Nutritionist Career Overview
Not all states require nutritionists to be licensed in order to practice legally. According to the Commission on Dietetic Re Registration (CDR) of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics (AND), the following states do not require formal certification, licensure or occupational regulation for nutritionists:
Keep in mind, however, that even in states without licensure requirements for nutritionists, some employers require nutritionists to be certified or registered through organizations such as the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics (AND) or the Clinical Nutrition Certification Board (CNCB). This career page will focus strictly on Non-Licensed Nutritionists who are not required to be registered or certified with any organization. Non-Licensed Nutritionists usually work in non-clinical settings, such as holistic and alternative medicine clinics and centers.
Nutritionist Education Requirements
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.
Purdue University Global's Bachelor of Science in Nutrition Program is an approved holistic nutrition education program through the National Association of Nutrition Professionals (NANP).
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.
George Washington University's Online Master's in Integrative Medicine with a Concentration in Nutrition specialize in promoting health and wellness through nutrition.
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).
Arizona State University offers an Online Bachelors in Food and Nutrition Entrepreneurship. Along with an Online Masters in Medical Nutrition
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.
Because Non-Licensed Nutritionists are not regulated by any certifying body or state agency, there are no prescribed educational mandates for the profession. It is necessary for a prospective Non-Licensed Nutritionist to have a thorough knowledge of nutrition and foods. Some employers of Non-Licensed Nutritionists may require that they have a minimum of an associate’s degree. Other Non-Licensed Nutritionists jobs call for a master’s degree.
Courses for Non-Licensed Nutritionists may be available at traditional colleges and universities, as well as at specialized trade schools and alternative medicine centers. Classes that aspiring Non-Licensed Nutritionists should take include:
- Sciences (chemistry, biology, microbiology, anatomy)
- Nutrition along the lifespan
- Nutritional counseling
- Organic herbs and potions
- Body systems and functions
- Medical terminology
- Nutritional supplements
Much of the knowledge that Non-Licensed Nutritionists have is gained through experience. Some alternative medicine schools and clinics offer students the opportunity to work in a practicum or internship setting. This can provide students with valuable real-life work experience that can be very beneficial when seeking work as a Non-Licensed Nutritionist as apposed to a nutritionist degree.
Nutritionist Job Description
Non-Licensed Nutritionists may work in traditional or alternative settings. Usually, their jobs entail providing advice and counseling to clients on nutritional and dietary matters. Job duties may be tailored to the job setting for a Non-Licensed Nutritionist. Sites in which one may find a Non-Licensed Nutritionist, in states not requiring licensure for nutritionists, include:
- Alternative medicine practice
- Holistic health center
- Private practice
- Community centers
- Nonprofit organizations
- Fitness and beauty centers
- Retail and industry
Duties for a Non-Licensed Nutritionist may include:
- Assessing the nutritional needs of clients
- Offering nutritional advice and counseling to clients
- Creating individualized nutrition plans for clients
- Public education on nutrition, both traditional and alternative/holistic
- Consulting with other health professionals for the good of the client
Nutritionist Skills Required
The skills that a Non-Licensed Nutritionist should have include:
- Public speaking
- Critical thinking and reasoning
- Reading comprehension
- Sensitivity to others’ feelings, actions and reactions
- Flexibility in thinking and open-mindedness
Because Non-Licensed Nutritionists are not required to be licensed, there are no qualifications that one must fulfill through any credentialing body, state or other jurisdictional regulating body.
Nutritionist Average Income
It is difficult to pinpoint an average income for non-licensed nutritionists in the United States because the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) does not maintain separate statistics for nutritionists without licenses. As of May 2021, the average salary for a licensed nutritionist was $65,620. Early career professionals earned about $49,490, while the top earners in the field earned about $93,640.*
Nutritionist Job Outlook and Demand
The BLS projects that between 2020 and 2030, nutritionist jobs will increase by about 11 percent. It is expected that opportunities for non-licensed nutritionists will increase similarly due to a rise in alternative and non-traditional medicine.*
*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.