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Careers for Health Science in Nutrition Graduates

Wednesday, October 19, 2016 | 12:00 AM

Careers in nutrition are on the rise and should continue growing over the next decade at a rate of 16 percent — much higher than most other fields. Why are nutritionists so important? They are experts in how nutrition promotes health and helps manage disease. Misinformation about food is rampant in the United States, leading to poor eating habits and a growing number of preventable diseases. With food becoming such a hot topic, nutrition is poised to take center stage in our lives.

Tackling Disease by Controlling What We Eat

Nutritionists learn about the delicate role food plays in our lives and how calories, carbohydrates, proteins, fats, vitamins, and minerals come together to keep our bodies functioning. One of the biggest challenges in nutrition is finding balance and delivering all the nutrients the body needs in an appealing way.

Learning the science behind food is just the first step; skilled nutritionists also know how to communicate the importance of nutrition in a way that is meaningful to the average person. A master’s degree in nutrition is one way nutritionists can add tools to their health-management arsenal. They can work in hospitals, nursing homes, clinics and cafeterias — or for state and local governments.

Working at the Highest Echelons

Even though careers in nutrition revolve around one major subject, the range of roles and responsibilities can vary depending on the industry. For example, nutritionists with strong writing and research skills can take an active role in grant-writing. According to the U.S. Department of Labor occupational employment statistics, these nutritionists make $73,100 annually, on average. Others are responsible for overseeing large departments; this can include grocery and related product merchant wholesalers — these earn $70, 920 annually, on average. Government jobs are also available with the Federal Executive Branch (OES Designation) — $70,370 annually, on average. Finally, nutritionists are also in high demand in business, professional, labor and political organizations at $70,060 annually, on average.

Launching a Career, Managing a Team

An increasing number of careers in nutrition require state certification. These certifications ensure that nutritionists or dieticians are capable of fulfilling their obligations as health communicators. With certification and years of experience under your belt, you can become qualified to be a department manager in a hospital, rehab center, nursing home or other healthcare facility. Planning food programs is one of the most important roles of a nutrition manager.

Earning a Master’s Degree in Nutrition

Nutritionists advise people on what to eat for a healthy lifestyle or how to reach a specific, health-related goal. With 16 percent growth over the next decade and a growing number of careers in nutrition requiring a master’s degree in nutrition, this is a great opportunity to become a leader in the nutrition field. The University of Texas Rio Grande Valley offers accelerated online degrees that students can complete in as few as 12 months. These programs include courses like Prevention and Treatment of Obesity and Integrative Nutrition. The flexibility of online coursework offers students a way to continue working while pursuing additional education.

With so many chronic, preventable diseases affecting Americans today, the need for qualified and skilled nutritionists is on the rise. If one of the many careers in nutrition interests you, consider the benefits of a master’s degree in nutrition, not only for yourself but also for the 300 million Americans interested in becoming healthier.

Learn about University of Texas Rio Grande Valley MSHS in Healthcare Administration online program.


“29-1031 Dietitians and Nutritionists.” (2016, March 30).
BLS Occupational Employment Statistics: 29-1031 Dietitians and Nutritionists

“What Dietitians and Nutritionists Do.” (2015, December 17).
BLS Occupational Outlook Handbook: What Dietitians and Nutritionists Do

Mendes, Elizabeth. (2012, August 2). “Americans Spend $151 a Week on Food; the High-Income, $180.”
Gallup: Americans Spend $151 a Week on Food; the High-Income, $180

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