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 Clear All

    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
            Eyecare Specialist
            North-West College , West Covina
            • Features the Success Education Program, with numerous scholarship opportunities to students who qualify.
            • Offers a paralegal program and several healthcare programs including pharmacy technology, medical assisting, massage therapy, and diagnostic medical sonography.
            • Provides an active Placement Assistance Program for all qualified gradutes.
            • Accredited by the Accrediting Commission of Career Schools and Colleges (ACCSC).
            • 7 southern California campuses available in West Covina, Pomona, Pasadena, Glendale, Riverside, Santa Ana, and Long Beach.
            • Part of the Success Education Colleges (SEC) group.
            Show more [+]
            Medical Assistant
            • Offers a free trial period so students can attend classes before paying tuition.
            • Provides blended courses that combine traditional classroom instruction with online learning.
            • Lets students connect with peers at any time, and instructors during office hours with online chat rooms.
            • Gives students the chance to participate in externships and clinical training work under the general supervision of college staff.
            • Has accelerated programs that allow students to take the same coursework in a shorter timeframe.
            Show more [+]
            • Accredited
            • Flexible Scheduling
            • Financial Aid
            • Transferable Credits
            Certified Nurse Assistant
            Platt College , Alhambra
            • A Los Angeles-based private college offering programs in medical sciences, legal studies, and graphic design since 1985.
            • Has weekend programs, including certified  veterinary technology, nurse assistant, and hemodialysis technician.
            • Showcases visual communication students’ artwork and design through campus magazine.
            • 3 campuses in Southern California.
            • Accredited by the Accrediting Commission of Career Schools and Colleges (ACCSC).
            Show more [+]
            • Accredited
            • Flexible Scheduling
            • Accelerated Programs
            • Financial Aid
            • Transferable Credits
            Medical Assistant
            • Offers accelerated programs w/ flexible schedules & professional instruction
            • Multiple accredited campuses across 9 states including CA, TX, NV, & PA
            • 10 + programs including Practical Nursing, Dental and Medical Assisting
            • Provides professional development training & career planning resources
            • Military Student Center (MSC) is committed to the success of military students
            Show more [+]
            Medical Assistant (10-Month Diploma Program)
            UEI College , Anaheim
            • Dedicated to providing  career training since 1975.
            • Has 13 campus locations in Southern California and a campus in Morrow, GA.
            • Provides flexible class times including weekends.
            • Offers curriculum that ranges from 8 month diploma programs to 16-month Associate of Applied Science degree programs.
            • Has admissions professionals available to help students decide which diploma or degree program they should pursue.
            • Gives job placement assistance strengthened by relationships with local employers.
            Show more [+]
            • Accredited
            • Flexible Scheduling
            • Financial Aid