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How do I Become a Clinical Nutritionist?

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  • Written By: N. Madison
  • Edited By: Jenn Walker
  • Last Modified Date: 07 February 2020
  • Copyright Protected:
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    Conjecture Corporation
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A clinical nutritionist works to plan healthy meals for people in hospitals and other clinical settings. In preparation to become a clinical nutritionist, a person typically has to graduate from high school and then go on to earn at least a bachelor’s degree in a nutrition-related major. Some may go on to earn master’s degrees or even Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) degrees in preparation for this job. In some places, a person who wants to become a clinical nutritionist has to become licensed in the field before he can begin this job. Additionally, a person entering this career may opt to pursue certification, which may boost his chances of getting a job.

Many clinical nutritionists find employment in health care settings. For example, a person in this field may work in a hospital, doctor’s office, or nursing home. Others may work in such settings as prisons, health agencies, and even in educational institutions. A person who wants to become a clinical nutritionist may also find work at a food service business or even in a theme park. In these settings, a clinical nutritionist typically works to plan menus and supervise meal preparation with the goal of preventing and treating illnesses.

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After high school, an aspiring clinical nutritionist usually attends college, earning a bachelor’s degree in a nutrition-related major. For example, a person interested in this career may pursue a degree in food and nutrition or dietetics. Some may pursue majors in food service systems or a similar subject. Regardless of which major a person chooses in preparation for this career, he’ll usually need to take a range of science, math, and social sciences classes in order to gain the knowledge he’ll need for this job.

Some people who want to become clinical nutritionists continue with their education after college. They may go on to earn master’s degrees, and some even strive to earn Ph.D. degrees. While a person may secure a job without earning an advanced degree, such credentials may help him stand out among other applicants. Advanced degrees can also help clinical nutritionists move up in their positions at a faster rate.

In some places, a person who wants to become a clinical nutritionist may need to gain licensing in his jurisdiction. There are many places, however, that do not require nutritionists to be licensed. Typically, a person who does need licensing will have to pass an exam to secure it. A person interested in this career may also seek voluntary certification in order to improve his job prospects.

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