Nutritional Scientists are devoted to studying the relationship between nutrition, health, and disease. They work to discover how certain foods affect us both physically and mentally: This is accomplished through laboratory research, as well as working with the public directly.
A career in Nutritional Science will allow you to make a difference in the lives of both individual people and entire communities. Whether you’re interested in working with families one-on-one, researching food in the lab, or even helping a large corporation with their next marketing campaign, you’ll be able to find your niche in this rapidly-growing field!
What are some areas I can specialize in?
As the public grows more conscious of the importance of healthy eating, the field of Nutritional Science continues to expand. This has led to many different specializations within the field. Let’s take a look at all the exciting things you can do with your Nutritional Science degree, along with how much you can expect to earn by pursuing each career path.
Food and Nutrition Management
Average salary: $95,540 per year (for management positions)
According to Illinois State University, Americans continue to eat more and more meals away from home. And since every restaurant needs a manager, it’s no surprise that the Food and Nutrition Management industry is booming! However, restaurants are far from the only place that you’ll be able to find a job if you pursue this broad specialization.
Aside from restaurants, graduates can expect to find jobs in:
- Food production plants
- Healthcare facilities
During a Food and Nutrition Management program, you can expect to become familiar with all aspects of food preparation and nutrition, as well as business management. Aside from learning to prepare nutritious, satisfying meals for customers and patients, you’ll become an expert in dealing with the public. This well-rounded skillset will provide you with the background you need to appeal to employers across the country!
Nutrition and Health Education
Average salary: $55,274 per year
Nutrition Educators work to educate the public about the importance of diet and exercise. They develop programs specifically tailored to certain groups such as children and the elderly, then work with these individuals to improve their overall health. They encourage people to choose healthy options and give suggestions for how they can improve their diets and lifestyles.
There are many places nutrition educators can find work, including:
- Government agencies
This specialty is a great choice for someone who enjoys working with diverse populations and making a difference. Some Nutrition Education positions even involve traveling around a specific area and giving presentations: These would be a great fit for someone who wants a job where they can be out and about all day long!
Food and Nutrition in Business
Average salary: $43,031 per year
For students interested strictly in the business and corporate side of Nutrition Management, a specialty in this field can be an excellent choice. According to Purdue University, Food and Nutrition in Business majors will devote their careers to bridging the gap between the food industry and the consumers. You’ll become an expert on marketing cutting-edge new products and dealing with the public, and you’ll have the potential to work with large, well-known corporations.
Graduates of a Food and Nutrition in Business program can expect to find jobs in:
- Marketing and advertising firms
- Food and beverage stores
- Test kitchens
If you’re the type of person who enjoys the thrill of developing and trying new foods, as well as the challenge of introducing the public to a brand new product, this specialty could be exactly what you’re looking for!
Food Science and Research
Average salary: $60,726 per year
Students interested in spending most of their time in the lab would do well on a Food Science and Research track. This specialty focuses on testing chemicals in food, quality control, determining nutrition information, and more. You’ll learn how to apply the scientific method to food analysis, and you’ll work closely with businesses and government agencies to make sure food products are safe for the public to consume.
Graduates of a Food Science and Research program will be qualified to work for:
- Government agencies
- Food production plants
- Research labs
This specialty is also a good choice for students interested in exercising their creativity every day on the job: Many Food Scientists are tasked with developing new foods and coming up with America’s next favorite snack!
Average salary: $62,084 per year
Dietitians are experts in how food and nutrition impact overall health. Students who want to pursue a career as a Dietician can expect to take a wide variety of biology and chemistry courses, as well as ones focused on nutrition. Dietitians are required to tailor a patient’s meal plans to their specific medical needs. Depending on their career path, they may work with specific populations such as children or the elderly.
Registered Dietitians can expect to find employment in:
- Nursing Homes
- Rehab facilities
- Corporate health facilities
- Doctor’s offices
In order to practice, Registered Dietitians must satisfy the requirements set by the Accreditation Council for Education in Nutrition and Dietetics. These requirements include completing an internship and passing a licensure examination.
Public Health Nutrition
Average salary: $53,000 per year
Unlike many of the other specialists on this list, Public Health Nutritionists don’t work directly with individual clients. Instead, they aim to improve the overall health of an entire population. In many cases, they’re also Registered Dietitians—so if you have your license, this career path may be worth exploring as well.
Public Health Nutritionists can expect to find work in:
- Government agencies
- Physician’s offices
Public Health Nutritionists analyze trends to determine weak points in an overall population’s nutrition. Then, they create action plans to improve these weak points and boost the health of the population. They may work to develop meal plans, and sometimes they even design and implement public health programs aimed at children and families.
Choose a specialty to suit your career goals.
With so many fulfilling specialties to choose from in the world of Nutritional Sciences, there’s bound to be something to suit your interests. Whether you choose to attend classes on-campus or online, there are plenty of amazing programs just waiting to be discovered. And after you choose your specialty and find your ideal school, an exciting career in Nutrition Science awaits!
Erica Ciko Campbell
Bachelor of Science (B.S.), Biology| Utica College
Associate of Science (A.S.)| Herkimer County Community College
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