DIETITIANS VS NUTRITIONISTS: WHATS THE DIFFERENCE
Those interested in health as it relates to food and nutrition may consider studying either dietetics or nutrition. While these two degree options are quite similar, there are key differences between the two that distinguish a dietitian from a nutritionist. Dietitians are held to a higher standard than are nutritionists, with governmental bodies regulating what and how they are taught. Nutritionists, on the other hand, are not regulated and do not require the same level of clinical experience in order to pursue their career after graduation. Understanding these differences will help candidates better prepare for their future and earn the appropriate credentials for their desired career path.
CHOOSING BETWEEN A DIETITIAN & NUTRITIONIST
The decision between dietetics and nutrition ultimately boils down to the level of certification the candidate wishes to achieve as a result of her studies. Dietetics program participants will usually graduate as registered dietitian nutritionists (RDNs) so they may pursue a career in the prevention and treatment of disease through nutrition. Coursework in dietetics tends to be more demanding than the curriculum for nutrition degrees; this is due to the fact that dietetics is regulated by the government more than nutrition is. While a degree in nutrition may be easier in terms of scholastic requirements, salaries for program graduates tend to be lower due to the less specialized nature of their program studies. Candidates should consider their professional goals prior to committing to one program over the other.
DIETITIAN & NUTRITIONIST JOB OUTLOOK & SALARY
Job growth for dietitians and nutritionists is projected at 15 percent for the decade ending in 2026, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. This is slightly better than twice the 7 percent rate projected for all occupations. Hospitals employ the most substantial number of dietitians and nutritionists. Others work for the government, as well as for nursing and residential care facilities. Some dietitians and nutritionists work independently and build their own client bases. In addition to working with patients or clients, they also need to be able to work with doctors or other health care providers who are overseeing the general care for their patients or clients. Working as a dietitian and nutritionist requires at least a bachelor’s degree, and most states have licensure requirements as well. Dietitians and nutritionists need at least a bachelor's degree in dietetics, foods, nutrition, food service systems management, or a related area. This will include courses in foods, nutrition, institution management, chemistry, biochemistry, biology, microbiology, and physiology. Classes in business, mathematics, statistics, computer science, psychology, sociology, and economics also are beneficial. Those working in outpatient care centers tend to earn the most, while dietitians and nutritionists working for government facilities or for nursing home facilities tend to earn a bit less.
• Median Annual Salary: $65,500 ($31.49/hour)
• Top 10% Annual Salary: $89,000 ($42.79/hour)
I hope this was Helpful Jessica
To become either a CNS (certified nutrition specialist) or a registered dietitian, one must go through schooling, clinical practice, and examination. So if you are working with a nutritionist, I would advise to ask for their credentials to make sure they have the education and experience needed to help you.