A nutrition coach is another term to describe someone who can offer general nutritional advice. Like a nutritionist, it isn’t federally accredited but it has stricter regulations including specific education and ongoing certifications. Precision Nutrition is an online multi-level certification program that offers anyone the opportunity to become a nutrition coach without having to go back to school. The benefit of a program like this, aside from flexibility, is how it pairs the science behind nutrition with the art of coaching. “This is something that a lot of other nutrition certifications and dietetic programs are lacking,” St. Pierre explains.
Whether you’re a dietician with an MS after your name or a personal trainer studying to become a nutrition coach, it’s important to remember that these professions are intrinsically intertwined. “A nutritionist or nutrition coach could act as the first line of defense, helping clients make small, sustainable changes,” St. Pierre says. “If something is outside of their scope of practice, they can then refer them to a more specialized nutritionist or a registered dietician.”
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median salary for dieticians and nutritionists in 2019 was $61,270—not too shabby. If you’re looking to work with a nutritionist, nutrition coach or registered dietician (rather than become one), give your doctor a call. They’ll be able to make recommendations based on your current health goals, whether you’re looking to lose weight or fuel up for your next marathon.