Nutrition is one of the fastest-growing fields in health care, and it’s no wonder why. With an ever-increasing number of people facing obesity and other diet-related diseases, more and more people are learning about the importance of proper nutrition. If you’re interested in learning about nutrition and making a career in this rapidly expanding field, look at these convenient online nutrition programs to get you started immediately!
Why nutrition certification matters
Nutrition certification isn’t just necessary—it’s essential. There are two big reasons: First, most nutritionists spend their careers getting paid directly by clients, but a significant shift is happening away from one-on-one nutritional counseling. Today, more nutritionists use their skills and knowledge for speaking engagements, publishing books or blogs and working as consultants for major companies.
These gigs are typically shorter-term contracts that last anywhere from six months to two years. Industry certification can help you land these gigs because it proves you have specific training and experience. Aside from having a proper nutritionist education, getting your certification will help you earn respect and a higher salary.
What does being a nutritionist entail?
Being a nutritionist isn’t for everyone, but it does require considerable training, education and hard work. To become a registered dietitian nutritionist (RDN), you must earn a bachelor’s degree from an accredited college or university and then enroll in an ACEND-accredited master’s program. After completing your master’s program, you can take part in supervised practice through an internship and residency program before becoming eligible to sit for your RDN exam. After passing that exam, which tests both your knowledge of nutrition science and clinical skills like counseling patients with chronic disease conditions, you will be licensed by your state to practice as a registered dietitian nutritionist.
How to quickly get certified as a nutritionist
With many nutrition programs online, you can get certified in as little as 16 months. You enroll in six credits of coursework during the trimester and complete the course in two years. If you’re looking to complete the program a bit earlier, consider enrolling in nine credits each trimester and completing the course in only 16 months! However, there are a few important things to consider before signing up for any program. Ensure it’s accredited by an agency recognized by the U.S. Department of Education (like ACE). Also, be sure that many resources are available for support throughout your education. Such include online forums, one-on-one chats with instructors and career services staff who will help prepare you for job hunting after graduation.
Career Opportunities with Nutrition Certification
There are numerous career opportunities for individuals working towards becoming nutrition specialists, including personal training and nutrition counseling. Individuals with certifications may earn a higher wage than others with comparable degrees or work experience.