Associate Degree in Nutrition: Program and Career Information

Associate's degree programs in nutrition prepare students for entry-level work in health and wellness and for bachelor's degree-completion programs in nutrition. These programs teach students how to communicate and describe the roles nutrition plays in health and disease.

Essential Information

Associate's degree programs in nutrition include instruction in planning and applying healthy nutritional regimens, in addition to metabolism, food chemistry and weight management. Most states require nutritionists to have a minimum of a bachelor's degree and to become certified or licensed by the state in which they work.

  • Program Levels in Nutrition: Certificate programs, associate's degrees, bachelor's degrees.
  • Prerequisites: High school diploma or GED; GPA of 2.0 or higher; complete chemistry, biology and basic algebra coursework.
  • Other Requirements: Must get licensed by the state.
  • Online Availability: Online courses and programs are available.

Associate's Degree in Nutrition

An Associate's degree in nutrition prepares students to use their knowledge of nutrition to promote healthier nutritional options for patients. At least a high school diploma or GED is required to get accepted into this program. Understanding medical terms and anatomy principles can help students succeed in these programs. Curricula include both science prerequisites and topical nutrition classes. Coursework covers the following areas:

  • Biochemistry
  • Culinary studies
  • Food science
  • Metabolism
  • Nutrition therapy
  • Physiology

Continuing Education Information

Graduates who want to become nutritionists usually must go on to earn a bachelor's degree. This is because certification or licensure is required in order to practice as a nutritionist, and the licensing process may only be open to those with a bachelor's degree or higher in nutrition, due to the scarcity of associate-level programs. Certification and licensure programs sometimes require candidates to complete a hands-on internship, as well as an exam. Requirements vary by state.

Employment Outlook and Salary Information

The job outlook is above average for nutritionists. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (www.bls.gov), employment of dietitians and nutritionists was expected to grow by 21% from 2012-2022. In May of 2014, nutritionists made a mean income of $57,440 a year, as reported by the BLS.

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