In today’s society, the role of nutritionists has become increasingly vital due to the pervasive influence of unhealthy lifestyles in the current generation. Modern lifestyles often involve poor dietary choices, sedentary habits, and high stress levels, which lead to elevated risks of heart disease and infectious diseases. Nutritionists play a crucial role in guiding individuals towards healthier lifestyles, mitigating the escalating health risks associated with these contemporary lifestyle factors.
According to a study by the Public Health Foundation of India, there is currently a shortage of around 2.36 lakh dietitians in India. Due to the increased amount of awareness of fitness and health in today’s world, more and more people are becoming curious about fitness and leading a healthy lifestyle. This makes the future of a Dietitian brighter in the coming days.
If you are passionate about helping people make informed choices about their diet and well-being, then embarking on a journey to become a nutritionist could be your perfect path.
Let us delve into the details of: How to become a nutritionist in India
Here are the different steps you need to follow to become a nutritionist in India:
Candidates should have completed their 10+2 education from a recognised board with a background in science (Biology/Physics/Chemistry) or Home Science. Some courses may specifically require Biology as a subject.
Next, you have to enrol in a bachelor’s program, like BSc in Nutrition and Dietetics, at a recognized institution. This 3-4 year course equips you with foundational knowledge about human nutrition. Once you graduate, you can choose to further specialize with a Master’s degree. Completing your education is the first crucial step towards becoming a nutritionist in India.
To become a registered dietician, you must clear the Indian Dietetic Association entrance exam. There are certain requirements for you to take the exam. You must have completed or are pursuing a postgraduate degree in food and nutrition. Additionally, you should also complete an internship of 6 months. Upon clearance, you can obtain or renew special certifications. Renewal should be done once every 2 years.
Most of these programs require hands-on experience. Internships are the best way to earn initial experience in dietetics. You can do internships either during the coursework or after graduation. Often, people choose to do multiple internships in various specialties. This will help in understanding areas you are comfortable working in.
Did you know that 80% of a person’s health depends on the food they consume? In India, health diseases like diabetes, blood pressure, and lifestyle disorders like PCOD have become really common. Much of this is due to the lack of awareness about the consumption of junk food.
There are several food nutrition and dietetics programs in India that offer a variety of scopes. Given below are some of the best nutrition courses in India:
BSc (Nutrition & Dietetics) is a 3-year undergraduate program features studies on nutrition and diet-related reviews. It also involves clinical research and case studies. Clinical Nutrition focuses on therapeutic uses of nutrition in the medical field. This may include disease prevention, improving the immune system and body nourishment, etc. Consultants, Researchers, and Therapeutic Dieticians have preferred job roles in this field.
Course Duration: 3 to 4 years
Master’s in Clinical Nutrition will provide in-depth knowledge and training in clinical nutrition. You will get the opportunity to work on clinical studies. Job roles assigned after course completion are Lecturer, Community Dietician, Clinical Dietician, etc.
Course Duration: 2 years
Today, more people are realizing the significance of eating the right food. It has led to many sports and fitness centers hiring nutritionists. This course helps you learn practical skills in dietetics and health nutrition.
Course Duration: 1 year
A shorter course to learn basic nutrition and dietetics concepts, this express course will enable you to learn the basics of nutrition and the dietary requirements for proper weight management.
Course Duration: 6 months to 1 year
Note: The details of courses can differ between colleges. It’s important to pick a college that matches your career goals and interests in the nutrition field.
Also Read: Top 8 best career options in India
|Precision Nutrition Level 1
|Teaches the fundamentals of nutrition coaching, suitable for beginners looking to enter the field.
|NASM Nutrition Coach
|NASM (National Academy of Sports Medicine)
|Focuses on integrating nutrition coaching into fitness training, ideal for fitness professionals.
|Coursera Nutrition Specialization
|Offers a series of courses covering various aspects of nutrition, with a certificate upon completion.
|ISSA Nutritionist Certification
|ISSA (International Sports Sciences Association)
|Comprehensive program for aspiring nutritionists, covering a wide range of nutrition topics.
|AFPA Nutrition & Wellness Consultant
|AFPA (American Fitness Professionals & Associates)
|Provides a holistic approach to nutrition, suitable for those wanting to help people with overall well-being.
|Udemy Nutrition Courses
|Offers a variety of nutrition-related courses from different instructors, catering to different needs.
The following are some of the best Indian colleges that offer undergraduate or postgraduate courses in food and nutrition:
AIIMS stands as a premier institution, offering comprehensive nutrition courses at the undergraduate and postgraduate levels. It focuses on the clinical and scientific aspects of nutrition, preparing students for careers in clinical dietetics, research, and public health nutrition.
AIIMS offers both undergraduate and postgraduate nutrition programs. For the B.Sc. program, candidates must have completed 10+2 with science subjects. Postgraduate programs require a relevant Bachelor’s degree.
AIIMS is a prestigious institution known for its medical and healthcare programs. The nutrition courses here provide in-depth knowledge and practical training, preparing students for diverse careers in the field of nutrition and dietetics.
Affiliated with Delhi University, Lady Irwin College specializes in home science education, offering undergraduate and postgraduate courses in Food and Nutrition. It emphasizes practical training, research, and community engagement in the nutrition field.
For the B.Sc. program, candidates need to complete 10+2 with science subjects. Postgraduate programs require a relevant Bachelor’s degree.
Lady Irwin College is well-regarded for its home science and nutrition programs. With experienced faculty and a comprehensive curriculum, students receive a strong foundation in nutrition science and its applications.
SNDT Women’s University is a distinguished institution providing undergraduate and postgraduate programs in Food Science and Nutrition. It offers a comprehensive curriculum that equips students with a strong foundation in nutritional sciences and practical skills.
The eligibility criteria vary depending on the program. Generally, a background in science is preferred for undergraduate courses, and a relevant Bachelor’s degree is required for postgraduate courses.
SNDT Women’s University is a pioneer in women’s education and offers diverse nutrition programs. Their courses focus on practical skills and experiential learning, preparing students for various roles in the nutrition field.
Linked to Delhi University, this institute offers programs in home science, including Food and Nutrition. It imparts deep insights into nutritional principles, food technology, and dietary management, preparing students for diverse nutrition-related roles.
Eligibility requirements differ for each program. Generally, science background is preferred for undergraduate courses, and a relevant Bachelor’s degree is necessary for postgraduate courses.
Institute of Home Economics is known for its quality education in home science and nutrition. The programs emphasize hands-on training and practical exposure, making graduates industry-ready.
Nirmala Niketan College excels in offering undergraduate and postgraduate courses in Nutrition and Dietetics. The institution places significant emphasis on fostering healthy lifestyles and nutritional awareness among students, paving the way for success in various nutrition-focused professions.
Eligibility criteria vary for different courses. Generally, science background is preferred for undergraduate courses, and a relevant Bachelor’s degree is required for postgraduate courses.
Nirmala Niketan College is renowned for its home science and nutrition programs. The courses are designed to provide a strong theoretical foundation along with practical skills needed for a successful career in nutrition.
Also read: Career in Food Technology in India
Best of the nutritionist job roles include clinical nutritionists, management nutritionists, community nutritionists, and consultant nutritionists. You can explore other aspects of clinical nutrition and dietetics while working in these positions.
Becoming a nutritionist opens up various rewarding career paths. Here are some options:
Clinical Nutritionist work in hospitals or clinics, helping patients with specific dietary needs or health conditions.
Skills Required: Knowledge of medical nutrition therapy, understanding of health conditions, communication skills.
Clinical Nutritionist Qualifications: Bachelor’s or Master’s degree in nutrition or dietetics, registration with relevant professional body.
Community Nutritionist focus on promoting health in communities through education and programs.
Skills Required: Public speaking, program planning, interpersonal skills.
Community Nutritionist Qualifications: Bachelor’s or Master’s degree in nutrition, communication skills.
Sports nutritionists provide athletes with specialized diets to enhance performance and recovery.
Skills Required: Knowledge of sports nutrition, understanding of different sports, communication skills.
Sports Nutritionist Qualifications: Bachelor’s or Master’s degree in nutrition, specialized training in sports nutrition.
Corporate Wellness Nutritionist work in companies to improve employee health through wellness programs.
Skills Required: Program development, communication skills, understanding of workplace health.
Corporate Wellness Qualifications: Bachelor’s or Master’s degree in nutrition, corporate wellness knowledge.
Research Nutritionists conduct studies to advance nutritional knowledge and contribute to research projects.
Skills Required: Research skills, data analysis, critical thinking.
Research Nutritionist Qualifications: Master’s or higher degree in nutrition, research experience.
Entrepreneurial nutritionists start their own nutrition consulting practice or online platform.
Skills Required: Business acumen, marketing skills, networking.
Entrepreneurial Nutritionist Qualifications: Bachelor’s or Master’s degree in nutrition, entrepreneurship skills.
To excel in these careers, having strong communication skills, empathy, and a genuine desire to help others is crucial. A solid educational foundation in nutrition or dietetics is also important, along with continuous learning to stay updated with the latest research and trends in the field. Depending on the specific career path, additional certifications or training might be beneficial for career growth.
The minimum average salary for a trainee working in a hospital is Rs.10000 per month. After gaining one year of experience, this can go up to Rs.35000. As per Bureau of Labor Statistics data, a nutritionist’s salary in India can be around Rs.1,15,299 per year.
Professionals working in the education and research sector enjoy most of the perks. They receive a handsome payroll. The salaries and advantages of Nutrition and Dietician consultants in private clinics depend on their talents and reputation.
The need to lead a healthy lifestyle indicates the demand for medical professionals in the nutrition field. Nutritionists develop the right dietary plans for you by incorporating nutritional science into health care.
You can become a nutritionist by completing undergraduate, postgraduate, or certification courses. These courses are available both in India and abroad. If you’re interested in studying abroad, there are a few universities that provide scholarships as well.
Therefore, nutritionist is a great medical career option without NEET. BSc in Nutrition is the ideal paramedical course for you to start your journey as a dietitian.
Evaluate numerous career choices to choose the right career path for yourself. Dive into our guide on Career Advice.
Several undergraduate, postgraduate, and certification nutrition courses are available in India. B.Sc and M.Sc in Nutrition and Dietetics, B.Sc and M.Sc in Clinical Nutrition, and PG Diploma and Public Health are some of the popular courses. You need to pass the certification courses to start practicing as a nutritionist.
Yes, scholarships at New York University are offered based on the CSS profile. Submit this before the deadline. You can also avail few scholarships and grants through the Office of International Affairs.
Yes, Indian students can study nutrition and dietician courses abroad. Some of the universities even provide scholarships and grants. Top nutrition and dietician schools from around the world include
1. New York University (NYU)
2. University of North Carolina (UNC)
3. Ohio State University
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