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Become a Nutrition Professional

With the increased awareness of the importance of healthy eating and the rising incidence of metabolic disease, the demand for nutrition professionals is at an all-time high. The nutrition industry is growing faster than ever before. The projected growth for this industry is expected to increase 15% over the next 8 years, which is much faster than average. Learn how you can promote health and prevent disease through nutrient optimization with our online nutrition certification programs.

What You Will Learn


How to Teach Healthy Eating Habits

From weight management to peak fitness performance, clients need to be educated on the most optimal nutrition regimen for their needs. Discover the most effective ways to teach your clients how to achieve a healthy lifestyle with research-based nutritional advice.

Strategic Counseling and Goal Setting

Getting clients the results they’re looking for requires effective communication and proven goal setting methods. You’ll learn the tried-and-true approaches so the nutrition plans you assign are completed fully and client goals are achieved.

Dispel False Nutritional Beliefs

Discover our proven procedure for distinguishing what information is right and wrong. You’ll learn how to spot unreliable nutrition knowledge while educating clients on the correct way to approach dietary changes, no matter what age or demographic.

Key Benefits


Learn the Best Counseling Practices

Our accredited nutrition certification programs will show you the most effective way to counsel clients into making proper food and lifestyle choices. Implementing our counseling approach will give you the ability to guide others into making the right nutritional changes supported by scientific research and evidence.

Modular Nutrition Certifications

Each AFPA nutrition certification program has a modular design, giving you the ability to sign up for further knowledge in the specific nutritional field you want to learn more about. Our curriculum is structured to help you dive deeper into the subject you want to specialize in so you can give the best advice possible.

Valuable Business Resources

Once you’re certified, you can choose to be your own boss and start your own practice. We have the resources to help you get started. If you decide on the entrepreneurial route, AFPA provides several business resources and guidance to help you establish a successful nutrition consulting business along with specialized credentials to increase your client base right away.

Not sure if coaching is the right path for you? Hear what our graduates have to say

Brett Bennett's Profile image

AFPA instantly gives you credibility and is super well respected in the industry. Clients know that if you have that certification, that they’re getting credible, reliable information. I also chose AFPA because of the course structure. With the courses, you get to make your own schedule and it’s perfect for anyone who may have another job, is going to school, or has a family."

Brett Bennett, Nutrition Consultant Certification - Master Level
Andrew Schuth's Profile image

I looked at a lot of certifications out there. You name it, I’ve looked at it, but AFPA stood out to me. They’re out-of-the-box thinkers and so am I. The certification process was fairly easy, it was very effective, and fun to learn."

Andrew Schuth, Personal Trainer Certification
Amilia Brady's Profile image

I searched left and right for something that was accredited, affordable, and was really extensive. I found AFPA, which checked all those boxes and then some. I loved that they have been around for 25 years. It was great that the certification was flexible and I could still homeschool my kids while studying."

Amilia Brady, Holistic Nutritionist Certification
Raven Harrington's Profile image

AFPA feels like more of a family. I can always email or reach out if I have any questions and I get a response immediately. It’s a very caring organization. I’ve been certified with other organizations and that’s not always the case."

Raven Harrington, Holistic Nutritionist Certification

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Our Accreditations

AFPA is recognized and fully meets the American Association of Drugless Practitioners (AADP) education requirements, providing students with the most comprehensive education to gain eligibility to also become a Board Certified Nutrition Professional.
Our Holistic Nutrition, Nutrition & Wellness Consultant and Masters Nutrition courses are all American Naturopathic Medical Accreditation Board (ANMAB) approved, which makes our graduates eligible to become board certified Holistic Health Care Practitioners through ANMAB.
AFPA is an approved CEU provider for NANP, NASM, AFAA and others. Completing one of our nutrition certification programs could earn you valuable CEUs to renew existing credentials with other organizations.
AFPA is a recognized coaching organizational member of the Association of Coach Training Organizations (ACTO).
AFPA is an International Institute of Complementary Therapists (IICT) Approved Training Provider for the modality Holistic Health Coach in Australia, NZ, South Africa and the UK/EU.
AFPA is an approved school with the Canadian Association for Integrative Nutrition. We’ve also received CEC Accreditation with CANFITPRO. 

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Nutrition FAQs

I am interested in a career as a Holistic Nutritionist but I am not sure how to start. Can you provide more details on how to start my career as a Certified Holistic Nutritionist? Answer

We have created this eight-week email course to help you build a successful, fulfilling career in holistic nutrition that you’re passionate about. Check it out:

Build a Successful Career as a Holistic Nutritionist in this 8-Week Email Course

Can I do this program while working a full-time job or being a full-time parent? Answer

YES! Absolutely. Many of our students complete the program while holding down full-time jobs. Also, if you only want to work in nutrition consulting part-time after you are certified, then that’s your choice—it is certainly possible to build a successful business part-time.

Do you offer payment plans? Answer

Yes, we do!  Download our Certification Program Payment FAQs guide of frequently asked questions about pricing of AFPA certification programs.  Our handy payment tool will help you see how much a certification program costs and options for monthly payment plans.

How soon can I start? Answer

We have open enrollment, so you may enroll whenever you are ready.

How do I become a Certified Holistic Nutritionist? Answer

In our free guide, Holistic Nutritionist Program Guide, you’ll learn how to turn your passion for health and nutrition into a profession with a holistic nutritionist certification.

How do I get clients to start my career as a Certified Nutrition Professional? Answer

We have created this free guide, The Nutrition Consultant's Guide to Finding and Winning Clients, for you to learn how to build a solid client base so that you can do the work you love. This guide covers everything from selecting the right client niche to creating a website that attracts clients.

What is the difference between the Nutrition & Wellness Consultant (NWC) program and the Holistic Nutrition Consultant (HNC) certification program? Answer

The Nutrition and Wellness Consultant Certification program is based on MyPlate, a government recommendation that was a revision of the Food Pyramid. This plan of eating, for the most part, is how Americans eat daily, with a reliance on dairy products as well as other animal products [meat, chicken, fish, turkey, etc.]. The references to fruit servings, vegetables and grains for the most part do not differentiate between refined or whole grains, fried or baked vegetables, and fruit of fruit juices. Many individuals choose to eat this way, it is promoted by school lunch programs, hospitals, and the government in general based on the lobby interests of the food industry. For program details, click here.  

The Holistic Nutrition Certification Program is meal planning and dietary guidelines for disease prevention and optimal health through whole foods, plant-based nutrition. What is a whole food, plant-based diet? Put simply, it is a diet that prioritizes eating whole or unprocessed plant foods, minimizes meats, fish and dairy products, eggs and eliminates highly processed foods. This is not necessarily a vegetarian or vegan diet. When you design your diet of whole foods at or greater than 90 percent plant-based, that means you keep animal products, meat, eggs, dairy, fish at no more than 10 percent of your total daily caloric intake. For program details, click here.

What is the difference between the Health and Wellness Coach (HWC) and Nutrition & Wellness Consultant (NWC) certification courses? Answer

The Health & Wellness Coach (HWC) certification programs focuses on the processes of coaching, how to be an effective coach and how to elicit behavior change from your clients. This program focuses on how health is not specifically dependent on diet and exercise, but also dependent on supportive relationships, meaningful work, work/life balance, spirituality and more. HWC also looks at many areas of a client’s life that may be contributing to stress and poor health, instead of diet and exercise alone. Nutrition is not the focus on the HWC program as it is in the NWC program. For program details, click here.

The Nutrition and Wellness Consultant (NWC) certification program focuses on how to elicit dietary changes from your client. Nutritional wellness consultants are professionals who use their knowledge of nutrition and human physiology to improve the physical well-being of their clients by improving their diets. The course focuses on individual characteristics of clients to devise food-based strategies that can enhance their life.  You will learn how to analyze eating habits and behaviors, look at a person’s physical health and makes suggestions based on your findings. For details, click here.  

The NWC and HWC certification programs have the importance of nutrition and exercise in common. The NWC is much more rigorous in the Nutrition learning component. In addition, coaching and consulting are somewhat different.

As a Nutrition and Wellness Consultant, you are asking guiding questioning, giving advice, and co-creating to help solve problems. Consulting is unlike coaching because with pure coaching, the answers come from the client.

As a Health and Wellness Coach, you are supporting someone to uncover their internal obstacles and to learn how to manage them. Coaches partner with clients in a thought-provoking and creative process that inspires them to maximize their personal and professional potential. The coach is the subject matter expert at coaching, not necessarily the subject matter expert of the client’s coaching topic, e.g., nutrition, exercise.

What is the difference between a dietician and Nutrition and Wellness Consultant and a Holistic Nutritionist? Answer

Nutrition Consultants, Wellness Coaches, and/or Nutrition Coaches provide guidance and counseling to people seeking nutritional advice for health, fitness, healthy lifestyles and weight management. You have opportunities for employment in a large array of capacities, including, schools, community health centers, corporate arenas and can write, teach, and provide counsel with a large amount of flexibility.

Holistic Nutritionists are trained in natural complementary nutrition. You will identify nutritional needs for disease prevention and treatment and will design tailor-made dietary programs specific to the individual’s needs. You have an array of opportunities for employment, creating your own clientele, community centers, corporate arenas, and community health centers, and can teach, write and counsel people.

What is the difference between a Dietitian and a Nutritionist? In general, Dietitians must have completed a four-year college degree with specific coursework in nutrition and must pass the Registration Examination for Dietitian to become a Registered Dietitian. The word “Nutritionist” in and of itself is less regulated and four-year college degrees are not required to use the term.

How much can I earn as a Certified Nutrition and Wellness Consultant? Answer

Download our free guide The Ultimate Nutrition Professional Salary Guide to see how much you can earn.

How much does a nutrition professional earn? Answer

According to the 2016–17 Occupational Outlook Handbook from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median annual salary for nutritionists is $56,950 per year. Actual salaries may vary greatly based on specialization within the field, location, years of experience, and a variety of other factors. Your earning potential throughout your career will depend partially on variables like where you live, what services you provide, if you cater to a particular niche of clientele, and your area of expertise. In addition to these factors, your earning potential will also depend on your ability to work hard and to market yourself in your field, as well as your ability to network in your community and online. Consider building your base of clients with those who know and trust you enough to refer you to friends and family. Additionally, the nation’s health concerns and growing awareness of the importance of healthy eating will continue to boost earning potential for professionals in the nutrition field.

What is a whole-foods, plant-based diet? Answer

The Holistic Nutritionist certification program focuses on a whole-foods, plant-based diet. Put simply, it is a diet that prioritizes eating whole or unprocessed plant foods, minimizes meats, fish and dairy products, eggs and eliminates highly processed foods. This is not necessarily a vegetarian or vegan diet. When you design your diet of whole foods at or greater than 90 percent plant-based, that means you keep animal products [meat, eggs, dairy, fish] at no more than 10 percent of your total daily caloric intake.

Does your program apply to vegans and vegetarians? Answer

Yes! Regardless of you or your clients preferred diet, with the HNC program, you will acquire the knowledge and expertise to help other make better nutritional choices for optimal health.

How can I work in my state legally as a nutrition professional? Answer

To determine how you can work in your state with a Nutrition Certification and find out about the laws in your state, please visit:

Can I prescribe medicine, diagnose, or perform surgeries with the certification? Answer

Prescribing, diagnosing, and performing surgeries are generally a part of the “practice of medicine,” and it would be a violation of state medical practice laws for anyone to prescribe, diagnose, or perform surgeries without holding the appropriate state license. A federal drug license is also needed to prescribe drugs legally. Nutrition professionals do not prescribe or advocate the use of drugs.

What are the employment opportunities for a Certified Holistic Nutritionist? Answer

Holistic nutritionists usually work as consultants, either in an integrated clinic or as solo practitioners, and/or have their own independent business or online consultation business. They may also work in school or corporate settings. Some holistic nutritionists choose to specialize in areas such as holistic sports nutrition, home nutrition or family nutrition therapy. Other careers in holistic nutrition include research, teaching and working for a supplement manufacturer or whole foods company. Writing nutrition guides or working as a chef are other career possibilities. According to the BLS, the mean annual salary as of May 2014 for this profession is $57,440. The job opportunities for this career from 2012-2022 are expected to grow 21%.

What are the employment opportunities for a Certified Nutrition and Wellness Consultant? Answer

Nutrition Consultants, Wellness Coaches, and/or Nutrition Coaches provide guidance and counseling to people seeking nutritional advice for health, fitness, healthy lifestyles and weight management. You have opportunities for employment in a large array of capacities including, schools, community health centers, corporate arenas and can write, teach, and provide counsel with a large amount of flexibility. According to Payscale, an online Human Resources platform, Nutrition and Wellness Consultants have an earning capacity that reaches $60,000 a year within 4 years of experience. A four-year college degree is not required; completion of an educational training program in nutrition is needed.

What can you tell me about the Master Nutrition Consultant certification program? Answer

We have created a program guide specially directed at answering questions about our most comprehensive nutrition program yet.  Check out the

Master Level Nutrition Consultant Program Guide to see if this program is right for you.

Can I order each of the individual programs within the Master Level Nutrition Consultant Certification program, and once I complete all of them, obtain my Master Level designation? Answer

Yes, if you choose, you may order and complete the certifications individually. Once you have successfully completed all four programs, you will be issued the Master Level credential.

How much time is required to complete the Master Nutrition Consultant program? Answer

You will have up to 2 years to complete the Master Nutrition Consultant program. This program includes reading, listening, watching, note taking, self-assessment quizzes/activities, assignments and the final exam for each of the following programs:

  • Nutrition and Wellness Consultant
  • Holistic Nutritionist Consultant
  • Sports Nutrition Consultant
  • Weight Management Specialist
  • Senior Nutrition Specialist
  • Youth Nutrition Specialist
AFPA Nutrition Wellness Guide 2019 (1)-1


Nutrition & Wellness Consultant Program Guide

The health and wellness industry is expected to grow 17 percent over the next five years. Download our official Nutrition & Wellness Consultant Program Guide to learn more about the benefits of pursuing a career as a nutritionist.
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