2022 Guide: Online Nutrition Degree Programs

Nutrition programs  prepare students for careers as nutrition counselors, food inspectors, food service managers, registered dieticians and more. 

What Is an Online Nutrition Degree Program?

Classes cover how the human body uses food for energy and how pregnancy, exercise and aging affect nutrition needs. Many programs include a heavy load of science courses including anatomy, microbiology, organic chemistry and physiology.

College, university and technical school bachelor’s degrees are most popular for nutrition majors. Some students go on to earn a master’s degree as well. Also popular are certificates and associate’s degrees offered at community colleges, career colleges, technical schools, online schools, 4-year colleges and universities.

Nutrition majors who are passionate about health and wellness are bound to excel. An interest in learning about the latest fad diets or superfoods is a good indication that this is the program for you. An outgoing personality and a desire to help people is important, too—sometimes the right nutrition counseling can change a person’s life.

An online nutrition degree program can prepare candidates for a career in health and wellness. An online degree can afford students the ability to prepare for their future career from the privacy of their own home. The flexibility of the online program can help students fit their studies into their life even with a part-time or full-time job and still provides all the benefits of a traditional in-person degree program.

If you’re interested in nutrition, explore other majors in the field such as foods, nutrition, and related Services; foods, nutrition, and wellness studies; foodservice systems administration/management and human nutrition.

Why Choose an Online Nutrition Degree Program?

An online nutrition degree program can allow you to get the education they need to build a successful career in the field of health and wellness on your own time. The advantage of an online program is that it can afford you the increased flexibility you need to be able to maintain your current employment at the same time. If you have to remain home or have young children to care for, an online program can be the life-changing education you need without disturbing your current day-to-day activities. An online nutrition program offers the same training and information as in-person classes. You’ll learn the skills you need to prepare healthy meal plans for your future clients and help others lead a happier and healthier lifestyle.

How Much Does an Online Nutrition Degree Program Cost?

An online nutrition degree program can cost anywhere from $20,000 to $25,000 over four years. An in-person degree is likely to cost up to $40,000. The advantage of the online training program is that it offers the same educational benefits and career opportunities at a much lower cost. This is an excellent option for anyone looking to better their career opportunities without overspending. After flexibility, the decreased tuition cost is really the best advantage to pursuing an online nutrition degree program. You can take advantage of the same educational opportunities and still minimize your costs. This means you can pay off your student debt much sooner once you join the workforce as a nutritionist.

Choosing a Nutrition School

Whether you want to attend a technical school, career college, community college, 4-year college or university, you should have no problem finding a nutrition program that’s right for you. Take a closer look at the course requirements for prospective programs to determine if they offer a broad food science education or a narrower look at dietetics. You’ll spend a lot of time in science labs so make sure the labs are up to date. To work in nutrition, whether as a registered dietician or dietetic technician, most states require a licensing exam so make sure prospective programs will prepare you to pass.

Nutrition Degree Programs

One to 2-year certificate programs and associate career training programs are available to nutrition students. Upon graduation, you’ll be qualified for entry-level careers in the field including dietetic technician positions. Depending on the program, courses may cover nutritional science, dietetics, food service management, vitamins and minerals and more. Certificate programs are also a good choice for those working in the field that want to increase their expertise in a certain area such as plant-based nutrition or holistic nutrition.

If you want to work as a registered dietitian, you’ll need a bachelor’s degree in nutrition from a technical school, college or university. These 4-year programs have a heavier focus on the sciences, which qualify you to expertly devise a meal plan and health advice. Expect to take nutritional biochemistry, microbiology, medical nutrition therapy, immunology, anatomy and organic chemistry. Some Registered Dietitians seek masters degrees from colleges or universities as well for a more in-depth nutrition study and a look at the current trends in the field.

Online Nutrition Degree Programs at Online Schools

If you want to earn an online degree in nutrition, you’ll find several online school options to choose from. Through an online school program, you’ll learn the basics of nutrition, diet and health science at your own pace. You can earn an online degree at any level from a certificate to a masters degree. Look for a program that covers the area of nutrition that you’re most interested in whether it’s research, counseling techniques or holistic wellness.

High School Preparation

If you want to major in nutrition in college, focus on science courses during high school. Biology and chemistry classes will provide the fundamentals you’ll need for advanced university science courses. Because many dieticians and nutritionists enjoy careers working with clients, communication, speech, English and even Spanish classes are important. Health science and cooking classes will provide an introduction to nutrition.

Online Nutrition Degree Scholarships

You can also apply for a scholarship in nutrition education. Scholarships in nutrition are available to online educational programs the same as they are to in-person programs. Discover some scholarship opportunities here:

  • American Dietetic Association: They award up to $200,000 annually to students studying nutrition or dietetics.
  • Scholarships within your university: Many universities offer their own scholarships to students studying in various fields.

Popular Careers in the Field of Nutrition

Careers in nutrition are growing at an average rate. An increased awareness of health issues such as disease prevention, diabetes and obesity may increase the demand for dieticians and nutritionists. Nutrition majors with more advanced training and degrees will find the best career opportunities. A specialization in gerontological nutrition or renal and diabetic nutrition will equip you to meet the trends in the industry and secure good jobs.

Most dieticians and nutritionists work in hospitals, doctor’s offices, outpatient care centers or nursing care facilities. Some work in schools, food services management, spas, government health departments or their own counseling practices.

Nutrition degree holders with more experience and education typically earn higher salaries. Dietitians and nutritionists earn between $41,000 and $62,000 a year, with the highest salaries going to those that work in outpatient care centers, hospitals and nursing care facilities. Registered dietitians working in education and research earn about $66,000 annually, those in food and nutrition management earn about $64,000 a year, consultation businesses see salaries around $60,000 a year and clinical nutrition careers yield wages between $49,000 and $53,000. Dietetic technicians, who help dietitians create meal plans, teach nutrition and counsel clients, earn $28,000 a year. Some nutritionists can earn as much as $90,000 annually with experience.

FAQs

Summary

In short, an online nutrition degree program is a cost-effective, flexible degree program that can help you earn a very stable salary and build a lucrative, lifelong career. Here are the main points to keep in mind:

  • This hands-on program typically lasts four years and costs around $25,000
  • This online program is flexible and can make it easier for you to complete your studies
  • You can expect to earn around $65,000 but in some cases, experienced nutritionists can earn as much as $90,000 a year.
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