How to Become a Nutritionist in New Jersey
New Jersey is one of the many states that do not currently have a state licensing process in place for nutritionists. This, however, does not mean that there are not regulations and recommendations over the profession as a whole. On the contrary, there are many organizations that advocate for the professionalism that rightly belongs to every nutritionist.
So, if you are interested in how to become a nutritionist in New Jersey, here are some of the steps that you will need to take:
- Be aware of any existing or upcoming licensing regulations in your state.
- Be familiar with accrediting agencies and understand their role in this profession.
- Consider the degree options that are necessary and available to you.
- Learn about nutritionist certifications and why you will need this.
Nutritionist schools in New Jersey offer their programs in three levels: as an associate’s degree, as a bachelor’s degree, and as a master’s degree. All of these degree options are unique in time and purpose, and you need to do some research before you make a definitive choice.
An associate’s degree will get you into working as a nutritionist and will take roughly 2 years of your time. However, you should be aware that the industry trend is moving towards hiring individuals with at least a bachelor’s degree in nutrition, which will take about 4 years to complete.
The master’s degree, on the other hand, is usually something that nutritionists pursue further into their career as they begin thinking about advancement. This degree is certainly not something that you need to have upfront, but it is something that you should consider if you want to advance your career at some point.
Regardless of which degree program that you choose, your academic course structure will include some very essential courses, such as anatomical structures; biology; physiology; chemical compounds; nutrition; body systems, including digestion; effective patient care; and patient interaction.