What Is the Employment Outlook for a Sports Nutrition Career?

Sports nutrition makes up a small percentage of the dietitian career field. However, increased interest in diet and wellness might increase job opportunities, and licensed nutritionists should have a competitive advantage. Read on to find out more about the employment prospects and salary potential for this career. Schools offering Nutrition degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

Employment Outlook

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), www.bls.gov, employment in the field of dietetics and nutrition is expected to increase at a faster-than-average rate of 15% over the 2016-2026 decade (www.bls.gov). There were an estimated 68,000 professionals working in this field in 2016, and this number is expected to increase by nearly 10,000 over the decade, which will result in an estimated 77,900 people working in the field in 2026. Therefore, the BLS expects favorable prospects for those wishing to enter this field.

Important Facts About a Career in Sports Nutrition

Required Education Bachelor's degree in dietetics, nutrition or related field
On-the-Job Training Post-bachelor's internship with several hundred supervised hours
Professional Certification Registered Dietitian Nutritionist credential (optional)
Certified Nutrition Specialist credential (optional)
Key Skills Listening, organizational and speaking skills

Factors of Growth

Increased public interest on diet, wellness and disease prevention is spurring this fast job growth, according to the BLS. Obesity, and its associated health conditions, is driving the demand for dieting help from dietitians and nutritionists. In addition, the aging population will positively affect employment growth since those in nursing homes need dietetic services.

Career Prospects

In some cases, earning a higher degree, such as a master's or a Ph.D., will increase job prospects and earning potential, according to the BLS. Seeking certification above the minimum requirements might increase marketability as well. The BLS predicts that ample job opportunities will be available for those with a college degree, the appropriate credentials and specialized education in the field. Sports nutritionists with more experience might advance into roles with greater responsibility or managerial duties.

Salary Information

The BLS reports the mean wage for dietitians and nutritionists was $61,210 as of May 2018. The middle 80% earned between $38,460 and $84,610. General medical and surgical hospitals employed the most of these professionals and offered average wage of $62,640. Average salaries for other common industries included $60,230 for skilled nursing facilities, $66,840 for outpatient care centers, $54,390 for local governments and $60,520 for special food services.

Additionally, PayScale.com reported in February 2019 that the middle 80% of sports nutritionists earned between $20,000 and $84,000, with the median salary being $49,948.

Career Resources

Professional organizations, such as the Collegiate and Professional Sports Dietitians Association, www.sportsrd.org, provide job listings for sports nutritionists. The Sports, Cardiovascular and Wellness Nutrition (SCAN) division of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics offers networking opportunities with membership (www.scandpg.org). These and similar organizations provide other helpful resources for individuals searching for sports nutrition career information.

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