Nutritionists are experts in all things food and nutrition in order to advise individuals on what to eat for the healthiest lifestyle choices.
Nutritionists are typically responsible for educating people about nutrition issues, assessing patients’ health dietary needs, devising specific meal plans with the patients’ preferences in mind, evaluating the effects of the developed meal plans, promoting better nutrition through presentations or speeches, and conducting research on all the latest nutritional science findings.
How much do nutritionists make? According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the 58,240 nutritionists employed in the United States earn an average nutritionist salary of $56,170, which translates to a mean hourly wage of $27.00 even.
While the bottom ten percent in the field earns $34,500 or less, the top ten percent of nutritionists make considerably more at $77,590 each year. Nutritionists employed by outpatient care centers earn an average $58,450, but those employed by the federal government make significantly higher than the average at $69,360. The top-paying state by far is Maryland, where nutritionists bring home an impressive mean salary of $82,650.
The majority, around 32 percent, of nutritionists are employed at local, state, or private hospitals to address the specific health needs of patients under the facility’s care. Other nutritionists work at food service organizations, cafeterias, nursing care facilities, outpatient care centers, physician offices, and schools.
Most nutritionists work full-time in these settings, but about 20 percent is employed part-time in their duties. The 15 percent of nutritionists who are self-employed have the most amount of flexibility in their scheduling. Self-employed nutritionists may work as consultants, for healthcare facilities on a contract basis, or with individual clients directly through their own private practice devoted to nutrition.
Since there has been a recent spike in interest in promoting health and wellness as a result of the preventative healthcare movement and obesity epidemic in America, employment for nutritionists is expected to increase faster than the average for most occupations at a rate of 20 percent between 2010 and 2020. Along with the climbing prevalence of individuals with diabetes and heart disease, the aging baby boomer population will drive the demand for more nutritionists to provide advice for proper nutritional care.