How to Become a Certified Holistic Nutritionist: Career Guide
Learn how to become a certified holistic nutritionist. Research the job description and the education and licensing requirements and find out how to start a career as a certified nutritionist.
Do I Want to Be a Certified Holistic Nutritionist?
Nutritionists are licensed professionals with expertise in food and nutrition. They give people advice on their eating habits to ensure a healthy lifestyle or to improve health conditions. A holistic nutritionist typically has extra training in complementary and alternative medicine.
Weekend and evening work hours might be necessary to meet clients' scheduling needs. Some nutritionists are self-employed, which gives them greater flexibility with their schedules.
Most nutritionists have completed at least a bachelor's degree program in dietetics, nutrition, or a related discipline. Some nutritionists further their education by completing a specialized holistic nutrition certificate or degree program. The following table details the requirements for pursuing this profession:
|Degree Level||Bachelor's degree*|
|Degree Field||Nutrition, dietetics, or related degree*|
|Licensure and Certification||License is usually required*|
|Experience||Internship or fieldwork is helpful*|
|Key Skills||Analytical, organizational, communication, and people skills*|
|Computer Skills||Microsoft Excel and Word, medical software, analytical or scientific software, and database user interface and query software**|
Sources: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics and **O*Net Online
Step 1: Obtain a Bachelor's Degree
A bachelor's degree is the minimum educational requirement to become a nutritionist. Aspiring nutritionists may want to consider a degree program in dietetics, human nutrition, or a similar discipline that is approved and accredited by the American Dietetic Association (ADA). These bachelor's degree programs include science courses, such as biochemistry and anatomy, as well as nutrition courses covering nutrition in the life cycle, nutritional assessment, and food principles.
Step 2: Complete an Internship
Most accredited dietetic and nutrition degree programs require students to complete an internship under the supervision of a licensed nutritionist. Many of these internships take place at health care facilities. Interns interact with both trained professionals and patients as they develop skills and build experience.
Step 3: Become Licensed
Most states require some form of licensing. Qualifications for state licensure vary, but they generally include passing a state examination and completing an ADA-accredited bachelor's degree program in a nutrition- or dietetics-related discipline. Aspiring holistic nutritionists might want to seek the ADA's Registered Dietitian (RD) credential, which may or may not be a state requirement. An RD candidate must hold at least a bachelor's degree, pass an exam, and provide proof of internship experience.
Step 4: Continue Education and Earn Certification
Continuing education (CE) is a common requirement for maintaining licensure and ADA credentialing. Choosing a certificate or degree program that's approved by the National Association of Nutrition Professionals (NANP) can be the first step toward earning voluntary board certification in holistic nutrition, which is offered through the Holistic Nutrition Credentialing Board. Other requirements for certification include membership in the NANP and at least 500 hours of holistic nutrition experience.
Related to How to Become a Certified Holistic Nutritionist: Career Guide
- Recently Updated
As of 2014, the field of holistic nutrition wasn't officially recognized by any state or federal licensing body. However,...
Learn about the education and preparation needed to become a holistic nutritionist. Get a quick view of the requirements as...
Some traditional medical school programs include holistic courses or complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) training for...
Holistic dog care courses teach students how to care for dogs as a whole, rather than just focusing on a certain ailment or...
- History 101: 10 Free Video Lectures
- Aromatherapist: Job Description, Duties and Requirements
- Schools for Doctor of Naturopathy Degrees: How to Choose
- Salary and Career Info for Telecommunications Technologists
- Computer Software Designer: Job Description and Requirements
- Top School in Tampa for a Diagnostic Radiology Degree
- Real Estate Office Manager: Job Description and Career Info