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4 Steps to Getting a Career in Holistic Nutrition
Earn a Degree
Earn a Certificate, Bachelors or Masters in Holistic Nutrition.
Complete your optional (nutritionist) or mandatory internship (dietitian).
For Certified Nutritionists, the NANP, or Registered Dietitions, the CDR.
Salary range, $42,600 – $93,000 (BLS 2020).
Best Online Holistic Nutrition Degree Programs
Holistic nutrition degree programs are offered at the certificate, associates, bachelors and master’s degree levels. Offered in both campus and online holistic nutrition degree formats, studying holistic nutrition can lead to careers such as, clinical nutritionist, nutrition counselor, educator and dietitian.
Below you’ll find accredited online holistic nutrition degree programs that will prepare you for your career in holistic nutrition:
Want More Options? See Our Directory of Holistic Nutrition Programs
What Our Experts Say About Online Holistic Nutrition Programs
I completed a bachelor’s degree in person for nutrition, but I completed a master’s degree in nutrition online. I felt definitely more connected to my program, when I was in person. But online has advantages in that if you have a life, a job, a family, it creates opportunities for nontraditional students.
I personally did a lot of classes online because I always worked through school, so it was really nice to have that flexible schedule. Whether or not there was an opportunity to do that online would depend on the degree program.
A lot of degrees are offered online now. You can get all the way up through a master’s degree in nutrition online, which is super helpful. I think online college opens the door for more people to learn nutrition and have more time to be able to experience real world nutrition as well while they’re getting their degree.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is Holistic Nutrition?
What is holistic nutrition?
Holistic nutrition is a form of nutrition therapy that some doctors and wellness practitioners recommend to their patients. Most simply stated, holistic nutrition is healing the body with whole foods and supplements such as vitamins and amino acids in order to achieve optimal health. A holistic nutritionist is a professional educated in natural nutrition whose job is to help educate clients to make healthier food, supplement, and lifestyle choices.
How To Get Certified As A Holistic Nutritionist
How To Become A Holistic Dietitian
Below is a step-by-step guide that outlines the criteria necessary to become a Certified Holistic Nutritionist:
- Get Your Degree: Enroll in an accredited bachelors degree program that covers topics such as anatomy, physiology, biochemistry, nutrition, and holistic health principles.
- Obtain practical experience: Gain practical experience by working with clients, shadowing experienced practitioners, or completing an internship or practicum.
- Take certification exam: After completing the program, take the certification exam from a recognized credentialing organization. Examples of these organizations include the National Association of Nutrition Professionals (NANP) and the Board for Certification of Nutrition Specialists (BCNS).
- Maintain certification: To maintain certification, nutritionists must complete continuing education courses and meet the requirements set by the certification board.
Note that unlike registered dietitians, there are no universally regarded requirements for calling oneself a nutritionist. Traditionally, however, a holistic nutritionist has completed a bachelors degree in holistic nutrition, or nutrition generally, and then focused their practicum in holistic nutrition. Also note that while a certification is not required to care for clients as a holistic nutritionist, to become a ‘certified holistic nutritionist’ it is required, and this is an important distinction for many clients and employers.
How To Get Certified As A Holistic Dietitian
How To Become A Holistic Dietitian
Below is a step-by-step guide that outlines the criteria necessary to become a Registered Holistic Dietitian:
- Earn A Degree: Earn a bachelor’s degree with courses in nutrition and dietetics, including food and nutrition sciences, business, computer science, sociology, biochemistry, physiology, microbiology, and chemistry.
- As of 2024, a Masters degree is now required, however, it can be in any related field.
- Experiential Practice Program: Complete an experiential practice program that focuses on your area of specialization, such as holistic nutrition, corporate wellness, or naturopathic medicine.
- National Exam: Pass a national examination administered by the Commission on Dietetic Registration and verify you meet your state’s licensing requirements. (Forty-six states have enacted legislation regulating the practice of dietetics.)
- Continuing Education: Complete continuing professional educational requirements to maintain registration and licensing credentials. To learn more, visit the Food and Nutrition Information Center provided by the USDA.
- Career: Enjoy helping others make positive lifestyle changes and achieve goals for living healthier, more active lives!
It’s important to note that all registered dietitians are nutritionists, but not all nutritionists are registered dietitians. Additionally, you can become a dietitian, without becoming a ‘Holistic Dietitian’. Also, many states have additional regulatory laws for dietitians and nutrition practitioners, which you should make yourself aware of.
Selecting a college or university that is accredited, is an important part of the school selection process. That is true for four primary reasons:
- Educational Quality: Accredited colleges reviewed by an independent accrediting agency to ensure that they meet certain educational standards, including the quality of instruction, curriculum and faculty, thus better ensuring you’ll receive a quality education in holistic nutrition.
- Professional Credibility: Employers, particularly in institutional settings like hospitals and assisted living facilities, place a high value on professional credibility in hiring for holistic nutritionist positions. Accredited holistic nutrition degree programs provide a level of professional credibility that non-accredited programs often do not.
- Certification Access: If you wish to become a certified holistic nutritionist, or go on to become a registered holistic dietitian, it is often a requirement by certifying organizations like National Association of Nutrition Professionals (NANP) and the Board for Certification of Nutrition Specialists (BCNS) that you have obtained an accredited holistic nutrition degree whether online or in person.
- Transferability of Credits: If you decide to transfer to another college or university during your holistic nutrition studies, typically, you will find that many accredited colleges will not accept transfer credits from non-accredited holistic nutrition programs.
Online vs. Campus
Online holistic nutrition certification and degree programs have grown tremendously in popularity over the last decade. But is getting a holistic nutrition degree online right for you?
Attending a holistic nutrition program online has advantages and disadvantages, and these vary based on the specific program and the individual’s learning style and goals. Here are some potential pros and cons of attending a holistic nutrition program online:
- Flexibility: Online holistic nutrition programs give you the ability to study at your own pace and on your own schedule. For students who have family or work obligations, this is a significant benefit.
- Access to More Resources: The supplementary resources available, whether in the form of eBooks, videos, forums, and professor office hours, in online holistic nutrition programs often significantly exceeds campus options. So, for students who like to dig deeper, this can be an important benefit.
- Cost Savings: Online holistic nutrition certificate or degree programs can be substantially cheaper than on-campus options. This is because they often have cheaper per credit hour costs, because they often allow for more transfer credit hours and allow students to work on an accelerated schedule which results in fewer semester tuition payments.
- Time Savings: Traditional campus based programs typically cap students at 15 or 18 credit hours per semester. Meanwhile accelerated online holistic nutrition programs allow students to work at their own pace, and for students who are highly organized and efficient this can translate into significant time savings in obtaining their holistic nutrition degree.
- Limited in-person interaction: You’re not going to bump into your professor at a local restaurant or the grocery store and strike up a conversation about dietary nutrition if you’re attending an online college. Same thing goes for your fellow students. And while online video chats have come a long way, for some students, meeting in person is an important component for learning.
- Potential for isolation: Holistic nutrition is about treating the whole person, and as we know part of that is having a strong community of peers. Online learning can be a solitary experience, which may not be ideal for students who don’t have a strong community in other aspects of their life, as isolation can impact motivation and engagement.
- Perceived Quality of Education: Employers, particularly since Covid, have warmed to the idea of online degrees, particularly large institutional employers like hospitals and health care providers where many holistic nutritionists and dietitians are employed. However, there are still some employers who would prefer a student who has attended an in-person college or university.
There are a number of different holistic nutrition degree and certificate options, and each has different time requirements, prerequisites, and careers that they qualify you for:
- Certificate in Holistic Nutrition:
- Timeline: A certificate program in holistic nutrition typically takes 6 months to 1 year to complete and provides an introduction to the principles and practices of holistic nutrition.
- Careers: Graduates of this program may work as health coaches, wellness consultants, or nutrition educators.
- Diploma in Holistic Nutrition:
- Timeline: A diploma program in holistic nutrition typically takes 1 to 2 years and provides a more comprehensive education in holistic nutrition and related fields.
- Careers: Graduates of this program may work as clinical nutritionists, wellness consultants, or nutrition educators.
- Associate Degree in Holistic Nutrition:
- Timeline: An associate degree in holistic nutrition typically takes 2 years to graduate and provides a foundation in nutrition science and holistic health principles.
- Careers: Graduates of this program may work as nutrition consultants, wellness coaches, or health educators.
- Bachelor’s Degree in Holistic Nutrition:
- Timeline: A bachelor’s degree in holistic nutrition is a 4 year degree that provides a comprehensive education in nutrition science and holistic health principles.
- Careers: Graduates of this program may work as clinical nutritionists, wellness program directors, or health coaches.
- Master’s Degree in Holistic Nutrition:
- Timeline: A master’s in holistic nutrition degree typically takes 2 years to complete and provides advanced training in nutrition science, research, and holistic health principles.
- Careers: Graduates of this program may work as nutrition researchers, educators, or consultants.
- Doctorate Degree in Holistic Nutrition:
- Timeline: A PhD in holistic nutrition degree is the highest level of education in the field and typically takes 4 to 6 years to complete.
- Careers: Graduates of this program may work as nutrition researchers, educators, or consultants, and may also pursue academic or leadership positions in the field.
Resources & Gallery
Learn More About Holistic Nutrition Careers, Salary, and Degree Options By Visiting These Resources, and use our royalty free images of nutritionists and dietitians at work: