Proper nutrition is a major aspect in the health and wellbeing of all individuals. With a wide variety of nutrition information available in the modern day and age, it is important for people to receive accurate information in order to make good decisions regarding their daily diet.

Careers in nutrition vary widely, from advising and educating to food production and preparation.

Rocky Mountain University’s MS in Health Science, Functional Nutrition track, prepares individuals to make better use of food as a natural medicine to reduce the risk of disease and promote vibrant health. The program can prepare students to pursue a number of careers. While some of the careers listed below may require additional education or experience, they all fall under the functional nutrition field.

Sports Nutritionist

Sports Nutritionists work with athletes and active individuals to develop nutrition plans to help improve athletic performance and ensure nutritional needs are being met. In addition to earning a degree in nutrition, those pursuing careers as sports nutritionists may seek CISSN certification through the International Society of Sports Nutrition (ISSN). According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median salary for dietitians and nutritionists is $61,650. Careers for dietitians and nutritionists are predicted to grow 11% between 2020 and 2030 according to the BLS, which is much faster than the average.

Food Scientist

Food scientists use science to study the nutritional content of food and research how to make foods safer and healthier. They can work in different aspects of food production and food regulation. According to the BLS, the median salary for agricultural and food scientists is $74,160. Careers for agricultural and food scientists are predicted to grow 9% between 2020 and 2030. Food scientists will typically need at minimum a bachelor’s degree, and often a master’s degree.

Health Coach

Health coaches work with individuals of all backgrounds to guide them holistically toward better health. They can work with allied health organizations, gyms and fitness facilities, corporate businesses, or independently. According to salary.com, the average health coach salary is $61,500. In addition to earning a degree in nutrition, health coaches can seek certification, such as National Academy of Sports Medicine (NASM) Certified Wellness Coach certification, or ACE Health Coach Certification.

Dietitian

In order to become a dietitian, you’ll need to complete an accredited bachelor’s or master’s program in nutrition, and receive a verification statement from an ACEND-accredited program. By 2024, you will need to complete an accredited master’s degree. You will also need to complete an ACEND-accredited supervised practice, and pass the Commission on Dietetic Registration’s dietetic registration exam. You will also need to gain licensure in your state, if your state requires it. According to the BLS, the median salary for dietitians and nutritionists is $61,650. Careers for dietitians and nutritionists are predicted to grow 11% between 2020 and 2030 according to the BLS, which is much faster than the average.

Nutrition and Health Education Specialists

Nutrition or health educators work to educate individuals about nutrition and wellness, and help promote healthy behaviors. They develop training programs for community health workers, and typically work in healthcare-aligned settings, or in nonprofit or government organizations. According to the BLS, the median salary for health education specialists is $60,600. Health education specialists typically need a bachelor’s or master’s degree.

Wellness or Nutrition Writer

Those who earn a degree in nutrition may choose to pursue a career in writing, whether for nutrition and health-focused publications and organizations, or independently as an author. Those with a nutrition background may also be interested in writing cookbooks that focus on healthy recipes, or food to assist in healing particular ailments. According to the BLS, writers and authors make a median salary of $69,510.

Chef or Head Cook

Those with a degree in nutrition may pursue careers in the culinary arts, aiming to make food that is flavorful as well as nutritious. According to the BLS, chefs and head cooks make an annual median salary of $50,160. Jobs for chefs and head cooks are predicted to grow 25% between 2020 and 2030, which is much faster than the average.