A Career in Nutrition: What a Delicious Choice!February 22, 2014
A Career in Nutrition: What a Delicious Choice!
There is an ideal career out there for those who love science, food, and helping others. In the field of nutrition, you’ll be able to satisfy your urge to promote delicious and healthy foods to help those who need to better their eating habits; you’ll be on the leading edge of food science and research. If this all sounds tempting to you, here are some tidbits to chew on:
A career in nutrition typically requires an undergraduate degree. Within most degree programs, you’ll find several courses of study in nutrition sciences, including Applied Sciences (if you want to work in a public health setting), Basic Sciences (if you are interested in a laboratory career), or Dietetics option (if you are seeking a Registered Dietician credential). Within these areas of nutrition study, you’ll also want to select an area of concentration, whether public policy, business, education, or food security. Your chosen concentration will allow you to specialize in one (or more) aspects of nutrition and will help you narrow down your career choices. Once you’ve completed your undergraduate degree in nutrition sciences, you may be interested in taking the exams to become a Registered Dietician. You may also pursue a graduate degree in nutrition sciences as well. Obtaining a Master or PhD degree in nutrition sciences will allow you to undertake high-level leadership positions across multiple industries. Expect to have many hands-on internship experiences during your nutrition sciences training.
As a specialist in the nutrition field, you’ll qualify for a number of career opportunities, including:
Clinical Dietetics: Working as a registered dietician in a hospital, nursing home, prison, or out-patient healthcare setting. You’ll make institutional-level decisions about the food choices of the patients under your care.
Public Health Nutrition: Working to support health eating choices for those involved with government-administered food programs (such as WIC, FDA, or NIH)
Education: Working to educate people of all ages about their food choices and the effects on health in both formal and informal community settings
Private Business: Working for a food corporation such as Kraft, Nestle, or Proctor & Gamble to develop the next biggest trends in food science
International Food Organizations: Working to support the missions of feeding the hungry through groups such as the Peace Corps, US AID, or Food for the Hungry.
Private Practice: Set up shop on your own to provide guidance and advice about food choices to clients with a variety of health and lifestyle needs.
Salary and Outlook
As food choices and food security becomes more relevant in our ever-changing global landscape, job opportunities within the field of nutrition sciences is expected to grow at least 20% over the next decade. Salaries in the field are respectable and increase with degree attainment, licensing, and job responsibilities. Public sector positions can expect to earn less than private sector positions. Expect to have flexible working hours while working with a diverse population.
If you are passionate about people, and food is one of your life’s greatest joys, consider a career in nutrition. — Post by Madelaine Kingsbruy.