A career in clinical nutrition is a very exciting and rewarding career, but there are a certain level of steps you have to complete in order to get where you need to be with this profession. Some may be common with those of other specific nutritionist fields but others are unique. These are some of the common questions you may be asking along with answers that will better help you decide if a career as a clinical nutritionist is the right choice for you.
What education is required in order to become a clinical nutritionist?
To begin a field in clinical nutrition, students first need a bachelor’s degree. This bachelor’s degree needs to be in either dietetics, or it can be an actual degree in clinical nutrition. This degree lays all the framework for what you are going to need to know having a career in clinical nutrition. Many of the courses included in these degrees consist of coursework with both biology and organic chemistry. An overall understanding of these subjects and a certain interest in them will greatly help you during your education. Commonly, internships are a required part of the bachelors’ degree as well. Students are placed with dieticians or food service programs to gain job experience in a variety of fields. During these internships, students learn about ways they can advance in their careers.
For furthering into the field of being a clinical nutritionist, both Masters and Ph.D. programs are available as well. While earning a Masters, you are most likely to focus in on one subject. This subject could be sports nutrition, public health or even children’s nutrition. Some of these programs require you to be certified dieticians before you begin them. Earning a Ph.D. can take up to seven years. Doctoral students can choose to work in a specific area. Most doctoral programs also require you to write a dissertation. For additional information on doctoral programs go here.
For more information on education requirements for a Bachelor’s degree, check out the University of Texas’s website on their bachelor’s degree in nutrition program.
What do clinical nutritionists do for careers?
In regards to career options, there are many professional opportunities for clinical nutritionists. For starters, depending on the state you are in, you may have to have certification from the American Dietetic Association. This certification may be required for a variety of jobs. With the proper certification though, hospitals, nursing homes, and many other institutions can hire you either as a dietician or a nutritionist in their programs. Jobs as pharmaceutical sales representatives or researchers are also an option. As you advance in your field with additional certification as well as a Master’s degree or Ph.D., medical and office administration careers are available as well as doctorate positions.
What are some beneficial skills to have if I am interested in a career in clinical nutrition?
There are a variety of a valuable skills clinical nutritionists need to have to be successful in their careers. First being good listeners, as well as communicators, is a recommended skill. You are going to take a lot of time learning new information, and then relay that information to others in a way that best make sense to them. You must have excellent social skills to truly be successful. Having an ability to use logic and reasoning, as well as having good time management is recommended as well.
How much does a clinical nutritionist make?
Clinical nutritionists in the United States make between $30,000 to $70,000 a year depending on how advanced they are in their fields, what part of the country they live in, and what specific field they are in. The salary range is quite large and there are of course exceptions where a few make six figure salaries.