Qualifications to become a nutritionist vary by state, but most nutritionists hold at least a bachelors degree in nutrition, dietetics, food service systems management, or a related field. Related degree programs will typically include coursework in nutrition, chemistry, biology, and physiology. Many nutritionists also go on to earn an advanced degree.
Nutritionists must have a true interest in new developments in the field in order to remain up-to-date on evolving nutrition research. You will need strong analytical skills to be able to interpret scientific studies and apply them to your clients. Good people and communication skills are also important characteristics for a successful nutritionist. You will need to work closely with your clients to understand their specific needs and help them achieve their nutritional goals.
Most states require nutritionists to be licensed, though a few have no regulations for becoming a nutritionist. In order to qualify for licensure you must complete a related bachelors degree program and have at least a year of practical experience. Many degree programs will lead to internship opportunities which can satisfy the supervised training qualifications necessary for licensing.
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