Careers with a Nutrition Degree

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There are a wide range of careers you can pursue with your nutrition degree; it all depends on your ambitions and interests.

 

From 'Dietitian' to 'Sports Nutritionist' to 'New Food Product Developer', there are many exciting things you can do with a degree in this field.

 

For some careers, additional training or certification may be necessary. As luck would have it, a bachelor’s degree in nutrition provides a great foundation for aspiring nutritionists to take the necessary exams to become registered or certified professionals.

 

For those who want to continue in academics, a degree in nutrition also serves as great preparation for further professional or graduate study in fields such as Medicine and Dentistry.

 

So, if you want to know more about where this degree can take you, read on below. This careers guide contains detailed occupational information on career paths relevant to this degree. Included are job descriptions, expected salaries, educational requirements and other information related to these careers. We’ve also included nutrition-specific scholarships to help you pay for school!


 

What a Nutrition Degree Program Can Teach You

Nutrition degree programs typically aim to provide you with the skills, knowledge and competencies to become an effective practitioner in entry-level nutrition careers upon graduation. In order to accomplish these goals, certain educational objectives must be met.


 

These objectives typically include the development of a strong foundation in basic science, a thorough understanding of nutrient functions as well as their sources, and knowledge in areas such as food science and public policy.


 

Courses in Nutrition programs typically include:


 

• Advanced Nutrition

• Anatomy & Physiology

• Biochemistry

 

 

 

 

 

List of Careers Relevant to This Degree

The knowledge and skills you can gain by studying nutrition at the university level serve as an excellent foundation for a variety of careers.


 

Below, we’ve chosen careers from our database that we feel relate to a nutrition degree, either because the subject matter of the degree relates to the occupational field, or because the skills you’ll need to be an effective employee can be gained in a nutrition degree program:


 

Blogger

Clinical Nutritionist

Consumer Advocate

Dietitian

Entrepreneur

Flavorist

Food Chemist

Food Microbiologist

Food Packaging Specialist

Food Process Engineer

Food Production Manager

Food Safety Auditor

Food Scientist

Food Service Manager

Food Technologist

Health Care Aide

Health Educator

Home Economist

International Aid Worker

Laboratory Manager

Medical Writer

New Food Product Developer

Nutrition Consultant

Nutritionist

Product Manager

• Public Health Director

Public Health Nutritionist

Public Health Planner

Quality Control Specialist

Registered Nurse

Regulatory Affairs Manager

Regulatory Affairs Specialist

Research Assistant

Research Chef

Retail Sales Associate

Sales Representative

Sensory Scientist

Sports Nutritionist

University Professor

Wellness Coordinator
 

Please Note: Some of the above listed careers require additional education, training and/or experience. Click on careers that are of interest to you to find out more about the qualifications you’ll need.


 

 

Who Employs Graduates? Where Might You Find Work?

Below are examples of the types of employers that are interested in employing the specific skill set and knowledge base that a Nutrition graduate can bring to the table:


 

Hospitals, Health Centers and Clinics: Regional hospitals offer employment in nutrition related roles such as Dietitian or Dietetic Consultant. Individuals with degrees in nutrition can also find employment in Food and Nutritional Services within the healthcare field.


 

Amateur and Professional Sports Teams: Nutritionists are often hired by sports teams, as well as individual athletes, to compile the most effective and healthy eating plan for each individual or the team in general. These sports nutritionists use a combination of education, observations, and medical tests to determine what diet will be the safest and most effective for the athlete(s).


 

Food Product Developers: Companies that specialize in food services and products hire nutrition graduates for in various departments, including culinary, finance, human resources, marketing, sales, and for creating new food products or developing technology related to the enhancement of existing products. These companies may also hire nutrition graduates to manage certain projects, or to ensure food safety regulations are being adhered to.


 

Home Health Care providers: There are many opportunities for nutrition graduates to work with home health care providers. For example, they may perform such duties as counseling people who are housebound on special diets, train and educate people who are on feeding tubes, or help families plan healthy meal ideas.


 

Nursing Homes: Nutritionists and Dietitians that work in nursing homes typically plan menus that will provide the best nutrition for residents. They must also ensure meals are prepared and delivered safely.


 

Diabetes Care Clinics: Nutrition and dietitians working in diabetes care clinics are responsible for counseling and educating clients who are living with diabetes or trying to prevent diabetes.


 

Exercise and Fitness Centres: Nutrition careers in health and fitness centres involve teaching recreational athletes about how to use nutrition to lose weight, hydrate, eat properly to prepare for competitions, and educate the athletes regarding other nutrition concerns related to physical activity.


 

School Districts: A Bachelor of Science in Nutrition is a great foundation for anyone interested in becoming a teacher in subjects like food science, home economics, nutrition, or other sciences at the elementary or secondary school levels.


 

Government Agencies: There are a wide variety of nutrition careers with Government agencies such as Health Canada. Such careers may involve developing food plan and nutrition policies, as well as providing strategic advice to different levels of government concerning public health issues relating to nutrition.


 

Public or Private Research: Senior level nutrition careers in research typically involve planning, directing and executing research projects relating to increasing knowledge surrounding the relationship between nutrition and health.


 

Pharmaceutical Companies: When employed by the pharmaceutical industry, nutrition experts often work as part of a team composed of various health and business professionals in order to test new medications and supplements, or develop new pharmaceutical products.

 

 

 

Nutrition Jobs!

Whether you're a nutrition student looking for a job to help you pay for school, or a graduate looking for an entry or mid-level job, our job board has opportunities directly and indirectly related to your degree.

 

Find Nutrition Job Opportunities

 

 

 

 

Typical Career Paths of Graduates

If you plan on working in a nutrition-related field, you have the choice of taking 1 of 6 major paths. If your professional interests and ambitions fall within one of these areas, then you are on your way to refining your area of focus.


 

Clinical Nutrition: Involves the nutrition of patients in health care. Clinical nutritionists aim to keep a healthy energy balance in patients, as well as provide them with sufficient amounts other nutrients such as protein, fats, carbohydrates vitamins and minerals.


 

Public Health Nutrition: An area of concentration emphasizing the application of food and nutrition knowledge, policy, and research to the improvement of the health of populations.


 

Food Service Management: Provide nutritional care and supervising food service operations in health care settings and commercial food service establishments.


 

Food Science: A discipline concerned with examining all technical aspects of food (from its production to consumption) using scientific methods and principles.


 

Nutrition Consulting: Includes providing nutritional advice to individuals, groups, athletes, or anyone who is interested in utilizing knowledge of nutrition to improve their health or athletic performance.


 

Teaching Nutrition: Involves teaching nutrition courses at various levels, including high schools, colleges, universities.

 


 

 

 

Professional Associations

To find out more about careers directly related to your nutrition degree, consult the following professional association websites. They offer career-related information, and many have opportunities for student membership, as well as job placement and mentoring opportunities.

 

Canada

Canadian Food Inspection Agency

Canadian Nutrition Society

Canadian Society for Nutrition Management

Dietitians of Canada

 

United States

American Nutrition Association

American Society for Nutrition

Professionals in Nutrition for Exercise and Sport

USDA Food Safety and Inspection Service


 

Characteristics of a Successful Intern

Just because you’ve landed an internship, doesn’t guarantee that your future is solidified. Making a great impression is the key to success in an internship position. Below are some of the traits and characteristics of successful nutrition interns.


 

• Demonstrate motivation

• Seen as a ‘self-directed’ learner who knows when to ask for help

• Proper preparation for research and similar tasks

• Open minded and non-judgmental

• Respectful to co-workers and others in the building

• Demonstrate a passion for work

• Dedicated and committed work ethic


 

 

How Do I Find an Internship?

Since these opportunities are often an academic requirement, you will likely have the opportunity arranged for you, or at least a variety of potential options presented to you. If it is not a requirement, speak with your professors, other Nutrition department staff as well as your school’s guidance and career counselors to help you find a suitable opportunity.

 


 

How To Prepare For a Career While in High School

If you’re a high school student who’s interested in pursuing a career in nutrition, taking classes such as home economics, business, biology, health, mathematics and chemistry will prepare you for the work you will be doing at the university level in your nutrition degree program.

 

If you’re going to be working to help pay for school, consider applying for work in restaurants, kitchens, hospital kitchens or with health care clinics in order to gain some experience in areas that are relevant to nutrition.

 

 

 

Relevant Scholarships

If you’re a nutrition major looking for help in paying for school, then you’re in luck! Our scholarships database has Canadian and American scholarships that are specific to nutrition.


 

Success Tip: Be sure to apply for any and all scholarships for which you qualify, as there are millions of dollars of scholarships in Canada and the United States that go unused every year due to a lack of applicants.

 

 

 

Gaining Career Experience as a Student

Pursuing an internship (may also be known as a practicum, field placement, or co-op work opportunity) in career fields related to your nutrition degree is the best way to gain relevant work experience while you’re still in school. These opportunities allow you to gain professional competencies, while simultaneously offering employers valuable temporary team members.


 

An internship position can also result in being hired by the sponsoring organization upon graduation. If you’ve done quality work and made a good impression, chances are that organization will want to retain you on a full-time basis once you’ve graduated. They will already be familiar with you and your work ethic, and they will save a great deal of time and expense trying to recruit someone else.

 

 

 

FIND A SCHOOL >

 

 

Nutrition Graduate Average Salary Levels

The average salary you could earn with a nutrition degree varies based on a wide variety of factors, such as:

 

• The type, size, and budget of your employer

• The discretion of your employer

• Your level of education and experience

• Your level of certification (if applicable)

• The region in which you work 

• How much overtime you are able to work (if applicable)

• The amount of responsibility inherent in your position

• Your level of experience (people with several years worth of experience can often earn substantially in their profession more than what’s listed below)

 

Most importantly, however, the salary you could earn with this degree varies based on the career field you choose to pursue. Below is an overview of the average earnings of people in career fields that are relevant to a degree in nutrition. 

 

Please Note: The salary information listed below is meant only to serve as a guideline. In many cases, workers in these fields can earn much more, or less less, than the figures stated. 

 

Blogger

Alberta: N/A

Canada: N/A

United States: $36,580 (indeed)

 

Clinical Nutritionist

(See “Nutritionist”)

 

Dietitian

Alberta: $85,056 (ALIS)

Canada: $59,263 (PayScale)

United Sates: $59,410 (BLS)

 

Flavorist

Alberta: N/A

Canada: N/A/

United States: $63,545 (indeed)

 

Food Chemist

Alberta: $84,998 (ALIS)

Canada: $51,995 (PayScale)

United States: $62,910 (BLS)

 

Food Microbiologist

(See “Food Scientist”)

 

Food Packaging Specialist

Alberta: N/A

Canada: $59,158 (PayScale)

United States: $59,637 (Glassdoor)

 

Food Process Engineer

Alberta: $81,018 (ALIS)

Canada: $59,158 (PayScale)

United States: $85,880 (BLS)

 

Food Production Manager

Alberta: N/A

Canada: $69,653 (PayScale)

United States: $68,435 (Glassdoor)

 

Food Safety Auditor

Alberta: $80,949 (ALIS)

Canada: N/A

United States: $71,780 (BLS)

 

Food Scientist

Alberta: $84,998 (ALIS)

Canada: $51,995 (PayScale)

United States: $62,910 (BLS)

 

Food Service Manager

Alberta: $30,172 (ALIS)

Canada: $46,070 (PayScale)

United States: $52,030 (BLS)

 

Food Science Technologist

Alberta: $62,913 (ALIS)

Canada: $61,000 (PayScale)

United States: $71,990 (BLS)

 

Health Care Aide

Alberta: $34,460 (ALIS)

Canada: $36,667 (PayScale)

United Sates: $23,210 (BLS)

 

Health Educator

Alberta: N/A

Canada: N/A

United Sates: $42,362 (indeed)

 

Laboratory Manager

Alberta: N/A

Canada: $63,590 (PayScale)

United States: $60,174 (indeed)

 

Medical Writer

Alberta: N/A

Canada: N/A

United States: $91,342 (indeed)

 

New Food Product Developer

Alberta: N/A

Canada: $48,609 (PayScale)

United States: $72,294 (Glassdoor)

 

Nutrition Consultant

(See “Dietitian”)

 

Nutritionist

Alberta: $85,056 (ALIS)

Canada: N/A

United States: $56,149 (indeed)

 

Public Health Nutritionist

(See “Nutritionist”)

 

Public Health Planner

Alberta: N/A

Canada: $75,760 (indeed)

United States: $77,426 (indeed)

 

Quality Control Specialist

Alberta: N/A

Canada: $55,114 (PayScale)

United States: $37,340 (BLS)

 

Registered Nurse

Alberta: $80,129 (ALIS)

Canada: $73,980 (indeed)

United Sates: $70,000 (BLS)

 

Regulatory Affairs Manager

Alberta: N/A

Canada: $82,478 (indeed)

United States: $105,290 (Glassdoor)

 

Regulatory Affairs Specialist

Alberta: N/A

Canada: $58,942 (PayScale)

United States: $67,510 (Glassdoor)

 

Research Assistant

Alberta: $41,027 (ALIS)

Canada: $32,796 (Glassdoor)

United Sates: $26,560 (BLS)

 

Research Chef

Alberta: N/A

Canada: N/A

United States: $54,443 (Glassdoor)

 

Retail Sales Associate

Alberta: $24,206 (ALIS)

Canada: $23,180 (PayScale)

United Sates: $23,370 (BLS)

 

Sales Representative

Alberta: $62,683 (ALIS)

Canada: $61,624 (indeed)

United Sates: $60,340 (BLS)

 

Sports Nutritionist

(see “Nutritionist”)

 

University Professor

Alberta: $74,877 (ALIS)

Canada: $157,610 (indeed)

United Sates: $76,000 (BLS)

 

 

The name in brackets next to the salary data for each region is the sources from which the data was obtained. Please note, the salary data that is sourced from the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS.gov) represents median salary figures, rather than average salary figures.

 

 

Salary Data References

ALIS: Alberta Learning and Information Service (alis.alberta.ca), sponsored by the Government of Alberta. For an overview of their salary survey methodology, please visit here.

PayScale: Private organization owned by PayScale Incorporated (payscale.com). For an overview of their salary survey methodology, please visit here.

BLS: United States Bureau of Labor Statistics (bls.gov), sponsored by the federal government of the United States of America. For details regarding their salary survey methodology, please visit here.

Glassdoor: Glassdoor is a private organization owned by Glassdoor incorporated (glassdoor.com). For an overview of their salary survey methodology, please visit here.

 

 


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