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What It Takes to Become a Nutritionist

Last Updated Aug 21, 2020

Do you wonder what you can do as a nutritionist and what kind of work you would do after school? A nutritionist is responsible for educating their clients on how to maintain a balanced diet to ensure they meet their dietary needs.

Besides having the passion for helping others improve their health by making better food choices, a nutritionist's penchant for understanding the medicinal value of food is deep-rooted. They have a profound understanding of the nutrients contained in different kinds of food. 

What is Nutrition?

Nutrition is the study of the nutrients obtained from food and how these help the body grow, function and stay healthy. When the body lacks certain nutrients, it can suffer from poor nutrition which is demonstrated by a weak immune system and all sorts of health disorders.

If you're considering a career as a nutritionist, taking a course in nutrition will help you understand all the facets of food and how these can be used to maintain good health.

What Skills Does a Nutritionist Have?

A nutritionist possesses skills that are inherent to them and acquired through formal education. While they honed their research skills at school, they're naturally open-minded and empathetic to others. These traits help them gain insight into the individual needs of their clients and provide them with the best solution for their eating problems. Their competence is also anchored in the following skills:

  • Excellent communication and listening abilities
  • Analytical 
  • A good motivator
  • Organised
  • Problem solver
  • Good at science and maths

What Do You Study to Become One?

There are two ways to undergo nutrition training. You may opt for a certification program or a Bachelor of Health Science majoring in Nutrition. The first could take either six months or one year to complete, while the second option could take you three to six years to complete, depending on the number of credits you take per semester.

Where Can You Study Nutrition?

There's a range of colleges and universities in Australia that offer nutrition certificates and degrees. We recommend enrolling in one whose curriculum is recognised by professional associations for qualified nutritionists. You also want a school that gives you the option to learn online or face-to-face. 

Some schools like Endeavour College, College of Complementary Medicine and Nutritional Therapy Association offer blended learning where some of the coursework is delivered online, allowing you to work your study time around your day-to-day schedule.

Apply for Membership to the Register of Nutritionists

After completing your studies, the final step to becoming a registered nutritionist is gaining membership with professional associations, including the Australian Natural Therapists Association (ANTA), Complementary Medicine Association (CMA) and Nutrition Society of Australia, among others. These professional bodies are responsible for setting and maintaining the highest standards of professional training in nutrition.

As a qualified nutritionist , you may pursue any career path you desire. Many practitioners go on and work in private practice or pursue other careers such as the following:

  • Corporate clinical nutritionist
  • Nutrition teacher
  • Sales representative in the supplement industry
  • Practitioner at a health food store
  • Adviser in the food industry
  • Health and nutritional consultant
  • Freelance nutrition writer

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Originally published on Jul 31, 2020

FAQs About Becoming a Nutritionist in Australia

How much do nutritionists get paid in Australia?

On average, a registered nutritionist in Australia earns $85,747 a year. These figures are based on 13 salaries. It's important to note that a practitioner's actual salary depends on their work location and level of experience.

What is an accredited nutritionist?

Completing a course recognised by professional bodies for nutritionists automatically makes one an accredited nutritionist.

What qualifications do I need to be a nutritionist?

To qualify as a nutritionist, you have to complete a Bachelor of Health Science with a major in Nutrition. You have the option to take a certification program if you have a social science diploma.

Is studying nutrition hard?

If you love science and food, you'll find a nutrition course fun and engaging. But you might need to exert more effort if you're not a big fan of biology, biochemistry and other social sciences subjects.

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