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Nutritionist and Dietitian Programs in Mississippi

Learn more about how to become a nutritionist in Mississippi, the educational requirements for dietitians and nutritionists, employment projections and salary information. Click the links on the right for more information about educational programs at nutritionist schools in Mississippi and dietitian and nutritionist certification and training.

Campus-based vs. Online Nutritionist Education in Mississippi

Coursework for a bachelor's degree, which is required by most states to become a dietitian, includes a general education core curriculum plus sciences and mathematics; statistics; economics; nutrition and medical nutrition therapy; and foodservice and HR management. Supervised practice experience may also be required. A solid background in math and science is usually required for admission to a bachelor's degree program in dietetics and nutrition.

Campus-based programs at Mississippi nutritionist and dietitian schools can meet the needs of students who thrive on face to face interaction with their peers and who prefer the structure of attending regular classes. Campus-based programs are also convenient if supervised practice is required. However, for students with family obligations or those who are currently employed or live some distance from a campus, the convenience of enrolling in online nutritionist and dietitian programs in Mississippi cannot be overstated. Online programs may require a short campus component or provide a convenient local alternative for completion of any required clinical practice.

Mississippi Nutritionist Salary and Employment Outlook

The Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts that the national employment outlook for nutritionists and dietitians will be faster than average at 20 percent between 2010 and 2020. The employment outlook in Mississippi will be slightly lower at 14 percent with the highest employment outlook in the Hattiesburg Metropolitan Statistical Area (MSA) at 25 percent (careerinfonet.org, 2012).

National mean annual wages in May 2012 for dietitians and nutritionists were $56,170 (bls.org/oes, 2012) while Mississippi nutritionists and dietitians earned average wages of $50,280 according to April 2013 data published by the Mississippi Department of Employment Security.

The following table provides average annual wages for Mississippi MSAs and Workforce Investment Act Areas (WIAs):

Mississippi MSA or WIA
2013 Occupational Employment Wage Estimates
Jackson
$47,230
Hattiesburg
$47,770
Gulfport-Biloxi
$57,410
Twin District
$52,625
Delta
$40,082
Southcentral
$48,272
Mississippi Partnership
$51,879

This table is based on 2013 information from the Mississippi Department of Employment Security.

As the U.S. population ages, there is increased concern about how food, nutrition and diet affect overall health and well being. With this growing interest in preventative healthcare options, the need for dietitians and nutritionists will also increase, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. In 2010, 64,400 dietitians and nutritionists were employed in the U.S. with an expected increase to over 77,000 by 2020 (bls.gov, ooh, 2012).

Mississippi Nutritionist and Registered Dietitian Requirements

In most states, the title nutritionist does not necessarily connote a specific educational requirement unless the title is Certified Nutrition Specialist (CNS), which is generally accompanied by a master's degree. In Mississippi, dietitians must be licensed by the Mississippi State Department of Health and registered with the Commission on Dietetic Registration (CDR) to use the title Registered Dietitian (RD). To be licensed, the dietitian must be in good standing with the CDR and have passed an examination administered by the Commission.

The three levels of state regulation in the field of nutritional professionals include licensing, which makes practicing without a license illegal; statutory certification, which limits the use of certain titles such as RD or CNS but does not prohibit practice; and registration, which provides little or only sporadic oversight. A 2011 American Dietetic Association HOD Backgrounder shows that 35 states/territories required dietitians to be licensed, seven states required them to be certified, four were pending legislation to require certification or licensure, three provided title protection for nutritionists and/or dietitians and three states had no statutory requirements. Mississippi requires licensure of dietitians and provides title protection for nutritionists.

Dietitians and nutritionists provide invaluable health services in the form of medical nutrition therapy, diet modification, nutrition counseling about health and disease and consulting on nutritional care standards in quality food services in a variety of different career positions. As the nation continues to ramp up their interest in improving their health by changing their diets, nutrition professionals may lead the way.

Sources:
American Dietetic Association, License HOD Backgrounder, Fall 2011, http://www.reallyeatright.org/wp-content/uploads/2012/05/HOD-Licensure-Backgrounder-2011-07-22-11.pdf
Bureau of Labor Statistics, Occupational Employment Statistics, May 2012, "Dietitians and Nutritions," March 29, 2013, http://www.bls.gov/oes/current/oes291031.htm
Bureau of Labor Statistics, Occupational Outlook Handbook, 2012-13 Edition, "Dietitians and Nutritionists," May 14, 2013, http://www.bls.gov/ooh/Healthcare/Dietitians-and-nutritionists.htm
CareerOneStop, Occupational Profile, "Dietitians and Nutritionists: Mississippi," http://www.careerinfonet.org/occ_rep.asp?optstatus=011000000&soccode=291031&id=1&nodeid=2&stfips=28&search=Go
Mississippi Department of Employment Security, "Occupational Employment and Wages Estimates 2013," http://mdes.ms.gov/information-center/labor-market-information/occupational-wages/
Mississippi Department of Employment Security, "Occupational Employment Projections, 2008-18," http://www.mdes.ms.gov/information-center/labor-market-information/occupational-projections/
Today's Dietitian, Licensing Legislation - Is it a Matter of Public Safety or Monopoly?, Lori Zanteson, November 2012, http://www.todaysdietitian.com/newarchives/111412p46.shtml
University of Mississippi, Academics, "Degree Plan for a Bachelor's Degree in Nutrition and Dietetics," http://www.olemiss.edu/depts/fcs/collateral/pdf/BSDNRequirements-Sample.pdf

Nutritionist Schools in Mississippi

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