The average salary of nutritionist in US is $54,000.
What to expect as a nutritionist
The terms ‘nutritionist’ and ‘dietitian’ are often used as if they are interchangeable, but they are not the same thing. All dietitians may be considered to be nutritionists, but not all nutritionists are dietitians. A nutritionist’s training may be shorter and less wide-ranging than that of a dietitian, and many states do not require nutritionists to be licensed. In spite of these less rigorous training and certification requirements, nutritionists can earn salaries equivalent to those of dietitians.
Median nutritionist salary
- $54,000 per year
- $28 per hour
The median salary, the figure in the middle of the range of salaries reported for this nutritionists, is $54,000. The equivalent hourly rate is around $28.
Salary range for middle 50% of nutritionists
- $50,000 – $61,000
- $24 – $29 per hour
By excluding the salaries earned by the top and bottom 25% of nutritionists, it is possible to get an idea of the earnings range of typical nutritionists. This middle 50% of salaries for currently employed nutritionists reveals that they earn $50,000 at the bottom end of the range, while those at the higher end are making $61,000 a year. Hourly rates work out at $24 to $29.
Lowest and highest nutritionist salary
- Lowest – $45,500 ($22/hour)
- Highest – $66,000 ($32/hour)
The highest and lowest paid 10th percentiles of nutritionists tell a slightly different story.In the lowest 10th percentile, nutritionistsearn a moderate $45,500 ($22 per hour), while their more fortunateassociates in the highest 10th percentile can look forward to $66,000 a year ($32 an hour).
The total salary package for a nutritionist
Anyone considering a career as a nutritionist should take into account the value of such benefits as health insurance, pension schemes, social security, life insurance, and paid vacation and sick leave. A nutritionist’s total salary package totals an average of $79,000 when these items are included.
Factors affecting nutritionist salaries
As previously stated, it is not necessary for a nutritionist to have specific training or certification and licensing in some states. In practice however, many nutritionists will undertake recognized courses of education and become certified. This not only raises their professional standing, it also increases their earning capability.
The Bureau of Labor Statisticssays that California, Nevada, Hawaii, Maryland and Connecticut are the top paying states for nutritionists. Californian salaries average $71,870 compared with $63,820 in Connecticut. The top paying metropolitan area is Oakland/Fremont/Hayward in California ($82,510),whilenutritionists in the top-paying nonmetropolitan area earn far less (Southcentral Idaho: $68,270).
It may come as a surprise to discover that the highest paying employers of nutritionists are ‘Grantmaking and giving services’ (in other words, charitable foundations and religious and civic institutions). Federal, state and local government organizations are the second tier payers.Yet most nutritionists work in hospitals, nursing homes and outpatient clinics, none of which appear in the list of top five employers as far as salary is concerned.
The Bureau of Labor Statistics has published an Occupational Outlook Handbook for nutritionists. It shows thatthe job market for this occupation is growing faster than the job market as a whole. The total number of employed nutritionists is expected to rise to 81,600 by 2022.
Training and certification requirements for nutritionists
The American Nutrition Association describes the educational and training requirements for various nutritionist credentials. These include Certified Nutritional Specialist, Certified Clinical Nutritionist, Certified Nutritionist and Certified Nutritional Consultant. Educational levels required range from a graduate or doctorate degree (Certified Nutritional Specialist) to just an open book exam (Certified Nutritional Consultant).
A nutritionist’s role is to help clients achieve the best health outcome by providing information about food-related health issues and advising on food choices. It is possible to specialize in areas such as pediatric, geriatric or antenatal nutrition. If being a nutritionist sounds like something you would be interested in, the best advice would be to undertake training even though it may not be legally required in order to practice the profession in your state. The higher your level of training, the more you are likely to earn in the long run.