What is the job of a Nutritionist?



The nutritionist is a graduate in nutrition. His precise knowledge of foods, their composition, and their effects on health allows him to provide his patients with advice and establish nutritional programs adapted to their needs. In addition, the government sometimes calls on them to develop health programs.

The primary mission of the nutritionist is to prevent and detect nutritional diseases, such as obesity, diabetes, overweight, or food intolerances. The nutritionist will also take care of patients with eating disorders: anorexia, bulimia


  • Prevent and detect nutritional diseases,
  • Treat nutritional diseases: obesity, overweight, food intolerances, diabetes type II, hypercholesterolemia, digestive disorders…,
  • Carry out a dietary survey for each patient,
  • Know perfectly the properties and compositions of food,
  • Advising patients on good dietary practices,
  • Determine the patient’s ideal weight and the weight loss envisaged,
  • Prescribe medication if necessary,
  • Detect dietary errors made by the patient to rectify them,
  • Recommend the carrying out of additional medical examinations,
  • Monitor the patient’s weight loss during subsequent consultations,
  • Promote weight stabilization after weight loss,
  • Help the patient find a new nutritional balance.

Education and Licensure

To become a nutritionist, you must have a bachelor’s degree in food and nutrition. To practice in some states in the U.S, a license is required. Credentials like the Registered Dietitian (RD)/Registered Dietitian Nutritionist (RDN), may be required by a few employers. After graduation from the University, an internship program is done to gain on-field experience.

Career Path

There are many ways of exercising the activity of a nutritionist doctor. Once graduated, you can consider working in a hospital establishment, a private clinic, a medical office, or for a particular organization such as a sports center or a school group. Many nutritionists also choose to set up on their own while others opt for the humanitarian route and go abroad to participate in nutrition or food re-education programs in geographical areas affected by famine.


A nutritionist must be reactive, rigorous, observant, pedagogue, patient and attentive. Endowed with a good sense of diplomacy and ethics. If you want to practice this profession, you must have a good sense of listening because you will be confronted with patients in difficulty, claiming your full attention. Good interpersonal skills are therefore also necessary to establish a relationship of trust with them.

Personal qualities

  • Scientific rigor
  • Listening skills and psychological sense
  • Reactivity, sense of diagnosis
  • Observer
  • Patient

Finally, you will need to have precise knowledge of foods and their effects on health to be as responsive as possible. In some cases, a diagnosis will have to be established quickly, especially when the patient requires psychological follow-up. You will therefore have to show dynamism and rigor in your job.

Job Opportunities

Although the profession of a nutritionist is popular among medical students, competition is fierce and most of them are faced with unemployment and forced to move on to other professions in the sector. With experience, a nutritionist can set up on his account, teach in a university hospital or join the research center of a university hospital. However, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the employment of nutritionists will grow 11% from 2020 to 2030. This is a result of the need for nutritionists in health promotion.

Technical skills

Interpersonal and communication skills:

  • Express themselves clearly and transparently, both orally and in writing, and be able to popularize the jargon of the trade to effectively transmit information to their various clienteles;
  • Offer impeccable customer service to provide care that meets the highest standards of quality and safety, treating each patient with respect and dignity;
  • Demonstrate tact, patience, and professionalism in dealing with colleagues, patients, and also loved ones to communicate effectively and collaboratively.
  • Empathy, altruism, and also open-mindedness:
  • Optimism and dynamism:
  • Ability and desire to motivate others to achieve their goals.
  • Decision-making skills, analytical thinking, and problem-solving skills:
  • Demonstrate intuition, initiative, and discernment when making decisions;
  • Examine all possible avenues using creativity and imagination to apply innovative solutions to more complex problems;
  • Sense of organization and also good time management:
  • Structure menus and programs strategically, taking into account the particularities of the target clientele;


The nutritionist’s salary varies according to his place of work, so if he evolves in the hospital environment he can receive around $63,380 per year at the start of his career.
In general, a nutritionist starts with a salary of $39,840 yearly at the start of his career and ends up around $90,000 yearly for someone with more experience.

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