The term nutritionist, unlike dietitian, does not always imply a specific degree or certification. Different states have different requirements for certified nutritionists, some states have no requirements at all, while other nutritionists gain certification from various professional associations.
As a result, the requirements for becoming a nutritionist vary greatly. Nonetheless, here are some general rules of thumb to help you understand the educational and professional requirements for certified nutritionists.
Become a Registered Dietitian
In the field of nutrition and dietetics, Registered Dietitians are at the top of the food chain. A Registered Dietitian, or RD, is a nationally recognized health credential, not unlike a Registered Nurse (RN) or Medical Doctor (MD). As an RD, you will have a much easier time finding a steady, igh-paying job, and you will find greater career opportunities over the long term.
An RD meets the following requirements:
* Bachelor's degree in dietetics, from an accredited four-year collegeor university
* A completed internship of at least 900 hours
* A passing score on the RD licensing examination
* To maintain their license, RDs must earn at least 50 continuingeducation credits every five years
But if becoming an RD doesn't appeal to you, you will need to find out what your state's requirements are for becoming a certified nutritionist. In some states, such as Florida, nutritionist requirements are almost as strict as they are for dietitians.
For example, Florida nutritionists must earn an LD/N, or Licensed Dietitian/Nutritionist, certification. Closely linked with requirements of a dietitian, Florida's nutritionists must also have a bachelor's degree in either dietetics or nutrition, complete an internship, and complete continuing education credits on an ongoing basis.
Most states that offer licenses to certified nutritionists have similar requirements.
Watch Out for Organizations like the AANC
The AANC, or American Association of Nutritional Consultants, is one of several professional organizations offering certificates in nutrition. In order to gain certification from the AANC, you do not need any formal education, work experience, or field training.
In fact, the AANC simply provides a list of recommended textbooks for self-study, and charges $250 to take the certifying exam. In the field of nutrition and dietetics, the AANC and organizations that offer similar certification are not generally considered reputable. In other words, a certificate from a group like the AANC may not mean much when you are searching for a job.
About the Author
Amanda Clary writes a non commercial blog focused on her experience on helping her family and friends to eat healthy. She is a "Nutritionist for Hobby" and writes on sports nutrition certification blog to help people learn how to get certified and learn all the aspects related to this job (Skills, requisites, everyday problems, upgrading, etc...).