Nutritionist, Licensed Nutritionist, and Registered Dietitian Requirements By State

Registered dietitians, registered dietitian nutritionists, licensed nutritionists, and even non-licensed nutritionists must adhere to specific educational, experiential and examination requirements administered by the state agency that regulates the profession within each state on how to become a nutritionist. Requirements vary from one state to the next, and there are wide range of licensure and certification types. Those dietary professionals who perform work related to specific agencies, health care providers and government reimbursement programs also must fulfill special requirements. If you are interested in a career in nutrition and dietetics, research your state’s particular rules and regulations to make sure that you are able to properly assess the time and commitment necessary in order to reach your professional goals. The Commission on Dietetic Registration (CDR) of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics maintains an updated list of state requirements, links to state agencies and statute and regulation links here.

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Nutrition Career Requirement Laws By State

AL AK AZ AR CA CO CT DE FL GA HI ID IL IN IA KS KY LA ME MD MA MI MN MS MO MT NE NV NH NJ NM NY NC ND OH OK OR PA RI SC SD TN TX UT VT VA WA WV WI WY DC
map blue 1There is no legal opposition to individuals performing nutrition counseling on their own, although insurance limitations regarding reimbursement eligibility may apply.
map blue 2Anyone can perform nutrition counseling on their own, however only an RD (Registered Dietitian) is accredited and authorized to be recognized by the US Government as performing services that are eligible for reimbursement under the current health care laws.
map blue 3Unless an individual is licensed (or exempt in some cases), that individual cannot legally perform specific nutrition counseling. Additional licenses are available for nutritionists not interested in becoming an RD.
map blue 4Unless an individual is licensed (or exempt in some cases), that individual cannot legally perform specific nutrition counseling. The fact remains that unless one becomes licensed as an RD, they would remain ineligible.

Registered Dietitian/Registered Dietitian Nutritionist Requirements by State

Currently (as of 2021), the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics (AND) considers the credentials Registered Dietitian (RD) and Registered Dietitian Nutritionist (RDN) to be interchangeable. Those who fulfill the credentialing requirements of AND may use either credential. Becoming an RD or RDN is a challenging process that involves obtaining the proper education and experience through approved, accredited programs. AND regulates the RD and RDN practice nationwide. However, each state may also have its own state requirements for licensure and/or certification, in addition to those required to obtain RD/RDN credentials. Find your state below to check its current licensure and certification requirements for RDs/RDNs:

Licensed Nutritionist Requirements by State

A licensed nutritionist is a professional who has earned credentials through a nationally recognized licensing body. These include the Commission on Dietetic Registration (CDR), the Board for Certification of Nutrition Specialists (BCNS), and the Clinical Nutrition Certification Board (CNCB). Some states, too, require licensure and/or certification of nutritionists in order to legally practice within that state. Unless an individual is licensed (or exempt), they may not legally perform specific nutrition counseling. Additional licenses are available for those nutritionists who are not interested in becoming an RD or RDN (see agencies above). Choose from the states below where it is illegal to perform nutrition counseling unless licensed or exempt to see each state’s licensure/certification requirements:

Non-Licensed Nutritionist Requirements by State

In certain states, it is legal for anyone to perform nutrition counseling as a nutritionist, regardless of national registration/certification or licensure status. In these states, there is no legal opposition to individuals performing nutrition counseling on their own, although insurance limitations regarding reimbursement eligibility may apply. These states include: