There are several paths to becoming a nutrition counselor or health coach. Nutrition coaching and counseling is a very flexible career, so there are many viable reasons why a person or business would want to offer nutrition coaching or health coaching to their clients. The most important thing to do first is to decide what you want to do with your certification.
Step 1: Determine Your Goal
Do you want to be a registered dietician, nutritionist or a nutrition counselor, athletic coach, health coach, or wellness coach?
If you want to be a registered dietician, you must adhere to the requirements of your state. You will need to take a higher degree university course specifically for registered dieticians, which will also have many official prerequisites that you will have to fulfill. It can take from 2-4 years to take this kind of program, and longer if you need to meet more of the prerequisites.
If you want to be a nutrition coach or counsellor, or simply add nutrition to your existing fitness training business or other health related business, then you need to take a nutrition certification course that is overseen by a medical board, like the IBNFC (International Board of Nutrition and Fitness Coaching). The IBNFC oversees the Venice Nutrition Certification program, so you can safely and legally teach nutrition and provide nutrition advice in all 50 states. Your certification must be validated every 2 years.
Step 2: Determine Your Business
You can use your certification in many different ways, including in medical clinics or your own private business.
Step 3: Choose the right nutrition certification program
There are many traditional and alternative nutrition certifications available today. One aspect to consider is cost. They range in cost from $300-$400 all the way up to $10,000. The Venice Nutrition Certification is priced to be friendly to individuals and businesses who want to add nutrition consulting to their offerings without a big upfront cost, yet still be fully certified as a nutrition counselor or health coach.
The most important thing to look for in the program that you choose is whether or not the certification will allow you to teach and work in the way that you want. If you want to teach a specific type of nutrition (holistic, vegetarian) you may still do so within the framework of the Venice Nutrition program. Many programs are purely focused on weight loss or fitness, which may limit its usefulness. The Venice Nutrition Certification covers every aspect of nutrition and related health and physiology. It also allows you to legally teach nutrition in any state in America, and most countries around the world.
Step 4: Choose whether you want to study in a class or at your own pace online.
If you are a student already enrolled in a university, or you prefer to study in a large classroom environment, then you may want to look into courses at your closest college. Be aware that the costs for a live classroom course may be significantly higher for the same certification.
If you are working full or part time, or have a busy schedule and want to work as it fits you, an online nutrition certification program will be most beneficial. The costs are lower, and you can finish the course as quickly or patiently as you desire.
Step 5: Choose your clients
If you want to treat people in hospitals with medical nutrition prescriptions, then you will want to look at the degrees necessary to work in a hospital and the prerequisites necessary for a degree as a registered dietician.
If you want to help clients lose weight, increase their energy levels, achieve their ideal physique, reduce stress and aging, and better recover with alternative health treatments, then a nutrition certification is ideal for you and your business.