Careers in Nutrition

The 2019 Occupational Outlook Handbook reports that employment of dietitians and nutritionists is expected to increase by 8% from 2019 to 2029, much faster than other occupations. The 2019 Occupational Outlook Handbook reported the median annual wage for dietitians and nutritionists as $61,270. According to the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, the median wage for Registered Dietitian Nutritionists (RDN) (not including nutritionists only) was higher, at $68,600 in 2019. As with other professions, income will vary by region of the country, type of employment setting, scope of responsibility, and supply of qualified dietitians. According to the 2019 Compensation & Benefits Survey of the Dietetics Profession, income increases with years of experience, practice area, and other factors, with the top 25 percent earning more than $83,200.

The 2019 Occupational Outlook Handbook reports that employment of Health Educators and Community Health Workers is expected to increase by 13% from 2019 to 2029, much faster than other occupations. The mean income for Health Educators in 2019 was approximately $55,220, with hospitals being the highest at $64,680. Some employers may require the Certified Health Education Specialist (CHES) credential.

Career Opportunities

The field of nutrition is one of the most dynamic, diverse professions. Thus, career opportunities are quite varied. For example, a solid background in the science of nutrition helps prepare you to:

  • Become a Registered Dietitian (RD) after the completion of a DPD (i.e., Nutrition Major and Dietetics concentration) and an accredited Dietetic Internship practice experience. The RD is the nutrition expert in food and nutrition, challenged to translate the interdisciplinary knowledge into practical applications. Some RDs work as clinical dietitians or community dietitians, providing consultation and therapeutic counseling for optimum nutrition to individuals and groups in clinics, health care facilities, medical offices, school systems, corporations, fitness centers, and in private practice. Other RDs work with professional athletes, in spas, on cruise ships, and in other entrepreneurial careers. Read more about this in the Nutrition Major Handbook.
  • Work in policy planning in public health agencies and health associations.
  • Develop and implement educational programs and events to improve the nutritional and health status of the community.
  • Work as a nutritionist health educator, health coach, fitness coach, or health promotion consultant in schools, health care facilities, corporations, wellness facilities or fitness setting.
  • Explore a career in food service as a manager of food services, food broker, or sales representative in restaurants, health care facilities, schools, or industry. Other related choices include quality control supervision and culinary education.
  • Supervise those delivering health promotion or education.
  • Develop a career as an author or editor of food and nutrition-related print media.
  • Use the bachelor degree in Nutrition as the knowledge foundation to a enter Medical, Chiropractic, or Nursing school.
  • With further study in chemistry, work in food science research for ingredient and product development.
  • Further study nutrition or other health-related fields, such as biochemistry, physiology, exercise physiology, and public health. Or, elect to pursue an education, marketing, or management advanced degree to complement your career interests. Approximately 50% of Registered Dietitians hold master degrees while 3% hold doctoral degrees.
  • Serve to educate nutrition and allied health professionals in an academic setting, after earning an appropriate graduate-level degree.

Some of the food and nutrition career positions held by our Benedictine University graduates include: clinical dietitian, neonatal and pediatric clinical nutrition specialist, public health case management dietitian, dietitians working in gerontology, nurse, dietetic technician, social worker, exercise physiologist, clinical services manager, internal nutrition support sales representative, quality assurance manager, food and nutrition services director, consumer affairs specialist for a major grocery store chain, product buyer, director of client services, manager of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics Practice Teams, community and university educator, corporate health promotion and wellness specialist, public relations specialist for a food association, owner of a bakery, nutritionist in public health programs and on reservations, weight loss counselor, author, researcher, and consultant in private practice.

Pathway to RD

The Registered Dietitian (RD) is an expert in nutrition and nutrition. The process to become a RD is outlined below:


Did You Know?

After successful completion of the accredited Didactic Program in Nutrition and Dietetics (i.e., Dietetics Concentration of the Nutrition Major at BenU) you are eligible to take the Dietetic Technician, Registered (DTR) exam.

The undergraduate nutrition major provides a solid knowledge base for those who plan to enter Medical, Nursing, or Chiropractic School.

Department of Nutrition
Benedictine University

Catherine Arnold, MS, EdD, RD.
Department Chair

Maureen Musinski
Administrative Assistant

Hours: 9:00 a.m. - 4:30 p.m.

By Mail:
Benedictine University
5700 College Road
Kindlon Hall, Room 224
Lisle, IL 60532

Fax: (630) 829-6595