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How to become a Nutritionist

What is a Sport Nutritionist?

Nutritionists assess and deliver scientific evidence-based nutritional advice in order to improve client’s health and wellbeing. Predictions suggest that nutrition is a growing profession and in the future will become more recognise as a key element in promoting good health and preventing ill health.

What qualifications do I need to become a Sport Nutritionist?

A requirement for the role of most nutritionists is that they need to be registered with the Association for Nutrition (AfN).

The title of nutritionist is not protected by statute and therefore there is no specific requirements needed to apply for a job. There are however a number of degrees in nutrition however that will be useful for the career.

Many courses are accredited by the Association for Nutrition (AfN), and successful completion of an accredited course entitles you to apply for direct entry to the UK Voluntary Register of Nutritionists (UKVRN), for Associate Nutritionist (ANutr) status.

Completing an accredited course is important because, although it is not an essential requirement for a job, the majority of employers will prefer nutritionists who are able to register with the UKVRN.

What skills/ experience will an employer look for?

Good scientific knowledge

Excellent communication skills

Passion for the subject

Motivational skills

Effective at working in a team

Experience in Data Research

Professionalism

Typical elements of the Job

Forming, delivering as well as evaluating a range of practical and educational food-based initiatives in order to encourage healthy lifestyle changes.

Supporting individuals, communities and workforces, ensuring positive and practical changes to their food choices which will further their general health.

Giving detailed advice for sports professionals on how their diet can optimise performance, enhance recovery from injury and between training sessions, and achieve the ideal body size and build for their sport.

Constructing and analysing menus for school meals and sports teams.

Conducting dietary surveys, as well as research in the nutrition industry.

What salary can I expect?

Starting salaries for nutritionists are between £21,000 and £29,000.

Salaries are known to increase considerably with experience.

Who might employ?

Health and fitness centres

The NHS

Universities

Athletics clubs

Sports teams

What are the best things about being a Sport Nutritionist?

Not only are sports nutritionists always up to date with the latest developments in healthy food but they get to watch as athletes improve and become more successful thanks to their advice. Knowing all about the latest nutritional trends also means you can make sure your own eating habits are as good as possible.

Are there any drawbacks?

As with all fields of science, you can research extensively but still find no definitive answer which can be frustrating. You may also run up against people who are sceptical of sports nutrition.

More information:

For more information, advice and guidance about careers in PE, Sport, Training and Fitness and Activity Holiday Jobs, visit our careers advice centre; including job hunting tips,  CV guide and much more.