Job Board
Your basket is currently empty
Download Price Guide
Download Price Guide
Job Board
Your basket is currently empty
Future Fit Traning

What is a Nutritionist? A complete guide for 2023

A Nutritionist is an individual who provides evidence-based information and guidance on the impacts of food and nutrition to people looking to improve their health and well-being.

Nutritionists have a good understanding of nutritional science making them more likely to work within research, the food industry, community projects, and preventative health.

Want to know more about being a nutritionist? Check out the content below:

tuna salad with tomatoes, lettuce , and sweetcorn

What qualifies someone as a nutritionist?

Nutritionists are qualified at the nutritionist degree level (BSc) or higher and have to be members of the UK Voluntary Register of Nutritionists (UKVRN) if they want to use the title ‘Registered Nutritionist’ (RNutr). Being a nutritionist allows you to use your expertise in diet and food sciences to help clients with specific dietary requirements and goals. To be a nutritionist as a job, you have to be degree qualified.

The key scope of a Dietician

Registered Dieticians are qualified health professionals at the nutritionist degree level and normally work within the:

  • Clinical environment
  • Work with medical conditions
  • Diet-related research

The key scope of a nutritionist

Nutrition professionals are qualified at the nutritionist degree level, they provide nutrition and dietetics advice and normally work within the:

  • Work within research
  • The food industry
  • Preventative health
  • Community projects

Nutrition coach studying nutrition course online

What do you need to study before doing a nutritionist degree?

Both dieticians and nutritionists working in any capacity, require a University degree in the UK. Whereas, in other parts of the world, such as the United States, they are regulated differently.

Every university will have its own entry requirements for a nutrition degree, so it is best to check with the institution you are interested in applying to. You will normally need to have at least a B grade in biology plus at least one other subject such as applied science, chemistry, physics, or maths.

Who will nutrition experts work with?

Nurses and dietitians are examples of healthcare experts who might collaborate with nutrition experts. Nutrition experts could also collaborate with other organizations such as schools, nursing homes, or non-profits. In brief, any organization offering food choices can work with a nutritionist and receive recommendations about healthy eating across all food services – from shopping to cooking to serving.

Dietitians and nutritionists are governed by various agencies and have different functions and training.

Find out more about the Nutrition Advisor job description.

What are the required skills?

Nutritionists must be well-versed in a variety of foods.

  • Optimistic and able to motivate others, interested in science and cuisine, and understanding of other people’s lifestyles
  • Able to communicate difficult issues in a straightforward manner

You’ll also require:

  • A knowledge of science and the ability to organize
  • Abilities to communicate
  • For private/freelance jobs, you’ll need business abilities.
  • Private nutrition insurance.

Tomatoes, lettuce and a yellow pepper on a chopping board

Can you be a nutritionist without a degree in the UK?

The only way to become a qualified nutritionist is to study for a degree in nutrition at a University. Most careers will require at least an undergraduate degree (BSc), a registered nutritionist (RNutr) with nutrition specialism in public health, nutrition science, eating disorders, sport & exercise, and food or animal nutrition.

If you want to become a Nutrition Adviser, feel free to check out our guide.

What qualifications do nutritionists have?

Most organizations want nutritionists who are members of the UK Voluntary Register of Nutritionists (UKVRN). To register, you must be able to demonstrate that you have the necessary background knowledge and professional abilities.

If you do not have a nutrition degree, you must have at least a BSc (Hons) in Nutrition or a comparable bioscience degree with experience or be able to demonstrate extensive professional or practical experience in nutrition science at the equivalent of an honors degree level (typically a minimum of seven years).

What are dietitians, nutritionists & nutritional therapists?

Dietitians are the only healthcare professionals that are legally regulated and protected. Registered nutritionists can offer evidence-based food and nutrition advice and information.

Alternative treatment is provided by nutritional therapists, who believe that the body needs ‘healing’ and ‘correction.’

Find out more: What’s the difference between a nutritionist and a nutrition coach?

What are the pros & cons of being a nutritionist

  • It is very rewarding as you are actively helping people eat healthier, lose weight and improve their general health
  • It is a well-paid job, with a wide scope of practice.
  • As a nutritionist, you could have the opportunity to be self-employed or work for an organisation such as the NHS or in a food company.
  • It can take between 3-4 years to fully qualify as a nutritionist.
  • A nutritionist degree can be expensive and will cost in the region of £30,000
  • It can be a challenging job as helping people to change their eating behaviour can be difficult and time-consuming

Chopped pepper on a board

Association for Nutrition

British Nutrition Foundation

The Nutrition Society

Nutrition trends

Build a career in nutrition

Discover our alternatives to Nutritionist Courses

If you don’t want or cannot for any reason attend University and become a nutritionist, there are plenty of alternative choices. At Future Fit Training, we offer nutrition courses to allow you to become a Nutrition Coach and get a job without a degree.

Frequently asked questions

Please see our most frequently asked questions.

Can’t find the answer you’re looking for?

Call us today: 01329 829444

Starting your career in health & fitness

Our courses set the benchmark for industry training and ongoing support. If you’re ready to get started, so are we.