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Difference Between Dietitian And Nutritionist: Salary, Qualifications, And Similarities

If you think a Person who creates a diet plan is your Dietitian, Maybe you're wrong. Let's dig deeper into What's the difference between Dietitian And Nutritionist, What do they do, Education Qualifications, and how much money do they make.

Difference between Dietitian and Nutritionist

Although, both terms have been used interchangeably, but there are areas that both don’t overlap in.


  • Difference between Dietitian and Nutritionist
  • How to become a Dietitian: Educational Requirements
  • How to become a Nutritionist: Educational Requirements
  • Dietitian or Nutritionist, Whom you Should choose for a Diet plan?
  • Nutritionist vs Dietitian Salary
  • Conclusion

Dietitians and nutritionists works as an helping hand to patients who wants to adapt a healthy lifestyle. Dietitians and nutritionists may prevent or treat illnesses and health conditions, and also help people recover from surgery and rehabilitate from injuries.

How to become a Dietitian: Educational Requirements

To become a Dietitian in the US , which offers one of the best Dietitian program for Bachelors and Masters , First you have to complete a bachelor’s degree which consists of four years of immense hard work the degree’s years are set forth by the Academy of Nutrition and Dietics ,the organization was founded in 1917 in Cleveland Ohio as The American Dietetic Association.

Your Bachelor's Degree must contain these compulsory subjects to pursue career as a Dietitian:

  • Food and Nutrition Science
  • Food service systems management
  • Sociology
  • Biochemistry
  • Physiology
  • Microbiology
  • Chemistry

Then comes the application part where the person works through to get their 1,200 unpaid credited internship hours on the board, and further comes the part to test their knowledge with the Grand National test which is followed by ever more learning until they hold the title of RD( Registered Dietitian) or RDN ( Registered Dietitian Nutritionist ), respectively.

Dietitian Career Options

A Registered Dietitian can chose to work in clinics, food service managements and research programs. Getting a Masters or PhD is an optional choice and isn’t required by the state.

How to become a Nutritionist: Educational Requirements

A Nutritionist makes people understand the effect of their intake on them, they usually work with individual consumers , they can be anyone with the nutritional education , which may even not be overseen by any government or education body , one requires no strict state authorized professional courses , bachelor’s programs or internships . Although, some organizations such as Board of certification of Nutrition Specialist do certify and recognize the individuals. 

A person can become a nutritionist due to their interest in the field or simply because they have been through a food imbalance situation and are just advocating for others. These individuals are at liberty to practice or to grow their skills online through blogs and programs they may offer. They can also pursue their interest in application in sports nutrition, digestive disorders or be a social media guru.

Thus, every Dietician is a Nutritionist but a Nutritionist may or may not be a Dietitian.

Dietitian or Nutritionist, Whom you Should choose for a Diet plan?

Dietitian or Nutritionist, Whom you Should choose for a Diet plan?

To break it down, who would be better for you? One could argue to take the safe way and go to the professional Dietitian, who is under higher authority and can diagnose the problem and deal with it efficiently. 

But You should see a Nutritionist. An individual who has achieved a degree in nutrition or health sciences. Most nutritionists are familiar with the effects of diet on illness and disease, and can assess people's eating habits and suggest dietary changes. A dietitian is a person who evaluates food and nutrition resources, plans diets, and coordinates services. These professionals have completed a university degree of three to four years and can be found in hospitals, community health clinics, rehabilitation centers, and geriatric settings.

Note  ⚠️You should go to a Registered Dietitian or a Nutritionist. There are many fake dietitians and nutritionists out there. Registered dietitians and nutritionists are well-trained with degrees in nutrition that provides effective outcomes.

Nutritionist vs Dietitian Salary

Talking money, both professions have their hands full, the difference resides in the positions they hold in the hierarchy, their experience and education. 

Nutritionist vs Dietitian Salary

Dietitians and Nutritionists made an average salary of $63,090 in 2020. The best-paid 25% made $77,180 that year, while the lowest-paid 25% made $51,700.

Wraping Up

All in all, Anyone can be a nutritionist, the person doesn’t need to go through a screening process, a test or an internship to be part of the group, and one can just have extensive understanding of the case. Many social media influencer are also nutritionist where they educates their followers.

On the other hand, Nutritionist generally work with people who are seeking out change or trying to turn it up a notch. Dieticians usually work in researches, clinics, hospitals and camps. They take over critical health concerns, due to their professional and regularized education which is looked over by the government and the educational administrations. 

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