Nutritionist and Dietitian Programs in Texas
Texas nutrition and dietitian schools offer students a chance to bite into a big opportunity. Use the links at right to steer toward helpful hints about how to become a nutritionist in Texas, in addition to career outlook and salary information. Determine what it takes to complete a degree program, and then start working down a potential path for a dietetic career in Texas.
Campus-Based vs. Online Nutritionist Education in Texas
Texas nutritionist and dietitian schools offer students two education paths: Campus-based and online. Both tracks should provide an opportunity for students to gain the skills and knowledge needed to succeed in the field. For the most part, nutritionist schools in Texas require students to take subject-specific classes such as nutrition, dietetics, anatomy and physiology. In addition to these health science courses, students might take general education courses to gain a broad background of knowledge. Common general education options for nutrition and dietetics majors include science, mathematics, English and business courses.
Students who opt for the online nutritionist and dietitian track might enjoy more flexibility than their on-campus cohorts. Additionally, online programs might appeal to career-oriented students, as coursework can be arranged around a busy schedule. Students with a family or other obligations may benefit from online education, as this kind of degree program often gives students the flexibility to study when time allows.
Some nutritionist and dietitian programs in Texas require students to complete an internship before graduation, especially if the student plans to become a registered dietitian. Competition for internships may be fierce, so students should plan ahead.
Texas Nutritionist Salary and Employment Outlook
According to figures from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, there were 3,450 dietitians and nutritionists working in Texas in May 2012, earning a mean average wage of $53,170 (BLS.gov/oes, 2013). The BLS predicts this number will rise rapidly over the next decade, thanks to growing interest in food's relationship to health and wellness (BLS.gov/ooh, 2012).
The following data provides average regional salaries:
Recent focus on food and its role in overall health is projected to increase the employment of dietitians and nutritionists nationwide, up to 20 percent over the next decade according to the BLS (BLS.gov/ooh, 2012). A growing interest in wellness programs treating obesity, heart disease and diabetes will create opportunities for trained health science professionals, including nutritionists and dietitians. In particular, nursing homes will likely see an increase in demand for dietitians, as aging and convalescing populations tend to have special nutritional needs.
Texas Nutritionist and Registered Dietitian Requirements
According to information from the Texas Department of State Health Services, a license is not required to practice under the titles of "nutritionist" or "dietitian." State licensure and certification are required, however, for professionals who want to practice under the titles "Register Dietitian (RD)," "Licensed Dietitian (LD)," and "Provisionally Licensed Dietitian."
To obtain licensure or certification in Texas, candidates should complete at least a bachelor's degree in food, nutrition or a related area, finish a supervised internship, and pass an exam. You can find out more about Texas dietitian requirements at the Texas Nutritionist Certification and Licensing page.
Texas Department of State Health Services, Texas State Board of Examiners of Dietitians About the Profession -- Scope of Practice, http://www.dshs.state.tx.us/dietitian/dt_scope.shtm
Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook, 2012-13 Edition, Dietitians and Nutritionists, July 18, 2012, http://www.bls.gov/ooh/Healthcare/Dietitians-and-nutritionists.htm
Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Employment Statistics, Occupational Employment and Wages, May 2012, Dietitians and Nutritionists, March 29, 2013, http://www.bls.gov/oes/current/oes291031.htm
Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Employment Statistics, May 2012 State Occupational Employment and Wage Estimates: Texas, Dietitians and Nutritionists, March 29, 2013