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Career as Nutritionist

Career as a Nutritionist

About Nutritionist

A career as a Nutritionist majorly includes making diet plans for people besides teaching them about the importance of healthy eating. Nutrition improves health and wellness and promotes the role of food as a necessary preventive health care system. Nowadays, the lifestyle and outlook of people are changing. On the other hand, the focus of education has shifted from finishing and grooming programmes such as cooking and catering to the domains of fitness, preventive health care and nutrition. The main role of the nutritionist is to promote the idea of good health through proper eating habits. Therefore, they prepare diet charts, emphasize on exercises, select food items, and explain how to build one's metabolism and so on and so forth.

Basically, Nutritionists advise people on the types and quantity of food intake required specifically to increase or decrease their body weight. Through the promotion of a healthy diet, nutritionists try to help improve their patients’ quality of life and promote the overall welfare of their patients. Many nutritionists are self-employed with a private practice, but others contribute to a larger team in hospitals, nursing homes or clinics. In these settings, nutritionists can advise patients, develop diet plans based on a patient’s health concerns, evaluate the cost and can promote better nutrition. Nutritionists have a great opportunity to change the way one thinks about food and nutrition and ultimately improve the quality of life of people.

Eligibility to become Nutritionist

"How to Become a Nutritionist?" is a question to which, every aspirant must looking an answer. In order to become a nutritionist, students must choose science stream in Class 12. Usually, there will be no entrance test for undergraduate and postgraduate level courses in nutrition. There are several courses offered in this field by recognized institutions/ universities in India. In addition to acquiring a degree in the field of the nutrition, students need to upgrade their skills from time to time. The higher-level jobs in the field of nutrition can only be achieved through better skills in the field.

Subject Combination - In order to take a Bachelor course in Nutrition, students must select Science stream in Class 12 with Biology as one of the main subjects of study.

Eligibility -

Undergraduate Level: For B.Sc. in Food Science, Home Science and Nutrition, candidates should have passed class 12 examination with science stream from a recognized university/board.

Postgraduate Level: For M.Sc. in Food and Nutrition with specialisation in therapeutic nutrition, public health nutrition or food science, candidates must have a bachelor degree in science stream from a recognised university/institution. If you want to specialise in Food and Nutrition, then the subjects include biochemistry, food microbiology, food safety, food science and quality control, advanced human nutrition, physiology and principles of food science.

PG Diploma: A one-year post graduate diploma in Dietetics and Public Health Nutrition is also an option to become a nutritionist.

Types of Job Roles Nutritionist

After attaining the required educational qualification and skills, there are a variety of job roles for a nutritionist available in this field. The following are some of the job profiles available in the field of Nutrition:

Food Service Nutritionists: They usually work in school cafeterias, restaurants and other large-scale food establishments. They do routine audits and inspections to ensure kitchen staff and managers are in compliance with regulatory standards. Food Service Nutritionists also recommend special dietary concerns and food allergies.

Clinical Nutritionists: They work in medical settings, such as doctors offices, hospitals, and clinics. These nutritionists are in charge of providing medical nutrition therapy, particularly the medical method used to treat diseases by tailoring the diet.

Sports Nutritionists: They usually work with athletes and coaches to ensure top athletic performance. Apart from this, they make a diet plan according to the requirements of nutrients of each athlete. They also collaborate with athletic trainers to prevent injuries and help athletes in recovering.

Public Health Nutritionist: A public health nutritionist is responsible for explaining important nutritional issues to people in the risk communities. They also assess the health and dietary requirements of patients. Apart from this, they also develop effective diet plans, accounting for cost and cultural preferences.

Consultant Nutritionist: The Consultant Nutritionist reviews a patient's current eating habits and welfare goals, such as losing weight, treating a disease or preventing future health issues.

Pediatric Nutritionist: The role of pediatric nutrition specialists revolves around the health of children, with and without special needs, for obesity or diabetes. They also advise children or parents about healthy eating and basic nutrition.

Employment Sector/Industry for Nutritionist

Nutritionists can find great employment opportunities to advance in their careers. No matter the setting, the job of a nutritionist is to promote healthy eating and good nutrition. There is a lot of scope for prospective nutritionists, it is clear from the fact that a large number of youngsters are taking up a career as Nutritionists. Apart from joining private or government hospitals, Nutritionists can find lucrative placements with huge salaries in corporate hospitals. The following are some of the organisations where a nutritionist can take up jobs:

  • Hospitals (Government and Private)
  • Multinational Corporations (MNCs)
  • Research and Advocacy
  • Schools
  • Private Clinics
  • Nursing Homes
  • Community Health Programmes
  • Home Health Care Agencies
  • Wellness Centers
  • Fitness Clubs (Gyms and Aerobic centres)
  • Health Product Companies (Pharmaceuticals, nutraceuticals and FMCGs)
  • Diabetic Clinics
  • Wellness Startups
  • Government agencies working for social welfare and development, public health departments
  • International food organizations such as United Nations Food and Agricultural Organization, US AID, and other non-profit organisations

Top Recruiting Companies for Nutritionists

The top 5 companies in the hospitality industry hiring nutrition professionals are as mentioned below:

  • Accor Hospitality
  • Hyatt Corporation
  • Vatika Group
  • Le Meridien
  • Taj Group of Hotels

Apart from this, there are many companies in other industries such as Apollo group of hospitals, AIIMS and other private nursing homes that hire nutritionists. Some top sports clubs and fitness centres also employ these professionals.

Responsibilities of a Nutritionist

  • Providing clients with advice and counselling

  • Evaluating the nutritional needs of a client

  • Creating a clinical nutrition treatment plan for clients

  • Researching on the effects of nutrition on fitness and health

  • Educating people on nutrition issues

  • Consulting on nutritional management for clients with a team of field professionals

Planning to choose Nutritionist as your career?

Pay Scale/Salary of Nutritionist

The salary of a Nutritionist may differ according to their knowledge, skills and experience. It usually increases or decreases with knowledge growth and time. Most companies/ organisations pay more for highly skilled and experienced nutritionists and researchers. Nutritionists in diverse sectors earn a satisfactory salary. Here are some relative salary figures for different types of nutritionists:

Job Profile

Starting Salary per annum (in INR)

Mid Level Salary per annum (in INR)

Senior Level Salary per annum (INR)

Nutritionist

1,38,000

2,99,550

6,12,772

Pediatric Nutritionist

4,85,797

10,25,524

34,90,488

Note: The above figures are an estimate and may vary from individual to individual and company to company.

Books & Study Material to Become Nutritionist

To learn about the latest research in nutrition for popular diet plans, these books are ideal for any person who is or wants to become a nutritionist:

  • Whole: Rethinking the Science of Nutrition by T. Colin Campbell and Howard Jacobson
  • Gourmet Nutrition by Precision Nutrition
  • Cooked by Michael Pollan
  • Nutrition and Physical Degeneration by Weston A. Price
  • Sugar Nation by Jeff O’Connell

Pros of becoming a Nutritionist

  • The working hours are good, even though private practitioners may have to work in the evenings and weekends so that they can fulfill the requirement of their working customers.
  • The profession is highly honored and job satisfaction is high.
  • The work environment is good especially for women, as the healthcare industry employs a lot of women.

Cons of becoming a Nutritionist

  • A nutritionist is not a legally protected title.
  • You may need a particular license and need to continuously self-educate.
  • Stressful job as responsibilities are enormous.
  • A regular update of knowledge is necessary without which careers can be stable.

Paths for Being Nutritionist

FAQs about Nutritionist

I am pursuing B.P.T. (Bachelor of Physiotherapy) to become a Nutritionist. What other career options do I have ?

You could become a Physiotherapist after studying B.P.T. (Bachelor of Physiotherapy).

Confused on what to choose as your career?

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