Nutritionists assist individuals, often patients, in creating nutrient-rich diet plans or physician-prescribed diet plans for various reasons and outcomes. These professionals may prescribe certain diets in order to achieve health-related goals or for the purpose of creating a healthier lifestyle. The job outlook for a nutritionist is great, so those interested in the field can rest assured that their future career will be a rewarding one.
How the Future Looks for Nutritionists
The Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that 12,700 nutritionist jobs will be added between now and the year 2020, bringing the total number of US jobs to 771,000. The BLS has researched and found that the states with the highest levels of nutritionist jobs include California with 6,300, New York with 4,510 jobs, Pennsylvania with 3,550 jobs, Texas with 3,450 jobs and Florida with 3,180 jobs. Surprisingly, nutritionists who work with animal food manufacturing companies are expected to earn the highest salaries in future years. Conversely, those working with insurance companies are expected to earn the least.
Growth in the Industry
The BLS reports that the nutritionist industry will grow 20% through the year 2020 which is higher than average for all other careers across all industries. While the awareness about the need for a healthy diet increases, so will the need for qualified, dedicated nutritionists who can help individuals improve their overall health and lifestyle choices. In addition to this, as more doctors add holistic advice to their arsenal of treatment options, nutritionists will be called upon more often to assist with the creation of diets that lead to greater health and specific health-related goals.
Places of Employment for Nutritionists
The largest group of nutritionists, 0.35%, works in general medical or surgical hospitals where they create diet plans for patients who have had various procedures or who are suffering from certain conditions. Many other nutritionists, 0.30%, work in nursing care facilities. Other popular places where nutritionists work include outpatient care centers, personal care services and for local or federal government agencies. Most nutritionists are creative individuals who are interested in holistic healthcare as well as helping individuals.
Better Opportunities for Nutritionists
While there are few states that do not require any type of certification or licensure for nutritionists, most do. In order to work within most states, individuals will need to become a registered dietician. This certification is offered through the Commission on Dietetic Registration. In fact, there are seven different dietician and nutritionist programs. Individuals who obtain higher degrees may have unique opportunities as well as the ability to earn better pay and benefits. For instance, teaching and research positions are available for those who have obtained doctoral degrees.
Registered nutritionists and dieticians should attend local conferences and participate in continuing education to ensure that they are up to date in the industry as well as laws and procedures for the state they live in. This will ensure that they are doing their best in their career and for the patients and individuals they work with.