Natural Nutritionist Certification Information

Sep 16, 2019

Holistic nutrition certification is an optional credential for professionals in the nutrition field who focus on natural health. Get some quick facts about the education and experience necessary to qualify for the Board Certified in Holistic Nutrition designation.

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Nutritionists may opt to pursue a career as a natural nutritionist. Natural nutritionists take a holistic approach to their practice, with the belief that each individual's body is unique and has distinct nutritional needs. In 2018 the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reported that nutritionists and dietitians earned a mean annual salary of $60,370, and could expect to see a 11% increase in jobs in their field from 2018-2028, which is much faster than the average.

Essential Information

While natural nutritionist certification is not widely available, candidates can pursue the Board Certified in Holistic Nutrition designation from the National Association of Nutrition Professionals (NANP), a non-profit organization. To earn this certification, candidates must be NANP members, complete approved education and experience in holistic nutrition, pay fees and pass an examination.

The Board Certified in Holistic Nutrition designation does not make its holder a licensed or certified nutritionist. This holistic nutrition certification is a voluntary credential that does not substitute for the standard licensure, certification or registration required for nutritionists by most states.

Required Education Completion of a holistic nutrition program approved by the National Association of Nutrition Professionals (NANP)
Other Requirements Membership in the NANP; 500+ hours of holistic nutrition work (at least 250 hours of which must involve direct interaction with clients or other board-approved individuals); fees
Exam Requirements Passing score on an online exam required

Holistic Nutrition Overview

The field of holistic nutrition acknowledges that each person's body is different and has unique nutritional needs. Professionals in this field design special diets and lifestyle plans for clients based upon scientific principles and a comprehensive set of health improvement techniques. The Board Certified in Holistic Nutrition designation signifies a nutrition professional's commitment to holistic principles.

Education and Training

To fulfill the education requirements for the Board Certified in Holistic Nutrition designation, candidates may choose to take advantage of NANP-approved holistic nutrition programs; a list of these programs is available on the NANP website. If a candidate has completed a standard nutrition program at a school that doesn't appear on the list, they may still meet the education requirements after their program has passed an independent review from the NANP. Subjects covered in a holistic nutrition program include biology, toxicity and detoxification, weight loss, physical fitness, lifestyle habits and behavioral patterns.

Certification Process

The certification branch of the NANP, the Holistic Nutrition Credentialing Board, offers an exam that certifies qualified candidates in this field. To qualify for this exam, candidates must first complete the education requirements outlined above, join the NANP, pay the necessary fees and put in 500 hours of holistic nutrition work. After passing the exam, candidates are considered board-certified. The certification process usually takes one year.

Career Options

Nutrition professionals holding the Board Certified in Holistic Nutrition designation may work in a variety of healthcare settings or start their own business. They can consult, lecture, market health food products, work in a health food store or mentor professional athletes.

It's important to note that this certification does not make one a licensed, registered or certified nutritionist. Most states regulate the practice of nutritionists, and they must earn a state license, certification or registration to legally practice. The holistic nutrition program and certification does not substitute for these requirements. A state-licensed nutritionist may choose to earn the Board Certified in Holistic Nutrition designation as a supplemental credential, however.

Natural nutritionists must complete a NANP-approved holistic nutrition program. Subjects covered will include biology, toxicity and detoxification, weight loss, physical fitness, lifestyle habits and behavioral patterns. They may take a standard nutrition program and, per the NANP's review and approval, meet the requirements for NANP certification.

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