Nutritionist jobs and dietitian careers in India

Nutritionist jobs & Dietitian careersIn our ongoing series on non-MBA careers, we cover yet another interesting field – Diet and Nutrition. The best part about a nutritionist’s career – even if you don’t end up wealthy, you’ll at least be healthy. Ah, so poetic!

If Surabhi Rao looks familiar to you, it’s because she participated in the Miss India 2011 pageant and has worked on several modeling assignments.

She is a highly diet conscious nutritionist and has previously engaged as a dietitian & nutrition counsellor with VLCC. She recently moved into corporate life and is now a Director in her family business.

Though she whole heartedly enjoys dancing and reading, she confesses that she doesn’t quite enjoy working out.


Nutritionist careers and dietitian jobs in India
by Surabhi Rao

A moment on your lips, forever on your hips

Have you ever been criticized for your binge eating habits by your mother? Or by your grandmother for your love for junk food? Or maybe, by a friend with the intentions of either being a bully or a ‘frenemy’?

How would it be if you got the opportunity to do the same for a whole load of people and be paid for it too.

Brilliant, right? This opens up an entire new fraternity of health sciences. The options are plenty – Nutritionist and Dietitian in a commercial set up, the umpteen brands sprouting up like toadstools in every corner of the country. Many hospitals also hire nutritionists for the sick, ailing and the recuperating.

Why nutritionist careers are hot

Today all fitness centres mandatorily have acquired diet counsellors to boost up their images because you have to agree that ‘being on a diet’ is the in-thing today.

It’s chic and glamorous like any other accessory in your wardrobe. Celebrities constantly tweet about it. Be it the cabbage soup diet, Atkins diet or the weirdest possible -the tapeworm diet, people are always ready for the quickest solution towards good health, er, or at least be in trend. Diets are the hot topics of any student conversation or kitty parties. They are major concerns of huge corporates, to an extent which GM motors even charted for their employees, a certified dieting plan.

How to get a nutritionist job

Preparation for entering into such an opportunistic field, surprisingly, is not as tedious or competitive. There are numerous Diploma and short term courses that even housewives can take up and if not practise later as a dietitian they can always utilize the skills for kitchen management and meal planning. Whoever has even heard of housewives requiring training? But, I guess it’s very essential for even home makers to train themselves for the unrealistic demands the newer generation comes up with.

As far as nutritionist careers are concerned, students must have keen interest in science and specifically areas like physiology, biochemistry and a little bit of medicine. It might be beneficial if you are a good listener too because people with weight issues are most likely to have image issues and low self-esteem. So you can add on psychology also, as an inherent part of nutrition and dietetics. It is believed to be a female dominated career but the unexplored scope in nutrition is attracting men too, although fewer.

Last but not the least, in simple words – the money is good. If you are associated with a good high profile company, you may end up with a bountiful just out of graduation. If you get a chance to be your own boss and end up freelancing as a nutritionist, you may earn as much as a general practitioner does.

Nutritionist salaries

As a nutritionist, the salary package depends on the company you work with, but typically it could be around 2 to 3 lakhs per year to start with. Both service industries and hospitals pay well. If you prefer being a free-lancer, the income would depend on how well you can market yourself. Word of mouth plays a major role.

If you are a little more ambitious, you could set up a business. It means that you will have to look in for ventures you can associate with along with selling of your diet plans. For example – Complete weight loss package, slimming package, beauty enhancing etc etc marketing these kind of gimmicks which may or may not work.

Vacancies are plenty, the growth is indefinite. And if nothing in the end, you will be a much healthier person compared to your peers!


Surabhi hopes to manufacture and sell completely fat free and sugar free chocolates someday. Till that happens, you’d be better off keeping a tab on your diet and your nutrition.

If you’d like to ask questions about nutritionist jobs and dietitian careers, Surabhi might be checking this post for a few days. So shoot ‘em right now in the comments below.

Sameer Kamat
Founder of MBA Crystal Ball | Author of Beyond The MBA Hype & Business Doctors Connect with me on Google+ | Twitter @mba_cb | Facebook

5 Comments

  1. Rohit says:

    hey
    i have completed my B.E. in Biotechnology from Karnataka and I am planning to be a nutritionist. I guess most of the colleges in India offering nutrition courses are for women only. So i’m guessing that i’ll have to do a masters course in nutrition abroad. I just want to know whether as a biotechnology graduate, will i be eligible for nutrition colleges abroad. Also, is going abroad and doing it a good move ?? I do want to come back to India………

  2. sananda majumdar says:

    hello,
    i want to work as a dietician/nutritionist or something suitable(for example trainee etc) in hospitals/nursing homes/clinics/food industry etc (preferably in BANGALORE).I have done my B.Sc.in CLINICAL NUTRITION AND DIETETICS from University of Calcutta and M.Sc. in APPLIED NUTRITION from The University of Health Sciences.Currently I am doing German language course from IFA(B2.1).Please let me know what are the required things i need to do for getting this oppurtunity.
    thanks and regards.
    SANANDA MAJUMDAR

    NOTE:CURRENTLY I AM RESIDING IN GERMANY BUT I WILL BE GOING BACK TO BANGALORE IN JANUARY 2015.

  3. Rashmita says:

    What a terribly ill informed article.

    1. Dietitians: Are those who have studied the subject “Dietetics” at a Bachelor or Master level. They have to compulsorily have:
    a) a Bachelor Degree in Dietetics (Nutrition can be an accompanying subject),or
    b) a Master Degree in Dietetics (Nutrition can be an accompanying subject), or,
    c) A PG Diploma in Dietetics, with a background in life sciences (like a BSc in Microbiology/Biochemistry, but NOT a BSc in Maths/Physics/Chemistry/Industrial Chemistry/Electronics).

    2. Dietitians are the only ones authorized to plan diets for diseases/medical conditions, worldwide. Apart from qualifications listed in point (1) above, they need to compulsorily finished fixed hours of internship in a hospital setting and also in many countries like USA/Canada, they need to clear examinations after obtaining the educational qualifications and obtain a REGISTRATION or LICENSE to practice. In India dietitians dont need to obtain a registration/license to practice hence we have silly/amateur articles like the one written above by crystalball which makes it look like anyone can be a dietitian.

    3. Nutritionists typically are those who have completed Bachelors or Masters in Nutrition and have NOT studied “Dietetics” at any level. A Nutritionist can do whatever a dietitian can, with the exception of planning diets for medical conditions. A Nutritionist can upgrade to a Dietitian if she/he studies “Dietetics” and completes the internship/registration exams (as applicable in the said country).

    4. All Dietitians can call themselves as “Nutritionist” or as “Dietitian-Nutritionist” but a Nutritionist cannot call themself a “Dietitian”.

    5. This is an upcoming Applied Science field and an offshoot of the Medical Field like Pharmaceuticals. Its not connected to Ayurveda or Herbology or Naturopathy or Yoga/Yogic Science.

  4. Sameer Kamat says:

    Rashmita,

    Thanks for explaining the technical differences between Nutritionists and Dietitians. In most online articles the two tend to be clubbed together (and after reading your comment, I realise we’ve been guilty of doing the same).

    Thanks for the structured explanation, including qualifications required to be a dietician. I’m sure it’ll help folks who are serious about getting into the field.

    Can you share some data about the average salaries for dietician jobs in India, at various levels (starting, mid, expert)?

  5. Vinay says:

    Hi There,

    I am 33 yrs old guy from Mumbai and i am planning to take hard mass gainer as i am underweight little bit and wanna increase my weight, my doubts are Is it safe to intake the supplement Are there any side effects If i am taking then how long do i have to continue if the results are very much positive & last without work out will it work or work out is essential for the same. Awaiting your prompt reply.
    Regarding my studies i will ask my doubts later on.. Thanks
    Thanks
    Vinay

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