What’s your reason for pursuing a career in nutrition? If you’re totally honest, there’s probably more than one.
Maybe your own experience with nutrition, food choices, and your health led you down this career path. Or maybe you naturally gravitated to nutrition consulting because you know what a difference a healthy diet can make. And you probably like helping people develop healthy habits, learn to make smart food choices, and transform their body, their health, and their life.
And then there are financial reasons. It takes time to study and learn everything you need to know to be a nutrition consultant. It’s an investment of your time, money, and effort. Is it worth it financially?
When you help someone lose 25, 50, or 100 pounds, you know you’ve made a difference. When you help someone change their diet to manage diabetes, you know you’ve made a difference. And when a client calls you to tell you they went out to eat with friends and picked items from the menu that matched up with their calorie and macro goals, you know you’ve made a difference.
But what’s the financial outlook for nutrition consulting? What can you expect in terms of salary, earning potential, competition in the market, and growth?
Nutrition Consulting by the Numbers
Here’s a snapshot of estimated earnings, demand, and job growth for nutrition consultants to help you keep making a difference:
Average Highest Annual Salary: $80,950
Median Annual Salary: $57,910
Median Hourly Rate: $27.84/hour
Typical Entry-Level Education: Certification, bachelor’s degree, or both
Current # of Nutrition Consultants: 66,700
Projected Job Growth: 16% increase
Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics
Your Role as a Nutrition Consultant
As a nutrition consultant, your primary job is to help clients learn to eat healthier, adjust their diet to manage health conditions, and help them develop lasting habits. At some point you’ll probably find yourself filling the role of a nutritionist, as well as a coach, chef, meal planner, task master, and sounding board. Whether you’re a nutrition consultant hired by contract to provide services for an organization or run your own business, here’s a snapshot of what nutrition consultants do:
- Meet with clients to conduct an assessment or evaluation of their diet and health needs
- Discuss eating habits, nutrition and health goals with clients
- Create meal plans based on a client’s needs, budget, and preferences
- Review and evaluate a client’s eating habits, progress, and short-term and long-term goals
- Provide health education, information and motivation to promote healthy eating and disease management and prevention as a guest speaker, writer, blogger, or presenter.
- Read, study, and review health news and research related to diet and nutrition.
- Write reports for clients to share with their healthcare team
Demand for Nutrition Consultants on the Rise
Based on industry trends for nutrition consulting, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics estimates that demand for nutrition consultants is expected to grow by 16 percent for the foreseeable future (through 2024). And that means room in the economy for an estimated 11,000 more nutrition consultants to meet the growing demand.
Why is demand for nutrition consultants growing so much? An estimated 70 percent of all adults are overweight or obese in the United States. And it’s mainly caused by poor eating habits and lack of exercise, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. About half of all adults have one or more chronic health conditions like heart disease, diabetes, high blood pressure, or high cholesterol. These are all conditions that typically develop because of poor eating and lifestyle habits. As the Baby Boomer generation ages, more and more seniors will need to make changes to their diet to manage their health.
And that means there are plenty of people and potential clients out there who need help from a nutrition consultant to dial in their diet.
Make a Difference as a Nutrition Consultant
Interested in helping people learn to eat healthier, make smart food choices, and improve their overall health? Learn more about our nutrition and certifications programs, and get help with launching your own consulting business.
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