Licensed Nutritionist Career Overview

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.

Nutritionist Licensing Information By state

Licensed Nutritionist Job Description

The following bachelors and Master’s programs offer career-focused instruction delivered by trained nutritionists with experience in the field. Find out more what each individual course of study offers through the locations below.

Featured Nutritionist Programs

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:

  • Evaluating a client’s nutritional needs
  • Providing nutritional counseling and advice to clients
  • Creating a clinical nutrition treatment plan for a client
  • Educating the public on nutrition issues
  • Researching the effects of nutrition on health and fitness
  • Consulting with a team of health care practitioners on nutritional management for a client

Specializations for Licensed Nutritionists, determining the settings in which they may work, include (but are not limited to):

  • Clinical Nutritionist – works in medical and long-term care facilities
  • Public Health Nutritionist – works in community and government organizations
  • Management Nutritionists– work in medical facilities and institutions in planning meals and dietary needs
  • Nutritional Consultant – works in private practice providing nutritional information to others through counseling, educational seminars, and working with corporations
  • Sports Nutritionist – works with clients who are trying to get healthy through diet and physical activity, at fitness centers, gyms and sports medicine clinics
  • Animal Nutritionists – work with the dietary needs of animals, in research, for pet food companies, zoos, and veterinarians

Skills Required

Skills that are necessary to be a good Licensed Nutritionist include:

  • Being an active listener
  • Possessing  good speaking skills
  • Being an effective writer
  • Having good reasoning, logic and critical thinking skills
  • Possessing good coordination skills
  • Possessing good reading comprehension skills
  • Being perceptive and understanding to others’ reactions
  • Being able to solve complex problems
  • Being able to teach others
  • Being able to use good judgment and make good decisions

Licensed Nutritionist Education Requirements

Most states that require licensure of nutritionists also mandate that they are registered or certified through a particular Licensed nutritionist shopping for healthy foodorganization. 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 nutritionist 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):

  • Biology
  • Biochemistry
  • Chemistry
  • Anatomy and physiology
  • Microbiology
  • Nutrition and disease
  • Nutrition assessment
  • Nutrition counseling
  • Nutrition and aging
  • Nutrition and supplementation
  • Herbology

Licensure/Certification Qualifications

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.

Licensed Nutritionist Salary – Average Income

The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) groups dietitians and nutritionists together for statistical purposes. As of May 2021, licensed nutritionists earned an average salary of $65,620. Early career professionals earned about $49,490, while the most experienced earned about $93,640.*

Job Outlook and Demand

The BLS projects that jobs for licensed nutritionists will rise about 11 percent between 2020 and 2030. During this ten-year period, this occupation will experience about 5,900 annual job openings due to a blend of new job growth, retirements, and natural job turnover.*

*2021 US Bureau of Labor Statistics salary figures and job growth projections for dietitians and nutritionists reflect national data not school-specific information. Conditions in your area may vary. Salary statistics representing entry-level/early career = 25th percentile; mid-level= 50th percentile; senior-level/highly experienced = 90th percentile. Data accessed April 2022.

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