Government Nutritionist Jobs

There are multiple nutrition jobs available in local, state and federal government. Often these jobs exist within the public health system, but jobs at the federal level can also be found in agriculture.

Credentials needed for these jobs can vary. Often status as a Registered Dietitian is required, however, nutritionist positions can be found at the local and state level. In addition, nutrition jobs which assist public health nutrition efforts, sometimes titled community educators, may be available for those with a high school diploma or an associate’s degree, and necessary training is provided prior to beginning the position. Jobs at the federal level require at least a master’s degree, and most often a doctorate.

Local, City and County Nutrition Jobs

Local public health departments hire dietitians and nutritionists to conduct nutritional evaluation, develop diet plans and provide community nutrition education through classes and workshops. Opportunities are available to work with low income groups through government-based food programs such as Women, Infant and Children (WIC), and food stamp education and promotion.
In addition, if you work in a public health setting you will likely be part of local or state coalitions and task forces which focus on health. These groups collaborate to improve the health of the community and promote policy change in food and nutrition. You will form partnerships with local school systems, healthcare facilities and recreational facilities to support your message and provide community education.

Day-to-day duties include consults with individuals visiting the health department, and providing guidance about food programs, and teaching classes and workshops. You will attend meetings with partners to develop and implement health programming in your community and seek external grants to fund nutrition and food projects.

Nutrition jobs also exist with within the school system. Dietitians and nutritionists can be hired to oversee food service and nutrition programming for schools. These jobs may be for an individual school or oversee all schools within a school district. Duties include planning school meals and educating students and parents about nutrition and food.

Dietitians and nutritionists employed through local government earn salaries ranging from $36,366 to $54,025. Dietitians and nutritionists working in schools or school districts earn salaries ranging from $31,492 to $59,958.

State Nutrition Jobs

Dietitians and nutritionists are hired at the state level to oversee the nutrition-related work conducted at local health departments. Nutrition jobs at the state level involve administrative work as opposed to one-on-one nutrition counseling and teaching. You will initiate nutrition and food projects and programs to be adopted and implemented at the local health departments.

You may be required to seek federal funding for projects, or manage a grant project for the state to which local nutritionists and dietitians apply for funding.

Individuals at the state level are involved in state coalitions and task forces that promote health and nutrition, work closely with state government officials and schools systems, oversee government-based food programs, and may be part of federal coalitions as representatives of the state or region.

Day-to-day duties include communicating with and providing guidance for local nutrition professionals, conducting trainings for local health departments, assisting with evaluation of nutrition projects throughout the state, and collecting state data for health-related statistics such as fruit and vegetable consumption, breastfeeding rates or rates overweight and obesity. In addition, you will attend meetings with partners, get involved with public policy as it relates to food and nutrition, and attend regional and national conferences that provide professional development and networking.

Similar to those working in local government, dietitians and nutritionists employed through state government earn salaries ranging from $36,366 to $54,025. Those working in schools or school districts earn salaries ranging from $31,492 to $59,958.

Federal Nutrition Jobs

Federal nutrition jobs are administrative in nature and are similar to state nutrition jobs, but at a higher level. Jobs in the federal government can be found within the National Institutes of Health and the United States Department of Agriculture. Duties can include administering grants, overseeing the regional operations of health departments and cooperative extension programming, conducting research, advocating nutrition and food policy, and working closely with government officials. Dietitians and nutritionists working in federal government earn salaries ranging from $42,390 to $70,468; however, this can vary depending on the type of nutrition job and level of experience.

Sign up for our newsletter!