What Can You Do with a Nutrition Degree?

The Complete Guide to Careers in Dietetics, Food Education, Health, and Wellness

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A nutrition degree can open the door to numerous career opportunities. Throughout this resource, we will highlight different career paths, as well as what it takes to earn a nutrition degree, why earning a degree in nutrition is valuable, and how you can get started on your journey to a career in nutrition today.

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Explore: What is Nutrition?

Nutrition, as a whole, is defined as the study of nutrients in food, how the body uses them, and the relationships between health, diet, and disease. The study of nutrition includes learning about food sources of nutrients and the relationships between food quality and sustainability issues, such as how food is cultivated and processed and how it is delivered to consumers.

Studying nutrition can blossom into many different careers in health and wellness. Continue reading to learn about some of these different pathways and opportunities.

Emerging Nutrition Jobs and Career Paths

Jobs in nutrition are on the rise. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the employment of dietitians and nutritionists is projected to grow by 11 percent over the next eight years, which is faster than the average for all occupations. On average, about 5,900 openings for nutritionists and dietitians are projected to become available each year.

See Career Opportunities In:

Registered Dietitian Nutritionist
Nutritionist (non-RDN)
Nutrition Education
Nutrition Research
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Registered Dietitian Nutritionist (RDN) Opportunities

RDNs work in a variety of settings and are the most sought-after pathways in the nutrition field. 

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Nutritionist (non-RDN) Opportunities

Clinical Dietitian (RDN)

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Average Salary Range: $60,000 - $88,000
Clinical Dietitians are RDNs who use their knowledge to help people make positive lifestyle changes, especially in the way that they eat...

Community Dietitian

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Average Salary Range: $52,000 - $76,000
Community Dietitians counsel the public and develop programs based on topics related to food, health, and nutrition...
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Nutritionist (non-RDN) Opportunities 

The nutrition field offers many holistic pathways, where mind and body are usually the center focus.

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Nutrition Education and Advocacy Opportunities

Certified Nutrition Specialist (CNS)

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Average Salary Range: $50,000 - $78,000
Those who want to become Certified Nutrition Specialists are trained in functional medicine and bio-individuality...

Certified Health Coach

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Average Salary Range: $50,000 - $72,000
Depending on whether they work for a company or for themselves, Health Coaches may have a wide variety of job requirements and responsibilities.

Nutrition Education and Advocacy Opportunities

Nutrition education careers look to teach others about nutrition and its role in our health.

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Research and Development Opportunities

Foodservice Director

Average Salary Range: $75,000 - $135,000
A director of food and nutritional service's main role is to provide a nutrition program in a variety of healthcare settings that benefits clients and meets all federal requirements...

Nutrition and Food Studies Faculty

Average Salary Range: $61,000 - $93,000
A Nutrition or Food Studies Professor or Faculty Member teaches at an undergraduate or graduate level or works in the nutrition department...

Research and Development Opportunities

Nutrition research careers look to explore how food can effect health in communities.

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Registered Dietitian Nutritionist Opportunities

Food Scientist

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Average Salary Range: $51,000 - $80,000
Food Scientists discover and research ways to improve the efficiency and safety of farming establishments, such as soil analysis and crop growth, and food product development...

Research Chef

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Average Salary Range: $55,900 - $95,500
A Research Chef oversees the development of new recipes and assesses current offerings, develops new products and ideas, brainstorms concepts and tests new foods...

The Value of a Degree in Nutrition

With nutrition jobs on the rise, one could argue that there is no better time to earn a degree in nutrition than now. In this booming job market, a degree can be very valuable, and it’s worth considering what a nutrition degree can do for you.

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Increase the odds of getting (and keeping) a job.
Many employers now consider a college degree a standard requirement for new applicants. A degree can also equip you to be a better employee, which will likely allow for more job security.

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Open doors to professional advancement.

A degree won’t just help you land your job, it’ll also make you competitive. Between your professors, peers, and other resources offered through your nutrition program, college can help you build your professional network and pave the way for future opportunities.

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Increase earning potential.

On an annual basis, bachelor or higher degree holders earn about 84 percent more in wages than those who only have a high school diploma. College graduates earn on average $36,000 more per year than students who did not attend or finish college, and are typically offered higher starting salaries than non-graduates.

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Increase your knowledge.

Learning is earning, and the more you know about a subject, the more valuable you are to a potential employer.

Degree Offerings at Bastyr University

Bastyr University has paved the way as a pioneer in science-based natural medicine, and is recognized as the leading health arts and sciences university in the world. Bastyr offers innovative nutrition degree programs that encompass a “whole-food” approach. Throughout nutrition classes, students study food in its entirety, its individual components, and how it affects the human body.

With a degree in nutrition from Bastyr University, students meet the nutritional needs and challenges of individuals, their community, and beyond and are equipped with the tools necessary to make an impact on societal and global scales. If you’re ready to fuel your passion for food, nutrition, and whole-person wellbeing, continue reading to learn about the nutrition programs offered.


Nutrition Programs Offered:

M.S. in Integrative Nutrition (Online)
M.S. in Nutrition
M.S. in Nutrition for Wellness and Health Coaching
M.S. in Nutrition / Didactic Program in Dietetics
M.S. in Nutrition / M.A. in Counseling Psychology
Undergraduate Nutrition Programs
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M.S. in Integrative Nutrition

Students interested in pursuing a 100% online, asynchronous master’s degree are great candidates for the MS in Integrative Nutrition. This is our only online nutrition program and it was created for the adult learner that seeks to advance their career in nutrition and guide others toward wellness.

Potential career paths with this degree include:

  • Nutrition consulting in private and group settings, spas, wellness centers, and schools
  • Corporate wellness programs
  • Natural products industry
  • Research and development
  • Nutrition education and promotion

Students are trained on the intersectionality of diet, lifestyle, environment, and culture, in a truly integrative nutrition approach. Research, culinary medicine, counseling skills, disease prevention, whole foods nutrition, dietary supplementation, food systems and justice are covered under a whole-person wellness lens.

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M.S. in Nutrition
Seattle, WA Campus

The MS in Nutrition program is well-suited for potential students who are looking to pursue a doctoral degree in nutrition or a similar field, or work in research settings. It provides students with a broad education in nutritional science and preventive health, prepares them to critically evaluate scientific literature, and serves as a firm foundation for those pursuing future doctoral level education.

Potential career paths with this degree include:

  • Nutrition writing
  • Nutrition advocacy work
  • Public policy
  • Prevention and wellness
  • Research and development

This is a research-based program that supports students in completing an original research study and writing a thesis. Students in Bastyr’s Master of Science in Nutrition gain a solid overview of nutritional science, theory and research methodology. This innovative curriculum provides you with the practical skills and confidence needed to bring whole-foods nutrition and wellness to your community.


M.S. in Nutrition for Wellness and Health Coaching
San Diego, CA Campus

Students interested in helping others create a healthy lifestyle through nutrition and wellness are a great match for this program. It's our only degree program that specifically prepares students to get the HC Certification. The first year is taken online, while the second year labs and capstone project are held at our San Diego campus. 

Potential career paths with this degree include:

  • Community health educator
  • Nutrition journalist and writer 
  • Public health official
  • Certified health coach
  • Nutrition advocate
  • Teacher/Professor
  • Health/Nutrition Researcher

With this program, students gain the tools needed to start improving the lives of others and prepare future nutrition experts with the skills needed to translate nutrition science into accessible information, promote wellness and sustainable change, and make an impact on societal and global scales.


M.S. in Nutrition / Didactic Program in Dietetics
Seattle, WA Campus

Students interested in fulfilling their dreams as a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist can pursue the MSN/DPD Program which will provide the academic and competency requirements for registered dietitian eligibility. This program allows students to complete a didactic program while pursuing a master's in nutrition.

Potential career paths with this degree include:

  • RDN in various clinical settings such as private practice, hospitals, eating disorder treatment centers, rehabilitation and addiction centers
  • Public health programs and administration
  • Corporate wellness
  • Food and nutrition consulting
  • Future academic career in various settings
  • Research in a clinic or laboratory 

This degree prepares students to be eligible to apply for ACEND-accredited supervised practice programs, which in turn, supports eligibility to sit for the registration examination for dietitians.


M.S. in Nutrition / M.A. in Counseling Psychology
Seattle, WA Campus

This dual-track program is perfect for those who are passionate about nutrition, mental health, and whole-person wellbeing. The MSN/MACP Program integrates training in nutritional counseling and mental health counseling, leading to licensure as a mental health counselor. The program includes a supervised practicum with a diverse patient population.

Potential career paths with this degree include:

  • Mental health, lifestyle, behavioral, or eating disorder counselor
  • Nutrition consultant
  • Nutrition educator
  • Nutritionist (in select states)
  • Substance abuse social worker
  • School, marriage, and family counselor
  • Prevention and wellness coach
  • Corporate wellness consultant

Students in the MSN/MACP Program will gain a deeper understanding of the holistic relationship between nutrition and mental health through clinical experience and lecture-style education.


Undergraduate Nutrition Programs
Seattle, WA Campus

There are many ways to fuel your passion for food, nutrition and the environment into a meaningful, successful profession. At Bastyr, we offer two undergraduate completion degrees (2 year programs).

We offer two distinct undergrad nutrition programs:

  • Bachelor of Science in Nutrition & Culinary Arts
    Learn whole-food nutrition and food science, while developing the culinary skills to create tasty, nourishing meals.
  • Bachelor of Science in Nutrition, Food and Exercise
    Learn the science of whole foods nutrition and exercise and become qualified to apply for certification by the American College of Sports Medicine and the National Strength and Conditioning Association.

You can count on Bastyr to provide the highest-level of education, whether it be in our Bachelor or Master Programs.

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World-class education.
A rigorous, science-based curriculum prepares you for a mainstream profession with a natural health perspective. Highly qualified faculty, small class sizes and strong advising programs give you the focused attention you deserve.

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Exceptional nutrition facilities.

Grow your understanding of nutritional concepts and develop your culinary skills in a fully equipped whole-food nutrition kitchen. Explore the University’s Medicinal Herb Garden and its 350 species of herbs and seasonal crops. The garden serves as a laboratory for organic, sustainable and renewable agriculture.

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Additional learning opportunities.

You’ll have access to elective classes in other programs, including herbal sciences, naturopathic medicine and health psychology.

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A diverse student body.

Bastyr students draw from across the United States and over 25 other countries.

“I chose Bastyr because of its approach to health and well-being. I’m interested in pursuing a future career where I help patients make the connection between the food they eat and their emotional and mental well-being. I believe that nutrition is more than just food on the plate.” 

Hana Wilhelm
Bachelor of Science in Nutrition, '20


Fuel Your Passion for Wellness With a Nutrition Degree from Bastyr University

Pursuing a degree in nutrition is far more rewarding than just landing a career in a growing field. Nutrition education is powerful, and with a nutrition degree, you have the ability to change lives and create healthy regimens for individuals, your community, and even on a global scale. Through the whole-person, holistic approach at Bastyr, you will be able to touch people’s lives, and help them create a more fruitful journey for themselves and those around them.

At Bastyr, we believe in respecting the healing power of nature and recognizing that body, mind and spirit are intrinsically inseparable. We model an integrated approach to education, research and clinical service. Our vision is to transform the health and wellbeing of our surrounding communities, and we invite you to join us.

Take Your
Next Steps with Bastyr

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Connect with Admissions

We understand that choosing the right program to match your interests and goals can be hard, but our admissions advisors are here to help.

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Visit Bastyr's Campus

A degree in nutrition from Bastyr is worth it! If you want to see for yourself you can take a tour of campus, virtually or in-person. 

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Apply to Bastyr Today

You've read our guide and hopefully have a better idea of what the right degree program is for you.  Are you ready to apply?