How to Become a Nutritionist – Overview
A nutritionist is an expert who understands the relationship between food and its nutrients. It helps people with several medical conditions to manage their diseases by following the right meals.
If you are experiencing any type of health difficulties, a nutritionist can help you manage it by simply switching to a new diet program. For those interested in becoming a nutritionist and want to know How to become a nutritionist? The answer lies below!
What Is a Nutritionist?
A nutritionist is a health expert who helps patients change their eating habits and overall lifestyle. Most people don’t take care of their health due to their busy schedules. Instead, they rely on fast foods and other unhealthy items, which invites chronic diseases such as hypertension, diabetes, and heart-related diseases.
The role of a nutritionist in our daily life is crucial as he guides us about what to eat and when to eat. Our body relies on nutrients and micro-nutrients. Nutritionists first evaluate the value of nutrients in our bodies by conducting blood tests.
After getting the test results, he will prepare a special diet plan for that particular patient. Each patient requires a unique diet plan as per their nutrient requirements. A nutritionist is your friend, colleague, physician, and everything as he helps us live a healthy life.
How to Become a Nutritionist?
To become a licensed nutritionist in the US, one has to go through different stages. By completing all the stages, you will become a licensed nutritionist. However, many people need clarification about whether this career is a good choice.
Well, the need for nutritionists in today’s modern world is increasing as people start worrying more about their health. It is a great career choice for those who want to help others and society.
Unlike other career options, you will not earn more money here, but you will get enough peace of mind at the end of the day. Helping nature is all a society needs and you can become one by completing these four steps.
3 Steps to Become a Nutritionist
Step 1: Bachelor’s Degree
The first step to becoming a licensed nutritionist is earning a bachelor’s degree in health, nutrition, or any other related field. A bachelor’s degree requires four years of study. In these four years, you will get to learn about food science, chemistry, biology, nutrition, and more. Since you have chosen a related field, many topics related to food and nutrients will be covered in these four years.
Moreover, the training period will cover more about the nutritional values of foods from different groups. You will also get trained about what food contains what type of nutrients, the right time to eat meals, and other basic information about basic diets that we all follow.
Accredited Nutrition Program is a must to become a licensed nutritionist. Make sure that the program or the school you are looking for meets ACEND’s requirements before you take admission.
Step 2: Complete an Internship Program
You must complete an internship program to gain work experience in the field. Search for the nutritionist or the organizations under whom you can practice. You must complete this program under the supervision of a licensed nutritionist. It will help you understand the basics of your field.
Moreover, you will meet new people daily with different types of issues. You will also get to know about how a licensed nutritionist understands the patient’s requirements and guide them to follow a proper diet.
This step is crucial if you want to achieve more in your career, as you will gain enough knowledge about the field.
Step 3: Certifications
To become a licensed nutritionist, you must earn certifications post your degree and internship program. Although the requirements to become a licensed nutritionist may vary from state to state, you must check the requirements before searching for things on the web.
A registered dietitian is the most common credential. This credential is managed by ACEND. After completing the bachelor’s degree and internship programs, you can earn this certification.
Moreover, you can study even further to earn more certifications to become a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist. A Master’s or Doctoral Degree is required to achieve this goal. It takes two more years to become a registered dietitian nutritionist.
State registry issues a license to a Nutritionist. You’ll need to complete a Master’s or Doctoral Degree and then pass out the Cerfieid Nutrition Specialist Exam. After completing the Certified Nutrition Specialist Exam, you can apply for the license.
5 Types of Nutritionist Certifications
If you choose the right type of nutritionist certification, the chances of getting employment are faster. Make sure you pursue the course under the right type of program. A nationally-recognized organization provides licenses to a nutritionist. Let’s check out the different types of nutritionists to better understand this field and career options for newcomers.
1. Certified Nutrition Specialist
To become a Certified Nutrition Specialist, you need to have the following certifications:
A Master’s Degree in Nutrition or a related field
1000 hours of internship under a licensed nutritionist
Passing grade under Nutrition Certification Board from CBNS
2. Certified Health Coach
To become a Certified Health Coach, you need to have the following certifications:
A Bachelor’s Degree in Nutrition or a related field
A passing grade from the American Council on Exercise or the National Society of Health Coaches
3. Certified Sports Nutritionist
To become a Certified Sports Nutritionist, you need to have the following certifications:
A Bachelor’s Degree in Nutrition
A passing grade from the Board Certified Specialist in Sports Dietetics
4. Certified Holistic Nutritionist
To become a Certified Holistic Nutritionist, you need to have the following certifications:
A nutrition course from the National Association of Nutrition Professionals.
Minimum 500 hours of experience in the related field
A passing grade from the Holistic Nutrition Credentialing Board
5. Clinical Nutritionist
To become a clinical nutritionist, you need to have the following certifications:
A Bachelor’s or Master’s Degree in Clinical Nutrition
An additional course in nutrition, herbology
An assessment from the Clinical Certification Board
The Bottom Line:
A registered or licensed nutritionist must maintain his certification by meeting the board’s requirements. A clinical nutritionist must complete 40 hours of education every two years, even if he has completed all the steps.
Likewise, other nutritionists must also meet the criteria to maintain their licenses. It’s a great career choice if you have a caring nature and want to help others and improve their lives.
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