Are you interested in the science of food and enjoy helping others enhance their lives through healthy eating? Then an online Nutrition degree can get you started in a rewarding career! Whether you offer nutrition counseling to individual clients or work within the healthcare field, there are a number of ways to utilize your Nutrition degree after graduation.
Careers in Nutrition
Those with an online degree in Nutrition typically work one-on-one with clients to help them improve their wellbeing through better dietary choices. Other graduates may have the opportunity to pursue careers in a management position within the food or healthcare industry. Below we have listed a few of the top jobs within the field of Nutrition, as well as their median annual salaries:
|Job Title||Job Summary||
Median Annual Salary
|Director Food and Nutrition Services||Responsible for creating a nutrition program that benefits clients and meets all federal requirements.||
|Nutrition Services Manager||Responsible for overseeing the daily operations of the nutrition department of an establishment.||
|Registered Clinical Dietitian||Trained nutritional professionals that are responsible for promoting a healthy and sustainable diet.||
|Nutrition Specialist||Consults with healthcare staff and advises patients and families on nutritional principles and diet modifications.||
|Nutritionist||Studies the field of nutrition and provides individual clients and institutions with diet recommendations.||
*Job and salary data provided by Payscale.com
As you can see, there are several career paths available in Nutrition across a range of industries. While those who graduate from this program typically earn a yearly salary greater than the national average across all occupations, you may make more or less based upon your specific experience level and skillset.
Types of Online Nutrition Degrees
Typically, the starting qualifications for entry-level positions within the field of nutrition require a bachelor’s degree. Due to this, most accredited universities begin offering their online Nutrition degrees at this level.
Online Bachelor’s Degrees in Nutrition
The science of nutrition is a constantly evolving field, and an online bachelor’s degree will help prepare you to take on professional positions within the industry. Through the knowledge and skills you achieve during the course of this program, you will be able to assist patients and clients with improving their quality of life through dietary modifications.
Throughout the course of an online bachelor’s degree in Nutrition program, you will take a number of specialty classes that may include:
- Food Safety and Microbiology
- Nutritional Counseling
- Nutrition for Special Populations
- Nutritional Analysis and Planning
A bachelor’s degree in Nutrition is a first step towards becoming a Registered Dietitian. To obtain your license after graduation, you would then need to complete an ACEND-accredited internship and pass the certification examination.
Online Master’s Degrees in Nutrition
If you’d like to start your own nutritional practice or apply for management positions with the field, then an online master’s degree in Nutrition is an excellent way to further your skills and education. This type of degree program typically requires 40 credits before graduation and can be completed in approximately two years.
Throughout the course of your graduate degree program, you will take advanced courses that prepare you for work within a variety of professional industries. These courses may include:
- Advanced Foods and Nutrition
- Clinical Nutrition Assessment and Intervention
- Community Nutrition
- Complementary and Alternative Nutrition Therapies
- Environmental Health, Social Movements, and Public Policy
After completion of your Nutrition master’s degree program, you will be able to pursue employment in a number of professional settings, including hospitals, clinics, athletic clubs, and public health programs.
Nutrition Career Outlook and Salary Information
With greater awareness of food quality and people becoming more interested in healthy food choices, those who work within the field of nutrition have a positive career outlook. According to the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics, dietitians and nutritionists can expect to see a 8% occupational increase between 2019 and 2029 – much faster than the national average across all occupations!
The average annual salary of those who work in the field of Nutrition can vary based upon the industry in which they are employed. According to the BLS, dietitians and nutritionist can expect to earn an annual wage of $61,270, which is much greater than the average salary across all occupations.
View our list of the top 40 Nutrition careers to compare jobs and salaries in this field.
Is an Online Degree in Nutrition Right for me?
Online degree programs have become increasingly popular over the last several years due to the options for flexible scheduling and lower tuition costs. Many of the nation’s top universities now offer online degree programs in the field of Nutrition that you can use to get started in a professional career!
There are several advantages to earning your Nutrition degree online, and these benefits include:
- Options to schedule classes around your work and family obligations
- Flexible internship opportunities to complete nutrition and dietician licensing requirements
- Opportunity to complete your degree program in less time with accelerated classes or credits by examination
Typically, online degree programs work best for students who are motivated self-learners with high organizational skills. Throughout the course of your online program, you will also have access to interactive educational platforms that provide you the opportunity to connect with leading nutritional experts and students from across the country.
Comparing Top Nutrition Degree Programs
With the number of online Nutrition degree programs available, it is important to choose a school that is respected within the industry. By looking into the factors below, you can reduce the chances of enrolling in a “degree mill” school that is not recognized in the professional workforce.
Accredited Nutrition programs are offered by schools that have undergone a voluntary review of their curriculum by one of the many recognized accrediting agencies throughout the country. By making sure that your online Nutrition degree program is accredited, you will ensure that you are receiving a high quality education and earning a degree that will be professionally recognized.
There are numerous regional and national accrediting agencies recognized by the United States Department of Education, and a few of the names to look out for during your research include:
- Association for Nutrition
- Accreditation Council for Education in Nutrition and Dietetics (ACEND)
- Commission on Accreditation for Dietetics Education (CADE)
For a full list of recognized regional and national agencies, take some time to check out the U.S. Department of Education’s website!
Student to Faculty Ratio
Beyond an accredited curriculum, it is also important to ask prospective colleges about their student to faculty ratios within the Nutrition program. The best online universities have policies that ensure low class sizes that can support students in getting the individualized instruction they need to succeed within their courses.
Your prospective college’s website is a good starting point for doing research into the various online Nutrition degree programs available. Many schools also have a “Faculty” section of their website in which you can look through the credentials and qualifications of the instructors that will be teaching your nutrition courses.
Academic Advising and Student Services
Throughout your educational journey, you may find that you need additional support from your school to reach your full potential. There are several services available to online students working on a Nutrition degree, including:
- Academic advising services to help you map out your educational goals and prepare for professional nutrition licensing
- Access to online resources to assist in research projects throughout your courses
- Online tutoring services for advanced Nutrition classes
- Flexible internship and mentoring opportunities in a variety of nutrition industries
For those with a passion for understanding food, nutrition, and the science behind a healthy diet, the courses within an online Nutrition degree program will give you the knowledge needed to pursue professional employment. From working directly with patients in the healthcare setting to counseling clients in a private practice, there are a number of ways to turn your Nutrition degree into a long-term, rewarding career!