Graduates with a master's (MS) or PhD degree in nutrition can become clinical nutritionists, nutrition counselors, directors of food and nutrition, nutrition and family health coordinators, researchers, faculty members, and more.
Some careers with a MS in Nutrition degree include, but not limited to, cooperative extension agent, supplemental nutrition assistance program (SNAP)-educator, WIC nutritionist, school food service director, community nutrition/health educator, nutrition journalist, chef, peace corps worker, or pharmaceutical sales rep. A Master's degree (thesis option) can also be a stepping stone to obtaining admission to a PhD program.
Most tenure-track positions in teaching nutrition at the college level require a PhD However, teaching Universities/colleges and community colleges sometimes require only a master's degree, or a master's degree with an RD (Registered Dietitian) license.
If you're interested to carry out research in a laboratory setting, a master's degree can qualify you for a position in government or working in a university or corporate facility doing nutritional research. This may involve conducting experiments with animals, cells or people to improve the science of dietary health or to create food products for sale. Research and education positions may be available in the US Department of Agriculture's Cooperative Extension Service, the Food and Drug Administration, the Centers for Disease Control and the Food and Nutrition Board.
Restaurant chains and food manufacturers employ nutritionists to analyze their products, prepare nutritional information, and prepare materials educating the public about the nutritional benefits of their products. These positions may require RD credentials or a master's degree with RD credentials. Many positions require specialized training in some area of nutrition science, such as sports nutrition or athletic performance. With RD credentialing, you may work in a hospital, clinic or nursing home to offer dietary and nutritional advice to clients or to help the facility design nutritionally beneficial meal plans. You can start your own business as a nutritional consultant, helping clients design meal plans for weight loss, better health, improved athletic performance or to counteract the effects of specific diseases. You can also work for a prison, large hotel, school or any other facility with a cafeteria to help them offer healthier meals.