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Nutritionist

Nutritionists use their scientific knowledge of food to give information and advice about the effects of diet and nutrition on health and wellbeing.

Salary, a pound sign Salary: £20,000 to £50,000 average per year
Hours, a clock face Hours: 37.5 per week

1. Entry requirements

Most nutritionists are registered with the Association for Nutrition (AfN).

To register, you’ll usually need one of the following:

  • an AfN approved degree or postgraduate qualification in nutrition or public health nutrition
  • 7 years’ professional experience in nutrition

The Nutrition Society has more information about becoming a nutritionist.

2. Skills required

You’ll need:

  • excellent communication skills
  • a non-judgemental attitude
  • the ability to inspire and motivate people
  • evaluation and reporting skills
  • time management and organisation skills

3. What you'll do

You’ll work closely with dieticians and other health professionals, like pharmacists, GPs, and hospital or community diet and nutrition teams.

Your day-to-day duties might include:

  • practical nutrition research projects
  • recruiting volunteers to take part in trials
  • processing and analysing biological samples
  • raising awareness and educating colleagues in the health field
  • aiming healthy eating campaigns at particular groups
Nutritionists don’t give dietary advice to individual patients or work directly with patients without supervision. This is done by a state registered dietitian.

4. Salary

Starter: £20,000 or more

Experienced: up to £35,000

Highly Experienced: up to £50,000

These figures are a guide.

5. Working hours, patterns and environment

You’ll usually work Monday to Friday. You could work in hospitals, local health clinics or GP surgeries.

6. Career path and progression

You could specialise in sports nutrition by taking a further relevant postgraduate degree and joining the voluntary Sport and Exercise Nutrition Register (SENr). 

With experience, you could progress into management and policy development.

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Last updated: 06 December 2016