How to become a Nutritionist

Nutritionists study and provide advice about dietary habits to encourage the achievement of a healthy lifestyle.

Personal requirements for a Nutritionist

  • Enjoy food and food preparation
  • Interested in health and wellbeing
  • Good communication skills
  • Able to work as part of a team
  • Aptitude for science and research

Education & Training for a Nutritionist

To become a nutritionist you usually have to study nutrition, science, health science or applied science at university with a major in nutrition. To get into these courses you usually need to gain your Senior Secondary Certificate of Education. Prerequisite subjects, or assumed knowledge, in one or more of English, mathematics, biology, chemistry and physics are normally required. Universities have different prerequisites and some have flexible entry requirements or offer external study. Contact the institutions you are interested in for more information.


Additional information

Before undertaking clinical or professional placements required by courses, students will need to obtain a National Police Certificate, a Provide First Aid Certificate and immunisations, and undergo a Working with Children Check. Contact the institutions you are interested in for more information. Student membership is available with Nutrition Australia or the Nutrition Society of Australia. Contact the relevant association for details on the types of membership available.

Duties & Tasks of a Nutritionist

Nutritionists:

  • Consult with individuals and groups, including sportspeople, about their dietary habits and assess potential nutritional deficiencies
  • Prescribe diet plans based on the assessment of nutritional needs
  • Liaise with other health professionals about nutrition, including controlled diets for people with special needs
  • Monitor clients' progress and quality of food to provide ongoing nutritional care
  • Collect, organise and analyse data relating to the health and nutrition behaviours of specific groups and the population as a whole
  • Plan, conduct and evaluate nutrition intervention programs and compile educational material.

Tasks

  • Monitors food intake and quality to provide nutritional care..
  • Supervises the preparation and serving of meals..
  • Provides nutrition assessments, nutrition management, and nutrition education, research and training..
  • Consults with other health professionals and related workers to manage the dietary and nutritional needs of patients..
  • Collects, organises and assesses data relating to health and nutritional status of individuals, groups and communities..
  • Plans diets and menus, and instructs people on the requirements and importance of diet and on the planning and preparation of food..
  • Calculates nutritional values of food served..
  • Plans, conducts and evaluates nutrition intervention programs and compiles educational material..

Working conditions for a Nutritionist

Nutritionists may have a high level of contact with the public.


Employment Opportunities for a Nutritionist

Nutritionists work in a diverse range of food and health areas, including public nutrition and health education, private practice and consultancy, food industries, health promotion and marketing, teaching and research. There may be opportunities for some nutritionists to specialise in working with animals and the provision of dietary and nutrition advice. Some nutritionists work on a part-time basis. Opportunities for nutritionists depend on the recognition of nutrition by the community as a health strategy in preventing and treating diet-related disorders and medical conditions, such as heart disease, cancer and diabetes. The level of public and professional awareness and acceptance of nutrition services have an effect on the demand for nutritionists.


Specializations

Nutritionist

Nutritionists study and provide advice about dietary habits to encourage the achievement of a healthy lifestyle.

  • Average age
    Average age
    37 years
  • Future Growth
    Future Growth
    Very strong
  • Gender Share
    Gender Share
    88% female
  • Average full-time
    Average full-time
    43 hours
  • Weekly Pay
    Weekly Pay
    $1,992
  • Skill level rating
    Skill level rating
    Very high skill
  • Unemployment
    Unemployment
    Lower unemployment
  • Full-Time Share
    Full-Time Share
    48% Full-Time
  • Employment Size
    Employment Size
    850 workers
  • Employment Size
    Employment by state
    ACT: 1.4%
    NSW: 37.2%
    NT: 2.0%
    QLD: 23.1%
    SA: 3.1%
    TAS: 1.9%
    VIC: 23.2%
    WA: 8.2%
  • Employment Size
    Age brackets
    15-19: 0%
    20-24: 10%
    25-34: 35.5%
    35-44: 23.7%
    45-54: 18.2%
    55-59: 6.5%
    60-64: 3.9%
    65 and Over: 2.1%
  • Employment Size
    Education level
    Advanced Diploma/Diploma: 17.5%
    Bachelor degree: 51.7%
    Certificate III/IV: 3.2%
    Post Graduate/Graduate Diploma or Graduate Certificate: 22.3%
    Year 10 and below: 1.2%
    Year 11: 0%
    Year 12: 4.1%
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