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Nutritional therapist

Nutritional therapists help people by giving advice on diet and nutrition.

Salary, a pound sign Salary: Variable average per year
Hours, a clock face Hours: Variable per week

1. Entry requirements

You’ll need a recognised degree or diploma in nutritional science or nutritional therapy.

You’ll also need to make sure your course is recognised by a professional body, like the Nutritional Therapy Education Commission (NTEC) or the British Association for Applied Nutrition and Nutritional Therapy (BANT).

It may help to also become a member of professional body, like the Complementary and Natural Healthcare Council (CNHC).

2. Skills required

You’ll need:

  • excellent communication and listening skills
  • understanding and sensitivity
  • a logical approach to problem solving
  • the ability to communicate complex information to clients
  • time management skills
  • awareness of when to refer a client to another medical practitioner

3. What you'll do

You’ll have consultations with people of all ages, about problems relating to issues with their skin, digestion, stress, migraine, and allergies.

These will involve:

  • taking a detailed medical history
  • conducting tests using hair samples and allergy testing
  • encouraging clients to understand the link between diet and their own future health

You’ll then give advice on:

  • which foods to remove or increase from their diet
  • whether to take vitamin or mineral supplements
  • lifestyle changes they should make

4. Salary

Your salary will depend on the hours you work and the number of clients you see. 

You’ll typically charge an hourly rate of between £40 and £120.

These figures are a guide.

5. Working hours, patterns and environment

Most nutritional therapists are self employed, so you’ll set your own hours. You may need to provide evening and weekend appointments to meet the needs of your patients.

You’ll usually work from consulting and treatment rooms at your home, an alternative therapy centre, natural health clinic or GP surgery. You might also visit patients in their own homes.

6. Career path and progression

With experience you could move into teaching or research.

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Last updated: 08 December 2016