Everyone has that one friend who’s a walking health encyclopaedia. She’s the person who can parrot off the nutritional info of any food without even looking at the label and whip up a gourmet salad like a Michelin-starred chef. Her Instagram feed is dominated by colourful shots of smoothies and she could draw a food pyramid in her sleep. But if you happen to be that girl, it may be worth thinking about pursuing a career as a nutritionist.
Healthcare is a booming industry worldwide and here in Australia, it grows bigger every year. However, more and more people are beginning to look outside of traditional medicine for ways to live a healthier life. Healthy food cafes have become almost as common as fast food outlets in Australia’s major cities, showing we’re a nation obsessed with eating and living well.
Because of this, the demand for nutritionists is higher than ever. But for health-lovers who want to break into the industry, it can be hard to know where to start. Is it enough to just know a lot about food? Do you need a degree and if so, how do you get it? Luckily, we’ve got all the answers! Here’s how to kick-start your nutritionist career in three easy steps.
Yes, unlike being a ‘health coach,’ you do actually need a university degree to become a nutritionist. This can be tough if you’re already working full-time and want to transition into the industry. Thankfully, the Australasian College of Natural Therapies (ACNT) offers flexible study options with the Bachelor of Health Science in Nutritional Medicine. The degree can be studied both full-time and part-time, with most of the course available for online delivery. Throughout the degree, you’ll learn about human and therapeutic nutrition, dietary planning, biochemistry and public health. With graduates like Amodrn contributor Jessica Sepel, the degree is the perfect foundation for your career as a nutritionist, nutrition educator and researcher or product developer. To start your journey with ACNT, click here.
Network, network, network!
Now that you’ve got your degree, you’re almost ready to set foot into the nutrition world. One of the great things about studying at ACNT is that it connects you with practising nutritionists through your studies and clinic practice. It’s important to continue to foster strong relationships with these experts once you graduate. Even if your ultimate goal is to have your own clinic, you may find these connections lead to the opportunity for mentorship or work experience.
In Australia, there’s no government regulation on professional nutritional practice. This means that there’s no legal framework for who can and can’t call themselves a nutritionist. For this reason, it’s crucial to get accredited with The Nutrition Society of Australia. It’s a database of fully trained nutritional professionals in Australia, designed to protect the public from unqualified practitioners. The good news is, your degree from ACNT fully qualifies you for accreditation and it’s a really simple process to apply.