Nutrition Degrees For The Health Conscious Individuals

There is a growing trend in this country and worldwide that is causing more and more individuals to begin to watch what they are eating and how they eat. This has led to accelerated growth in the number of dietitians and nutritionists employed at a number of different types of facilities, from doctors' offices and hospitals to schools and food production companies. A Bachelor's degree in nutrition is required for most careers in this growing field.

Those employed in environments such as doctors' offices or hospitals are known as clinical dietitians. They work with doctors and other health care professionals to develop meal plans for patients with special nutritional needs. They may work with patients who suffer from obesity that is adversely affecting their overall health, or those with other serious illnesses that require specialized diets, such as diabetes.

Nutrition experts employed by public health clinics or health management organizations are generally referred to as community dietitians. They are most likely to help individuals and families in the community with valuable information on basic elements of nutrition such as grocery shopping and cooking for a healthy diet.

On a larger scale, management dietitians develop and implement meal plans for large institutions such as hospitals, schools, or prisons. They generally oversee a staff of other dietitians and food service workers who do the everyday work of menu planning and food preparation. The management dietitian is responsible for overall budgets, regulations, and generating reports on the effectiveness of the entire operation.

Those who work in private practices are known as consultant dietitians. These experts usually work one-one-one with those who seek out their services, helping these individuals to gain a better understanding of what good nutrition really means. Some may be called in to work with larger organizations in a specialized area, such as a team of athletes that needs a meal plan that both meets their specific needs and still provides a healthy diet.

No matter what type of environment they choose to work in, all dietitians and nutritionists are required to earn at least a Bachelor's degree. There are also additional requirements that vary by state. These specialized workers are well compensated for their expertise, earning an average of nearly $54,000 a year, depending on the area or areas of expertise on which they choose to focus.

Of course, with a more advanced degree such as a Master's or PhD, dietitians and nutritionists can count on advancing more quickly in their careers, and can qualify to teach others about these subjects in an institute of higher learning. They are also more likely to be able to go into business for themselves, usually in a consultation capacity, acting as their own boss.

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