How to Become a Nutritionist Online for Free

Dec 13, 2019

The following information acts as a guide that will walk you through the steps required to become a nutritionist using resources that are mainly accessible online and are also mostly free.

Career as a Nutritionist

Nutritionists are required to have an in-depth advanced understanding of the human body's nutritional needs and can find themselves working in various settings, such as hospitals, nursing homes and cafeterias. Nutritionists can work with a variety of different clients; some may have a dietary deficiency or imbalance, while others may be athletes looking to better their physical performance. Check out the table below for information on required skills and the outlook and salary for nutritionists.

Required Skills Understanding of the human body's nutritional needs, solid people skills, open minded
Job Growth (2018-2028) 11% (dieticians and nutritionists)*
Median Salary (2018) $60,370 (dieticians and nutritionists)*

Source:*U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

Steps to Becoming a Nutritionist Using Online Resources

The following steps should provide you with adequate information to begin pursuing a career in nutrition. The majority of these steps are free and can be completed online.

Step 1: Obtain a Bachelor's Degree Online

One of the few but necessary processes that will cost money during your journey to becoming a nutritionist is obtaining a bachelor's degree. If you have already earned a bachelor's degree previously, then you can ignore this step. If not, you will need to enroll in online courses that will award you with a bachelor's degree upon completion. Typically a bachelor's degree will take four years of study to successfully obtain; choosing to work towards a degree in health, nutrition or a related field will most likely be the best path to begin understanding your career field.

Step 2: Complete a Free Online Nutrition and Science Courses

If you have a bachelor's degree in a field that is not related to health or nutrition you will need to begin educating yourself on those topics before pursuing an internship. There is a wide range of online nutrition courses that are 100% free and will give you invaluable information on nutrition. Some core science courses are required to later earn certification as well, such as biology, chemistry and microbiology. If your bachelor's degree program didn't include these courses, you can find these courses online.

Step 3: Complete an Internship

Completing an internship under a certified nutritionist or organization will give you experience that should contribute to future success in the field. This step will not be optional as 900 hours of internship experience is required if you are looking to be certified by the Clinical Nutrition Certification Board (CNCB) to work as a certified clinical nutritionist. This internship should take anywhere from 20-25 weeks to complete in full.

Step 4: Complete Online Postgraduate Studies Through Clinical Nutrition Program

After completing your internship you will need to complete four online sessions issued by the CNCB within 90 days. After completing this short program you will be given a multiple-choice test which is also issued by the CNCB that will need to be completed with a passing grade. After you have passed you will be certified as a clinical nutritionist.

Step 5: Market Yourself Online to Find Employment

With your certification it should be relatively easy to find employment as a nutritionist. With this being said, there are plenty of online resources that can help you market yourself and start your career if you are having difficulty finding work. You can upload your resume to various forums, social media outlets and job websites; these outlets could provide you with job opportunities after only a few clicks.

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