Food is all around us and is an integral part of our lives. With millions of Americans seeking ways to improve their health and enjoy healthy bodies, there has never been a greater need for food and nutrition specialists. Breaking into this field requires intense study and an in-depth knowledge of the human body and how it functions. Careers in the food and nutrition science field offer rewarding opportunities to grow while helping others make healthy food choices.
Most nutritionists and other food science professionals pursue a bachelor of arts degree in food and nutrition science. Some of the more specialized career fields require a master of arts degree in the discipline. There are many great distance learning food and nutrition science degree programs that will train you to work in the field. The degree is offered at both traditional and online colleges and universities. Distance learning courses are taught by nutritionists who have experience in the field. Online students gain the advantage of gaining the perspective of a diverse group of professors that conduct their classes from various cities across the country. One course might be taught by a celebrity nutritionist in Los Angeles, while another is taught by an agricultural specialist in Birmingham, Alabama, for example.
These science-based programs are ideal for people who want to learn about the effects that food has on human health. Students go on to careers in public nutrition education, community health and food science. There is a wide range of career options for the graduate of a distance learning food & nutrition science program and the first step is to receive a comprehensive nutrition education.
Food Science & Nutrition Course of Study
The usual course of study in food & nutrition science includes courses that cover a number of functional areas. Courses in food science and technology, food packaging and human nutrition prepare you for a career in developing food products for human consumption. Courses in dietetics, human physiology and exercise science prepare you to assist clients in weight management and work with hospital and clinics to develop nutrition plans.
Selected courses include epidemiology, food service management, community nutrition and obesity management. Electives allow students to explore specialized topics in the field while expanding their food knowledge.
Career Outlook and Salaries
The nutrition field is growing and demand for specialized nutritionists outpaces supply. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, there were 64,400 jobs for nutritionists and dieticians in 2010 and the field has seen a 20% increase in available jobs. The average median salary for a nutritionist is $53,250 with just a bachelor’s degree. These nutritionists develop school lunch programs, design meal plans in senior care facilities and work with patients in a clinical setting. Others own their own practices, earning higher salaries for their work.
Nutrition and Food Science Career Paths
There are many career paths that food and nutrition science graduates pursue. Some work as meal planners in five-star hotels, resorts and cruise ships. Others work in clinics alongside general practitioners. Some work in bariatric centers, assisting clients in their weight loss efforts. Others work for support group businesses like Weight Watchers and Jenny Craig. Many nutritionists work alone in their own solo practices, running their own businesses teaching nutrition and engaging in community outreach activities.
The need for distance learning food & nutrition science programs has never been greater. With millions of Americans struggling to lose weight, there is a great need for comprehensive nutrition education and intervention. As a food and nutrition science graduate, you will have the opportunity to earn a lucrative salary while helping others. Find the right food and nutrition science program today.