Pros / This health care job offers you the opportunity to be self-employed.

Cons / The low-wage average for this undergraduate medical career is below the average for all occupations.

 Verdict / A career as a dietitian or nutritionist offers many different choices for where you can work but has lower pay, even though it requires a bachelor's degree.

Dietitians and nutritionists work with patients to determine the patients' nutritional needs. This medical career helps patients determine the best diets for their personal health and provides meal plan recommendations specific to each patient's lifestyle. These health care workers also teach patients dieting best practices and monitor their progress. If you are interested in nutrition as a career, this health care job is the top choice.

The salary for this career in medicine is mid-ranged. The lower end of the wages for the bottom ten percent of workers is barely below the average for all occupations in the United States. However, the mid and high salary are in the same range as some of the other highest-paying medical jobs. As with any job, where you work and how much experience and education you have determine your overall salary.

To work as a dietitian or nutritionist, you need at least a bachelor's degree in nutrition-related area. Education in this health care career field focuses on how food and diet affects the human body. Coursework involves the various sciences, such as chemistry and biology, as well as advanced work in nutrition. After getting a bachelor's degree, you can apply for licensure.

You can choose to pursue qualifications to become a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist, which is a nationally recognized credential managed by the Commission on Dietetic Registration. Many employers require this credential to show that employees are up to national standards of practice. You also have the option of advanced credentialing to become a Certified Nutrition Specialist, and you can choose to specialize in certain areas, such as sports nutrition.

This health care career has an above-average job-growth percentage, but it also has limited job opportunities compared to some other undergraduate medical careers. However, dietitians and nutritionists can work in a variety of environments. Besides working at hospitals, nursing care facilities and clinics, workers in this medical career field can work as educators in school systems or as self-employed nutritionists. Schedules vary according to workplace environment, but most work full time.

  • High Wage
  • Mid-Range Wage
  • Low Wage
  • Percentage of Growth
  1. The average salary earned by the highest 10 percent of workers.
    Higher is better.
  2. 4  Dietitians and Nutritionists
    $79840.0
  3. $98800.0
  4. $118180.0
  5. $97390.0
  6. Category Average
    $82492.0

Summary

Dietitians and nutritionists use their knowledge of food and nutrition to help patients determine the best diets and lifestyles for their health. This health care job offers mid-range salaries compared to similar medical careers. However, there aren't as many jobs available as other careers, and you need at least a bachelor's degree. Overall, if you enjoy diets and nutrition, then this great career lets you specialize in your interest.

Specifications and Benchmarks

Job Requirements and Availability

Minimum Degree for Employment
Bachelor
Projected Job Openings
11,000
Percentage of Growth
16%
Number of Jobs Nationwide
66,700
Specialization Available
Advanced Job Titles Available

Workplace Opportunities

Private Practice Offices
Hospitals
Self-Employed
Clinics
Nursing Care Facilities
Schools

Scheduling Flexibility

Full-time
Part-time
Freelance or Consultant
Day Shift
No On Call
No Graveyard Shift
No Holiday Work