Health Writing Jobs
With the popularity of nutrition in the media and accurate information needed to educate the public, writing jobs in nutrition are available for all types of communication outlets.
Some dietitians and nutritionists use nutrition writing and journalism to supplement their income, while others make a career out of it.
Full-time writing jobs can be found in marketing departments of companies or if you are hired on staff at a newspaper or magazine. Many nutrition writers work on a freelance basis, contributing materials to clients as needed and sending queries to magazines in order to obtain story assignments and publish articles.
Writing jobs are available for dietitians and nutritionists regardless of whether you are a Registered Dietitian. A college degree is required, and jobs in newspaper reporting and in magazines often require a degree in journalism.
Therefore, if you plan to use your nutrition degree to write you will also want to seek a minor in journalism, or you may consider seeking a graduate degree in a related field such as health communication. However, it is possible to be a nutrition writer without a degree in journalism or communication. In addition, nutrition professionals who wish to publish books based on their nutritional expertise should earn at least a master’s degree, and often a Ph.D. will be necessary.
Writing nutrition jobs require that you are fluent in English and have a good grasp of proper grammar and the Associated Press (AP) writing style. Different types of writing require different techniques and skills. For example, print writing is different that writing for the internet. These are skills that can be self taught or learned through coursework. Many times they are learned on the job as you write for different media outlets.
One type of writing is print writing which most often includes newspapers, newsletters, circulars and magazines. Dietitians and nutritionists often write columns within the food, health and lifestyle portions of newspapers. Food, drink, health and travel magazine all publish articles appropriate for dietitians and nutritionists to write. Learn about travel writing jobs on JobMonkey, too.
The level of these nutrition writing jobs varies as well. You may write a weekly column for your local newspaper or for a locally distributed magazine, or you might work yourself up to contributing articles to a major newspaper or mainstream magazine. Writing for magazines and newspapers may mean that you have a position on the staff, but more often, writers, especially those writing for magazines, work on a freelance and contract basis.
Another type of print writing is the development of handouts, fact sheets and brochures. This type of writing is often involved if you have a job within marketing of a specific company whether it is nutritional, food, or pharmaceutical in nature. However, this type of writing can also be done on a freelance basis.
Dietitians and nutritionists who are self-employed, work in private practice, or in community outreach, will also write these types of materials to promote their programming and services.
The second type of writing is web-based writing which includes website content, blogs, ebooks, and electronic newsletters. This type of work is most often freelance, unless individuals are hired by a company to manage their social media marketing and web content. With the growing need for accurate health information on the web, job opportunities for this type of writing are numerous.
Companies hire food and nutrition bloggers on a freelance basis, health websites hire nutrition writers to contribute articles, and organizations seek writers to produce electronic books and newsletters to sell online. You may also write content for yourself, write your own blogs and ebooks, and market your work and your expertise online to earn income.
Topics for nutrition writers are practically endless. Nutrition and food relate to every component of wellness and that opens up many opportunities for writing. Cooking, recipe development, healthy eating, gardening, specific nutrients, specific foods, food science, food industry, food culture, diet and weight loss, exercise, stress management and diseases are just a few of the many topics nutrition writers cover. Writers who work for a specific company earn median salaries ranging from $32,000 to $61,368 a year. Self-employed writers earn median salaries of $11,711 to $47,889.