How Much Money Do Nutritionists Typically Make?

The responsibilities of and demand for nutritionists has increased in recent years, with the world becoming more health-conscious. People have been seeing professionals in the food industry for various reasons, whether they wish to learn how to improve their relationship with food or to gain insight on how to reach their fitness goals in a healthy way.

With that said, modern-day nutritionists have been taking on new clients, both in-person and online, the latter becoming increasingly popular (via Refinery29). So how much does the average nutritionist make?

The answer really varies on the individual, with the location and types of clients playing a big role in coming up with a ballpark salary. But, on average, a nutritionist in the U.S. makes around $63,090 a year, as this is the median salary reported for 2020, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. However, Zippia notes the median salary for nutritionists to be lower at $49,000, a convoluted number, as those in the 75th percentile can earn as much as $73,000 a year and those in the 10th percentile can make as little as $33,000 a year.

Additionally, celebrity nutritionists have even begun to emerge for our favorite stars, who presumably pay big bucks for especially-tailored nutrition advice. Some celebrities who have nutritionists include Chris Hemsworth, Kim Kardashian, and Jessica Biel (who has this bizarre eating habit), with the one who serves the latter charging $500 per session (via GQ).

What is the role of a nutritionist?

Though all nutritionists provide food and exercise advice to clients, each nutritionist might have a specific niche or audience. This can range from food service nutritionists to sports nutritionists (via Livestrong). Schools can also hire nutritionists, who may plan meals for the school district and provide health counseling for students.

Nutritionists can also work for the government. Some examples include working for the National Institutes of Health and the U.S. Department of Agriculture, which entails researching grants, implementing food and drug policy, and conducting food research (via Job Monkey).

Additionally, as with other professions during the pandemic, many nutritionists have begun offering their services online. According to Verywell Fit, a variety of nutrition websites exist to choose from to better your relationship with food. Some allow you to converse with a nutritionist directly, while others are template-based.

The job outlook for nutritionists looks pretty positive in the next 10 years, with the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics predicting an 11% growth of jobs between 2020 to 2030. If you're passionate about food education and want to make an impact in healthcare, becoming a nutritionist may be the path for you.

Nutritionists versus dietitians: What's the difference?

With more people seeking the advice of nutritionists, it's important to learn the distinction between nutritionists and dietitians. These two roles have been used interchangeably, but there is actually a difference between the two titles. Though nutritionist is a broad term for anyone who can give nutritional advice, there are particular levels depending on their degree of certification. According to Medical News Today, a nutritionist could fall into the category of being a certified clinical nutritionist (CCN) or a certified nutrition specialist (CNS). A CCN must have either a Bachelor of Science, Master of Science, Doctor of Philosophy, or Doctor of Science, as they prescribe diet advice and supplements to clients.

On the other hand, a CNS receives an additional credential by the Board for Certification of Nutrition Specialists (BCNS). In addition to possessing a master's or doctoral degree in nutrition, a CNS must pass an exam following 1,000 hours of observed practice and the completion of coursework at a recognized institution in the field. They also must be re-certified every five years.

Dietitians, or registered dietician nutritionists (RDNs), provide medical nutrition therapy (MNT) to those with particular health conditions. Dietitians must hold a bachelor's degree or higher from an accredited university in the U.S. and have 1,200 hours of practice under their belt. After this, they must complete the certification exam from the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics.

NFL Nutritionists make higher-than-average salaries

The average salary for a nutritionist tends to be lower than that of a dietician, as you don't need the specific educational degree of the latter. Nutritionists tend to make upwards of $150 per hour, which is low compared to dietitians who make double that amount for the same amount of time, according to Both nutritionists and dietitians can freelance outside of their practices, and one session can be as low as $50 for nutritionists (or dietitians, if you're lucky) or as high as $2,000 for dietitians.

However, with all the training nutritionists still need to complete, they can make pretty good money on the side. Some ways include consulting for restaurants, offering such services as corporate wellness, recipe development, and sponsored content (via That Clean Life). This is pretty popular in big cities, where the cost of living is higher than average.

As stated, nutritionists can also specialize in certain areas and see celebrity clients. One example we mentioned is sports nutrition. Nutritionists who work for NFL teams can make as much as $100,00 per year, according to MVOrganizing. Working with athletes and food? You have to admit, that's a pretty cool job.