Nutritionist and Dietitian Programs in Virginia
As America continues to wage collective war against its expanding waistlines, few professions have their finger on the pulse of the nation as much as nutritionists and dietitians. Start your journey toward becoming a nutrition and diet professional today and learn what it takes to work in this field in Virginia. Read on for other important facts and data, such as salary information and employment outlook for these health science professionals.
Campus-Based vs. Online Nutritionist Education in Virginia
Traditional on-campus nutritionist schools in Virginia may require students to take very specific classes related to their profession. These classes can include chemistry, dietetics, and nutrition. In addition, students will likely take a variety of prerequisites, such as English, math and general science courses.
Online programs, however, don't involve having to drive to a physical campus, fight for a parking spot, and spend valuable time away from family and work obligations. From the convenience of their own home - and from the comfort of their couch if they choose - students may earn their degrees from nutritionist and dietitian programs in Virginia with only a computer and a high-speed Internet connection.
Virginia Nutritionist Salary and Employment Outlook
The Virginia Workforce Connection (vawc.virginia.gov, 2013) reported that in 2011, there were 277 advertised openings for nutritionists and dietitians in the state of Virginia. According to the latest data available (2011), dietitians and nutritionists earned a mean annual wage of $55,443. The state of Virginia does not publish employment growth forecasts, but the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS.gov/ooh, 2012) projects the national growth rate for this profession to be 20 percent between 2010 and 2020.
The table below lists the mean annual wages for dietitians and nutritionists in Virginia by planning region (vawc.virginia.gov, 2013)
The BLS (BLS.gov/oh, 2012) expects growth to be strong because of several factors. Many American adults and children are either overweight or obese, and doctors are urging patients to eat healthier. Dietitians and nutritionists can help patients navigate the nutritional jungle. In addition, many people have complex dietary requirements, such as gluten-free, sodium-free or vegan, which makes it difficult to create adequate yet tasty meals. Finally, as the population ages, the services of nutritionists and dietitians might be very much needed in retirement homes, hospitals, assisted living facilities and senior centers to ensure that the elderly receive proper nutrition.
Virginia Nutritionist and Registered Dietitian Requirements
Dietitians and nutritionists in Virginia must either hold a bachelor's degree in nutrition or dietetics and complete a program of supervised clinical experience. In addition, the state of Virginia requires all individuals who wish to use the job title of nutritionist or dietitian to have active registration through the Commission on Dietetic Registration of the American Dietetic Association (cdrnet.org/about), which is the credentialing agency for the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. The state of Virginia does not require any additional state-specific licensing.
As the U.S. continues to fight the battle of the bulge and its interest in healthy lifestyles increases, nutritionists and dietitians may play an increasingly important part in Americans' lives. Start your career in a healthy industry now by choosing the nutritionist school that best fits your needs.
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
Commission on Dietetic Registration, Laws that Regulate Dietitians/Nutritionists, http://cdrnet.org/vault/2459/web/files/Licensurelawsregulations.pdf
Virginia Board of Health Professions, Regulations, http://www.dhp.virginia.gov/bhp/bhp_regs.htm
Virginia Workforce Connection, State of Virginia, Labor Market Information, https://www.vawc.virginia.gov/analyzer/default.asp