March 5, 2022

Want to spend your days assessing people’s health and helping them create personalized plans to improve their well-being?

You may have the makings of a nutritionist.

This fascinating career combines science and food, turning our “daily bread” into a tool for wellness and health.

The path to becoming a nutritionist—and the associated costs—can vary based on where you choose to get your education and the state where you plan to practice. Since the title of “nutritionist” is not federally regulated, there is no single education or certification requirement. Instead, nutritionists are regulated on a state-by-state basis, with many states having no particular criteria for licensing or education.

But to be taken seriously as a nutritionist, not to mention ensuring your clients’ utmost safety, there is education required. Here are some of the costs you might encounter on your way to becoming a nutritionist.

What’s the Difference Between a Nutritionist and a Nutrition Coach?

  • A nutritionist provides advice to clients to treat specific health issues. Some states require licensing and a minimum level of education in order to practice as a nutritionist.
  • A nutrition coach offers general advice regarding food choices and healthy diet. Their goal is to improve overall health rather than to treat a specific complaint. The title of nutrition coach does not require any specific licensing or education.

The Cost to Pursue a Degree or Diploma as a Nutritionist

Before you can advise others on bettering their health through nutrition—or help them to make delicious meals that also support their health goals—you’ll need some education. Nutrition is a highly scientific field, so you’ll need to understand how nutrients, vitamins, and minerals impact the human body, as well as where these nutrients can be found.

Auguste Escoffier School of Culinary Arts’ new online degrees and diplomas in Holistic Nutrition & Wellness take the foodie approach to health. It’s all very good to tell someone to eat more greens and lean protein. But if they think that advice dooms them to a life of limp, bland salads and dry grilled chicken, they’re not likely to stick with the program. At Escoffier, students explore both the science behind nutrition and how they can incorporate these concepts into delicious meals.

Escoffier Holistic Nutrition & Wellness Tuition Costs (as of March 3, 2022)*

  • Diploma in Holistic Nutrition & Wellness (Online) – $19,495
  • Associate of Occupational Studies Degree in Holistic Nutrition & Wellness (Online) – $29,725

*Students may also choose to pay an additional $250 Technology Fee which covers the cost of a Google Chromebook.

A chef pours water into a glass bowl

State-Level Nutritionist Certification Cost

As stated, without a federal credential or licensure for nutritionists, the regulation for this field is managed on a state level. For the states that do require licensing, there are some associated costs for applications and license fees.

States That Require Certification to Work as a Nutritionist**

Some states have licensing boards that require nutritionists to complete minimum levels of education and experience before they can publicly call themselves nutritionists. In some of these states, only licensed nutritionists and dieticians are allowed to provide individualized dietary recommendations or assessments. In other states, simply the title of nutritionist is protected, but not necessarily the role. In these states, you may be able to use a different title, like health coach or nutrition coach, without a license.

Each state has its own requirements and costs associated with becoming a certified nutritionist. Some states require a minimum of a bachelor’s degree, while others stipulate that a master’s degree is a necessary prerequisite. And there will be some fees associated with the license itself, usually between $100 and $400.

Make sure to check the specific requirements for licensing in your state so you’ll know how much education and experience you may need to earn the title of nutritionist.

Bowl with coconut oil and coconuts on table

States That Do Not Require Certification to Work as a Nutritionist**

In some states, the title of nutritionist is not subject to any formal certification or licensing requirements. While these states don’t require any additional certification—or even a degree—to call yourself a nutritionist, your clients will likely want to see some credentials before they’re willing to work with you! So you still need to consider investing in a diploma program, at minimum, to have the education to back up your practice.

Earn an Income While You Study with an Online Nutrition Program

There are almost always going to be costs associated with a new career. But your education is an investment that can potentially lead to financial gains.

And with an online education in nutrition and wellness, you can continue to work a part-time or full-time job while you get your degree or diploma. Escoffier’s online programs are designed to provide a thorough and extensive curriculum that you can fit into your busy schedule.

As long as you meet course deadlines, you’re at liberty to do your schoolwork anytime—first thing in the morning, on your lunch break, after dinner, or in the middle of the night. With an online approach, the cost of school isn’t compounded by an academic schedule that could leave you with limited time for work and other obligations.

Chef typing on laptop computer on table with knife, eggs, and vegetables

Reducing the Cost to Become a Nutritionist

The cost to become a nutritionist varies depending on one’s education level and the state where they live. But the aspiring nutritionist can reduce some of those costs when they pursue their education.

Accredited schools like Escoffier may offer eligible students financial aid in the form of federal grants and loans, or military benefits. Plus, some students can secure scholarships that can reduce out-of-pocket costs for their nutritionist education.

Let’s look at your personal financial situation to see how we can help you get the education you want at a cost you can afford.

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*Information may not reflect every student’s experience. Results and outcomes may be based on several factors, such as geographical region or previous experience.

**State laws and licensing requirements are subject to change at any time. Always consult your state’s current laws before embarking on any new business venture, including working as a nutritionist.