Holistic Nutritionist: Career Summary, Job Outlook, and Education Requirements

Explore the career requirements for holistic nutritionists. Get the facts about educational requirements, licensure, job outlook and salary to determine if this is the right career for you. Schools offering Complementary & Alternative Health degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

What Does a Holistic Nutritionist Do?

Holistic nutrition focuses on the significance and uses of natural food. Holistic nutritionists work hard to show clients the importance of proper holistic nutrition in preventing disease and keeping people in balance as part of the holistic approach to medicine. Holistic medicine looks out for the entire body in disease prevention, not working on one part of the body that may be having problems.

As a holistic nutritionist, you could plan a diet to treat or prevent illnesses and improve the overall mental, physical and spiritual health of your patients. Read the chart below to find out the requirements for becoming a holistic nutritionist.

Degree Required Bachelor's degree
Education Field of Study Nutrition
Key Responsibilities Using nutrition and diet to improve the physical, emotional and spiritual health of clients
Licensure Required in most states; prerequisites for licensure vary by state
Job Growth (2018-2028) 11% for all nutritionists and dieticians*
Average Salary (2018) $61,210 for all nutritionists and dieticians*

Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

What Does a Holistic Nutritionist Do?

While many nutritionists may work on a patient's diet and eating habits, they are not dieticians. The American Dietetic Association oversees and grants registered dietician (RD) status for those who meet the qualifications. In contrast, holistic nutritionists generally do not have to be registered and have different educational paths that dieticians do. Specifically, holistic nutritionists use food diets to improve the physical, emotional and spiritual health of a patient.

A holistic nutritionist works with patients who have chronic illnesses and other medical conditions, balancing the vitamins, minerals, acids, proteins and other elements of food to relieve symptoms. Like other holistic medical practices, holistic nutritionists focus on the patient's lifestyle choices versus inherited or bodily ailments. Holistic nutrition is an individualized science that takes into account the entire body to formulate a healthy diet.

What Is the Job Outlook?

According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), job growth for all nutritionists and dieticians is expected to increase by about 11% from 2018-2028, which is much faster than average growth (www.bls.gov). Out of this category, nutritionists with specialized training and more advanced degrees can expect better opportunities. Increasing emphasis on disease prevention and an overall aging population are main contributors to this positive employment growth.

The BLS also reported that nutritionists - including holistic nutritionists - earned an average annual income of $61,210, as of 2018. The greatest number of nutritionists was employed in California, and nutritionists working there earned a much higher salary, at an average $74,060 per year.

What Kind of Education and Training Do I Need?

Becoming a holistic nutritionist requires at least a Bachelor of Science in Nutrition or a related field. The types of degrees vary widely. Most degrees in nutrition include courses in chemistry, food nutrition, psychology, metabolism and biology.

Additionally, public practicing nutritionists need to be state licensed, to protect consumers from fraudulent practices. Licensing requirements vary by state but generally include filling out an application, submitting relevant school or training transcripts and paying a fee.

What Are Some Related Alternative Careers?

Some careers related to holistic nutritionists are health educators, community health workers and registered nurses (RNs). These professions typically require a bachelor's degree, although some health educators may need to earn a specialty credential and community health workers may enter the field with a high school diploma and short training. Health educators and community health workers both work as nutrition teachers and help develop nutritional strategies, collect data and work with groups like the aged. RNs take a hands-on approach to the health of patients in a hospital or home setting, and the job requires a bachelor's degree and licensure.

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