How to Become a Nutritionist in California

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California has a strong nutrition industry. The state is a leader in food- and diet-related careers such as nutrition. Growth for nutritionists jobs is expected to grow in California.


Nutritionists are responsible for taking care of food procedures in hospitals, health-care facilities and nursing homes. They encourage healthy eating habits and monitor meal plans in heath-care settings. Becoming a nutritionist in California requires a four year-degree and becoming licensed with the California State Dietetic Association and State Board of Licensing.

  • Find schools that offer a degree in nutrition. You could look for schools in California or in other states. Go to the Nutritionist World website (see References). Then, click on the "Nutritionist School" icon on the left side of the web page. Apply to the school of your choice by submitting the necessary paperwork for admission.

  • Pursue and complete a Bachelor of Science degree or a Master of Science degree in a food-related field. You can major in fields such as dietetics, clinical nutrition, nutritional science or food service system management.

  • Consider an internship. Completing a six- to 12-month long Commission on Accreditation for Dietetics Education internship is optional if you want to gain experience and advance in your career. These internships are offered at the graduate level. Each graduate school has different requirements for internship acceptance. Some schools look at your academic standing, references, personal interview and letters of support from faculty. In California, you are required to do this if you want to be called a "dietitian."

  • Become licensed in California. Licensure is a requirement for nutritionists in California who want to call themselves dietitians or to use the term licensed or registered.. Study for the Commission of Dietetic Registration exam, which is a national exam, by getting the Study Guide for the Registration Examination for Dietetic Technician. The multiple-choice exam covers such topics as food and nutrition along with nutrition education and research.

  • Take the exam at a college or university or college that offers the the Commission Dietetic Registration or CDR exam. There are over 200 testing sites across the country.

Tips & Warnings

  • Enroll in a graduate nutrition program if you already have a bachelor's degree in another field.
  • Become certified if you would like to advance in your career. Though it is not a requirement in California, you can become marketable with certification. The American Dietetic Association has a certification exam that can be taken by dietitians as well as nutritionists.

References

  • Photo Credit nutrition image by razorconcept from Fotolia.com
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