The healthcare sector is growing rapidly thanks to a renewed focus on preventive care and the many changes required by the Affordable Care Act. As a result, a number of nutrition jobs are available to those with the right credentials. Whether you want to counsel people about making healthy choices or help them avoid diabetes, heart disease, and other chronic conditions, now is the time to search for new opportunities in the healthcare field.
If you want to work in a hospital or long-term care facility, consider becoming a clinical dietitian. Clinical dietitians ensure patients get the right amount of nutrients in each meal and plan meals for people with special dietary considerations. If you are interested in this nutrition job, you should complete a bachelor's degree and take the national examination required to become a registered dietitian. Many nutrition jobs require a minimum of a bachelor's degree, but it is possible to become a dietetic technician by completing an associate's degree. Dietetic technicians are important members of the healthcare team, but they work under the supervision of dietitians.
The public health field also has a number of nutrition jobs available for people with the right skills and experience. Nutritionists and registered dietitians educate people about the importance of good nutrition and teach new parents how to plan healthy meals for infants and toddlers. Registered dietitians provide medical nutrition therapy to clients with chronic health issues. This involves creating customized meal plans based on each client's medical and social history. Nutritionists also counsel new mothers about the importance of good nutrition while breastfeeding. The public health field has other health-related jobs available if you do not yet have the credentials needed to provide medical nutrition therapy or nutrition counseling.
Hospitals, clinics, and long-term care facilities aren't the only places you can find work in this field—nutrition jobs are also available with many health insurance companies. These companies offer dietetic counseling to help subscribers lose weight, manage diabetes, reduce high cholesterol levels, and reduce their risk of stroke and heart attack. Registered dietitian Kathy Kolasa says many subscribers will have access to registered dietitians in 2014, so there will be more nutrition jobs available to meet the increased demand for nutrition counseling services. These services are typically provided by registered dietitians, but nurses with extra training in nutrition may also qualify.
Dietitians and nutritionists will have many opportunities for career growth in 2014. If you have experience in other health-related jobs, consider getting the credentials you need to work in the nutrition field. If you are willing to enroll in continuing education courses or take advantage of professional development opportunities, you will find plenty of room for advancement. Apply for one of these nutrition jobs today to help people learn about nutrition.
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