Nutritionist job description

What does a Nutritionist do?

Nutritionists take a holistic view of a person’s lifestyle, dietary habits, and overall health, to provide their client with customised nutritional advice. 

After creating a nutritional plan, a Nutritionist will continue to monitor their client’s progress and any changes or improvements to their health.

Nutritionists often work in a preventative capacity, assisting people to identify and change dietary habits that could lead to future health problems. As a Nutritionist, you’ll have a strong understanding of the connection between diet and disease and how nutrition and lifestyle factors impact overall wellbeing.

In addition to providing nutritional assessment, advice and ongoing support to clients, Nutritionists may be involved in coordinating community health initiatives, promoting nutritional education and researching population health.

For more information on the skills and qualifications you’ll need to work as a Nutritionist, check out how to become a Nutritionist.

Daily tasks for a Nutritionist

The daily tasks of a Nutritionist may vary depending on the setting they work in, but typically include:

  • Discussing a person’s dietary habits with them to assess their health needs.
  • Explaining nutrition and nutritional deficiencies.
  • Developing meal plans to meet a client’s health needs, goals, budget and personal preferences.
  • Monitoring client progress and making changes to meal plans as required.
  • Consulting with other health professionals when a client has special needs.
  • Researching and substantiating nutritional claims.

A day in the life of a Nutritionist

Where do Nutritionists work?

Nutritionists can work in a range of fields including private practice, community health, research, fitness, and food production. Jobs for Nutritionists can be found in health food stores, gyms and health clubs, natural medicine practices, consulting laboratories and government organisations. 

Some Nutritionists may choose to focus their practice in a specialised area, such as sports nutrition, weight management or food service. Most roles for Nutritionists involve a high level of contact with the public.

Nutritionists in the private or public sector usually work regular business hours, though Nutritionists who are self-employed or run their own business may work flexible or longer hours to meet their clients’ needs.

What is the difference between a Nutritionist and a Dietician?

A Nutritionist may hold a tertiary qualification in one of several fields including nutrition, food science or public health.

A Dietician holds a dietetics qualification that includes supervised and assessed professional practice in clinical nutrition, medical nutrition therapy and food service management. Dieticians often work in hospitals or long-term care facilities. Only a Dietician is qualified to provide medical or clinical therapy and consultations. 

In Australia, all Dieticians can work as Nutritionists, however Nutritionists are not qualified to carry out the specialised tasks of a Dietician.