What Are the Top 40 Nutrition Careers?

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A degree in nutrition can be the perfect starting point if you want to dedicate your career to helping other people improve their health through the principles of a healthy diet. There are great nutrition careers in the food industry, as a private consultant, or with public health services, available to those with nutritional knowledge and certification.

We’ve put together a list of 40 top careers in nutrition, as well as their median annual salaries to give you an idea of what to expect when entering the professional workforce:

Job Title Job Summary

Median Pay

Professor, Postsecondary/Higher Education Instructs adult students in the principals of nutrition and health to help them learn skills necessary to pursue a career in the field.

$88,346

Sales Representative, Pharmaceuticals Responsible for selling their organization’s technical products to customers and establishing new prospects.

$83,964

District Manager, Food & Facilities Management Services Oversees the operations of several restaurants, as well as the manufacturing and distribution of food products for a company.

$67,361

Certified Diabetes Educator (CDE) Counsels individuals and groups on the basic principles of good nutrition to better control blood sugar levels.

$68,232

Clinical Nutrition Manager Works in a healthcare institution and is responsible for carrying out nutrition therapy to help patients improve their health.

$64,327

Director of Food and Nutrition Services Develops and implements nutrition programs that benefit clients and meet all federal requirements.

$64,009

Public Health Analyst Responsible for providing analysis in public health matters and overseeing public health professionals.

$64,490

Renal Dietitian Advises patients and families in need of specialized care of nutritional principles, diet modifications, and food selection.

$63,815

Food Service Director Responsible for overseeing the overall function of dining services and ensuring that these services are in compliance with health codes.

$54,454

Food Technologist Works for a company that produces food and is responsible for coming up with new food types and flavors.

$56,707

Dietitian Teaches individual clients about nutrition, evaluates their nutritional needs, and develops appropriate meal plans.

$53,720

Registered Clinical Dietitian Trained nutritional professionals that work to promote a healthy and sustainable diet for their clients.

$53,231

Registered Dietitian Typically works within a hospital or care facility to assess patient nutritional needs and create care plans.

$52,939

Public Health Specialist Performs a variety of tasks related to public health, and is responsible for implementing public health programs.

$51,808

Clinical Dietitian Responsible for all aspects of a patient’s diet and nutritional therapy within a clinical setting.

$52,402

Wellness Coach Provides counseling to clients that involves teaching about nutrition, exercise, and stress reduction.

$46,638

General Manager, Restaurant Responsible for overseeing the operations of a restaurant, including staffing and food service.

$49,870

Health Coach Typically works with individuals to help them improve their health and maintain a new lifestyle.

$47,130

Food and Beverage Manager Handles the management of all of a business’s decisions regarding food and beverages served to customers.

$49,793

Health/Wellness Coordinator Designs programs that help groups of people live healthier lifestyles through diet, exercise, and mental health support.

$48,894

Quality Control Inspector Works in the industrial setting to ensure that goods are produced with sufficient quality prior to being sold in market.

$48,894

Child Nutrition Director Works within a school setting to help plan meals and ensure the food served to children is healthy and balanced.

$43,841

Wellness Coordinator Works in a variety of settings to promote healthy work environments and improve the lives of their clients through exercise and diet.

$47,268

Nutritionist Studies dietary elements and provides recommendations about diets for individual clients and institutions.

$46,894

Food Service Manager Works in a variety of food related industries to oversee the preparation and service of the establishment’s food.

$46,227

Health Educator Typically employed by healthcare facilities to develop and present health education programs.

$46,006

Certified Dietary Manager Works to plan meals for patients that conform to their dietary and health-related needs.

$42,680

Certified Athletic Trainer Works with clients to recommend lifestyle and diet changes to assist in rehabilitation and prevention of injuries.

$44,457

Sous Chef Helps to manage the kitchen staff and ensure that the daily operations of a kitchen run efficiently.

$45,056

Food Service Supervisor Typically works in a restaurant or hotel to ensure that operations are performed efficiently and properly.

$41,505

Dietary Manager Responsible for the overall planning, organizing, and directing of the dietary department within their organization.

$42,680

Kitchen Manager Responsible for keeping the kitchen of a restaurant running smoothly and ensuring that the food meets high regulatory standards.

$38,591

Diet Technician, Registered (DTR) Healthcare worker that works under a registered dietary nutritionist to implement nutrition strategies for patients.

$43,365

Personal Trainer Generally works one-on-one with clients who are working to improve their physical fitness and athletic performance.

$39,996

Nutritional Educator Counsels, assesses, and educates clients on the principles of nutrition and appropriate diet modifications.

$31,949

Assistant Manager, Fast Food Responsible for overseeing the operation of a fast food restaurant under the supervision of a general manager.

$33,006

Nutritional Assistant Interviews patients in order to plan nutritional programs and provide guidance and educational material.

$39,708

Cafeteria Manager Manages cafeteria personnel and oversees the provision of food at institutions such as schools and hospitals.

$24,435

Cook, Institution and Cafeteria Works to prepare and cook food that caters to relevant health guidelines and the specific standards of their organization.

$27,514

Cafeteria Worker Responsible for a variety of food service related tasks for their specific organization.

$14,918

*Data sourced through Payscale.com


What can you do with a Nutrition Degree?

In the information above, you can see that there are a number of jobs available to those with a degree in Nutrition. With industries that range from food service to healthcare and education, the skills that you learn throughout your program will help you take on important roles in helping people maintain a healthy lifestyle.

As can be expected, with the wide variety of occupations in nutrition there is also a wide range of average annual salaries. While entry-level food service positions may only pay minimum wage, there are a number of professional careers in nutrition that offer salaries well above the national average across all occupations. Depending upon your specific skills, experience, and industry, you may make more or less than the numbers shown above.

What is a Nutrition Degree?

A degree in Nutrition teaches you fundamental skills needed to understand the science of health and how food affects our overall wellbeing. With this knowledge, you will be able to assist private clients and healthcare patients with improving their lives through dietary modifications. There are a number of diverse courses that you will take throughout your degree program to help you learn the skills needed to succeed in the professional workplace. These classes may include the following:

  • Nutritional Counseling
  • Community Nutrition
  • Complementary and Alternative Nutrition Therapies
  • Food Safety and Microbiology
  • Nutritional Analysis and Planning

If you would like to explore the possibility of earning your degree from home, check out the online nutrition degree programs that are available from many top universities! These flexible programs let you work towards you degree at a pace that fits into your busy personal schedule.

Nutrition Career Outlook

In the last several years, people have become more aware of the benefits to making healthy choices for their diet and overall lifestyle. Due to this, those who work in the field of nutrition have an overall positive occupational outlook. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, dietitians and nutritionists are projected to have a 8% employment increase between 2010 and 2029 – which is much faster than the national average!

For those with a passion for healthy living and a desire to help others modify their diets to enjoy the benefits of good health, a degree in Nutrition can be the perfect start to a rewarding career! Whether you want to teach others about nutrition or consult with clients in the healthcare setting, your degree will help pave the way to a variety of exciting career opportunities

Ready to start your journey?
Elizabeth Abner
WRITTEN BY Elizabeth Abner

Elizabeth is pursuing a Doctor of Philosophy in Foreign Policy and earned her master's degree in business administration. For her undergraduate studies, she earned a Bachelor of Arts in Business Administration with a concentration in international business. Elizabeth's research is focused on universities offering online degree programs.