Nutrionists work in a variety of areas including hospitals, doctors' offices and nursing homes. These individuals handle the dietary needs of patients and offer examples of the proper diet the patients should follow at home. Certified nutrionists are licensed by the state to work with patients, with the salary often depending on where you work.
Nutrionists work with patients directly or in treatment centers such as hospitals. Those who work with patients often do so after the patient is referred by her doctor. The nutrionist lays out a diet plan for the patient based on her medical situation, such as a diabetic who needs a diet low in sugars. Those who work in treatment centers work directly with the chefs and food preparers to ensure that foods are prepared as healthily as possible.
The salary of a certified nutrionist depends heavily on the amount of time he works. If you choose this line of work, you'll likely work 40 hours in a week if working full-time, but some may work longer depending on the area and the demand. There are also some nutritionists who work part-time and, in 2006, around 33 percent of all nutritionists worked less than 40 hours every week or worked only weekends, which lowered their salary.
Receiving certification is a good way to increase your salary, but you can also specialize in different areas and see your salary increase. If you're interested in earning more than the average salary, you should consider seeking advanced schooling or training such as master's degree. Employers are also more likely to pay a higher salary to nutritionists with specific training or certification beyond what the state requires.
The median salary for certified nutrionists was $46,980 as of 2006 according to the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics. Ten percent of those working in the field earned less than $29,000, while the top 10 percent earned over $68,000. The Bureau also notes that half of those working in the field earn between $38,430 and $57,090. This clearly shows the wide range of salaries earned by nutrionists.
The average salary of a certified nutrionist varies depending on where you work. If you choose to work in a hospital setting you can expect to earn around $47,000 a year. Those working for a nursing home earn slightly less than that, while those working for the local government earn over $43,000 a year. Those working in outpatient care centers generally earn the most at nearly $50,000 a year on average. If you're prepared to take on a management role, you can earn $60,000 or more a year.