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Nutrition: What Can I Do With This Degree?

Clinical

  • Clinical nutrition

Employers

  • Hospitals
  • Health centers and clinics
  • Home health providers
  • Health maintenance organizations (HMO's)
  • Nursing homes
  • Residential care centers
  • Dialysis centers
  • Diabetes care clinics
  • Exercise and fitness clinics

Information & Strategies

  • Volunteer in hospitals or nursing homes to gain experience working with patients or the elderly.
  • Plan to earn the Hospital Registered Dietitian credential.
  • Several years experience and possibly a graduate degree are required for specialties such as pediatrics, gerontology, sports, or critical care.

Community and Public Health Nutrition

  • Health promotion
  • Education
  • Program planning and implementation
  • Administration
  • Counseling
  • Consultation

Employers

  • Public and home health agencies
  • Social service agencies
  • Community centers
  • Federal, state, and local government
  • Daycare centers
  • Health and recreation clubs
  • Health maintenance organizations (HMO's)

Information & Strategies

  • Gain extensive clinical experience before pursuing public health.
  • Earn a master's degree for more opportunities.
  • Seek experiences in the public health arena.
  • Learn government application procedures.
  • Develop strong presentation and public-speaking skills.
  • Learn to work well with all types of people.

Food Service Management

  • Menu Planning
  • Budgeting
  • Purchasing
  • Food Preparation
  • Personnel Management

Employers

  • Hospitals
  • Schools
  • Colleges and universities
  • Company cafeterias
  • Correctional facilities
  • Camps
  • Restaurants
  • Hotels

Information & Strategies

  • Obtain work experience in any large-scale food service operation such as campus cafeterias.
  • Take business courses and develop strong computer skills.
  • Seek supervisory roles to gain experience.

Federal Government

  • Clinical Dietetics
  • Nutrition education and teaching
  • Administration
  • Research

Employers

  • Army
  • Navy
  • Air Force
  • NASA
  • U.S. Public Health Service, including Indian Health Service, Food & Drug Administration, National Center for Health Statistics, Centers for Disease Control, Bureau of Healthcare and Delivery, National Institutes of Health
  • U.S. Department of Agriculture
  • WIC (supplemental food program for women, infants, and children)
  • Veterans Administration Hospitals
  • Peace Corps and VISTA

Information & Strategies

  • Learn federal government application procedures.
  • Earn a master's degree for advancement in research or administration.
  • Pursue internships in government agencies.
  • Maintain a strong GPA.

Consulting

  • Diet counseling
  • Education and programming
  • Writing

Employers

  • Private practice
  • Physicians' offices
  • Weight-loss clinics
  • Nursing homes
  • Health clubs and spas
  • Restaurants
  • Catering services
  • Food manufacturers
  • Sports teams
  • Health-related magazines and Internet sites
  • Newspapers

 

    Information & Strategies

    • Gain experience and expertise in a specialty area of nutrition.
    • Earn additional certifications in fields such as fitness or athletic training.
    • 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 yourself.

    Industry

    • Research
    • Product development
    • Sensory evaluation
    • Quality assurance
    • Marketing
    • Sales
    • Customer service
    • Consumer food science

    Employers

    • Food manufacturers
    • Pharmaceutical companies
    • Health-related businesses
    • Weight-loss programs
    • Restaurant and hotel chains
    • Public relations firms with food industry accounts

    Information & Strategies

    • Supplement curriculum with courses in business administration, marketing, or advertising.
    • Develop strong written and verbal communication skills.
    • Gain computer expertise.
    • Seek leadership roles in campus organizations.

    Teaching

    • Teaching
    • Research

    Employers

    • Colleges and universities
    • Community and technical schools
    • Nursing, medical, and dental schools
    • Teaching hospitals
    • Medical centers
    • Government agencies
    • Food and pharmaceutical companies

    Information & Strategies

    • Earn a master's degree for instructor positions or a doctorate for tenure track professorships.
    • Earn a graduate degree for advancement in research positions.
    • Gain research experience by assisting professors.
    • Develop strong communication skills.

    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. The Registration Examination for Dietitians is also required.
    • Some states require licensure or certification to practice dietetics.
    • One should enjoy helping people and working with healthcare professionals, and have an interest in good health, nutrition, and fitness.
    • Scientific aptitude is required to successfully earn a degree in nutrition. Basic sciences play a large role in nutrition.
    • 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.
    • Effective communication skills are important.
    • Develop 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.
    Download a PDF of this chart for easy printing.

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