What does a registered nutritionist do?

Our understanding of foods and the role of diet in overall health changes in response to research and technological advancement, so registered nutritionists must keep up to date with advances in food science and nutrition in order to provide current advice to their clients. A registered nutritionist consults with a client on their eating behaviours, performing an assessment of their current diet, their health and fitness goals and works with them to structure a diet plan specific to their needs. In many cases, clients will seek the advise of a nutritionist for a specific reason, such as losing weight, improving fertility or addressing allergies. Nutritionists also carry out work in a research setting, looking at technological innovations or clinical studies of diet in groups of people.

Tasks:

  • Create personalised diet plans
  • Monitor healthy progress in clients
  • Stay abreast of developments in nutrition
  • Contribute to public understanding of nutrition 

What skills do I need to be a registered nutritionist?

The job of a registered nutritionist requires strong communication skills. A lot of your time will be spent talking face to face with people about a fairly personal topic. You will need a high level of scientific comprehension and health science knowledge with an ability to communicate this complicated information clearly to your clients in a way they will understand. You must also be willing to develop your own understanding of nutritional science and revise your approach to diet in response to new findings.

Skills/attributes
  • Good communication skills
  • Knowledge of human nutritional science
  • Passionate about helping people
  • Interested in food preparation
  • Advocates healthy living

Specialisations

There are multiple career options open to those who study nutrition science. Nutritionists may chose to undertake further qualifications, pursue research positions, devise public health programs or specialise their practice to target specific health conditions.

Exercise Scientist

Athletes have strict dietary requirements that align with their high level of physical exertion and activity. An exercise scientist can structure a diet plan to complement an associated exercise plan ensuring optimal physical health and performance in an athlete.

Environmental health officer

Environmental health officers assess environmental implications on human health. Negative impacts of pollution or asbestos can adversely affect human health. Environmental health officers monitor and analyse health and actions that can be put in place to counteract this.

Dietician

To become a dietician, a nutritionist must undergo further study of clinical nutrition and dietetics. As dietetics is a highly specialised field, dieticians are qualified to give medical advice and detailed insight that nutritionists cannot.

Study pathways for registered nutritionists

Being a science-based discipline, an interest in or aptitude for biology, chemistry or other science subjects will make becoming a nutritionist easier. You can become a professional nutritionist with a range of qualification types, depending on the specialisation you wish to pursue.

Getting Started

Explore health science and food nutrition to gain a better understanding of what a professional registered nutritionist does.

Skill Building

Work towards your goals and gain competence in important aspects of food and nutritional science.

Professional Development

Find courses that allow you to build on your understanding and target your studies to your desired nutrition specialisation.

Industry Recognition

To work as a registered nutritionist, you’ll need to gain a tertiary qualification in health science, human nutrition or food science, followed by professional experience in the field. In order to register, you’ll need to submit an application to the Nutrition Society of Australia for consideration.

Getting a job after graduation

Put your training to good use and get the best professional head start in your nutrition career. Emphasise your personal strengths and achievements in your resume and target your cover letter to the job description listed.

Job Prospects and Salaries

Employment for nutritionists is projected to rise to its highest ever in 2017. As public understanding of the role of diet in overall health increases and government programs to combat lifestyle diseases such as obesity and heart disease are developed, job openings will continue to remain available