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What is a Nutritionist? A guide for beginners

A Nutritionist is somebody who is qualified from a Nutritionist Qualification at degree level. Nutritionist courses are mainly studied over the course of 3-4 years. Discover everything you need to know about Nutritionists.

What is a Nutritionist?

Nutritionists provide evidence-based information and guidance on the impacts of food and nutrition on the health and wellbeing of people. 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:

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 do this at the Nutritionist level they have to be degree qualified.

The key scope of a Dietician

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

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

The key scope of a Nutritionist

Nutritionists are qualified at Nutritionist degree level, they provide nutrition advice and normally work within:

  • 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 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 I work with?

Nurses and dietitians are examples of healthcare experts with whom you might collaborate in your nutrition career. You could also collaborate with other organizations such as schools, nursing homes, or non-profits.

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 job, you’ll need business abilities.

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), registered nutritionist (RNutr) with nutrition specialism in public health, nutrition science, eating disorders, sport & exercise, food or animal nutrition.

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

 

Find out more about the differences between a Nutrition Coach and a Nutritionist.

What are the pro’s & con’s of being a Nutritionist

Pros
  • 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 organization such as the NHS or in a food company.
Cons
  • It can take between 3-4 years to fully qualify as a nutritionist.
  • 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 behavior can be difficult and timely

Chopped pepper on a board

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.

Level 3 Nutrition & Weight Management Course

The Level 3 Nutrition course will provide you with the skills to help clients improve their diet and focus on weight loss through one-to-one consultations.

Level 4 RSPH Nutrition Course

The Level 4 RSPH course will provide you with evidence-based knowledge on all aspects of nutrition and its application to different life stages and client goals. Enhance your opportunities by studying the well-respected and internationally recognized Nutrition course at the highest levels.

 

 Level 5 Nutrition Course

The Level 5 Nutrition Course is a scientific step up from the Level 4 RSPH Nutrition and is the highest level of training available in this field, outside of a degree. This course provides an in-depth understanding of how nutrients are metabolized, including the effects of hormones on body composition and long-term health.

 

Useful Links:

Association for Nutrition

British Nutrition Foundation

The Nutrition Society

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