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How Do I Become a Nutrition Support Dietitian?

By Jennifer Leigh
Updated May 17, 2024
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A bachelor's degree in nutrition or dietetics is the first requirement to become a nutrition support dietitian. In addition, licensure is helpful, though generally not required, depending on the part of the world where you plan to work. Nutrition support is a specialty within the dietetics field, so to become a nutrition support dietitian, you can be certified in that area after gaining one to two years of experience working professionally. Once you have the credentials, you can begin to apply for jobs with hospitals, home healthcare agencies, and nutrition clinics.

The first step to become a nutrition support dietitian is to obtain a four-year bachelor's degree in nutrition or dietetics from a college or university. You should prepare for the program by taking classes in chemistry, mathematics, and biology during your high school years. Nutrition programs can be competitive, so a good grade point average (GPA) while you are in high school can help you gain entry into a program. During your bachelor's degree program, you will take classes in basic and advanced sciences, nutrition, business, and computer science. Graduate programs in nutrition are available, and can be helpful when looking for a job or trying to advance within an organization, but are not necessary to begin working in the field.

After graduation from college, you can decide whether or not you need to become licensed, or registered, as a dietitian. An examination is sometimes necessary to receive this credential, as in the U.S., but this is not always the case. Check with the local government's professional licensing board to find out specific information about licensure where you plan to work. At this point, it is a good idea to get an entry-level job in nutrition at a hospital for one to two years, because experience is often a requirement to be hired as a nutrition support dietitian.

In certain places, you need certification to become a nutrition support dietitian, which requires an additional examination. This can be done through your local government's professional licensing board or health services department. After you pass the examination, you can begin applying to jobs to become a nutrition support dietitian. Jobs are available in many health-related places, and you can also check with professional associations for nutrition support dietitians to find additional listings to apply to. In addition, once you are hired, you will need to take continuing education courses to ensure that you remain credentialed. Once you become a nutrition support dietician you will be able to teach adults how to make healthier choices.

WiseGeek is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.
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