What Can You Do With a Nutrition Degree? 10 Careers & Salaries Revealed

Nutrition Degree Careers & Salaries Revealed
Nutrition Degree Careers & Salaries Revealed

Nutrition Degree: Maintaining good health, managing weight, preventing diseases, and living longer are all benefits of eating the appropriate amounts of nutritious foods. Yet, navigating the abundant, and sometimes conflicting, nutrition information can be difficult, leading many to seek the help of nutrition professionals. Life circumstances, such as food allergies or chronic inflammatory diseases, can also necessitate alterations to eating habits.

Nutrition is a multifaceted field that requires significant coursework in chemistry, biology, physiology, and human metabolic processes. Nutrition professionals do not just recommend increasing the intake of fruits and vegetables; rather, they assess individual needs and view nutrition as an integral part of overall health.

Increased public awareness about health, wellness, non-toxic lifestyles, and the relationship between food and our well-being, has led to a surge in food options. Pursuing a nutrition degree in this era of unprecedented food choice opens up a vast and diverse range of career paths, both common and unique.

This article explores the various career opportunities for graduates with nutrition degrees.

Nutrition Degree: 10 Careers & Salaries Revealed

Role of Public Health Nutritionist

Salary: Average of $53,000

Public health nutritionists take a community-based approach to improving the health and nutritional status of a population, unlike clinical nutritionists who work one-on-one with clients. These registered dieticians identify gaps and problem areas in a community’s nutrition level and create unique and practical strategies to address them. They also provide educational resources and develop programs to share with the public, taking into consideration the resources, culture, and receptivity of a population. Public health nutritionists may work in government programs such as WIC/food stamps, schools, or nursing homes.

Title: Career as a Corporate Wellness Consultant

Salary: Average of $72,900

Many corporations offer wellness programs and health initiatives to increase the productivity and quality of work of their employees. As part of these programs, corporations hire a corporate wellness consultant or coordinator to oversee its implementation and boost engagement. Corporate wellness consultants evaluate existing programs, help companies devise strategies to minimize employee healthcare expenditures and tailor the programs to the employees’ needs and interests. With the increasing interest in health and wellness among the general population, corporate wellness careers are in demand.

New Food Product Developer

Salary Range: $62,000

New food product developers possess a diverse range of skill sets, combining the scientific knowledge of nutrition with an intuitive understanding of market trends and consumer interests. For their products to succeed, they must have a thorough comprehension not only of nutritional science and food chemistry but also the realities of the market. Ideally, developers want to introduce new products that will become popular trends. Successful new food products developed in the past decade include iced coffee, Icelandic skyr yogurt, “superfoods” such as chia seeds and acai, and coconut water.

Food developers effectively merge science with business acumen, constantly experimenting with products and analyzing results. They may also play a role in the marketing and branding of products.

Blogger/Content Creator

Salary Range: $32,000+

Blogging is an internet-based career made possible by technology. The health and wellness industries offer potential profitability for bloggers and micro-bloggers, but the competition is intense. Success for bloggers depends on choosing and appealing to a specific audience who share a particular interest. For example, nutrition graduates who focus on unique demographics (like college meal plans and long-distance runners) tend to be successful.

While the lifestyle of content creators offers tremendous freedom and flexibility, building a substantial following takes time, and income is not always guaranteed. As such, new bloggers should consider their work as a side hustle and not rely on it as their primary income source.

Food Scientist

Salary Range: $66,400

Food scientists research the microbiology and chemistry of food, examining how different environments impact food’s deterioration and processing. They also analyze the nutritional content of food and determine nutrient levels for labels. Additionally, food scientists search for new, sustainable food sources and develop methods to improve the flavor, nutritional value, and quality of processed foods.

Most food scientists work for universities, research centers, or private companies, wearing multiple hats to ensure food safety and quality while staying up-to-date with regulations. Aspiring food scientists should be prepared for unconventional work environments and proximity to animal products.

Food Safety Auditor

The average salary for a Food Safety Auditor is $69,370. According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, Food Safety Auditors fall under the category of Occupational Health and Safety Specialists. With several years of experience, Food Safety Auditors can expect to be well compensated. ZipRecruiter reports that the highest-paid Food Safety Auditors can earn upwards of $140,500 per year. As most Food Safety Auditors travel for a large part of the year, their living expenses are often covered by their company. Thanks to the Food Safety Modernization Act of 2016, Food Safety Auditors are expected to continue to be in high demand, with more facilities requiring the expertise of these specialists than ever before.

The role of a Food Safety Auditor is to ensure facilities comply with the most up-to-date guidelines from the FDA in a specific industry. These audits can take place in various environments, such as manufacturing plants, farms, restaurants, or food packaging plants where food is prepared for public consumption. While much of the work of food safety auditors does require in-person site visits, a large portion of their job is auditing daily reports from the facilities they work with. Additionally, Food Safety Auditors need to be extremely detail-oriented as they need to fill out detailed documentation on their findings.

Nutrition Educator

Nutrition Educators earn an average salary of $46,080 per year. They play a vital role in teaching, designing, and delivering courses, seminars, presentations, and interactive events about nutrition and healthy eating. Registered Dieticians who are also Nutrition Educators can counsel clients and perform nutrition-related assessments. A significant part of the job involves researching the latest nutrition and dietetics trends and best practices to create engaging, straightforward content for diverse audiences. As a type of teacher specializing in nutrition, Nutrition Educators should be comfortable conducting workshops, seminars, courses, and one-on-one meetings, both online and in person.

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People who enjoy research and gathering input from industry professionals like doctors and nutritionists to distill that information into digestible insights for various audiences may find a career as a Nutrition Educator to be fulfilling and meaningful. It is an opportunity to share life-changing nutritional information with others in a straightforward, understandable manner.

Registered Dietician (RD)

The average salary for a Registered Dietician (RD) is $53,495. Though similar to a nutritionist, an RD must complete a certification process, while anyone can use the “nutritionist” title. RD certification requires a bachelor’s degree with approved courses by the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics’ Accreditation Council for Education in Nutrition and Dietetics, 1,200 hours of apprenticeship at an accredited facility, and passing the national Registration Examination for Dietitians administered by the Commission on Dietetic Registration. RDs can work in schools, businesses, healthcare facilities, and the food and beverage industry. They counsel patients on food and nutrition, create meal plans, disseminate knowledge, discover health issue’s root cause, outreach to communities, and gather new knowledge.


Nutritionists earn an average salary of $63,900. They are health professionals that use food and nutrition to optimize health and lower disease effects. Nutritionists recommend foods to eat, portions and foods to avoid based on evidence-based research. They work in schools, hospitals, nursing homes, and private practice. They can specialize in different areas of nutrition such as sports nutrition, eating disorder nutrition, pediatric nutrition, and public health/community nutrition. Some work in teams while others work independently. The career can be customized to suit the strengths and interests of the nutritionist and the patient’s needs.

Health Coach 

Average salary: $45,538

The profession of a health coach provides a broad approach towards an individual’s well-being, including diet and nutrition, mental health, exercise, relationships, and lifestyle. Although there is no national accreditation service for this profession, nutrition education can be an essential foundation for entering this field. Health coaches work to challenge and motivate their clients, track their progress, celebrate their successes, and hold them accountable for achieving their goals. They tend to communicate regularly via email, text, or phone, playing a more active role in their clients’ lives. Clients with specific dietary or medical conditions often seek the guidance of a registered dietician or nutritionist, whereas those who strive for overall wellness in different dimensions of their lives might prefer working with a health coach.

A health coach adopts a holistic approach towards their clients’ health, addressing various aspects of their lifestyle and well-being, including diet, exercise, mental health, relationships, and other domains. National accreditation is absent from this field, which implies that anyone can work as a health coach. Though it is not mandatory, a degree in nutrition provides a strong foundation in food and nutrition science, bolstering the health coach’s credibility. Health coaches encourage and motivate their clients, aiding them in the accomplishment of their set goals. More interactive than dietitians, they regularly communicate with clients via phone, text, or email and provide a more active role in their lives. People with specific dietary or medical conditions tend to seek the guidance of a registered dietician or nutritionist, whereas those striving for overall wellness prefer working with health coaches.

A health coach is a professional who provides a comprehensive view of the clients’ overall well-being, including diet and nutrition, relationships, exercise, mental health, and other domains. Anyone can work as a health coach since national accreditation for this profession is absent. However, a degree in nutrition can lay a strong foundation in food and nutrition science, elevating the credibility of a health coach. Health coaches help clients achieve their goals by motivating, celebrating, and tracking their progress while holding them accountable. They take on a more active role in their clients’ lives than dietitians and communicate regularly via email, text, or phone. Individuals with medical or dietary issues often seek the help of a registered dietitian or nutritionist, while those aspiring to improve their overall well-being often prefer working with a health coach.


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