Are you thinking of pursuing a career in nutrition? Becoming a nutritionist in Australia is the right choice for you!
Without any doubt, the health and wellness sector is flourishing in Australia. As per the research conducted by the Global Wellness Institute, the health and wellness industry is worth more than $4 trillion worldwide. And it will continue to boom in the coming years, thanks to the ageing population and the growing social concern for appearance and health.
Nowadays, people are becoming more and more conscious of their health and the potential to change their diet for better or worse. This has resulted in the rapid increase of nutritionist jobs in Australia, making it an excellent career choice that leads to several exciting opportunities.
The post below will help you learn how to become a nutritionist in Australia and the necessary steps you can take to start a career as a successful nutritionist.
1. What Is A Nutritionist?
A nutritionist is a person who has thoroughly studied the science of dietary nutrients and instructs others on nutrition and food and their impact on health.
Nutritionists are well-versed in the human body's functions and how it reacts to food. People seek nutritionists' guidance and meal planning to understand better food-related concerns such as allergies, digestive issues, and low energy.
They may also consult them for weight control. Overall, a nutritionist's responsibilities and tasks may vary depending on where they work.
Furthermore, people may require extra support from nutritionists to fuel their bodies appropriately as the human body grows and evolves throughout its lifetime. For instance, a nutritionist can help individuals change diets, especially during severe sickness and even detect newly-developed intolerances.
Over the last few years, the Australian public's interest in food, health, and diet has increased tremendously. As a result, there is a high demand for expert advice and opinion, which shows no signs of dropping.
2. What Does A Nutritionist Do?
A nutritionist studies food and offers recommendations about diets for organisations and individuals. Hospitals, schools, and clinics may hire nutritionists to verify what food offerings fulfil general health requirements.
Nutritionists even deal with individuals one-on-one and help them with their diet plans. They help those who wish to reduce weight through a specific dietary program, athletes with specialised training recommendations, and patients who need nutritional assistance due to chronic conditions or treatments.
A nutritionist acts as a food counsellor for those who require assistance organising their diets and meals in a one-on-one setting. In these instances, the individual and the nutritionist will determine the diet outcomes that a person must achieve.
These might range from simple weight loss to helping patients with adequate nutrition throughout their treatments, such as chemotherapy. The nutritionist helps with meal planning and provides information and expertise to help clients achieve their objectives.
A person usually needs a bachelor of nutrition or a related food science degree to work as a nutritionist in Australia. Many health facilities like hospitals may also require you to have a postgraduate degree.
Primarily, nutritionists work in an office setting but may also deal with customers at their homes or in a clinical office environment. They even spend time in industrial kitchens to check the amount of nutritional value in food.
2. Major Duties And Tasks of A Nutritionist
Collect, analyse, and organise data related to specific groups' nutrition and health behaviours and the population.
Prescribe diet plans based on nutritional needs assessment.
Compile educational material and conduct, plan, and evaluate nutrition intervention programs.
Monitor food quality and clients' progress in providing ongoing nutritional care.
Consult and assess the nutritional deficiencies of groups and individuals, including sportspeople.
Supervise the preparation and serving of meals.
Provide nutrition management, assessments, research, education, and training.
Plan menus and diets, and teach individuals about the planning and preparation of food, including the importance and requirements of a proper diet.
Consult with other health professionals and related workers to manage patients' nutritional and dietary needs.
Calculate the nutritional values of food served.
3. What Qualifications Do You Need To Be A Nutritionist in Australia?
There are no formal requirements to become a nutritionist in Australia. However, the majority of nutritionists who work in the field possess tertiary qualifications. After completing your studies, proceed with the application procedure offered by the Nutrition Society of Australia's Voluntary Register of Nutritionists.
Since the industry or the legal protection of the title Nutritionist presently has no government regulations, the NSA Voluntary Register of Nutritionists distinguishes the qualifications of trained and not trained nutritionists.
Furthermore, several international and private Australian course providers offer courses in food coaching, health coaching, wellness coaching, nutrition certification, and more. It is crucial to remember that these courses do not have enough value compared to a professional nutritional degree.
Also, they will not allow you to become a certified or a registered nutritionist under the Nutrition Society of Australia (NSA). Additionally, these courses won't enable your customers to access medical rebates or private health funds.
Follow the steps below to become a nutritionist in Australia:
4. Nutritionist vs Dietician In Australia: What's The Difference?
The primary difference between a nutritionist and a dietician is that every dietician can work as a nutritionist. However, only some nutritionists can work as a dietitian.
Unlike a dietitian, a nutritionist does not have to get a degree with accreditation. Even if somebody is not formally qualified, they can call themselves a nutritionist because no authority evaluates nutritionist qualifications in Australia.
Nutritionists who have obtained a degree from an Australian university can register with the Nutrition Society of Australia and Nutrition Australia. Alternatively, they may seek accreditation via the Dietitians Association of Australia, which is not necessary.
In Australia, you will find fewer nutritionist positions than dietitian jobs, resulting in nutritionists establishing their businesses.
The job of nutritionists and dieticians is relatively similar; however, only dietitians are qualified to work in hospitals and provide medical nutrition treatment to patients.
All qualified dietitians are eligible for Medicare, NDIS, DVA rebates and a wide range of health insurance funding. However, only some health insurance funds offer discounts for nutritionists registered with the Nutrition Society of Australia without becoming a dietitian.
5. Nutritionist Courses in Australia
Many nutrition courses are available in Australia to assist you in getting your health career started. You can enter the area of nutrition within one year, depending on the education level you choose.
Here are some of the most common nutritionist courses that you can undertake in Australia:
Certificate IV Nutrition
A Certificate IV in Allied Health or Nutrition is one of the best ways to start your journey as a nutritionist. These recognised national courses teach you the essentials of the nutrition industry and patient treatment.
For instance, a certificate IV in Allied Health Assistance (Nutrition & Dietetics) provides excellent opportunities for entering this booming industry. Here are two Certificate IV Nutrition qualification options you can choose to pursue:
Cert IV in Allied Health Assistance (Nutrition and Dietetics)
Cert IV in Allied Health Assistance (Nutrition and Dietetics Specialisation)
Diploma in Nutrition
6. Types of Nutritionist Jobs in Australia
Studying to become a nutritionist will open various job opportunities for you across multiple industries.
Here are some of the most common job options you will find as a nutritionist in Australia:
Food and nutrition manager
Public health nutritionist
Quality and nutrition coordinator
Nutrition consultant or advisor (private practice)
Community development officer
Food industry & nutrition marketing & communications
7. How To Become A Nutritionist Without A Degree?
Anyone in Australia can call themselves a nutritionist without any qualifications or study. The term itself is unregulated, making choosing a recognised, high-quality nutritionist course confusing.
Some nutrition course providers in Australia may guarantee accreditation to help you become a nutritionist. But, in reality, you can call yourself a nutritionist without getting a qualification or pursuing a nutritionist course.
However, you may want to become a registered nutritionist. In that case, professional registration programs are available through the Dietitians Association of Australia (DAA) and the Nutrition Society of Australia (NSA) that spell out the criteria for nutritionist qualifications in Australia.
Several institutions in Australia offer courses recognised by the DAA and NSA, which may take around three to four years of full-time studies.
8. How Much Does A Nutritionist Earn In Australia?
According to Payscale, Australia's average annual nutritionist salary is between AU$45,000 and AU$108,000. The average sports nutritionist's salary in Australia is around AU$83,833. These salaries may vary depending on the skills, experience, location, and profession.
Now that you know everything about becoming a nutritionist in Australia, you are ready to explore the field of nutrition and make a difference in society.
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