Best Online Nutrition Degrees

By the OnlineU team | Updated 5/21/2021
Quick Facts
Accreditation: ACEND
Average Tuition: $25,815
Average Salary: $72,790

If food and health are your passion, this is a great time to pursue a career in the field of nutrition. More than ever before, we have come to recognize that what people eat has an impact on their mood, sleep, memory, and general wellbeing. That's why it's important to have trained professionals who study nutrition.

Our need for dietitians and nutritionists is projected to grow by 8% over the next decade, and on average these professionals earn more than $63,000 per year. On this page, we provide a list of the most popular accredited online degrees in nutrition. We also include information about earning a nutrition degree online, certification requirements, common courses in a program, and what you need to know about careers in the field.

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Online Bachelor's in Nutrition with the Highest Return on Investment

2021 Best Online Colleges Offering Bachelor's Degrees in Nutrition Badge

The schools below offer top online bachelor’s degrees in nutrition ranked by return on investment (ROI), with ROIs ranging from $279,300 to $399,700. ROI estimates what graduates can expect to earn in 10 years after factoring in student debt. Students can use these rankings to gauge whether a degree program may be worth the investment in the long term. The top four nutrition programs on this list have a higher ROI than the national average, and have annual tuition rates between $12,075 and $17,623.

ROI amounts are based on data reported by the U.S. Department of Education. Tuitions are manually researched in order to determine tuition amounts specific to online degrees. Read our methodology for more details.

RankSchool Annual Tuition Median Starting Salary Median Debt 10-year ROI
# 1 #1 $17,623 $42,682 $31,878 $399,700
# 2 #2 $12,450 $32,204 $17,369 $310,200
# 3 #3 $16,695 $33,624 $31,424 $307,000
# 4 #4 $12,075 $32,242 $21,386 $303,900
# 5 #5 $17,186 $30,883 $22,000 $290,500
# 6 #6 $11,250 $31,314 $26,000 $290,000
# 7 #7 $15,750 $29,685 $21,108 $279,300

Best Bachelor's Degrees in Nutrition Rankings Details

#1

Eastern Michigan University

Ypsilanti (MI)
  • 10-Year ROI: $399,700
  • Median Salary: $42,682
  • Annual Tuition: $17,623
  • Median Debt: $31,878

The online Bachelor of Science in Dietetics at Eastern Michigan University leads to credentialing as a Registered Dietitian (RDN). Students complete general education requirements in the 124-credit online program, including communication, quantitative reasoning, and writing-intensive courses. They also complete between 58 and 75 major credits, including courses in nutrition, food... service management, and nutrition therapy. The program requires an internship.

Students complete their coursework through the Canvas learning management system. They may transfer courses completed at other universities, through the military, or advanced studies programs in high schools. Students may also receive credit through examination for work experience or military experience. Online students may apply for university scholarships and receive job search help through the career center.

Students apply online with rolling admissions. Resources available to online students include library, tutoring, workshops, and academic coaching and advising.

School Type: Non-Profit
Graduation Rate: 45%
Acceptance Rate: 45%
Financial Aid Recipients: 98%
Average SAT Scores: 890 - 1170
Accreditation: HLC
Undergrad Online Enrollment: 1,292

#2

University of Northern Colorado

Greeley (CO)
  • 10-Year ROI: $310,200
  • Median Salary: $32,204
  • Annual Tuition: $12,450
  • Median Debt: $17,369

The online Bachelor of Science in Dietetics is a degree completion program at the University of Northern Colorado. The program is designed to prepare students for dietetics internships, which are required for taking the exam to become a registered dietitian. In the 120-credit program, students take courses in nutrition, foods, and food services management. As part of the major,... students complete a didactic program, and admission to that program is competitive. Students complete a post-baccalaureate internship; 30 internships are offered at a time and are competitive.

Students complete most online courses asynchronously on the Canvas learning management system. Some courses are not offered online through UNC and are completed through other distance or in-person programs. The program is designed so that students transfer general education courses from other universities into the program or take them as prerequisites at UNC. Online students can receive financial aid and career help.

Students submit an online application and begin in the summer term. Online students have access to library databases, bookstore, and technical support.

Cost per Credit: $415
School Type: Non-Profit
Credits Required: 120
Graduation Rate: 47%
Acceptance Rate: 89%
Financial Aid Recipients: 93%
Average SAT Scores: 990 - 1190
Accreditation: HLC
Undergrad Online Enrollment: 549

#3

Purdue University Global

Indianapolis (IN)
  • 10-Year ROI: $307,000
  • Median Salary: $33,624
  • Annual Tuition: $16,695
  • Median Debt: $31,424

The online Bachelor of Science in Nutrition degree at Purdue University Global is designed for those seeking nutrition-related careers in hospitals, private practice, public health agencies, and the food industry. In the 180-credit program, online students take general education and nutrition courses such as food safety, nutrition planning, and nutrition counseling. Upon completion... of the online program, students may be eligible to complete exams toward board certification in holistic nutrition, Certified Clinical Nutritionist (CCN), or Certified Dietary Manager (CDM). Students may opt to earn credit through an internship.

Online coursework is asynchronous. Students may transfer credits from other institutions and receive credit for prior work experience. They may be eligible for financial aid through university grants and federal and state loans. Military and international students may receive reduced tuition. Alumni receive career help through the Career Network.

Students are encouraged to contact an adviser for assistance with the admission process. Resources available to online students include advisers, library access, tutoring, and academic success seminars.

Cost per Credit: $371
School Type: Non-Profit
Credits Required: 180
Graduation Rate: 32%
Financial Aid Recipients: 75%
Accreditation: HLC
Undergrad Online Enrollment: 26,655

#4

Kansas State University

Manhattan (KS)
  • 10-Year ROI: $303,900
  • Median Salary: $32,242
  • Annual Tuition: $12,075
  • Median Debt: $21,386

The online Bachelor of Science in Dietetics program at Kansas State University is designed to prepare students for supervised practice as a dietitian. This supervised practice then makes the student eligible to take the Commission on Dietetic Registration (CDR) credentialing exam to become a registered dietitian nutritionist (RDN). The Bachelor of Science in Nutrition and Health... is designed to prepare students for careers in nutrition education. In the 120-credit program, students take general courses in English, mathematics, social sciences, humanities, and science. They also take integrative health and science courses and professional courses. Online students in the dietetics program also must complete a didactic program, in addition to the general program, for graduation. Admission to the didactic program is competitive.

Asynchronous online classes are delivered through Canvas online learning platform. Students in the dietetics program find a local food service facility to complete labs. Students may transfer comparable courses from other accredited universities into the program. The university offers scholarships specifically for distance students, as well as other types of financial aid. Online students have access to academic resources such as advising, coaching, and tutoring.

Students may apply online for fall, spring, or summer semesters. Resources for online students include the IT help desk, the Career Center, counseling services, financial counseling, and special resources for foreign, military, and LGBT students.

Cost per Credit: $403
School Type: Non-Profit
Credits Required: 120
Graduation Rate: 64%
Acceptance Rate: 94%
Financial Aid Recipients: 89%
Accreditation: HLC
Undergrad Online Enrollment: 798

#5

Arizona State University

Tempe (AZ) (and 4 others)
  • 10-Year ROI: $290,500
  • Median Salary: $30,883
  • Annual Tuition: $17,186
  • Median Debt: $22,000

The online Bachelor of Science (BS) in Food and Nutrition Entrepreneurship at Arizona State is designed to prepare students to open businesses such as restaurants and bakeries. The online Bachelor of Applied Sciences (BAS) in Food and Nutrition Entrepreneurship is a similar program but designed for students with an Associate of Applied Science in Culinary Arts degree. Students in... both majors complete 120 credits of courses in agriculture, food, health, leadership, management, marketing, and nutrition. Those in the BS program also take general courses such as science, English, and mathematics, while those in the BAS program will transfer in 60 credits toward the degree. Both prepare students to test for ServeSafe® certification.

Online courses are delivered through the Canvas learning platform and videoconferencing software. Several scholarships for online students are available, as well as other institutional scholarships and aid. Online students can participate in study abroad opportunities and online clubs. They can also receive support from counselors, career advisers, time management coaches.

Students apply directly online for the BS program but begin with an enrollment counselor for the BAS degree. Once enrolled, online students have access to tutoring, writing support, and technical support services.

School Type: Non-Profit
Graduation Rate: 66%
Acceptance Rate: 76%
Financial Aid Recipients: 94%
Average SAT Scores: 1091 - 1298
Accreditation: HLC
Undergrad Online Enrollment: 28,353

#6

University of Alabama

Tuscaloosa (AL)
  • 10-Year ROI: $290,000
  • Median Salary: $31,314
  • Annual Tuition: $11,250
  • Median Debt: $26,000

The online Bachelor of Science in Food and Nutrition at the University of Alabama is designed to prepare students for careers as dietitians, community health specialists, or nutrition educators. In the 120-credit program, students will take courses in nutrition, food production, food management, psychology, chemistry, and biology, and general education courses such as English, humanities,... and social sciences. Students can choose to complete the dietetic program as part of the major to become registered dietitians. Admission to the dietetic program is competitive. Students who wish to become dietitians also must complete an internship; about 50 percent of students who apply are matched with an internship. Students can complete the degree either full or part-time.

Students complete their online coursework asynchronously using the Blackboard learning management system, where they can access streamed lectures. The university provides several continuing education scholarships and grants specifically for online students and other forms of financial aid. Students receive job search help through the career center.

Students apply online, using either the first-year or transfer student application depending upon previous college experience. Online students receive academic support through tutoring, workshops, a writing center, virtual library access, and IT support.

Cost per Credit: $375
School Type: Non-Profit
Credits Required: 120
Graduation Rate: 71%
Acceptance Rate: 53%
Financial Aid Recipients: 80%
Average SAT Scores: 1060 - 1280
Accreditation: SACS COC
Undergrad Online Enrollment: 2,198

#7

University of Arizona

Tucson (AZ)
  • 10-Year ROI: $279,300
  • Median Salary: $29,685
  • Annual Tuition: $15,750
  • Median Debt: $21,108

The Bachelor of Science (BS) in Nutritional Sciences at the University of Arizona has a general track and two specialty tracks in nutrition or dietetics. The nutrition track is designed to prepare students to work in schools, wellness centers, grant-funded research studies, the food industry, and nonprofit organizations. Students take courses in nutritional biology and metabolism,... food science and safety, nutrition assessment, and therapeutic diets. The dietetic track prepares students for internships to become registered dietitians. The curriculum includes foundational courses in science as well as courses in food and nutrition. Students are classified as pre-major or major and apply to the BS program when they complete their general education and science requirements.

Students complete online coursework on the D2L learning management system. Students may transfer general education and pre-major science courses into the program. Students may search for scholarships through the Scholarship Universe portal. Payscale ranked the University of Arizona No. 1 in alumni earning potential in 2019. Online students have access to alumni networking opportunities.

Students apply online to enter the program on six start dates. Online students have access to advisers, tutors, coaches, alumni mentors, student support groups, library resources, and a leadership program.

Cost per Credit: $525
School Type: Non-Profit
Credits Required: 120
Graduation Rate: 64%
Acceptance Rate: 84%
Financial Aid Recipients: 92%
Average SAT Scores: 1070 - 1310
Accreditation: HLC
Undergrad Online Enrollment: 1,903

Online Nutrition Degree Overview

Can You Get a Nutrition Degree Online?

Yes, there are a number of accredited colleges offering bachelor's degrees in nutrition online. Most of these programs require 120 credits to graduate, and most will take an average of four years of full-time study to complete. Students interested in nutritional science will find there are also online master's programs that cover advanced topics in the field, as well as online certificate programs that provide expertise in specific topics.

Nutrition Degree Quick Facts
  • Average Duration: 4 years
  • Average credits: 120

Online Bachelor's Degrees in Nutrition

Online bachelor's degrees in nutritional science combine coursework in medical nutrition, communication, public health, and food management. In addition to general education requirements, basic science courses cover topics such as physiology, anatomy, chemistry, and biology. This foundation helps students understand how the body works and how it processes food at the biological and chemical level. Other courses may include food writing, clinical nutrition, and nutrient metabolism.

A bachelor's degree in nutrition is the current entry-level requirement to begin a career as a nutrition consultant, nutrition educator, or dietitian. Online bachelor's programs may have concentrations in nutrition science or dietetics, or they may be health sciences degrees with a nutrition or health and wellness specialization. Health and nutrition degrees at the bachelor's level often require an internship and are usually designed to prepare graduates for the Registered Dietitian exam.

Program Requirements

Admission requirements will depend on the school, but in general, applicants need a high school diploma or an equivalent and will need to submit transcripts as well as SAT or ACT scores. Some schools also require particular prerequisite courses and/or minimum GPAs. Online nutrition bachelor's degrees usually take approximately four years and require the completion of 120 credits.

Curriculum

A student who is earning a bachelor's degree in nutrition will take general education courses for the majority of their first two years in school. Science classes will include biology, psychology, chemistry, and physiology. Every school has its own general education requirements in communications, social sciences, arts and humanities, and foreign language.

Core courses for the remaining two years of a bachelor's program cover anatomy and physiology, introduction to nutrition, advanced nutrition, dietary planning, medical nutrition therapy, food science, exercise science, social aspects of nutrition, and child development and nutrition. Some programs may include research into topics such as diseases, environmental effects on food, and the use of technology in treating patients.

Graduates from bachelor's programs may be qualified to work as a nutritionist for a nonprofit organization, a hospital or clinic, a gym, or for a private dietary counseling center. Some nutritionists also work as weight loss coaches for diet programs like WW (formerly Weight Watchers), NutriSystem, and Noom. Bachelor's degrees in dietetics and nutrition science are also good preparation for students who wish to continue their education at the graduate level in nursing, biology, or nutrition.

Accreditation

Accreditation is a term used to describe the process by which schools are evaluated for their quality and their ability to provide students with a valuable education. Independent regional and national agencies evaluate institutions of higher education based on a variety of factors and determine whether or not to grant them accreditation. Legitimate accrediting agencies should always be recognized by the US Department of Education or the Council for Higher Education Accreditation.

Accreditation helps ensure that students receive a high-quality education and meet eligibility requirements for federal financial aid. In addition, for students who decide to transfer credits to another school or to pursue an advanced degree, it will be important to have attended an accredited school or program.

What Is ACEND Accreditation?

Many schools also seek accreditation from professional organizations for individual programs within the school. For nutrition degree programs, the preferred programmatic accreditation comes from the Accreditation Council for Education in Nutrition and Dietetics (ACEND). Accreditation by this industry-recognized agency helps ensure that the program meets national standards of excellence and prepares students for many industry certifications. Most schools will indicate whether the nutrition program is ACEND accredited on their website, or prospective students can check the ACEND directory.

Certification and Licensing Requirements for Nutritionists

After completing a nutrition or dietitian degree, many graduates choose to become certified or registered as a nutritionist or dietitian. Some states allow graduates to practice as nutritionists without licensure, but because the requirements vary from state to state, aspiring nutritionists and dietitians should verify their state's regulations before taking any major steps. The following is a general overview of some commonly accepted certifications in the nutrition profession.

How Do I Become a Registered Dietitian (RD)?

One popular designation is the Registered Dietitian (RD) license. An RD works one-on-one with individuals who want to improve their health through diet. RDs develop dietary plans for their patients and provide support in making healthy changes.

Granted by the Commission on Dietetic Registration (CDR), which is affiliated with the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics (AND), the RD credential has requirements that are often the same as the requirements needed for other state licenses. According to the CDR, RD candidates must meet the following eligibility requirements:

  • Complete a bachelor's degree from a regionally accredited college or university. The degree can be in any field, meaning that graduates do not have to have a nutrition or dietitian degree to become a registered dietitian. (Note: As of January 1, 2024, RD candidates will be required to have a master's degree in any field, as per the Commission on Dietetic Registration.)
  • Complete all academic requirements for an ACEND-accredited Didactic Program in Dietetics. (This course material is built into the curriculum for some online nutrition degrees.)
  • Complete a 900-1200 hour supervised practice program that has been accredited and recognized by the Accreditation Council for Education in Nutrition and Dietetics. Examples of supervised practice programs include a Dietetic Internship (DI), a Coordinated Program (CP), or an Individualized Supervised Pathway (ISPP).
  • Pass the Registered Examination for Dietitians.

After completing all of the requirements and passing an exam, graduates are then eligible for many job opportunities in the nutrition field, most of which will require an RD license or a similar certification. Most states require RDs to complete continuing education courses in order to maintain a current license. Job opportunities and other information, including research publications and professional development resources, can be found on the AND website.

Currently, most students require an average of five to six years of full-time study and internship to complete these requirements, but once the new master's degree requirement goes into effect in 2024, it may take six to eight years.

How Do I Become a Certified Clinical Nutritionist (CCN)?

A CCN is a qualified nutritionist who passes the Clinical Nutrition Certification Board (CNCB) exam. Like an RD, a CCN works with individuals, providing guidance and support in making healthy dietary changes. However, CCNs typically work in medical settings with patients who have been diagnosed with specific illnesses, such as obesity, diabetes, and high blood pressure.

Individuals can become eligible to take the CCN exam in two primary ways:

  • Those who have earned a master's degree—online or in-person—in human nutrition or an advanced degree and license in a healthcare field can become CCNs. For example, licensed doctors, physician assistants, osteopaths, and nurses with advanced degrees qualify for the CCN exam.
  • Those who have graduated from online or on-campus bachelor's programs that included core science courses in anatomy and physiology, chemistry, and microbiology may also be eligible. However, they will also have to take the CNCB's online Post Graduate Studies in Clinical Nutrition Program (PGSCN) to prepare for the exam. Individuals with non-clinical undergraduate degrees also take a 900-hour internship before they qualify to take CNCB's CCN exam.

How Do I Become a Certified Nutrition Specialist (CNS)?

The Certified Nutrition Specialist (CNS) is a certification for professional nutritionists administered by the Board for Certification of Nutrition Specialists. The role of a CNS is similar to that of a CCN, except that a CNS has more advanced education and training in medical science.

To meet the education requirements for CNS certification, individuals must complete the requisite number of credits in nutrition and non-nutrition specific coursework. For example, nutritionists and healthcare professionals must complete six credits of biochemistry, three credits of anatomy and physiology and 12 credits in clinical or life sciences. Doctors and osteopaths can meet the internship requirement as a part of a fellowship or residency.

To take the exam, individuals must hold a master's or doctorate in nutrition or a related healthcare field, and these degrees can be from online or in-person programs. For example, licensed doctors, osteopaths, pharmacists, physician assistants, and nurses with advanced degrees can qualify to take the CNS exam. Individuals must also complete a 1,000-hour supervised internship before they qualify to take the exam.

How Do I Become a Sports Nutritionist?

Sports nutritionists are health and fitness specialists who work with athletes. Their goal is to educate and coach athletes on the proper diet and nutritional supplements needed to enhance performance, prevent illness, and help heal the body. Prospective sports nutritionists will need to earn a bachelor's or master's degree in dietetics, nutrition, or sports nutrition, or they may opt for a degree in exercise science with a certificate in sports nutrition. These degrees can be earned online or in-person. Students must also complete a required number of hours of practice before taking exams to obtain certification.

As with other types of nutrition certification, sports nutritionist certification requirements vary by state. Some certifications may also require additional coursework. A few of the many possible certifications available in this specialization include:

Differences in Educational Requirements: CCN, CNS, and RD

Individuals hoping to earn CCN, CNS, and RD credentials must meet different educational requirements before they take the certification exams.

The CCN is open to individuals with a range of academic backgrounds from individuals with associate degrees in nursing to medical and naturopathic doctors. However, to take the CCN exam, individuals who don't have a graduate degree must show they have fulfilled all CNCB academic requirements and take the PGSCN intensive course offered by CNCB. To earn the CNS, individuals must hold a qualifying graduate or medical degree. CNS applicants don't need to take a pre-qualifier intensive course before they register for the CNS exam. A Registered Dietician (RD) is a food and dietary professional with a bachelor's degree in nutrition or a qualifying field. RDs also complete a 900-1200 hour internship and pass a dietetics registration exam.

Online Nutrition Classes

Online nutrition bachelor's programs generally have a blend of science-oriented courses that cover nutrition's effect on the human body, skill-development courses that train students to assess and guide patients, and management courses that prepare students to lead food service operations, nutrition clinics, or their own businesses. The following are some examples of classes typically found in an online nutrition degree program.

  • Anatomy and Physiology: This course covers the essential terms and concepts used to describe the structure and function of the human body. Students also gain an understanding of various diseases, organ systems, digestion and metabolism, and changing nutritional needs throughout the typical human life cycle. With some online programs, this course may include applications-oriented lab work, which may be conducted at home or virtually.
  • Food Service Management: This business management course provides students with the administrative knowledge and professional skills needed to lead a food service operation. Key topics in the course include organizational structure, food preparation, institutional equipment, menu planning, budgeting, marketing, and human resource management. Professional ethics in management is woven throughout course content.
  • Medical Assessment: Students learn practical skills in assessing patients from the perspective of a nutrition consultant. Specific health indicators explained in the course include blood pressure, height and weight, body mass index, and body composition analysis. Additional coursework may include developing recommendations and plans for patients.
  • Microbiology: Typically requiring lab work, microbiology studies nutrition at the cellular level. Students learn the basic types of microorganisms—viruses, bacteria, algae, fungi, and protozoa—and discover how they affect health, ecology, and related fields. To complete the hands-on lab requirements, online students may be asked to conduct experiments virtually or at home, using common household items or kits delivered by the school.
  • Nutrition Science: This introductory science course focuses on the relationship between nutrients and the human body. Students learn about internal food systems, and how food is processed by the body on a chemical level. Additional topics covered in the course may include allergies and intolerances, healthy dietary habits and patterns, energy balance, and the availability and presentation of nutrition information.
  • Optimal Health and Performance: A companion to the medical assessment course, students learn how to work with patients, helping them adopt useful dietary changes into their lifestyles and enhance their health through physical activity. Students gain practical knowledge regarding concepts, attitudes, and strategies for effectively coaching patients.
  • Resource Production and Allocation: As nutritionists, students need a basic understanding of economics as it relates to the food industry. Topics include agricultural production, food safety, government regulation, property rights, and natural resources.

Careers for Online Nutrition Graduates

How Much Can You Make With a Nutrition Degree?

Information provided by the Bureau of Labor Statistics in 2020 shows that the median annual salary for all nutritionists and dietitians is $63,090, although professionals in the top 10% of the salary range earn more than $90,000 per year. Nutritionists employed by outpatient care centers tend to earn slightly higher wages than those employed by government agencies, hospitals, or nursing and residential care facilities. Job openings for nutritionists and dietitians are projected to grow by 8%, which translates into 5,900 new positions through 2029.

Information provided by the BLS shows that the median annual salary for all nutritionists and dietitians is $63,090.

What Can I Do With an Online Bachelor's Degree in Nutrition?

Graduates of online nutrition degree programs can enter a variety of professional roles, depending on their experience, interests, and certifications. The following are some examples of common career specializations for people who study nutritional science, along with salary data provided by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS).

  • Clinical Dietitian: Institutions like hospitals and nursing care facilities typically employ clinical dietitians. After assessing and analyzing a patient's health status and goals, clinical dietitians then prepare personalized nutrition programs, monitor patient progress, provide counsel as needed, and report the results. Clinical dietitians working in these facilities earn median annual salaries ranging from $60,330 to $63,380.
  • Consultant Dietitian: Healthcare facilities, private practices, and larger corporations sometimes contract out consultant dietitians. Consultant dietitians conduct nutrition screenings and then provide advice to clients about topics such as cholesterol levels, weight management, and wellness practices. As of 2020, the median annual income for all dietitians is $63,090, although consultants' incomes will vary based on workload.
  • Food Scientist: An important part of the food supply chain, food scientists study the nutritional qualities of food and help make processed and packaged foods safer and healthier. Some are responsible for inspecting food processing plants and enforcing regulations. The median annual wage for food technologists and scientists is $73,450.
  • Food Service Management Dietitian: Management dietitians hire, train, and instruct food service workers and other dietitians in settings such as prisons, hospitals, assisted living facilities, schools, and company cafeterias. They also prepare budgets for food and other supplies, enforce safety and sanitation regulations, and prepare reports and records. The median annual salary is comparable to the median annual income of most dietitians, which is $63,090.
  • Health and Wellness Coach: Often self-employed, health and wellness coaches typically work with individuals and families, offering guidance and information on nutrition, exercise, and mental and emotional health. In addition to providing healthy diet regimens, their patient plans address issues such as fitness, sleep management, and stress management. Depending on the number of clients they work with, health coaches may earn salaries comparable to the median annual income of most dietitians, which is $63,090.
  • Public Health or Community Dietitian: Community dietitians work with groups of people to develop nutritional practices that promote health and prevent disease. Some specialize in educating specific groups, such as adolescents or older adults. The median annual salary for government-employed dietitians is $64,010.

Can Dietitians Work From Home?

Yes, work-from-home positions for registered dietitians and nutritionists are becoming increasingly common. Using video conferencing tools like Zoom, online nutritionists can perform all, or at least most, of their typical functions in assessing clients' health status, educating and advising patients, and monitoring and recording progress over the internet. Employers hiring virtual dietitians and nutritionists include health care facilities, private practices, insurance companies, educational institutions, and mobile app companies that provide nutrition and dieting guidance, such as Vida and Noom.

Is Becoming an RD Worth It?

Whether becoming a registered dietitian (RD) is worth it depends on your career goals. In addition to earning a bachelor's in nutrition—or master's degree as of 2024—you'll need to complete a supervised practice program, pass the Registered Examination for Dietitians, and engage in continuing education to maintain your certification.

Becoming an RD involves a significant investment of time, money, and effort in education, but most of the better-paying jobs in the nutrition field require this certification. According to Payscale, the average salary for nutritionists is $45,675, while the average salary for registered dietitians is $53,526. The RD certification also prepares you to assume management positions in hospitals, government agencies, and other health care facilities.

It's important to note, however, that some states allow you to practice as an unlicensed nutritionist, performing many of the same functions as a registered dietitian. You may want to check your state's regulations before making a decision about your career path so that you can make an informed decision.

Is an Online Nutrition Degree Worth It?

Yes, nutrition is a worthwhile degree if you're interested in science, anatomy, health, and food, and have a desire to use your knowledge to help others. From a practical standpoint, an online degree in nutrition can lead to a number of career options, many of which entail salaries in the range of $60,330 to $73,450. Demand for nutritionists is also expected to grow over the next decade as more people recognize the benefits of healthy eating in preventing disease and maintaining wellness. From a personal standpoint, a 2018 survey found that dietitians experienced above-average job satisfaction, with many survey respondents noting that a sense of purpose, autonomy, and respect contributed to their positive feelings about their jobs. Taken together, a promising job outlook and personal fulfillment might yield a high return on your investment in earning an online nutrition degree, but you should consider these factors alongside your personal circumstances.

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