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A Nutritional Sciences degree can be the foundation for career opportunities in areas such as:

Further information on each of these categories is listed below. Contact your academic adviser for more information about recommended courses to prepare for these careers.

Clinical Dietetics
  • Hospitals, long-term care, and outpatient settings
  • Many specialties (pediatric, renal, diabetes, nutrition support, etc.). RDN generally required

Registered Dietitian Nutritionists working in inpatient care earn a median salary of $56,659; ambulatory care: $51,750; and long-term care: $58,281 (Source: Compensation Benefits Survey of the Dietetics Profession, 2009)

Food and Nutrition Management
  • Hospitals, long-term care, businesses, schools
  • Work with chefs or at spas
  • Consult regarding healthy choices on menu

Registered Dietitian Nutritionists working in food and nutrition management earn a median salary of $67,995 (Source: Compensation Benefits Survey of the Dietetics Profession, 2009)

Public Health Nutrition
  • Women, Infants & Children (WIC)
  • Public Health Department with state and county agencies
  • Cooperative Extension
  • Congregate Meals program

Registered Dietitian Nutritionists working in public health earn a median salary of $52,000 (Source: Compensation Benefits Survey of the Dietetics Profession, 2009)

Education and Research
  • College, university, health professional school, and culinary school
  • Teach K-12 (requires further course work)
  • Create and write curriculum for state board of education, Dairy Council, Cooperative Extension
  • Worksite wellness--teach nutrition, exercise, fitness and other health promotion to employees
  • Manage or assist with clinical protocols, interventions, or clinical trials

Advanced degrees are usually required for research-based and university-based jobs. The RDN credential is frequently preferred, but not required. Registered dietitians working in education and research earned a median salary of $65,000 (Source: Compensation Benefits Survey of the Dietetics Profession, 2009)

Consultant / Private Practice
  • Private practice consultation to hospitals and long-term care facilities on hourly or "job" basis
  • Client counseling for weight management, eating disorders, sports nutrition, diabetes management, etc. from either physician referrals and/or advertisements
  • Write cookbooks, educational programs, or articles for local newspapers or specialty magazines
  • Food photography
  • Consult at health clubs / spas as a personal trainer-nutritionist

The RDN credential is generally required for patient counseling. Registered dietitians working in consultation and business earned a median salary of $69,992 (Source: Compensation Benefits Survey of the Dietetics Profession, 2009)

Related Health Professionals

Use your nutrition degree and skills for a career in a health-related profession

  • Chiropractor (DC)
  • Dentist (DDS)
  • Naturopathic Doctor (ND)
  • Physical Therapist (PT)
  • Physician (MD or DO)
  • Physician Assistant (PA)
  • Podiatrist (DP)
  • Veterinarian (DVM)
  • Nursing
Business and Industry

Careers in business and industry include jobs such as sales, marketing, public relations, research and development (labeling, recipes, and product informtation) and production quality control.

  • Food (eg. Cambell Soup, Kraft Foods, Proctor & Gamble)
  • Information Technology (eg. CBORD, Compu-Cal, Computrition, ESHA Research, First DataBank)
  • Nutritionals (eg. Mead Johnson, McNeil Consumer Healthcare, Novartis Nutrition, Ross Products)
  • Nutraceuticals (eg. Archer Daniels Midland, Cooke Pharma, GeniSoy Products)
  • Pharmaceutical (eg. Eli Lily, GlaxoSmithKline, Merck, Pfizer)
  • Food Service Equipment (eg. Diversey Lever, Ecolab, Hamilton Beach Commercial, Hobart)
  • Food Service Contract Management (eg. Aramark Healthcare, Morrison Management, Sodexho)
  • Food Service Vendors (eg. Precision Foods, Super Bakery, Sysco, US Foodservice)
  • Medical Equipment (eg. Bodystat, HealtheTech, Johnson & Johnson)
  • Trade Associations (eg. Cranberry Institute, Dairy Council, Peanut Institute, Pork Producers)
Media
  • Commodity groups (trade associations) hire public relations firms
  • Radio, TV, newspapers, and magazines are a major source of nutrition education for the public
  • Cooperative extension agents often write for the local media
International Food Organizations
  • Peace Corps
  • Non-governmental organizations such as CARE, Food for the Hungry, or World Relief
  • United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization
  • US AID (Agency for International Development)
  • Multi-national corporation
  • Consulting and research collaboration
Public Policy / Government
  • Staff resource to legislator
  • Government agency--USDA, FDA, NIH, etc.
  • Health care reform
  • Supplement labels
  • Regulatory
  • Lobbyist in state or federal government