how many states regulate nutritionist licensure?

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Nutrition Certification

Nutrition certification is accomplished through taking state licensing exams or exams that are administered through the American Dietetic Association. In order to qualify for nutrition certification exams you will first need to complete an ADA accredited program or take a state licensing exam, should you reside in a state that requires a nutritionist to be certified.

Nutritionist Program Options

An associate’s degree program in nutrition will prepare a student for a career working with clients that need guidance and counseling regarding healthier food alternatives and a change in their eating habits.  Associate’s programs features courses in chemistry, basic nutrition, physiology, anatomy, documentation, microeconomics, food production and microbiology.

Popular career opportunities for the nutritionist with an associate’s degree will include nutritionist educator, food service assistant, dietician assistant, food and health manager and WIC program instructor.


Once a program has been completed the graduate is eligible to take the nutritionist exam. To maintain certification as a nutritionist you’ll need to enroll in online courses so that you can keep abreast with the changes of techniques used in the field and the different types of nutritional benefits found in certain changes in diet. These courses are referred to as continuing education classes, with each class typically counting as an hour’s worth of credit. The nutritionist will need to earn a total of fifteen hours of CE to qualify for the yearly license renewal.

After earning an associate’s degree some graduates will choose to acquire their bachelor’s degree in food science or nutrition.

Continuing your Education as a Nutritionist

Should you decide to enroll in a bachelor’s degree program for nutrition, you will learn course material that offers a foundation in food science and nutrition as well as food service management. These programs can be coordinated with associate degree programs that will allow for a smooth transition into a bachelor’s program. The coursework involved in this program are as follows: food science, accounting for management, health and wellness, advanced nutrition, food handling and safety regulations, nutrition and disease, metabolism, and nutrition for different life stages.

A master’s degree in nutrition is also available and will offer coursework that can permit a student to design a program that fits their goals. These programs are offered online or in-class however, a master’s program in nutrition can be hard to find locally. A master’s degree program for the nutritionist is a two year program. Accelerated programs are available that can be completed in one year. To qualify for the master’s program you will need to have obtained a bachelor’s degree.

Coursework will include class topics such as energy proteins, health counseling techniques, eating disorders, diabetes and nutrition, cardiovascular nutrition, nutritional herbs, marketing nutrition, metabolizing carbs and metabolizing proteins.

For nutritionists that hold a master’s degree, employment can be found as an HMO educator, nutrition teacher, Private nutritional counselor, nutritional journalist, or lead health consultant.


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