In addition to my online Bachelor of Nutrition degree, do I need certification or licensing to practice as a dietitian?

A dietitian or nutritionist is responsible for teaching us, the public, the correct ways to nourish our bodies. They advocate nutritional meals and exercise at any stage of our lives. In some instances, dietitians are hired to work with patients who have medical conditions, in which the dietitian must be familiar with the disease to create a menu specific to that illness. Also, as we age, our dietary needs change as well. Special training provided by an online Bachelor of Nutrition degree program will teach you the skills needed to accurately diagnose and treat your clients if you are appropriately certified. As a certified dietitian, you can conduct research and inform the public about the importance of proper diet and nutrition.

What kind of certification or license do you need? Primarily, to be a Registered Dietitian (RD) or Registered Dietitian Nutritionist (RDN), you must first put forth the hard work by earning your online bachelor’s degree in nutrition, dietetics, or nutritional science. After graduation, you will qualify to sit for the Credentialing Examination for Registered Dietitians. This critical test is given through the Commission on Dietetic Registration (CDR).

Dietitians are required to be board certified, and some states may require licensure. You will need to check in your area to see if a state license is required. Also, you will be required to complete 1,200 hours of internship work under a certified supervisor to qualify for your certification and license.

If you are interested in becoming a nutritionist, board certification is typically not required; however, there are plenty of opportunities for advancement if you so desire in this field as well. For example, if you decide to earn your master’s degree in nutrition and have completed 1000 hours of actual work experience, you can then gain certification as a Certified Nutrition Specialist (CNS).

Continued educational opportunities are encouraged, of course. The CDR offers many voluntary certification exams if you would like to get that promotion and increase your salary. Specializations as a Board-Certified Specialist in Pediatric Nutrition (CSP) or as a Board-Certified Specialist in Gerontological Nutrition (CSG) are great ways to expand your skills and knowledge in nutrition and dietetics.

Also, please remember that your online Bachelor of Nutrition degree program, as well as your internship, must be duly approved by the Accreditation Council for Education in Nutrition and Dietetics (ACEND). Furthermore, as a dietitian, you will be expected to meet all continuing education requirements annually to maintain your board certification. has made it easy to find an online degree program that meets your needs and busy schedule, along with, your personality and career aspirations. However, please remember that a 100% online bachelor’s degree in the field of nutrition may be hard to locate. Most programs in this field command some occasional on-campus attendance to fulfill the clinical requirements. To find an online program that is right for you, please see our choices of the Best Online Schools for Bachelor of Nutrition Degree Programs.