Career Outcomes for Food and Nutrition Graduate Students

  • A registered dietitian teaching healthy eating habits to two young children

    Needed: Experts in food and nutrition

    The support you receive from IUP award-winning faculty will set you apart from other job contenders. Your keen focus in applied human nutrition combined with leadership and research skills will place you at the head of the line.

    By applying the flexible online coursework, you’ll advance your career ambitions through a rich selection of course requirements, curriculum tracks, the choice between thesis or non-thesis options, and even the option for dual enrollment in two master’s degree programs. Enter the workforce with the confidence that you lead by sharing complex and essential nutrition science information.

    Careers

    With an MS in Food and Nutrition from IUP, consider this sampling of career opportunities:  

    What types of jobs can I get?

    • Clinical dietitian (RDN required)
    • Educator (community, corporate, university)
    • Food, nutrition, and health writer or media specialist
    • Nutrition consultant
    • Nutrition counselor
    • Nutrition curriculum developer
    • Nutrition policy analyst/advocate
    • Outpatient dietitian (RDN required)
    • Public health nutritionist
    • Researcher

    What types of settings might I work in?

    • Clinical settings such as in hospitals, long-term care, correctional facilities (RDN generally required; specializations in diabetes, nutrition support, renal, etc.)
    • Community settings such as home health agencies, public health clinics, public health departments (county, state), Congregate meals program, Women, Infants & Children (WIC), Cooperative Extension, community colleges and universities
    • Foodservice in large facilities such as healthcare, schools, corporate cafeterias, restaurants, for foodservice equipment companies, contract foodservice management companies and vendors
    • Government in areas such as lobbying and policy
    • Industry such as food companies in marketing, product development
    • International food and nutrition organizations such as US AID, United Nations FAO, WHO
    • Nonprofit organizations such as the National Dairy Council, American Heart Association
    • Private practice (counselor, personal trainer-nutritionist)
    • Research (e.g., education, community interventions, clinical trials)
    • Sales and marketing for trade associations
    • Supermarket education programs
    • Sports and wellness related businesses
    • Worksite wellness programs

    What salary might I expect?

    Salaries will vary by qualifications, experience, position, and location. National averages are provided below (Source: Compensation and Benefits Survey of the Dietetics Profession, 2017):

    • Registered dietitian nutritionists working in inpatient care earn a median salary of $61,000; ambulatory care: $65,000; and long-term care: $62,000.
    • Registered dietitian nutritionists working in food and nutrition management earn a median salary of $80,100.
    • Advanced degrees are usually required for research-based and university-based jobs. The RDN credential is frequently preferred, but not required. Registered dietitians working in education and research earned a median salary of $79,100.
    • The RDN credential is generally required for patient counseling. Registered dietitians working in consultation and business earned a median salary of $80,000.