Nutrition

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Area

Clinical Nutrition

  • Practice:
    • Assessment
    • Planning and implementation of nutrition programs
    • Evaluation and reporting
    • Consultation with healthcare professionals

Employers

  • Hospitals
  • Nursing care facilities
  • Outpatient care centers

  • Health centers and clinics
  • Home health providers
  • Health maintenance organizations (HMOs)

  • Dialysis centers
  • Diabetes care clinics
  • Exercise and fitness centers

Strategies

  • Volunteer in hospitals or nursing homes to gain experience working with patients or the elderly.
  • Develop excellent communication skills and learn to work well on a team.
  • Plan to earn the Registered Dietitian credential.
  • Several years experience and a graduate degree are required for specialties such as pediatrics, renal nutrition, or oncology.

Area

Community and Public Health Nutrition

  • Health promotion
  • Education
  • Program planning and implementation

  • Administration
  • Counseling
  • Consultation

  • Non-profit
  • Emergency relief

Employers

  • Public health departments
  • Home health agencies
  • Social service agencies
  • Community centers
  • Federal, state, and local government

  • Daycare centers
  • Health and recreation clubs
  • Health maintenance organizations (HMOs)

  • Community health organizations
  • Congregate nutrition programs
  • Cooperative extension

Strategies

  • Participate in campus health promotion or wellness education programs.
  • Earn a master’s degree in nutrition, public health, or related field to increase job opportunities.
  • Develop strong presentation and public speaking skills.
  • Learn to work well with people of varying socioeconomic and racial backgrounds.
  • Seek experiences in the public health arena.
  • Research government application procedures.

Area

Food Service Management

  • Menu planning
  • Budgeting
  • Purchasing

  • Food preparation
  • Personnel management

  • Food safety management
  • Food processing

Employers

  • Hospitals
  • Schools
  • Colleges and universities

  • Company cafeterias
  • Correctional facilities
  • Camps
  • Restaurants

 

  • Hotels
  • Nursing homes
  • Airlines

Strategies

  • Obtain work experience in any large-scale food service operation such as campus cafeterias. Move into supervisory positions if given the opportunity.
  • Take business courses and develop strong computer skills.
  • Get involved in campus organizations and seek leadership roles.
  • Learn how to relate to a wide variety of people and to work well in a team environment.

Area

Federal Government

  • Clinical dietetics
  • Nutrition education and teaching
  • Administration

  • Program management
  • Research
  • Health care reform

  • Supplement Labels
  • Regulation
  • Inspection

Employers

  • Army
  • Navy
  • Air Force
  • National Aeronautics & Space Administration (NASA)

  • US Department of Health and Human Services:
    • Indian Health Service
    • Food and Drug Administration
  • Centers for Disease Control and Prevention:
    • National Center for Health Statistics
  • Health Resources and Services Administration:
    • Maternal and Child Health Bureau
    • National Institutes of Health

  • US Department of Agriculture:
    • Supplemental Food Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC)
  • Veterans Health Administration
  • Peace Corps
  • AmeriCorps VISTA

Strategies

  • Pursue internships in government agencies.
  • Research federal government application procedures.
  • Maintain a strong grade point average.
  • Earn a master’s degree for advancement in research, administration, or public health nutrition.
  • Assist a faculty member with nutrition research.

Area

Consulting

  • Nutrition consulting
  • Menu development
  • Food preparation and safety

  • Nutrition counseling
  • Weight management: Adult and pediatric

  • Teaching
  • Health promotion and programming
  • Writing
  • Food photography

Employers

  • Private practice

  • Consulting to:
    • Physicians’ offices
    • Weight loss clinics
    • Nursing homes
    • Health clubs and spas
    • Corporate wellness programs
    • Restaurants and chefs
    • Catering services

  • Continued:
    • Food vendors and distributors
    • Grocery stores
    • Food manufacturers
    • Food service managers
    • Sports teams and athletes
    • Health-related magazines and internet sites
    • Newspapers

Strategies

  • Gain experience and expertise in a specialty area of nutrition.
  • Earn additional certifications in fields such as fitness and athletic training or adult and pediatric weight management.
  • Find a need in the community and fill it. An entrepreneurial spirit is required!
  • Be prepared to work in several areas at one time.
  • Develop excellent written and verbal communication skills.
  • Learn how to promote oneself.

Area

Industry

  • Research
  • Product development
  • Sensory evaluation
  • Quality assurance

  • Marketing
  • Sales
  • Customer service
  • Consumer food science
  • Consumer affairs

  • Medical equipment
  • Food service equipment
  • Pharmaceuticals
  • Nutrceuticals

Employers

  • Food manufacturers
  • Food vendors and distributors
  • Special food services

  • Trade associations
  • Pharmaceutical companies
  • Health-related businesses
  • Weight loss programs

  • Restaurant and hotel chains
  • Public relations firms with food industry accounts

Strategies

  • Supplement curriculum with courses in business administration, marketing, or advertising.
  • Develop strong written and verbal communication skills.
  • Get involved in research and gain technical experience.
  • Seek leadership roles in campus organizations.

Area

Education

  • Teaching
  • Research

Employers

  • Colleges and universities
  • Community and technical schools
  • Nursing, medical, dental, and health sciences schools

  • Teaching hospitals
  • Culinary schools

Strategies

  • Earn a master’s degree for instructor positions or a doctorate for tenure track professorships.
  • Serve as a tutor or peer mentor on campus. Learn to work well with a variety of people.
  • Gain research experience by assisting professors.
  • Maintain a high grade point average and secure strong faculty recommendations.

General Information

  • Most positions require the Registered Dietitian (RD) credential. Become an RD through an accredited bachelor’s or master’s program followed by an approved, supervised internship. RD’s must also pass the Registration Examination for Dietitians.
  • Research individual state requirements for licensure or certification to practice dietetics.
  • Scientific aptitude is required to successfully earn a degree in nutrition. Basic sciences play a large role in this discipline.
  • One should enjoy helping people, working with healthcare professionals, and have an interest in good health, nutrition, and fitness. Get involved in campus wellness or peer health educator programs to gain experience.
  • Volunteer in hospitals or nursing care centers to test interests.
  • The ability to work independently and as part of a team is important in this field.
  • Clients may be seen individually or in groups. Learn the fundamentals of human relations and group dynamics.
  • Strong communication skills are necessary to interact effectively with patients and healthcare professionals. Develop good interviewing and counseling techniques.
  • Over half of dietitians and nutritionists work in hospitals, nursing homes, or physicians’ offices.
  • Research, public health, and advanced clinical positions require a graduate degree.
  • Over half of RD’s hold an advanced degree. Consider pursuing further education.
  • Consider gaining specialized certifications in areas such as pediatric or renal nutrition, nutrition support, and diabetes education.