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Psychology and Nutrition Careers

Explore career options for psychology and nutrition. Read on and learn about the education requirements, training and certification, job information and salary facts.

Psychology and Nutrition Careers: Salary and Job Facts

Nutritional psychology is the science of how different kinds of food affect our moods and behavior. Although there are schools offering undergraduate and graduate degrees for both psychology and nutrition, there are organizations offering program courses specifically on nutritional psychology for existing degree holders who want to specialize in such fields. In this article, you will learn about the different career options in the field of nutritional psychology, education and training requirements, and career and salary information.

Dietitians and NutritionistsRehabilitation CounselorsHealth Educators
Degree RequiredBachelor's degreeMaster's degreeBachelor's degree
Educational Field of StudyDietetics, foods and nutrition or related fieldRehabilitation counseling or any related fieldHealth promotion or health education
Training RequiredInternshipInternshipInternship
License and/or CertificationRegistered Dietitians Nutritionist; Certified Nutrition Specialist (CNS)Certified Rehabilitation Counselor (CRC)Certified Health Education Specialist (CHES)
Key ResponsibilitiesDevelop meal plans for the patientsProvide counseling to patientsProvide education to individuals and groups about health and wellness
Job Growth (2018-2028)11%*10%*11%*
Annual Median Salary (2018)$60,370*$35,630*$46,080*

Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

What Are the Education Requirements?

A bachelor's degree in dietetics, clinical nutrition, food, and nutrition or any related field is required for dietitians and nutritionists, but some have more advanced degrees or take additional courses in psychology, nutrition or biology. A master's degree in rehabilitation counseling or any related field is often required for rehabilitation counselors, although some employers hire those with an undergraduate degree. For health educators, a bachelor's degree in health education or health promotion is typically required, although some employers prefer those with advanced degrees.

What Kind of Training is Required?

Dietitians and nutritionists often get supervised training through internships or through coordinated programs offered by schools as part of the students' undergraduate or graduate coursework. Rehabilitation counselors get training through internships and hours of supervised clinical work during licensing. Health educators also acquire the needed skills and knowledge through internships.

What Licenses and/or Certifications Do I Need?

Dietitians and nutritionists are required by many states to be licensed to practice; they can get certified as a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist (RDN) or Certified Nutrition Specialist (CNS). Rehabilitation counselors are also required to obtain a license to practice and complete annual continuing education credits to maintain the license. Although not required, rehabilitation counselors can also get a Certified Rehabilitation Counselor (CRC) certification offered by The Commission on Rehabilitation Counselor Certification. Health educators are required to obtain the Certified Health Education Specialist (CHES) credential which is offered by the National Commission for Health Education Credentialing, Inc.

What Are the Key Responsibilities?

Dietitians and nutritionists are experts in food and nutrition. They assess the nutritional needs of their clients and develop and evaluate meal plans based on these assessments. Rehabilitation counselors provide counseling and develop treatment plans for their patients, often with the help of other medical professionals. Health educators create health and wellness programs for the community and develop programs and educational materials to teach people about being healthy.

Where Can I Work and How Much Are the Salaries?

Many dietitians and nutritionists work in hospitals, government and nursing facilities and they typically earn $60,370 annually. Rehabilitation counselors work in community rehabilitation centers, hospitals and government and earn $35,630 annually. Health educators work hand-in-hand with community health workers and other health professionals working in private organizations, individual and family services, and government. They typically earn $46,080 annually.