Nutritionist Salary: What You Can Earn in This Growing Field
As the American population continues to learn about how what we consume affects our overall health, the number of people seeking nutritional services has only continued to rise. Thanks to this increased demand, job opportunities have not only grown in a variety of settings, but salaries have also become increasingly competitive, and a job in nutrition can be rewarding personally, professionally, and financially.
While the salary a nutritionist earns depends on a number of factors such as workplace, location, education, and specialization, our guide aims to give you a better understanding of what you might expect to make as you work to improve the lives and health of others.
Salary Compared to Related Roles
If you’re curious to know how the salary stacks up against others, compare the average national wages for related roles within the healing space.
Projected job growth: 11.2%
Projected job growth: 10.3%
Projected job growth: 12.5%
Projected job growth: 12.1%
Average salary information is calculated by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics and is based on the 2019 payroll records of business establishments. Actual salaries vary greatly depending on your location, level of education, years of experience, work environment, and many other factors. Please note that salaries may differ even more for those who are self-employed or work part time.
Average Salary by Workplace
The setting in which you work can certainly impact the money that you make. Common employers and average salaries offered, courtesy of 2018 BLS figures, are as follows (note, the BLS combines salary information for nutritionists and dietitians):
Considering Private Practice?
Nutritionists who want the opportunity to be their own boss and work on their own schedule might choose to go into private practice. They’ll provide personal consultations to provide nutritional education, design healthy eating plans, and address topics such as weight loss, eating disorders, muscle gain, and sports improvement.
Salary data can be a bit more difficult to provide as self-employed nutritionists have the option to charge whatever they choose. That said, according to salaries provided on Thumbtack, nutritionists across the country charge an average of around $60–$100 per session. Initial consultations are often more expensive with subsequent sessions being lower. Most nutritionists offer packages that cost less per session the more you buy.
Where the Best-Paying Nutritionists Jobs Are
Where you live also plays a large part in what you could earn. Of the highest-paying states in 2018, the top 10 included:
1. California: $74,060
2. Alaska: $71,210
3. Connecticut: $69,610
4. Hawaii: $69,050
5. New Jersey: $68,810
6. Maryland: $68,760
7. Oregon: $68,050
8. New York: $65,710
9. Nevada: $65,710
10. Washington: $65,110
You’ll also find higher salaries in certain major cities and their surrounding metropolitan areas. Nine of the top 10 highest-paying cities in the nation lie in northern or central California.
San Jose: $82,190
San Francisco: $82,160
Santa Cruz: $75,100
Other top-paying locations not in California include:
Kingston, NY: $75,080
Bellingham, WA: $72,900
Portland, Oregon: $72,640
Hawaii Island, HI: $72,400
Maui, HI: $70,820
New York, NY/Newark, NJ: $70,580
Naples, FL: $70,380
Anchorage, AK: $70,100
Don’t see your state? Use the salary widget above to find the average annual salary for the others.
How to Increase Your Earning Potential
Roughly half of all U.S. states require some level of certification or licensing to work as a nutritionist. However, even if yours doesn’t, earning certification can demonstrate to potential clients and employers that you have the knowledge necessary to make a positive impact and the commitment to maintaining the highest standards of the field.
Depending on the certification you want to earn, this could require as little as having a high school diploma and passing an exam or as much as holding a graduate degree and completing 1,000 hours of supervised experience. A graduate degree, whether a master’s or a doctorate, can also increase your earning potential by making you a stronger candidate for a wider variety of roles, including ones within leadership or private practice.