If you’re reading this, you’re probably wondering how to become a nutritionist. Nutritionist schools are becoming increasingly popular as more and more people become concerned about their health and well-being; for this reason careers in the health care industry, such as nutritionist jobs, will continue to boom.
The good news is, you can achieve a nutrition certification or degree without having to go through an expensive four-year health care school. There are nutrition schools available that will teach you how to become a nutritionist without breaking the bank.
But first, what exactly is a nutritionist? In the broad sense of the term, nutritionists advise people about food and nutrition and how it affects their health. They can be involved in many different areas of nutrition from preventative nutrition to holistic nutrition to using vitamins and supplements to create nutrition programs.
How to Become a Nutritionist: Educational and Skills Requirements
In order to fulfill the requirements of certifications, you will have to attend (either offline or online) a nutritionist school.
There are trade school nutrition programs that can have you in school anywhere from six months to four years. However, if you are not interested in spending that length of time in school, there are trade schools that offer certification on how to become a nutritionist. There are, of course, also four-year degree programs if you would prefer to go that route. However, we recommend that you start with a shorter certification or trade school nutrition program to make sure that this is really the right career for you before you invest heavily in a four-year nutritionist program. You could even take a few nutrition classes before deciding on a program.
Whether you go to a trade school or a traditional four-year program, all nutrition programs require practical training where you have the opportunity to directly work with persons through various dietary programs. You also have to learn foundational material covered in the areas of Biology, Chemistry, Anatomy, Physiology and Biochemistry.
Because nutritionists essentially plan meals which are adherent to specific criteria such as for weight loss, sugar level control, etc., they require certain skills. For instance, they need to understand about exercise and other factors which can contribute to a healthy lifestyle. They also need to know how to assess and recommend diets for patients and clients found in nursing homes and hospitals for example. Specific courses entail Culinary Arts, Weight Management, Chemistry, Economics, Mathematics and Communication. These are all fundamental courses which add together to form a base of knowledge which they will use to pursue certification as nutritionists in specific areas.
How to Become a Nutritionist: Specific Areas of Study
When you’re looking for information on how to become a nutritionist, you’ll need to think about the type of nutritionist career you are interested in. There are many different areas of study, including:
Sports Nutritionists help to maximize athletes’ performance by educating them as it relates to their dietary needs. Nutritionists in this case may develop meal plans and provide nutritional counseling with the ultimate goals of increasing body composition, aiding in recovery, increasing energy levels and improving immunity.
Holistic Nutritionists (also known as Holistic Health Nutritionists) take a holistic approach to medicine. This means that they take account of all areas of ones’ lifestyle in order to increase health and longevity. They believe that one’s body needs a balance of nutrients and that each person’s body requires different levels of each nutrient. They also believe that proper food choices can lead to a healthier mind and body. Penn Foster Career School offers a popular Holistic Nutrition Degree that you can earn in as little as six months.
Pediatric Nutritionists work with children and their dietary needs. They are mostly involved with children that have special needs and can be found working in children’s hospitals.
Vegetarian Nutritionists study the effects of vegetarian diets on the body. This type of nutritionist training is offered at holistic and natural health institutions as opposed to regular nutritionist schools and traditional colleges.
Pet Nutritionists assist animals and animal owners to determine specific dietary needs. In order to start a career as a Pet Nutritionist, you should have an appreciation for animals. You will have to attend nutrition classes at a Veterinarian School and get hands-on training with a skilled Veterinarian.
Prenatal Nutritionists concentrate on the health of unborn babies and the health as well as their mothers. In order to start a career in this specific field, it is recommended that you include in your studies, courses related to prenatal care as well as nutrition for pregnant mothers. You should also do your internship with a hospital or other medical institution where you can work directly with mothers and babies.
Public Health Nutritionists generally work with health and human service agencies, home health agencies, clinics and other health organizations. They provide counseling to members of the public about nutrition and other health practices so as to assist in the prevention of disease.
Clinical Nutritionists plan and promote nutritional health and assess the dietary and nutritional requirements of patients which support their own unique situations. They also conduct clinical research on nutrition.
How to Become a Nutritionist: Choosing a Nutritionist School
Hopefully you now have sufficient information to answer your question of “how to become a nutritionist.” There are many nutritionist schools available – you just need to find the right one for you depending on your career goals. We recommend researching nutrition schools online as well as browsing our nutritionist articles. Best of luck on your choice to become a nutritionist!