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Online Colleges for Nutritionists

You don't have to be a foodie to appreciate the power of a good meal. From everyday events to holiday celebrations, food is an integral part of our lives. However, in recent decades, food has undergone a transformation from the basic whole ingredients of generations past to the more refined and processed products of today. Along with the changing face of food has been a radical shift in our overall health. Obesity plagues our communities while chronic, preventable diseases such as Type 2 Diabetes are on the rise. Nutrition professionals are on the front lines in this fight against poor health. Some work directly with individuals while others may be responsible for creating meal plans and food service programs at health care facilities and schools. Online nutrition programs offer an education that can lead to a range of career options in this critically important field.

Online Nutrition Programs

Students can be ready to begin a nutrition career with as little as two years in college. An associate degree is the minimum education required to work as a dietetic technician according to the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, formerly known as the American Dietetic Association. Online associate and bachelor's degrees in health fitness often include a nutrition component as do degree programs in public health and health education. With a bachelor's degree, an individual can be eligible to work as a registered dietitian. Online nutrition degrees are frequently offered in nutrition science although many related fields also include instruction in healthy eating. If you just want to gauge your interest in the field, you could pursue an online diploma program in fitness and nutrition that introduces you to components such as stress management, strength management, and weight control. This could give you the foundation for pursuing more advance online nutrition programs if you so desire in the future.

Job Outlook for Nutrition Careers

Depending on their field of study, graduates from online nutrition programs can go on to work in many occupations. The most obvious choice may be as a nutritionist or dietitian. The Bureau of Labor Statistics estimates the need for these professionals will grow nine percent from 2008-2018, and in 2010, dietitians and nutritionists had mean annual wages of $54,340. For even better job prospects, students may want to consider pursuing a career as a fitness worker. Health fitness specialists may advise their clients on nutrition as well as exercise, and fitness workers are listed by the BLS as one of the fastest growing jobs in the nation. From 2008-2018, job growth for this occupation is expected to be 29 percent. While these workers generally have lower incomes than dietitians and nutritionists, with mean annual wages of $35,920 in 2010, they may be able to move more quickly from the classroom to the workforce since they may need only vocational training. Students who earn advanced online nutrition degrees, such as a master's degree in public health, may go on to work as educators or administrators. Other career options for graduates from online nutrition programs include becoming a food service manager, independent consultant or registered nurse.

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