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Pet Nutritionist: Job Description, Duties, Salary and Outlook

Learn about the education and preparation needed to become a pet nutritionist. Get a quick view of the requirements as well as details about degree programs and job duties to find out if this is the career for you.

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Essential Information

Pet nutritionists develop better food products for pets and educate pet owners about the nutritional needs of their pets. An educational background in science and an interest in animal health are key components for this career.

Required Education A degree in science
Projected Job Growth (Animal Scientists) 9% from 2012 - 2022*
Median Annual Salary (Animal Scientists) in May, 2013 $64,260*

Source: *United States Bureau of Labor Statistics

Pet Nutritionist Job Description

Pet nutritionists have a variety of career options, including working for pet food or feed companies, veterinarians, or colleges and universities. As employees of pet food companies, they might work in research and development to formulate new pet foods that meet special dietary needs or provide higher quality nutrition. Nutritionists for pet food companies also may travel from store to store to educate customers about their products.

In veterinary offices and hospitals, pet nutritionists may teach pet owners to properly feed their pets to maintain optimal health and assist in formulating diet plans. Nutritionists who choose not to work directly in the field may teach animal nutrition at colleges and universities.

Pet Nutritionist Duties

In research roles with colleges and universities or private companies, pet nutritionists may conduct laboratory tests on nutritional requirements for different types of animals and breeds. Their findings may be published in scientific journals or used to develop animal food products or dietary supplements. In a veterinary setting or pet store, pet nutritionists may meet with pet owners to discuss their pets' health and create individualized diet plans.

Pet Nutritionist Salary

Based on figures from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), animal scientists earned a median annual wage of $64,260 as of May 2013 (www.bls.gov). Animal production companies, the federal government, and research and development facilities were among the highest paying industries for animal scientists.

Pet Nutritionist Job Outlook

According to BLS data, job opportunities for animal scientists were expected to grow by 9% between 2012 and 2022, which was on the low end of the average national growth rate for all occupations. Colleges and universities were among the top employers for animal scientists as of May 2013.

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  • Minimum eligibility requirements:
    • Must be a high school graduate or have completed GED
    School locations:
    • Online Learning

    Online Programs

    • Associate
        • Veterinary Food Inspection Specialist

    What is your highest level of education completed?

  • Minimum eligibility requirements:
    • Must live within close proximity to school locations
    • Must be graduated from high school by 2011
    School locations:
    • Florida (3 campuses)
    • New York (1 campus)

    Classroom-Based Programs

    What is your highest level of education?

  • Minimum eligibility requirements:
    • Must be 18 years of age or older
    School locations:
    • Online Learning

    Distance Learning Programs

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Other Schools:

  • School locations:
    • Oklahoma (1 campus)
    Areas of study you may find at Oklahoma State University include:
      • Graduate: Doctorate, First Professional Degree, Master
      • Non-Degree: Diploma
      • Post Degree Certificate: Post Master's Certificate
      • Undergraduate: Bachelor
    • Agriculture
      • Agricultural Business
      • Animal Science
        • Animal Nutrition
        • Farm Animal Breeding
      • Food Sciences and Technologies
      • Horticulture
      • Plant Science
      • Soil Science
  • School locations:
    • California (1 campus)
    Areas of study you may find at Stanford University include:
      • Graduate: Doctorate, First Professional Degree, Master
      • Undergraduate: Bachelor
    • Agriculture
      • Aeronautical and Astronautical Engineering
      • Biomedical and Medical Engineering
      • Chemical Engineering
      • Civil Engineering
      • Electrical Engineering and Electronics
      • Environmental Engineering
      • Industrial Engineering
      • Materials Engineering
      • Math
      • Mechanical Engineering
      • Petroleum Engineering
      • Systems Engineering
  • School locations:
    • Massachusetts (1 campus)
    Areas of study you may find at Harvard University include:
      • Graduate: Doctorate, First Professional Degree, Master
      • Post Degree Certificate: Postbaccalaureate Certificate
      • Undergraduate: Associate, Bachelor
    • Agriculture
      • Bioinformatics
      • Cellular Biology and Anatomical Sciences
      • Ecology and Evolutionary Biology
      • General Biology
      • Genetics
      • Microbiology and Immunology
      • Molecular Biology, Biochemistry and Biophysics
      • Physiology and Related Sciences
  • School locations:
    • Pennsylvania (1 campus)
    Areas of study you may find at University of Pennsylvania include:
      • Graduate: Doctorate, First Professional Degree, Master
      • Post Degree Certificate: First Professional Certificate, Post Master's Certificate, Postbaccalaureate Certificate
      • Undergraduate: Associate, Bachelor
    • Agriculture
      • Biomedical and Medical Engineering
      • Chemical Engineering
      • Civil Engineering
      • Computer Engineering
      • Electrical Engineering and Electronics
      • Environmental Engineering
      • Geological Engineering
      • Materials Engineering
      • Math
      • Mechanical Engineering
      • Systems Engineering
  • School locations:
    • Rhode Island (1 campus)
    Areas of study you may find at Brown University include:
      • Graduate: First Professional Degree, Master
      • Undergraduate: Bachelor
    • Agriculture
      • Bioinformatics
      • Ecology and Evolutionary Biology
      • General Biology
      • Molecular Biology, Biochemistry and Biophysics
      • Physiology and Related Sciences
  • School locations:
    • North Carolina (1 campus)
    Areas of study you may find at Duke University include:
      • Graduate: Doctorate, First Professional Degree, Master
      • Post Degree Certificate: Postbaccalaureate Certificate
      • Undergraduate: Bachelor
    • Agriculture
      • Biomedical and Medical Engineering
      • Civil Engineering
      • Electrical Engineering and Electronics
      • Math
      • Mechanical Engineering
  • School locations:
    • Indiana (1 campus)
    Areas of study you may find at University of Notre Dame include:
      • Graduate: Doctorate, First Professional Degree, Master
      • Undergraduate: Bachelor
    • Agriculture
      • Aeronautical and Astronautical Engineering
      • Chemical Engineering
      • Civil Engineering
      • Computer Engineering
      • Electrical Engineering and Electronics
      • Environmental Engineering
      • Math
      • Mechanical Engineering

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Avg. Wages For Related Jobs

Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics