Hot Degrees: Nutrition and Dietetics

Nutrition and Dietetics Degrees

A degree in nutrition and dietetics can open doors to many different career paths. Great paying jobs in this career field have opportunities in both the public and private sectors, and include jobs in a wide variety of settings such as:

  • Schools
  • Hospitals
  • Elder care organizations
  • Clinical care
  • Sports and recreation groups
  • Research and development

A degree in nutrition and dietetics can even provide opportunities to work for yourself by starting your own business or working as a consultant.

What is Dietetics?

Dietetics is the science of how food, diet, and nutrition affects human health. A dietitian (or otherwise spelled dietician) is an expert in dietetics. The terms “dietitian” and “nutritionist” are often used interchangeably, yet there are distinctions.

A registered dietitian (RD) is a specialized certification, whereas a dietitian or nutritionist may or may not require certification or licensing depending on one’s state.

Dietitians have a specific focus on how food and nutrition can impact one’s health whereas nutritionists have an overall broader scope of nutrition and health. Dietitians are to specialists as nutritionists are to general medicine.

Associate Degree in Nutrition and Dietetics

An Associate Degree in Nutrition and Dietetics is a great starting point for those interested in nutrition sciences. From nutrition for personal enrichment to specialized diets that promote wellness and help cure disease, earning an associate degree in nutrition and dietetics can set one on a successful career path and prepare for further education and certification.

Jobs you can obtain with an Associate Degree in Nutrition and Dietetics:

  • Dietetic Technician-Assist in the provision of food service and nutritional programs, under the supervision of a dietitian. Average annual salary: $31,000.
  • Wellness Coordinator-Assist individuals to adopt healthy behaviors. Average annual salary: $35,000.
  • Nutrition Coach-Instruct groups or individuals in healthy nutrition choices. Average annual salary: $43,000.

Bachelor’s Degree in Nutrition and Dietetics

Students can earn a Bachelor’s in Nutrition and Dietetics and choose to focus on a wide variety of specialties such as geriatric nutrition, pediatric care, diet therapy, and nutrition research. For many, a Bachelor’s Degree in Nutrition and Dietetics is the first step in becoming a Registered Dietician. After earning a bachelor’s degree in an accredited school and program,  a student will be well prepared to pass the certifying exam and other requirements needed to become an RD.

Jobs you can obtain with a Bachelor’s in Nutrition and Dietetics include:

  • Community Health Worker-Assist individuals and communities to adopt healthy behaviors. Average annual salary: $44,000.
  • Nutritional Health and Wellness Coach-Instruct groups or individuals in healthy lifestyle choices. Average annual salary: $46,000.
  • Registered Dietitian-Work in a variety of organizations from federal and municipal jobs, along with jobs in the private sector including offices such as insurance companies, research and development positions, and clinical settings. Average annual salary: $56,000.

Master’s Degree in Nutrition and Dietetics

An advanced degree in nutrition and dietetics would include at least one specialty focus such as gerontology health and wellness, nutritional research and development, oncology nutrition, etc. Those earning a master’s degree can continue in their current career path with additional earning power, undertake supervisory roles, or transition into teaching postsecondary students about nutrition and dietetics.

Jobs you can get with a Master’s Degree in Nutrition and Dietetics:

  • Health Education Specialist-Manage health education programs that help individuals, families, and communities adopt healthy lifestyles. Average annual salary: $61,000.
  • Dietitian (RD) and Nutritionist Specialist-Plan and conduct nutritional programs to assist in the promotion of health and control of disease. Average annual salary: $61,000.
  • Postsecondary Teacher-Instructor for nutrition and dietetics programs. Average annual salary: $74,000.
  • Food and Nutrition Technologist-Study food and its nutritional content to determine levels of vitamins, fat, sugar, and protein; research how to make foods healthful. Average annual salary: $76,000.

Doctoral Degrees in Nutrition and Dietetics

Go even further with your education and earn a Doctorate in Nutrition and Dietetics. Doctoral candidates typically focus on research; the possibilities for study and specialties is vast and able to be tailored to a student’s interests and desired research. Whether looking for a career in research with the government or a private company, starting your own business, or working as a professor a Doctoral Degree in Nutrition and Dietetics is certain to come with a large paycheck.

Jobs you can get with a Doctoral Degree in Nutrition and Dietetics:

Healthcare Practitioners

Holistic health care providers with a dietetic and nutrition specialty. Average annual salary: $84,000.

Health Specialty Postsecondary Professors

Average annual salary: $113,000.

 

Ready to start your degree in Dietetics and Nutrition? Check out these great programs available at our partner schools:

Campus-Based Nutrition and Dietetics Degree Programs

NOTE: Some schools listed have paid for consideration.

Looking for an exceptional campus-based program?

Central Washington University (CWU)

CWU offers a dietetic internship program for those seeking to become a Registered Dietitian. Program has full accreditation by Accreditation Council for Education in Nutrition and Dietetics (ACEND). Offered in conjunction with or as a stand-alone program from CWU’s Master’s of Science in Nutrition.

Online Nutrition and Dietetics Degree Programs

If distance learning is your preference check out the programs available at:

Kansas State University Online

They offer an online Bachelor’s Degree in Dietetics; a Master’s in Dietetics; and a Master’s in Nutrition, Dietetics, and Sensory Sciences.

 *All average annual salaries calculated from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics National Occupational Employment and Wage Estimates. For more information click here.

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About the author

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Born in SoCal yet raised Tampa, Florida - Leah earned her undergraduate BA in Liberal Studies from the University of Central Florida. Leah earned her MA in the MALAS at San Diego State University, while also completing a graduate teaching certificate in English for Secondary Education. An avid traveler, she has visited more than 60 countries. With the birth of her son Spencer in 2012, Leah embarked on her biggest adventure (yet) as parent and Coast Guard wife.