Obtaining a degree in nutrition/dietetics does not guarantee that you will become a dietitian. Various reasons for this can include the inability to match into a dietetic internship, failing in the RD exam, or discovering that becoming a dietitian isn’t the career path you want to take in life. Fortunately, the field of nutrition is quite diverse, and there are many nutrition related professions that don’t require you to be a dietitian. List below are 10 of these professions that may interest you.
Food scientists use chemistry and biology to study the basic elements of food. Areas of concentration include food safety, nutrient analyzation, food product development, and creating more efficient ways to process, package, and distribute food
Minimum level of education: Bachelor’s degree in Food Science or nutrition/dietetics. A Master’s degree in Food Science is preferred.
Work Environment: Laboratory, office, or food production plant.
Job Outlook: 7% expected growth from 2016-26 (As fast as average)
Median income: $62,910 per year or $30.25 per hour 1
Food Labeling Specialist
Ensures that the information on food labels such as the nutrition facts, ingredients, and allergens are in compliance with governmental guidelines.
Minimum level of education: Bachelor’s degree in food science, nutrition, or related field.
Work environment: Food processing plants
Median income: $55,728 per year or $26.79 per hour 2
Food Safety Inspector
Food safety inspectors visit food service establishments to enforce laws in regards to the handling, preparing, and storing of food to ensure that it’s safe to eat. They also make sure food items are packaged, advertised, and graded properly.
Minimum level of education: Bachelor’s degree in a nutrition related field. Obtaining an additional certification as a Certified Professional-Food Safety (CP-FS) through the department of health/agriculture may be needed.
Work Environment: Farms, food processing plants, grocery stores, restaurants, and school kitchens.
Median income: $54,161 per year or $26 per hour 1
College or University Instructor
Instructors teach courses on the subject matters of their expertise. Work duties includes developing lesson plans to educate students and assessing them via assessments, quizzes, and exams.
Minimum level of education: Master’s degree is required to become an instructor, but a PhD is required to be an associate or tenured professor.
Work Environment: Universities, small colleges, community colleges or at home if course are taught online.
Job Outlook: 15% expected growth from 2016-26 (much faster than average)
Median income: $76,000 per year or $36.54 per hour 1
Food Service Manager
Food service managers are responsible for running the daily operations of a food service establishment. Job duties include ordering food and equipment, hiring, training and overseeing staff, managing budgets, and ensure the compliance of food safety standards.
Minimum level of education: High school diploma. Bachelor’s degree in food service or nutrition/dietetics is preferred.
Work Environment: Restaurants, school cafeterias, or factories.
Job Outlook: 9% expected growth from 2016-26 (as fast as average)
Median income: $52,030 per year or $25 per hour 1
Chefs prepare and present dishes in restaurants, while also making sure things run smoothly in the kitchen. Other duties include training cooks, designing menus, and reviewing food and beverage purchases.
Minimum level of education: High school diploma, but an associate’s degree in culinary arts is preferred.
Work environment: Food service establishments
Job Outlook: 10% expected growth from 2016-26 (Faster than average)
Median income: $45,950 per year or $22.09 per hour 1
Public Health Nutritionist or Epidemiologist
Public health nutritionists investigate the causes and patterns of disease in humans. They also investigate trends in populations of survivors of certain disease so treatments can be identified across the population.
Work environment: laboratories or offices
Minimum level of education: Master’s degree in public health or a related field. A PhD is required to lead research projects.
Job outlook: (9% expected growth from 2016-26 (as fast as average).
Median income: ($69,660 per year or $33.49 per hour) 1
Corporate Health and Wellness Consultant
Corporate wellness consultants are hired by private corporations or businesses to offer general health and nutrition tips on how employees can improve health, manage stress, and prevent mental and physical fatigue.
Work environment: Office
Minimum education: High school diploma. A bachelor’s degree in nutrition with the credential of a Certified Health Education Specialist (CHES) is preferred.
Job outlook: 16%expected growth from 2016-26 (much faster than average) 1
Median income: $55,333 per year or $26.60 per hour 3
Nutrition Writer or Author
Nutrition writers develop written content for various types of media including books, blogs, magazines, and advertisements.
Work environment: Anywhere with computer access
Minimum education: No formal education required. A bachelor’s degree in nutrition is preferred so that you will be knowledgeable on the material that is being written.
Job outlook: 8% expected growth from 2016-26 (As fast as average)
Median income: $61,820 per year or $29.72 per hour 1
Pharmaceutical sales reps provide the link between pharmacies and drug manufactures to promote the drugs of their company. Reps offer product samples to physicians, medical specialists, and other clinicians to persuade them to prescribe their drug.
Minimum education: Bachelor’s degree in sales, marketing, advertising, business or a science related field.
Work environment: Work mostly in medical facilities. Most pharmaceutical sales reps spend a lot of time traveling to different sites.
Job Outlook: 16% expected growth from 2016-26 (much faster than average)
Median income: $133,563 per year or $64.21 per hour 3