Nutritionists have a vast number of job choices to choose from. Working in a variety of settings, each nutritionist takes on specific roles in the health and treatment of their patients or clients. Environments for nutritionists are also vast, including many in the following areas:
- Long Term Care Facilities
- Food Companies
- Food Service Organizations
- Nursing Homes
- Private Clinics
- Community & Public Health Agencies
- School Districts
Food Service Administrator/Director
Necessary in all types of settings, food services directors organize, manage and oversee the delivery and service or meals on a medium to very large scale. Food service administrators work in places like school districts, hotels, catering companies, retirement, homes, nursing homes and other types of long term care facilities and many other types of large catered events. The most important aspects of this career are management of budgets, organization of products and the proper preparation and service.
Primarily located in hospitals and long term care facilities, a nutrition director will work to oversee and manage the diet and nutritional aspects of all meals served. This person will work with suppliers to maintain the highest quality of foods prepared for the patients and clients they serve. Organization and a strong knowledge of food preparation are important.
Research & Academic
Usually necessitating a higher degree such as a masters or PhD, those in nutrition research work in a variety of areas, including retail food producer laboratories, government food regulatory agency laboratories, colleges and universities, pharmaceutical companies and private food and nutrition supplement producers.
Those who enjoy teaching will find no shortage of opportunities with today’s focus on increased preventative health care. Today, more schools than ever are creating classes and degree programs focused on nutrition and health care. Elementary through high school education institutions are increasingly teaching children about the benefits of nutrition, while colleges and universities prepare nutritionists for future health care professions. A college or university professor will generally require a masters degree or PhD why those who prefer to teach younger children need most likely only a bachelors or associates.
This position includes a large number of nutrition professionals including personal trainers, coaches, athletic directors, physical therapists, sports nutrition consultants and more. Important factors for this career include nutrition planning including meals and necessary supplements directed toward the specific goals of the athlete. If your interest is in sports and physical activity, a growing demand in sports nutrition throughout North America could be a great place for you.
Nutritional Supplement Business
Growing into a multi-billion dollar a year industry in North America, those with a solid understanding of nutrition and the benefits of various supplements are able to succeed in this industry. Although an understanding of nutrition is a must, the business side of nutrition is more important in this industry than in other nutrition careers. Those interested in business should look into this industry, as growth has not slowed down and promises to continue.
Do you love cooking for others? Do you love to plan events? If so, catering may be your calling. Over the past decade, catering has become a great way for those interested in nutrition to help others while providing great food and great service. As many more people have become more health conscious, they are turning more to caterers who understand how to prepare healthier foods, such as organic, locally grown and GMO free. This demand is also sure to maintain its growth over the next decade.
Do you prefer to work for yourself or in a smaller, private setting? Do you want to help people who will become your own clients? Do you wish to see a project from start to finish? You may be the type of person who wants to help another lose weight, recover from illness or improve their diet to live healthier. Just as a physical therapist or personal trainer will assist another to reach their goals, so will a nutritional consultant. Consultants are able to choose their clients and the types of nutrition they would like to practice. If this type of career sounds right to you, perhaps you would like to become a nutritional consultant.