dcsimg

Nutritionist Certification

Nutritionists are food experts who help people understand how to eat healthy foods, form diet plans and menus, and manage their nutrition in order to be healthier. In order to begin working with clients, nutritionists must complete the proper education, then they must earn certification or licensing.

Educational requirements

At the minimum, nutritionists must earn a bachelor's degree from an accredited college or university. This degree can be in nutrition or in a closely related field, such as the following:

  • Food service systems management
  • Food and nutrition
  • Nutrition and dietetics
  • Clinical nutrition

These degree programs focus heavily on courses that include biology, nutrition, anatomy and physiology, and chemistry.

Many nutritionists choose to earn advanced degrees. Earning a master's degree or doctorate may open the door for further certifications, and that may in turn lead to more job opportunities. In addition to the educational requirement, most certifications require a minimum amount of supervised work.

The most common certifications include the Registered Dietitian Nutritionist (RDN) and the Certified Nutrition Specialist (CNS).

  • Requirements for the RDN include a minimum of a bachelor's degree and completion of a dietetic internship program. In some cases, the internship can be completed through a coordinate program, which is accredited through the Accreditation Council for Education in Nutrition and Dietetics (ACEND).
  • Requirements for the CNS include a master's degree or doctorate, as well as completion of 1,000 hours of experience in order to qualify for the CNS examination. The Certification Board for Nutrition Specialists administers the credential.

Additional certifications are available for those who want to work in a specific area of nutrition. For instance, the pediatric certification might be helpful for those who intend to work in schools, while the sports nutrition credential might be suitable for those who work with athletes. Among the most common specialty credentials are those in pediatric, renal, sports and gerontological nutrition. In most cases, credentials must be kept current with continuing education.

Benefits of this certification

Most states require licensing or certification of nutritionists or dietitians. Fortunately, most states have requirements for licensing that are the same as the requirements for RDN certification, so applicants should be able to prepare for both. Some states require only registration and certification, in which case either the RDN or CNS will likely suffice. Regardless of state requirements, some employers prefer or require a minimum of the RDN certification in order to consider an applicant at hiring time.

Earning certification proves knowledge, experience and expertise in the nutrition field, and that can bode very well for those who are seeking positions as a nutritionist. Earning additional certifications in a specialty field can bolster potential employment or salary opportunities even further.

Sources:

Description of Degrees/Credentials, American Nutrition Association, http://americannutritionassociation.org/toolsandresources/descriptiondegreescredentials

Dietitians and Nutritionists, Bureau of Labor Statistics, Occupational Outlook Handbook, 2014, http://www.bls.gov/ooh/healthcare/dietitians-and-nutritionists.htm#tab-4

Student Center, Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, http://www.eatright.org/BecomeanRDorDTR/content.aspx?id=8142

Nutritionist Schools

Refine School Matches
Hide filters
  • SUBJECT

    See More

  • DEGREE

    See More

  • PROGRAM TYPE

  • START TIME

    LOCATION
    Please enter valid US or Canada Zip.
            Results open in new window

            Searching Searching ...

            Matching School Ads
            5 Program(s) Found
            • Provides students with academic advisors to help them achieve academic success.
            • Has over 25 locations nationwide and six career-focused areas of study including nursing, business, legal studies, and more.
            • Offers a ONE COURSE A MONTH® schedule that helps students fit education into their busy lives.
            • Provides tutoring as part of curriculum and at no additional charge.
            • Offers educational opportunities to active military personnel, reservists, veterans, and their families.
            Good for Working Adults
            • Flexible Scheduling
            • Financial Aid
            • Transferable Credits
            3 Program(s) Found
            • Designated as a 2015 Military Friendly School by Victory Media
            • Students who qualify may earn credits from relevant work, military service training, or life experience through Credit by Examination Program (CLEP)
            • Offers 5 term start dates throughout the year
            • Class sizes are small, with an average 15:1 student-to-faculty ratio
            • Accredited by the Accrediting Council or Independent Colleges and Schools (ACICS)
            3 Program(s) Found
            Get allied health training with Ross Medical Education Center. We offer programs in dental assisting, medical assisting, medical insurance billing and office administration, and pharmacy tech.
            • Financial Aid
            2 Program(s) Found
            • Ranked among the Best Online Bachelor’s Programs in 2015 by U.S. News and World Report.
            • Lets undergrad students try classes before paying any tuition.
            • Has an average class sizes of 18 for undergraduate and 13 for graduate-level courses.
            • Offers numerous scholarship opportunities that can help students save up to $750 per term on their tuition.
            • Tends to educate degree-seeking online and campus-based students who are adult learners with families and students who work while pursuing higher education.
            Show more [+]
            • Online Courses
            • Financial Aid
            3 Program(s) Found
            • Provides students the opportunity to train at home in their spare time to get their high school diploma, train for a new career, or enhance current skills.
            • Offers programs in psychology/social work, business management, medical billing, criminal justice, and more.
            • Member of the United States Distance Learning Association (USDLA), the Canadian Network for Innovation in Education (CNIE), and the International Council for Open and Distance Education (ICDE).
            • Features a fully flexible schedule with no classes to attend, leaving the study pace up to the student.
            Show more [+]
            • Online Courses
            SPEAK TO AN ADVISOR 1.844.285.6104