With rates of obesity and chronic disease on the rise, nutritionists play a role that is more important than ever. If you’re ready to become a certified nutritionist, you’re making an important and impactful choice, and the best part is that becoming a certified nutritionist is financially achievable.
What is a Certified Nutritionist?
Whether doing one-on-one nutritional counseling or managing nutrition at a school, business, or hospital, becoming a certified nutritionist means you’ll be able to:
- Assist clients with healthy eating habits
- Assist clients in meeting their weight management and nutritional goals
- Offer a sound nutritional plan for optimizing health
- Advise and present a balanced nutritional strategy
- Identify how to reinforce positive food habits and behaviors
- Design meal plans focused on optimal nutrition
You’ll obtain all of these skills based on a course reinforced by the latest research and data on Dietary Reference Intakes (DRIs)—the nutrient reference values developed by the Institute of Medicine of The National Academies of Science, Engineering, and Medicine—as well as research on healthy fats, organic foods, athletes and supplements, nutrition and cancer, and more.
Types of Certifications
Nutrition & Wellness Consultant Certification
The base-level nutritionist certification is the Nutrition & Wellness Consultant Certification. In this program, you’ll obtain the skills and knowledge to provide effective guidance to clients in fitness, healthy living, and weight management.
Additionally, the distance-learning course will provide you with information about counseling protocol and how to implement action-based worksheets and practical case studies. You’ll become a certified nutrition and wellness consultant through the use of comprehensive e-books or textbooks, self-assessment quizzes, activities, video lectures, and, ultimately, your final exam—all online from the comfort of your own home, on your own time. Here are some main details about the base-level nutritionist certification program:
- Costs $600 plus additional fees if you want textbooks
- Study at your own pace and complete exam within six months of enrollment
- Financing is available
- Counseling and life management forms for starting your own business are included
- Worksheets and questionnaires to document and assess counseling sessions are included
- Unlimited student support—before, during, and after you enroll
Master Nutrition Consultant
Beyond the Nutrition & Wellness Consultant Certification course is the master-level designation, which is the most advanced level of certification in nutrition offered and includes the following certifications:
- Nutrition & Wellness Consultant Certification
- Holistic Nutritionist Certification
- Weight Management Specialist Certification
- Sports Nutrition Certification
As a master-level certified nutritionist, you’ll have the most comprehensive and holistic training available, setting you apart from others by proving you have the education, expertise, professionalism, and commitment to guide clients on their health and wellness journey. The format and learning style of the master-level certification are the same as with the Nutrition & Wellness Consultant Certification, but here are some additional details to know about the master-level certification program:
- Costs $2,200 to complete and receive all four certifications
- Financing is available
- Complete a single program within six months or less
- Complete all four programs in two years or less
- After successful completion of each course, you will earn the corresponding certificate
- After completing all four certification courses, you will earn the Master Nutrition Consultant credentials
In addition to the regular and master nutritionist certifications, most programs also offer the ability to complement your training with a specialist certification. Some of the areas you might consider specializing in include senior nutrition, youth nutrition, and sports nutrition.
A Career in Nutrition
There are countless job opportunities in today’s growing health and wellness industry. Some positions you can pursue after you become a certified nutritionist include:
- Nutrition and wellness consultant
- Nutrition, health, or lifestyle coach
- Food supplement salesperson
- Nutrition and wellness blogger
- Corporate wellness consultant
- Weight loss center consultant
- Health food and nutrition retail salesperson
- Nutrition and wellness educator
Additionally, with an advanced certification, some nutritionists go on to work with public agencies, preparing important reports on nutrition and diet trends, as well as educating the public on healthy living and nutrition.
A Booming Wellness Industry
Becoming a certified nutritionist puts you in a great position within a booming market as more and more people realize the power of food in preventing and treating disease and illness. Right now, half of all Americans have a chronic disease, with one in four battling multiple chronic conditions. By becoming a certified nutritionist, you can help people get their health back on track.
Would you believe the wellness industry is currently outspending the $1 trillion pharmaceutical industry more than three-fold, at $3.4 trillion? This means the market is more than ready for more nutritionists who can end the current health epidemic for good.
By investing in yourself and becoming a certified nutritionist, you’ll reap countless benefits. Beyond just helping people turn their lives around, you’ll boost your earning potential and credibility as a health and wellness professional. According to the U.S. Department of Labor’s Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median annual income for nutritionists is around $60,000 per year—with the highest earners pulling in $83,070—and the field is expected to grow 15 percent by 2026, which is much more rapid than the average for all occupations.
Are you ready to become a certified nutritionist? Download our FAQ Pricing Sheet to learn more about what AFPA’s Nutrition & Wellness Consultant Certification course has in store for you.