Steps to a Healthier Life
Nutrition is a hot subject nowadays, as many people work towards living a healthier lifestyle, but have trouble controlling their diet and making healthy choices when it comes to food. Nutritionists can help those with special dietary concerns that are causing health issues, or simply help those looking to manage their weight and overall health.
Like any patient-based medical profession, a nutritionist career requires a strong foundation in the sciences, as well as excellent people skills. Nutritionists also need to be self-motivated and business-oriented, as many choose to practice independently.
Course Work in a Nutrition Degree Program
Nutritionist schools offer a variety of programs, but to become a nutritionist, you'll need to take a four-year nutrition degree program. These programs include courses like:
- Sciences. Science programs such as biochemistry, anatomy, biology and physiology are also part of a nutrition program, to help students understand the workings of the human body and its metabolic processes.
- Nutrition Assessment. These courses will train students on the types of equipment and techniques necessary to gauge nutrition checkpoints, such as overall health, obesity, malnutrition and more.
- Nutritional Planning. Nutritional planning courses will teach students the fundamental components of food nutrition and how to create meal plans for a healthy lifestyle.
- Food Safety. Food safety courses will look at microbiology, foodborne illnesses and proper food handling and storage techniques for the food service industry.
- Specialized Nutrition. Specialized nutrition courses will look at factors such as ethnicity, age and food allergies to prepare students to build thorough nutrition plans for those with specific needs.
Becoming a Nutritionist
After completing nutritionist school, nutritionists have a variety of career options available. Many choose to work in established settings, such as hospitals, nursing homes and other medical facilities. Another option is to work independently as a nutritionist with regular clients or as a nutritional consultant who provides seminars and workshops to businesses, health facilities and other organizations.
Nutritionist salary will vary, depending on the position. Those who work independently can set their own rates and determine their income based on the amount of clients they take on. The average salary for nutritionists working in established facilities is roughly $50,000.