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.
American University offers two different programs focused on Nutrition and Health. Their Online Master of Science in Nutrition Education will prepare you to become an influential leader in nutrition education and advocacy while promoting nutrition and healthy lifestyle choices in your community and beyond. Or Earn your Master of Science in Health Promotion Management from AU’s award-winning program in just 20 months with $10K available in scholarships upon enrollment (qualifier is a 3.0 GPA).
UNC's MPH Nutrition concentration prepares students to provide, evaluate and communicate nutritional and dietary guidance that improves individual and population-wide health outcomes. In addition to developing their knowledge of nutrition science, students will explore behavior change, communication, counseling and the effects of dietary culture on individuals and communities.
Arizona State University - Online offers an Online Master of Science in Nutritional Science - Dietetics. Along with an Online Masters in Medical Nutrition
Bay Path University's health and wellness certificates build the knowledge, skills, and experience you need to upskill your abilities in your profession or to provide a robust concentration to your degree program for a specific role. Learn more about the Certificate in Food Science and Safety certificate.
If you want to work in fitness and nutrition, take the first step toward a new career with one of Penn Foster's accredited, online fitness and training programs. These affordable programs are all offered online, and can be taken at your own pace.
Grand Canyon University offers an M.S. in Nutrition and Dietetics.
Winthrop University offers an Online Master of Science in Human Nutrition and an Online Master of Science in Sport and Fitness Administration
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 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 organization. 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):
- Anatomy and physiology
- Nutrition and disease
- Nutrition assessment
- Nutrition counseling
- Nutrition and aging
- Nutrition and supplementation
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.