Nutrition-related jobs are often in schools, hospitals or care facilities. But choosing a career in nutrition doesn't necessarily mean you are destined to work as a dietitian or nutritionist. A nutrition degree can lead to a career in research, management and even public relations. To pursue a career in nutrition, normally a minimum of a bachelor's degree in nutrition is required. Most fields also require the completion of an internship program. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, or BLS, increased public awareness of nutrition has created many new job opportunities.
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Dietitians and Nutritionists
Dietitians and nutritionists often perform similar job duties. Both are able to plan food programs, offer dietary suggestions and promote healthy eating plans. Both dietitians and nutritionists usually have a B.A. or B.S. in nutrition and dietetics. A nutritionist may often have an advanced degree as well, such as a Master of Science. According to the American Dietetic Association, to become a registered dietitian you must graduate from a program accredited by the Commission on Accreditation for Dietetics Education, participate in a CADE-certified internship and pass a CADE credentialing exam upon graduation. Many states have licensing requirements for dietitians and nutritionists. According to the BLS, the 2008 median salary for nutritionists and dietitians was $41,060 to $61,790, depending on the type of employer and geographic location.
Food Service Manager
Food service managers work in school cafeterias, hotels, hospitals, nursing homes and even prisons. They are responsible for high-level coordination of food and beverage services, including ensuring the nutritional content of meals, planning menus and sometimes even purchasing and negotiating with vendors. The 2008 median wage for a food service manager was $47,210, according to the BLS.
Public Health Researcher
A career in nutrition can lead to high-level research in the public health arena. Normally a master's or doctorate in public health is required. If you have a doctorate, you may also consider a tenure-track appointment at a college or university. Research positions are also available in the private sector, performing experiments and managing clinical trials. In the public sector, a researcher can work to develop nutritional programs or disease prevention programs. As of 2008, earnings in this field have varied greatly, but the median salary for scientific research is $1,269 per week, according to the BLS.
Many private food companies hire nutritionists or dietitians to work in their public relations or community affairs departments. In such a position, you would be responsible for making presentations, developing educational brochures and interacting with the media. The 2008 median salary for public relations specialists is $51,280, according to the BLS.