24 Nutrition Degree Careers

A nutrition degree can open up some fascinating career options. Nutrition is big business and a major medical issue, which has greatly raised the profile of nutritionists in the fields of health and food quality.

Career Streams for People with a Nutrition Degree

There are two basic career streams in nutrition degrees: (1) food and nutrition science and (2) nutrition science.

Food and Nutrition Science

This area includes nutritional studies related to the chemical and biological aspects of food ingredients, food quality, psychology, economics and social impacts. Specialist roles include the following:

Food industry:

  • Analysis and quality control
  • Food chemistry
  • Microbiology
  • Pest control, food hygiene and contamination at all levels of distribution
  • Food safety
  • Preservation and storage, including dietary issues related to preservatives
  • Industrial food production techniques
  • Studies of industry-related health issues like sugar levels, saturated fats, allergens, etc.
  • Food technology research and development

Economics:

  • Food supply chains and distribution
  • Food-related social issues and health costs
  • Food industry competition, prices and demand
  • Economic trends in staple foods
  • Foods as commodities in the global market

Psychology:

  • Food and dietary issues
  • Compulsive dietary disorders
  • Anorexia-related eating disorders
  • Food behavioral issues

Nutrition Science

These are the medical and academic streams in this discipline, related to training as nutritionists and dieticians. These degrees also often incorporate an educational role, advising patients regarding their dietary needs and issues.

Specializations in this stream include the following:

  • Consultant dietician (including pediatric and renal dieticians)
  • Clinical nutritionist
  • Nutritional science researcher
  • Food supplements (research and development)
  • Institutional food management
  • Community dietician

It will be seen from this large range of options that there are many opportunities for career mobility across areas of specialization. Nutritional science allows for several areas of overlap within these streams. If you hold a nutrition degree, you can use these overlapping areas for job mobility. You can build a career track with considerable scope and ranges of opportunities.

The majority of forms of employment in this field are in the health care and public sectors. These sectors have well-defined employment structures and related career tracks which are conducive to career planning and additional qualifications.

Career Choices for People with a Nutrition Degree

Because of the relative complexity of the career streams related to nutrition degrees, you should explore areas of interest in detail. Internships are available as introductory work in all areas of nutrition. An internship can assist with enhancing your entry-level career prospects, as well as providing useful insights into the various fields.

Nutrition Degree Career Issues and Emerging Trends

Diabetes, obesity and other diet-related conditions are expected to create significant demand for dieticians and nutritionists in the U.S. in the coming decade. The Bureau of Labor Statistics anticipates some outsourcing of the present roles in the health sector to contractors. This scenario will shift demographic trends in these sectors. However, the Bureau also predicts that specialists and positions requiring advanced qualifications in nutrition will experience strong job growth.