Ohio Nutritionist Certification
The Ohio Board of Dietetics licenses only dieticians in the State of Ohio. However, the Board also recognizes that dieticians may use other working titles to describe their professional focus, such as:
- Clinical nutritionist
- Nutrition consultant
- Nutrition counselor
Further, Ohio code states that, by definition, the terms nutritionist and nutrition counselor “tend to indicate that the person is practicing dietetics.”
As such, individuals who want to learn how to become a nutritionist in Ohio should meet the same requirements to become a dietician.
Ohio law’s mandatory licensure law, which became effective on July 1, 1987, states that dieticians must be licensed to practice dietetics. Three, specific areas define dietetic practice in Ohio:
- Nutritional assessment
- Nutritional counseling or education
- Development, administration, evaluation, and consultation regarding nutritional are standards
Degree and Experience Requirements
To become a licensed dietician in Ohio, candidates must have completed a bachelor’s degree in nutrition or dietetics, as well as a 900-hour supervised practice experience to attain a limited permit to practice in the State. To qualify for the limited permit, candidates must be planning to take the state-approved examination.
Upon completion of the state-approved examination—the Commission Dietetic Registration for dieticians—dieticians are eligible for a full license. Candidates should contact the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, Commission on Dietetic Registration at 1-800-877-1600 for registration and scheduling information.
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).
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Arizona State University's Nutrition Bachelors and Masters level programs online prepare students for careers in Health Education, Community Health, Food Analysis and more.
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’s 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.
Applying for a License to Practice Dietetics in Ohio
The cost of an initial license is $125, and the cost of a limited permit license is $65. All applicants, in addition to completing the appropriate application (Application for License to Practice Dietetics or Application for Limited Permit to Practice Dietetics), must complete a criminal background check, which requires submitting fingerprints for a criminal records check to be completed by the Ohio Bureau of Criminal Identification and Investigation and the Federal Bureau of Investigation.
The application and related documentation, which includes a 2×2 photograph and transcripts, must be sent to the Board office at:
Ohio Board of Dietetics
77 South High Street, 18th floor
Columbus, Ohio 43215
All licensed dieticians in Ohio are required to renew their license on an annual basis and complete at least 75 hours of continuing education every 5 years. Individuals must submit a log of learning activities that must be approved by the Board. A copy of the log must be submitted directly to the Board and postmarked by June 30 of every year.
On every odd-numbered year, the licensed dieticians must report at least 1 CPE hour in jurisprudence related to current regulations and laws dealing with the practice of dietetics and any recent changes related to these laws, rules, and regulations. Ohio accepts online continuing education courses approved by the Commission on Dietetic Registration on the American Dietetic Association.
Nutrition Job Opportunities in Ohio
Practicing nutrition and nutrition care in Ohio is often done through hospitals, nursing homes, school districts, health departments, and healthcare organizations, just to name a few. Licensed dieticians in Ohio who wish to practice nutrition counseling, education, and/or assessment may therefore find a number of opportunities through the following organizations/businesses:
- Ohio State University Medical Center
- Armstrong Nutrition Management
- Fresenius Medical Care
- Premier Health Partners
- University Hospitals Case Medical Center
- Children’s Medical Center of Dayton
- Bureau of Healthy Ohio (BHO)
- CommuniCare Health Services
- Fayette County Memorial Hospital
- MedCentral Health System
- Cleveland Clinic
- Ohio Presbyterian Retirement Services
Job opportunities may also be available by networking through professional associations, such as:
Health Coach Job Information in Ohio
Ohio’s health coaches are valued for three important reasons: they improve the quality of life for individuals, they improve productivity in the state’s overall economy, and they reduce healthcare costs for employers and the government.
With health being a common concern among individuals, state government, and the private sector, it’s no surprise that health coaches have many opportunities in Ohio. This is made possible by private funding as well as public grants such as Creating Healthy Communities (CHC). The Ohio Department of Health announced in 2016 that it was accepting proposals for CHC grants for approved organizations involved in helping Ohio reach specific health goals by the year 2020. Grant recipients receive a minimum of $30,000 out of a total pot of $2.45 million provided to the state by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
As stated in the state’s Healthy People 2020 initiative, Ohio’s health goals include:
- Decrease the mortality rate from heart disease by five percent
- Decrease the prevalence of diabetes among adults by five percent
- Decrease the obesity rate among high school students by five percent
- Increase the number of Ohioans following the physical activity guidelines for Americans
- Increase the number of Ohioans following the US dietary guidelines for Americans
Health coaches can play an important role in achieving these goals. There is no time like the present to start combating the following challenging statistics reported by the non-profit organization Trust for America’s Health:
- One quarter of Ohioans are physically inactive
- 11.7 percent of Ohioans have been diagnosed with diabetes
- Only 7.1 percent of Ohioans met the recommended daily vegetable consumption in 2013
- 32.6 percent of Ohioans are classified as being obese
- 17.4 percent of Ohioans aged 10-17 are obese
College Degrees and Certificates
Businesses and government health agencies are realizing the importance of health coaches in the 21st century. As of now there are no national certification requirements or statewide regulations for this emerging class of professionals. However employers often specify a preference or requirement for health coach applicants to have a minimum level of education or certification.
Earning relevant health coach education or certification means studying topics that include:
- Exercise science
- Dietary theories
- Women’s health
- Holistic health
- Human biology
- Fitness and wellness
- Exercise physiology
- Wellness counseling
- Health communication
- Health promotion
Health Coach Education Options
Ohio is home to a number of colleges and universities that offer relevant degree programs for aspiring health coaches. Students can also choose among many national online programs that admit Ohio residents.
Examples of relevant in-state programs include:
- Delaware – Associate of Applied Science (AAS) as a Dietician Technician Registered (DTR)
- North Canton – Associate Degree as a dietetic technician
- Cleveland – Associate of Applied Science (AAS) in dietetic technology
- Youngstown – Associate’s degree as a dietetic technician
- Cleveland – Associate of Applied Science (AAS) in sport and exercise studies
- Columbus – Bachelor of Science (BS) in human nutrition
- Columbus – Bachelor of Science (BS) in human nutrition, dietetics
- Kent – Bachelor or Science (BS) in nutrition
- Columbus – Bachelor of Science (BS) in exercise science education
- Columbus – Bachelor of Science (BS) in health promotion, nutrition, and exercise science
- Athens – Bachelor of Science (BS) in exercise physiology
- Oxford – Bachelor of Science (BS) in kinesiology
- Cedarville – Bachelor of Science (BS) in athletic training
- Columbus – Master of Science (MS) in human nutrition
- Athens – Master of coaching education
- Columbus – Master of sports coaching
- Columbus – Master of Science (MS) in kinesiology, health, and exercise science
- Columbus – Master of Science (MS) in kinesiology, physical education
- Columbus – Master of Science (MS) in kinesiology, sports management
- Columbus – Master of sports coaching
- Bowling Green – Master of Education (M.Ed) in kinesiology
Certification Options for Health Coaches
You can also find national organizations offering professional certification programs that are relevant to health coaching. These programs are usually completed online, with admission requirements and curriculum content being dependent on the sponsoring organization.
Earning professional certification can be a good idea for several reasons:
- It will add to your existing qualifications
- It can justify higher compensation rates
- It can increase your competitiveness
- It can give your clients more confidence in your professional abilities
- It allows you to explore a career in this field before committing to a college degree
- It can meet the requirements or preferences of an employer
Among the national certification organizations, currently only one is accredited through the National Commission for Certifying Agencies, and that is the American Council on Education (ACE).
The ACE health coach certification offers three routes that are designed to meet the needs of your professional career goals:
- Health coach certification for fitness professionals
- Health coach certification for health care professionals
- Health coach certification for workplace wellness
The International Coach Federation (ICF) is another leading organizations dedicated to producing a large network of qualified health coaches around the world, enforcing high standards for the profession and offering independent certification.
The organization provides several different credentialing options for coaches including:
- Associated Certified Coach (ACC)
- Professional Certified Coach (PCC)
- Master Certified Coach (MCC)
Health Coach Career Opportunities in Ohio
Health coaches have two basic routes to successful careers in Ohio – as independent practitioners or as employees. Working as an independent practitioner means you own your own business, see your own clients, and possibly work as a contractor with larger businesses. Independent practitioners are usually experienced – they have already made a name for themselves and established a good reputation – and know how to be successful in this field.
In Ohio there are some companies that specialize in hiring health coaches to work with their corporate clientele, while other companies may hire you directly as a wellness coach for their staff. Examples of companies in Ohio that have availed themselves of health coaches for their workforces include:
- Cleveland Clinic
- General Electric
- Wright-Patterson Air Force Base
- JPMorgan Chase
- Mercy Health
- Ohio State University
- Nationwide Mutual Insurance Company
The following job vacancy announcements represent the types of employment opportunities available to properly credentialed health coaches in Ohio. These job vacancy announcements are shown for illustrative purposes only and are not meant to represent job offers or provide an assurance of employment.
Wellness Specialist with ProMedica in Toledo – As a healthcare organization ProMedica understands the importance of maintaining a healthy workforce and preventative care. That is why it hires health coaches to improve the health and well being of its employees. Incumbents in this position provide wellness coaching in person, via telephone, and online. Services include biometric screenings, blood pressure readings, cholesterol screenings, and bone densitometry. Applicants must have an associate’s degree and be a certified health or wellness coach, while preferred applicants hold any of these qualifications:
- Bachelor’s degree in exercise physiology, health promotion, public health, or a related field
- CPR first aid instructor certification
eHealth Coach with Cleveland Clinic in Lyndhurst – The primary duty of this incumbent it to engage with participants of the Cleveland Clinic’s ehealth program, which focuses on providing education and encouragement that supports healthy lifestyle behavior. This includes communicating online with clients, prompting participants who are not communicative, as well as tracking and recording health statistics. Applicants must have either two years of work experience in a health care/customer service environment or a bachelor’s degree. Preferred applicants hold a college degree – or progress towards such a degree – in any of these subjects:
- Exercise physiology
- Social work
Health Coach with Provant in Dayton – Provant is a wellness company that hires health coaches to work with its corporate clients to improve the health and well being of their employees. Health coaches provide health screenings that involve analyzing blood pressure, cholesterol, and BMI. They work one-on-one with clients and should have experience with methods of tobacco cessation, weight loss, clinical health education, and exercise encouragement. Applicants must have one of these certifications:
- Registered dietician
- Registered nutritionist
- Exercise physiology
- Health educator
Health Coach Resources in Ohio
Check with the following resources to learn more about health coaching programs, employment, education, and training in Ohio.
Government Resources and Programs
- Ohio Department of Health (ODH)
- ODH Office of Health Improvement and Wellness
- Bureau of Health Ohio’s Creating Healthy Communities Program
- Bureau of Health Ohio’s Chronic Disease Prevention
- Ohio Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics
- School Nutrition Association (SNA) of Ohio
- Ohio Athletic Trainers Association
- Ohio Hospital Association
- Ohio Public Health Association (OPHA)