You know you are interested in the science behind food. You have a talent for sharing important information with all kinds of people. Could earning one of the many nutrition degrees online be the direction for you?
What Can a Degree Get You?
There are numerous nutrition degrees online. From earning a certificate in a nutrition-related topic to achieving the status of master or PhD, nutritionists have the potential to make a decent wage and enjoy great job satisfaction.
According to the United States Department of Labor, the median wage for nutritionists in 2008 was $50,590. Following are examples of typical wages according to employer type:
· General Hospitals $51,390
· Local Government $47,390
· Nursing Facilities $51,110
· Outpatient Care Centers $52,120
· Specialized Food Services $45,410
While nutritionist is not one of the highest paying jobs with an online degree, it can provide a good living.
What Are the Qualifications?
A certificate is the simplest credential you can earn, in conjunction with a bachelor degree it can make you more marketable and able to command a higher wage than bachelor graduates without the certificate. Earning the certificate alone will qualify you for some positions, usually assistantships. But your wage will fall far below those with a degree and often be earned hourly rather than through a salary. Additionally, benefits may not be available with such a position.
A bachelor degree is the basic acceptable credential for most nutrition-related positions. You will be qualified to apply for entry-level positions with salaries starting at approximately $30,000 (Dietitians and Nutritionists.
A master degree significantly increases your wage potential. Although the U.S. Department of Labor does not call out specific salaries for nutritionists with masters degrees, salary.com provides the example that a nutrition director, a position that requires a master degree, averages $74,799 annually.
Registered Dietitians Earn More
Many who have graduated with online degrees in nutrition have become registered dieticians (RD), a credential that opens you up to a larger number of positions and a higher wage. During a recent search for a nutritionist position at a hospital on an Internet job search database, nearly all of the openings required a registered dietitian credential. The American Dietetic Association (ADA) oversees the RD process. In order to become an RD, you need to complete the following requirements:
· Bachelor Degree or Higher (from an institution approved by the ADA)
· Supervised Practical Experience (approved by the ADA)
· National Examination (through the Commission on Dietetic Registration)
· Continuing Professional Education Coursework (to maintain registration)
Still, competition is high in this field and you need to do all you can to increase your eligibility for the best positions. According to the ADA, about half of all Registered Dietitians have earned advanced degrees and some hold additional certifications.
Dont forget that your salary is not the only source or compensation that you will earn. According to the U.S. Department of Labor, salary only makes up 70% of the average compensation package of those in private industry. Other elements of your compensation package should include insurance, retirement contributions, paid time off, and bonuses. Your employer might offer other benefits that you can take advantage of as well such as tuition reimbursement, health club memberships, product discounts or even child adoption assistance. You just might be able to earn additional nutrition degrees online with the help of your employer and get a promotion as a result.
Tell you peers what rewards you are looking forward to once you earn your degree.