By working in a nutrition science field, you can help others learn more about their bodies and what it takes to live longer, healthier lives. To get started in this rewarding profession, some states require qualifications such as licensure. Explore your state’s specific requirements to properly plan for your educational and professional journey.
Once you’ve become a licensed or registered professional, you may pursue nutrition certification in a sub-field of nutrition science. Nutrition certifications provide professionals with the opportunity to gain credibility and advance further into a specific area of the dietetic world. Continue reading to learn more about available nutrition certifications in the field.
Types of Nutrition Certifications
As we’ve discussed, nutrition certification can help you specialize in an area of dietetics. Although you may choose to work in several different areas of nutrition science, it is often wise to seek certification to reflect your expertise.
There are a range of programs available to become a board certified specialist. The Commission on Dietetic Registration offers certification in gerontological, pediatric, renal and oncology nutrition, as well as sports dietetics, and obesity and weight management. You can learn more about each certification below.
For registered dietitians or nutritionists with experience in gerontological nutrition, certification could help your professional advancement in this area. Gerontological dietitians concentrate on the relationship between aging and nutrition. They often work in elderly care facilities or for government agencies that focus on aging policy.
Pediatric dietitians focus on the nutritional needs of infants, children and adolescents. They often work with schools, doctors, clinics, hospitals or government agencies in order to develop treatment plans for children with food allergies, eating disorders or any other dietary condition, like childhood obesity.
For those interested in helping individuals with chronic kidney disease, renal nutrition certification can provide you with the expertise to work in this specific area. Renal dietitians monitor patients’ nutritional health and come up with individualized eating plans to help balance the intake of calories, proteins, carbs, vitamins, etc.
Eating well during and after treatment can help the body fight cancer and heal effectively. Oncology dietitians will help educate patients about what they should eat when they don’t feel well and give them tips regarding cancer-fighting nutrition.
Those interested in specializing in sports dietetics may work with universities, athletics organizations, fitness facilities or in a variety of other settings. This area of nutrition science focuses on the relationship between diet and a person’s athletic performance.
Obesity and Weight Management
Obesity and weight management certification will help prepare you to address the nation’s growing epidemic. You can educate people about obesity and weight management, work on advocacy programs and/or help counsel and guide those suffering from obesity.
The Benefits of Nutrition Certification
Ultimately, obtaining nutrition certification can improve your chances of gaining employment in the field of dietetics. The continuing education requirements needed to maintain certification will help you stay up-to-date with the latest developments. Plus, this involvement in the most current research and trends will certainly boost your appeal to potential employers.
Now is a great time to pursue nutrition certification and set yourself apart from others. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, careers for dietitians and nutritionists are projected to grow up to 16 percent until 2024.