5 great jobs for health food fanatics
Serve up nutritional advice while you help yourself to a paycheck.
Food fanatics. Health heroes. Nutrition nuts. March is your month. Know why? Because March is National Nutrition Month.
It turns out nutrition is a great and growing industry. Dietitians and nutritionists make an average annual salary of $57,910, and the industry will experience 16% growth between 2014 and 2024, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.
There are also plenty of servings of other job opportunities that hover around the field of food. Check out these five jobs to see if any are a good fit for you.
What you’d do: Clinical dietitians work in a clinical setting to ensure patients are getting the nutrition they need as they recover. “Being a clinical dietitian in a hospital is great if you want to work in a fast-paced environment and with patients who have acute medical issues,” says Michelle Truong-Leikauf, a clinical dietitian at the Veterans Affairs hospital in Palo Alto, California. “It's also a place to develop experience in technical areas, such as nutrition support, in which patients receive artificial nutrition through a feeding tube or IV line.”
What you’d need: A bachelor’s degree in nutrition; in some settings you may also need a license. If you’re interested in adding clinical skills, you may need further certification or education.
What you’d do: Management dieticians help feed large groups of people on a budget while hitting recommended nutritional allowances. People in these positions work at schools, correctional centers, child- and elder-care centers and other residential institutions. In some cases you may also oversee budgets and staffing.
What you’d need: Bachelor’s degree in nutrition; some positions may require additional business education or certification, especially if you manage a team or budget.
What you’ll do: Personal nutritionists advise private clients through consulting or at a spa or fitness center on how nutrition can help them reach their fitness goals. Fitness centers are often looking for nutritionists to help create customized meal plans for weight loss and other fitness goals, Garber says. You might use biometric tools to measure changes in body fat and muscle-to-fat ratios and provide guidance for people. Garber says some centers may require RD status, while many others are open to licensed nutritionists.
What you’d need: A bachelor’s degree in nutrition; some positions may require certification or a license.
Public health nutritionist
What you’ll do: Public health nutritionists work for governments or nonprofits to tackle big questions around how to make sure whole populations have their nutrition needs met, especially those at special risk because of poverty or other factors.
What you’d need: A bachelor’s degree in nutrition; some positions may require certification or a license. Bilingual skills are a plus, but not always required.
Health or wellness coach
What you’d do: Wellness coaches work for an employee assistance program, benefits provider or corporate client to provide personalized consultations to employees about their wellness. You may also conduct biometric surveys, advise people about health issues and provide resources about where to go for more information. Employers are always looking to lower health insurance costs, and by offering more wellness programs, there are opportunities for RDs to work in corporate wellness programs, says Rebecca Clyde, founder of Nourish Nutrition Co. in Salt Lake City.
What you’d need: A bachelor’s degree and certification in nutrition. Some positions may also require a nursing degree.