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Nutritionist

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Summary of occupation

Nutritionists provide advice on making healthy dietary choices. They usually work in a preventative role, helping healthy people identify and modify unhealthy eating habits which could potentially lead to serious health problems, such as diabetes and obesity. They study how the body breaks down and uses the nutrients found in food. This knowledge can be used to formulate healthy eating plans for clients, and to advise food manufacturers on ways to create healthy and nutritious products.

ANZSCO description: Integrates, disseminates and applies knowledge drawn from the relevant sciences to enhance positive effects of food on the health and well-being of human populations.
Alternative names:
Specialisations:
Job prospects: Limited
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Knowledge, skills and attributes

A nutritionist needs:

  • to be interested in health and well being
  • good people skills
  • to enjoy food and food preparation
  • good communication skills
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Working conditions

The majority of nutritionists in Western Australia work in offices and laboratories in the Perth metropolitan area. They may work for community health centres, hospitals, nursing homes, food suppliers and manufacturers, government organisations or in private practice. They have a high level of contact with both members of the public and other health professionals, often working as part of a team to improve a patient or client's health. Most nutritionists work regular office hours.

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Salary details

On average, nutritionists, classified under nutrition professionals, can expect to earn between $1 250 and $1 499 per week ($65 000 and $77 999 per year), depending on the organisation they work for, and their level of experience. As a nutritionist develops their skills, their earning potential will generally increase.

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Tools and technologies

Nutritionists measure a client's weight, body size and fat content using instruments such as scales, tape measures and skin-fold callipers. They may use books, charts and other aids to demonstrate healthy foods and preparation techniques. Nutritionists researching the heath benefits of particular foods will often use standard laboratory equipment to examine and measure the nutritional content of these products. They may also use computers to create easy to read menus and eating plans for clients, as well as for general record keeping and administration.

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Education and training/entrance requirements

To become a nutritionist, you usually need to complete a degree with a major in nutrition at university.

Some universities in Western Australia offer relevant courses. Contact the universities you are interested in for more information.

Related courses

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Apprenticeships and traineeships

As an apprentice or trainee, you enter into a formal training contract with an employer. You spend most of your time working and learning practical skills on the job and you spend some time undertaking structured training with a registered training provider of your choice. They will assess your skills and when you are competent in all areas, you will be awarded a nationally recognised qualification.

If you are still at school you can access an apprenticeship through your school. You generally start your school based apprenticeship by attending school three days a week, spending one day at a registered training organisation and one day at work. Talk to your school's VET Co-ordinator to start your training now through VET in Schools. If you get a full-time apprenticeship you can apply to leave school before reaching the school leaving age.

If you are no longer at school you can apply for an apprenticeship or traineeship and get paid while you learn and work.

Related apprenticeships

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Recognition of prior learning

If you think you already have some of the skills or competencies, obtained either through non-formal or informal learning, you may be able to gain credit through recognition of prior learning.

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