To become a Nutritionist you first will need at minimum a bachelor’s degree. Any Nutritionist with requirements above and beyond that specific states recommendations such as various training, more advanced or graduate degrees certifications, Licensures, and registration.
What requirements are there for Nutritionist Certification?
Once you have received your degree such as a nutrition science / health science degree your next step will vary by state requirements to get certification. It helps to get additional academic courses and internships once your education is completed. Although not required for a nutritionist, the American Dietetic Association (ADA) has a certification exam taken by many registered dietitians but also can be taken by nutritionist to increase their chances at a rewarding career and is recommended by the commission on Dietetics. According to the Department of Labor, 46 states have a law related to the standards for nutritionists. Out of these 46 states, 30 need licensure, 15 need certification, and 1 requires a registration with the state upon graduation from an accredited program. Along with the exam a supervised internship is required for this certification. There are two ways to get this internship completed:
Nutritionist and Dietitian Internship options for Certification
- This option is sometimes done at the same time as your education. Mainly done for applicants interested into becoming a registered dietitian. This program is accredited by the commission on Dietetic Registration. The completion of this program is usually done in 4-5 years along side your education. This requirement was created Sept. 2009 and has 51 accredited programs throughout the country that combines academic practices and hands on experiences.
- This option requires 900 hours of hands on supervised experiences and practices in any of the 243 internships throughout the country. If full time can be completed around 6 months and part time can take anywhere from 1-2 years for completion.
There is room for advanced and higher level dietitians and nutritionist to move into management positions such as assistant and/or directors of dietetic departments. There is also the option of being self employed or contractor specializing in many various advanced areas such as diabetic, cardiovascular, renal, or pediatric dietetics.
For more details about types of Dietician Certification License, click here.