Therapy

Nutritionist

Nutritionists use their scientific knowledge of food to give information and advice about the effects of diet and nutrition on health and wellbeing.

Annual Salary

£20,000 to £50,000

Average UK salary in 2018 was £29,588 (source Office for Statistics)

Working hours

37.5

5%
Future employment

There will be 5% more Nutritionist jobs in 2023.
In your local area

What's it all about?

You’ll work closely with dieticians and other health professionals, like pharmacists, GPs, and hospital or community diet and nutrition teams.

Your day-to-day duties might include:

  • practical nutrition research projects
  • recruiting volunteers to take part in trials
  • processing and analysing biological samples
  • raising awareness and educating colleagues in the health field
  • aiming healthy eating campaigns at particular groups

Nutritionists don’t give dietary advice to individual patients or work directly with patients without supervision. This is done by a state registered dietitian.

You can get into this job through:

  • a university course

University

You'll usually need a degree or postgraduate qualification approved by the Association for Nutrition.

Approved courses include:

  • food and nutrition
  • biochemistry
  • physiology
  • public health
  • health promotion

You'll usually need:

  • 2 or 3 A levels, including a biological science for a degree
  • a degree in a relevant subject for postgraduate study

Further information

You'll find it helpful to get some paid or voluntary experience in the NHS before you apply for a course.

You could also contact the voluntary services co-ordinator at your local NHS trust for further advice.

You can register with the Association for Nutrition to join the UK Voluntary Register of Nutritionists for professional recognition.

You can find out more about careers in nutrition from the Association for Nutrition and Health Careers.

£20,000 to £50,000

Starter salary: £20,000 or more

Experienced salary: up to £35,000

These figures are a guide.

37.5

You’ll usually work Monday to Friday. You could work in hospitals, local health clinics or GP surgeries.

You could specialise in sports nutrition by taking a further relevant postgraduate degree and joining the voluntary Sport and Exercise Nutrition Register (SENr). 

With experience, you could progress into management and policy development.

Skills required and how your skills match up

What skills are required?

You'll need:

  • knowledge of teaching and the ability to design courses
  • customer service skills
  • sensitivity and understanding
  • to be thorough and pay attention to detail
  • the ability to read English
  • the ability to work well with others
  • patience and the ability to remain calm in stressful situations
  • excellent verbal communication skills
  • to be able to carry out basic tasks on a computer or hand-held device
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