Inc.
  • Compass Group North America
  • Georgetown Healthcare and Rehab
  • Clemson University
  • Morrison Management Specialists
  • HCR ManorCare

In 2013, the entry-level annual salary for nutritionists working in South Carolina was $28,740. Professionals earning median salaries received $44,520/yr. while experienced nutritionists were paid closer to $55,020/yr. On the other hand, the entry-level hourly wage for nutritionists in the state was $13.81. The median hourly wage for these professionals was $21.41/hr. while experienced workers received closer to $26.45/hr. The regions that boasted the highest salaries for nutritionists:

  • Charlotte-Gastonia-Concord
  • Charleston
  • Anderson
  • Columbia
  • Spartanburg

Nutritionist Associations in South Carolina

A great way for nutritionists to get more involved in the nutrition community is by becoming an active member in a professional association dedicated to nutrition. These organizations are information hubs designed to help nutritionists forge business connections, receive occupational news updates, learn about certification options, attend industry events, participate in training programs, and obtain job placements. Professional associations for nutritionists in South Carolina:

  • South Carolina Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics
  • American Society for Nutrition
  • South Carolina Dietetic Association
  • National Association of Nutrition Professionals
  • South Carolina Association of Nutrition and Foodservice Professionals
  • American Nutrition Association
  • South Carolina School Nutrition Association

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