How To Get Nutrition Certification - (2023)

What Type Of Nutrition Certification Is Offered

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The first step to choosing the best online nutrition certification for you is understanding what certification a specific program offers. The type of nutrition certification depends on the organization because it isn’t a regulated term. Common certifications offered include certified health coach, certified nutrition coach, and certified wellness coach. Other organizations may offer programs for a specific age group or a type of diet, like an AFPA youth nutrition specialist or eCornell plant-based diet.

American Fitness Professionals & Associates Holistic Nutrition Certificate

Intelligent Award: Best Holistic Nutrition Program

Since 1994, American Fitness Professionals and Associates has been educating fitness and health professionals in a variety of areas, including nutrition. Their holistic nutrition certification is ideal for health coaches and personal trainers who want to incorporate comprehensive nutrition education into their practice with clients. This fully online, self-paced program offers a deep dive into concepts like metabolism, nutrition and the life cycle, and nutrition counseling to prepare students to become more well-rounded coaches and trainers.

AFPA regularly updates the curriculums for its certificate programs, including the Holistic Nutrition certification.

The Holistic Nutrition certification teaches through a variety of different methodologies, including case studies, reading assignments, and simulated coaching sessions.

The program consists of 10 self-paced modules that start with basic introductory lessons before diving deeper into holistic nutrition coaching practices.

AFPAs Holistic Nutrition certification program is internationally accredited by the Federation for Holistic Therapists and the International Practitioners of Holistic Medicine.

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Several professional organizations recognize this program, including the American Association of Drugless Practitioners and the American Association of Natural Wellness Practitioners.

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What Is The Difference Between A Nutritionist A Dietitian And A Nutrition Coach

A Registered Dietitian has completed a bachelor’s degree and 1,200 hours supervised practice hours through an accredited program and passed a national registration exam. Both nutritionist and nutrition coach are unregulated titles. Often the term nutritionist refers to people who focus on nutrition. In contrast, a nutrition coach may offer both nutrition and fitness support.

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The 7 Best Nutrition Certification Courses Online

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It seems like every week another popular food item is either touted as being a lifesaver or a dangerous killer. One week, eggs are good for you and the next, well, you hear that too many eggs will give you a heart attack. Same with milk, same with chocolate and on and on. Youll need a solid nutrition calculator just to keep up with daily calories. Being a nutrition coach, youll help your clients to navigate through all of this conflicting information on what to eat and how much to eat. You may work in a hospital, a gym or spa, or even on your own to guide clients on their food and nutrition journey.

And, not only are there many places where you can work as a nutrition coach you can also run a successful nutrition consulting business online. As more and more businesses are becoming virtual, youll be able to hold classes or consult with individual clients from the comfort of your home.

The 7 Best Nutrition Certification Courses Online

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    What Type Of Jobs Will I Qualify For After I’m Certified

    How To Get Nutrition Certification - (1)

    The types of jobs youll qualify for after completing a nutrition certification will depend heavily on which types of certifications you complete. Some will allow you to work more holistically with clients, while others will allow you to work in a sports facility, for example. Overall, however, completing a nutrition certification will most likely allow you to call yourself a “certified nutritionist” or “health coach” which will help you present as a credible professional in your particular field.

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    Is It Worth Getting An Online Nutrition Certification

    Certification is beneficial. If you want to work with clients offering nutrition advice, you will need formal training as its not recommended that you give this kind of specialized advice to clients unless you have a good grasp on the fundamentals and important aspects of nutrition.

    These courses provide the training and information youll need, and they allow you to call yourself a “certified nutritionist” or “health coach” which will help you present yourself as a credible professional.

    Should I Consider An Online Nutrition Course

    From personal gratification and goals to earning potential, there are several reasons why someone might enroll in an online nutrition course. Ultimately, only you can decide whether completing a nutrition course will benefit you.

    In order to practice, nutritionists and dietitians typically need a bachelors degree, supervised internship experience, and licensure. If youre serious about following this career path, then completing a bachelors or graduate degree may allow you to kickstart a career in the field.

    You may choose to work in a hospital, where youll make nutritional plans for patients and advise them on eating plans. Or, you might prefer to work in a residential care facility, public health clinic, government agency, nonprofit, or school. In any one of these settings, you may end up working with patients to help them tackle digestive disorders or obesity and obesity-related conditions like type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure and cardiovascular disease.

    However, if youre unsure whether youd like to commit to a full degree program yet, an online course may give you a snapshot of the topics you would learn in a bachelors or graduate program. Alternatively, if youre a professional who could benefit from acquiring more knowledge about nutritionlike a nurse or physicianan online course may help you make informed decisions and offer better guidance to your patients.

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    Working As A Nutrition Nurse

    After graduating, becoming licensed to practice, and obtaining certification as a nutrition nurse, you can begin your job search. The average annual salary for nutrition nurses in the U.S. is $64,040. After being certified, you may also choose to specialize further in geriatrics, wound care, public health, or prenatal care. Nutrition nurses may also want to consider obtaining certification as a nurse coach, as the coaching skill set compliments their nutrition education.

    Some of the work settings nutrition nurses can practice include:

    Best For Fitness Nutrition: American Council On Exercise

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    American Council on Exercise

    • Requires some prerequisites in order to be recognized as an ACE Specialist

    ACE is a recognized leader in CE courses, offering certifications that can be easily transferred for CEUs with other companies. ACEs courses are pre-approved for CEU credits with several other fitness certification providers such as NASM and ACFM, and this program in particular offers two major categories in the curriculum: nutrition foundations and behavior change coaching.

    If you are already an ACE-certified professional, this is a great choice to increase your sports nutrition knowledge while gaining CEUs. However, although anyone can take the program, if youre not already a certified personal trainer, health coach, healthcare professional, or in another similar profession, you cant become certified as an ACE fitness nutrition specialist: To be recognized as an ACE Specialist, one must already hold a current license as a healthcare professional, or a current professional certification accredited by the National Commission for Certifying Agencies or the International Organization for Standardization.

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    Precision Nutrition Certification Level 1

    Precision Nutrition offers its Level 1 Certification program to a select few students annually. It only opens enrollment to new students a few times a year, however. The program is designed for nutritionists at any level, from beginner to advanced. Once again, this program can be completed online. Passing their exam allows you to use the PN1 Nutritionist credential.

    How Much Does An Online Nutrition Certification Program Cost

    Nutrition certification programs vary in cost. They can range from $349-$999, although we found that many programs are discounted from time to time. You might want to sign up for a companys newsletter or email alerts so youll know when the classes go on sale.

    You can also take a nutrition certification program to gain CEUs to recertify your current certification, making the cost worthwhile.

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    How Hard Is It To Become A Nutrition Nurse

    Candidates prepare by taking science and math classes in high school. A BSN program requires four years of education, after which candidates can specialize in nutrition by taking additional classes, an internship, and passing a certification examination. A nursing license must be renewed every two years and the certification exam retaken every five years.

    How Long Does It Take To Become A Licensed Nutritionist In 2023

    How To Get Nutrition Certification - (2)

    A bachelors degree, which often takes four years to finish, is the minimum requirement.

    Your overall education time would increase to six years if you choose to pursue a masters degree in order to be registered by the CDR or certified by the BCNS.

    Otherwise, it will take you about six years to become a nutritionist if you want to get a masters degree.

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    How Long Does It Take To Become A Nutritionist

    How Long Does It Take To Become a Nutritionist

    Many people experience health issues that necessitate dietary modifications at various stages in their life.

    A nutritionist can evaluate each circumstance, establish whether a patient has an autoimmune illness, a chronic condition, or food allergies, and then work to improve their health.

    Learning how to become a certified nutritionist could help you start the job thats perfect for you if youre interested in using your scientific knowledge to assist people in improving their health and reducing their symptoms.

    In this post, we describe what these experts perform, outline the steps to becoming a certified nutritionist, and respond to frequently asked issues regarding this industry.

    Nasm Certified Nutrition Coach

    Best for: Personal trainers who want to advise their clients on aligning a diet plan with their exercise routines

    The Certified Nutrition Coach credential is overseen by the National Academy of Sports Medicine , one of the leading names in fitness certification. With just a high school diploma, you can enter an online program which leads to a certifying exam that must be passed with a score of at least 70%. Youll need to retake the exam every two years if you wish to maintain your credential. Note that this certification wont meet the requirements for any higher-level credentials or a legal license.

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    Nutrition And Dietetics Technician Registered

    If you are eligible for the DTR credential under the first option, you can use the NDTR designation as part of your professional title. This differentiates between the degree levels you achieved. For example, your credential with a bachelorâs degree could be BS-NDTR. You can choose DTR or NDTR, but if you want to emphasize the nutrition option, NDTR may be your best option.

    Nutritionist Certification Options & Requirements


    As a nutritionist, youll take countless steps to help your clients navigate their way through the confusing and often conflicting information thats out there about food. But your first step to starting a career in nutrition should be getting the education you need to understand the science behind food and how it affects our health.

    Theres a wide range of certifications available, on-campus as well as online nutrition programs each requiring a different degree of work to earn them. Keep in mind, however, that even if you have a certification through a national board, it may not necessarily be enough to become licensed or certified in your state, if thats indeed a requirement.

    While national certification is an optional credential that verifies your knowledge and experience, your state credentials are what govern the legal use of your title and what kinds of services youre allowed to perform.

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    Clinical Nutrition Certification Board

    The Clinical Nutrition Certification Board, CNCB, is a non-profit agency offering the Certified Clinical Nutritionist designation. Although the CNCB offers classes, it will also accept training received at an accredited university or college that resulted in a bachelors degree or higher. The student must have taken at least three credit hours of chemistry, anatomy and physiology, human biology, microbiology and biochemistry, as well as five nutrition courses. Other students can take a 56-hour course called Post-Graduate Studies in Clinical Nutrition, offered by the CNCB.


    What Does A Certified Nutrition Specialist Do

    Certified Nutrition Specialists work and make an impact in a variety of settings, including government and social service agencies, food services, hospitals, private practices, rehabilitation centers, nursing homes, schools, and outpatient clinics. Plus, the job and career opportunities for nutrition specialists continue to expand, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

    Typically, certified nutrition specialists will:

    • Help individuals reach health goals or manage chronic diseases by designing and implementing personalized meal and food plans
    • May recommend targeted nutritional and herbal supplements
    • Can interpret laboratory testing
    • Monitor the progress of their clients and provide ongoing feedback and support
    • Provide nutrition education based on the latest research and scientific evidence
    • Play an important role in a health care team

    Like RDs, CNSsuse medical nutrition therapy to work with people who have a range of health conditions, including high blood pressure, obesity, diabetes, high cholesterol, and more. Compared to RDs, however, CNSs are more likely to help with organizing and running community initiatives, public health programs, and food service programs that can have a broader impact on a community or region.

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    What Is A Nutritionist School Like

    Its not necessarily necessary to have a bachelors degree to work as a nutritionist.

    Even yet, a lot of firms prefer to hire nutritionists who have taken the necessary courses and are more inclined to value a candidate who has a degree or board certification.

    Choosing an authorized school is crucial if you want the knowledge to assist future patients.

    Nutrition programs can be accredited by the Accreditation Council for Education in Nutrition and Dietetics.

    Any major is acceptable for the bachelors program, however allied subjects like anatomy, biology, biochemistry, or nutrition are advantageous. Nutrition bachelors degree programs frequently demand an internship.

    Nutritionists must also fulfill state-specific licensing and certification criteria in addition to having a bachelors degree, which can vary.

    Exams to determine competency or obtaining and maintaining specialized certifications may be required to become licensed. A few optional certificates are:

    Obtain the Commission on Dietetic Registrations Registered Dietitian certification. RDs are capable of working in a variety of fields, such as healthcare, community health, education, research, governmental organizations, and private practice.

    After accumulating 1,000 hours of experience, pursue a masters or doctoral degree in addition to a bachelors degree to become a Certified Nutrition Specialist. This certification is given by the Certification Board of Nutrition Specialists.

    How We Chose The Best Online Nutrition Certifications

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    Our top picks of the best online nutrition certifications started with a list of more than a dozen online nutrition certifications and courses. We did a deep dive into the specifics of each of these courses, including their course content, delivery method, length, pacing, price, and more.

    Our evaluation process included the following:

    • In-depth review of the courses content, including reading materials, videos, syllabi and curriculums, assignments, evaluation methods, and more
    • Research into who develops and teaches the courses
    • Analysis of student reviews and comments on third-party review sites
    • For professional development courses, verified that they provide industry-recognized certificates that can help students further their careers.

    In order to be included on our list, online nutrition certifications had to meet the following criteria:

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    What Sorts Of Subjects Are Covered In Credentialing Exams

    While the exact content of a credentialing exam might vary, most of these exams cover the following topics:

    • Foodservice management

    They often participate as part of public health, social service or community welfare programs. They can choose to take a different path, depending on their interests and level of education, and work in food and health-related companies, where their services are in high demand, or open a private consulting firm. Certified nutritionists generally work full time, with some irregular hours during evenings and on weekends, depending on the needs of the clients.

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    Get An Education In Nutrition Or A Related Subject

    Entry-level nutritionists typically hold at least a four-year degree in a discipline relevant to health or nutrition, though you can obtain a certificate to work as a food prep assistant or in another junior position.

    Some people finish a two-year associates program in nutrition, acquire work experience in a junior position, and then finish a four-year program. Following are some examples of undergraduate majors that can lead to a job as a nutritionist:

    Students can learn about food issues, human biology, nutrition, and chemistry in these important programs. Students may be required to take an internship as part of finishing their degree during their four-year undergraduate education.

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    Curriculum And Study Materials

    As with all ISSA certifications, the study materials and course work you will receive when signing up for this nutritionist certification are both impressive and extensive.

    They will include:

    • A coursebook which includes 300 pages of information that are critical to helping you pass the certification exam
    • A step-by-step study guide for each module in the sports nutrition certification curriculum
    • Access to practice quizzes online to help you test your knowledge before taking the final exam
    • Readily available help from ISSA staffers should you have any questions about the certification or the content
    • Access to a popular forum where like-minded students discuss key concepts found in the course and help answer each others questions
    • An online exam or a pen-and-paper test at a participating exam center

    The fact that ISSA provides access to trained staff membersto quickly and efficiently answer any queries is a major plus point for me.Also, the step-by-step study guide, as well as practice quizzes, give you agood indication of how prepared you are to take the final exam.

    The exam consists of three sections

    • Section 1 consists of 230 multiple-choice questions
    • Section 2 consists of 120 multiple-choice questions
    • Section 3 consists of 1 essay and a case study.

    Altogether you have 363 questions so you need to brace up!

    I have created a helpful study guide for the ISSA nutritionist cert that covers every single chapter. Make sure to check it out.

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