Do you wish you had what it takes to work in nutrition?   Feel confident and become a credible sources for others in this incredibly important field of health.

Advisory roles in nutrition may involve giving advice to individuals, groups, or the general public. As such, the types of jobs you might find in this sector can be anything from a nutritionist to a national food advisory service.


Scope of Work

People who work in this sector can be broken into two main groups: those who work with individuals, advising and guiding them on diet and/or nutrition, and those who advise government departments or the public. People who work with individuals spend much of their time:

  • Discussing diet and eating habits with clients
  • Advising on diet and nutrition
  • Helping clients to work out diets
  • Helping clients stick to diet plans & adjusting where necessary
  • Selling dietary product

Those who advise in a broader capacity are likely to spend more time:

  • Liaising with & advising government or public bodies
  • Researching and writing about nutrition & diet
  • Presenting nutrition information e.g. talks, media
  • Organising campaigns to inform others

What You Need to Learn

  • Assessment - diet, health, referral procedures
  • Physical health - chronic diseases, signs & symptoms; heart disease, obesity, diabetes  
  • Mental health - mental disorders, signs & symptoms; anorexia, bulimia, binge eating
  • Nutrition - digestive system, food chemistry, essential nutrients, diet plans
  • Terminology - medical terms and meanings
  • Communication skills - verbal, non-verbal, educating clients, presenting information, use of media
  • Sales skills - addressing clients/customers, promoting, selling  
  • Specific knowledge - knowledge relating to your particular role
  • Legal & ethical issues - confidentiality, multicultural competence, legislation, copyright
  • Health & safety - knowledge of OH&S procedures  
  • Writing skills - note taking, report writing, record keeping, technical writing
  • Planning skills - organising work, planning appointments, working out schedules

Starting a Career

Those who work in advisory roles may not only can have quite different jobs but can also come into this field from different angles. People who advise government, industry or the public more widely are likely to have built up a lot of experience beforehand. Those who work as nutritionists, food coaches or in other client advisory roles likewise will have built up knowledge and experience.

People who are considering this type of work as a long term goal need to expose themselves to the industry. Some ways to do this are:

  • Do volunteer work - there are many areas where you could pick up useful experience even if it doesn't seem like exactly what you want to do e.g. volunteer to help out at hospitals working with dieticians or occupational
  • therapists, see if they need any help in the local school canteen
  • Look for casual or part time work - try cafes, restaurants, supermarkets or other food outlets where you can learn about food and nutrition and mingle with people who have knowledge of the industry
  • Read and research - examine food packages and read the contents labels, look up the nutrients online, try to find out as much as you can
  • Take courses - there are many online and distance education courses which offer foundation studies in food and  nutrition

Progressing a Career

Progressing a career in this field can mean different things depending on your role and where you want to get to. A person who advises individuals may seek to end up in private practice or they may wish to have a key role within a hospital, sports club, or other enterprise. Someone who works for government or advising the public may wish to take on a role for big business, a restaurant chain, and so on.

Whatever your goals, it is important that you continually strive for excellence because there are many people attracted to working in this industry. Some ways you can advance your career include:

  • Diversifying - learn new skills through taking professional development and training opportunities; seek them outside of work if necessary
  • Taking courses - there is never a time to stop learning; take short courses, intensive courses, fill gaps in your knowledge and remain up to date with technology, industry research, etc.
  • Joining a professional trade association - read their newsletters and journals
  • Write about nutrition - write articles for professional bodies, the food industry, websites
  • Be visible - use social media and other forms of media to self-promote, join online discussion and interest groups


Work as a Nutritional Advisor | Recommended Qualification Progression Pathway



Always Wanted to Take Your Passion Further..?

If you want to know more about your future study and career in nutrition, simply contact our friendly team of course Enrolment Advisors. 

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