ENS

School of Exercise and Nutrition Sciences Careers

Consulting/self employment


Self-employed Nutritionists need to have a broad understanding of both nutrition and health. With experience, ambition and determination, there are opportunities to set up your own business.

A nutritionist can provide consulting services to various government agencies in public or community health (e.g. community cooking programs) and businesses (e.g. gyms, PR agencies, corporate wellbeing programs, fresh food markets, food industry, media, weight loss companies). A nutritionist may also provide select nutrition consulting services directly to individuals and their families.

A nutritionist can provide health coaching and wellbeing services to individuals or families, but is not qualified to provide therapeutic dietary counselling, as are Accredited Practicing Dietitian. The key difference between a dietitian and a nutritionist is that, in addition to or as part of their qualification in human nutrition, a dietitian has undertaken a course of study that included substantial theory and supervised and assessed professional practice in clinical nutrition and medical nutrition therapy within hospitals and community health centres. More information about Dietetics is available.

As a nutrition consultant, you may advise people on healthy eating and preventative health, such as assisting an individual to obtain a balanced eating plan or health coaching to enable successful dietary habit changes and weight loss. However, advice to people seeking assistance with allergies, intolerances or existing diseases (such as diabetes, cancer, IBS, Coeliac disease, cardiovascular disease) is outside your scope of practice. In these cases you will need to refer the client to an Accredited Practicing Dietitian.

Successful self-employed nutritionists have set up businesses offering services such as:

  • Healthy eating and wellbeing seminars
  • Supermarket tours
  • Cooking demonstrations
  • Menu and pantry makeovers
  • Nutrition analysis and menu reviews
  • Recipe development and analysis
  • Nutrition writing, publishing, blogging and media presenting
  • Food demonstrating in supermarkets, fairs or health professional events

There are employment opportunities within companies that provide nutrition consulting services internally to support the business or externally to clients. An example of an internal position would be a food regulatory and compliance officer for a food company. Your role may include checking new food labels for nutrition accuracy against the Food Standards Code and working with the Research and Development department on new product development. An example of an external client would be working for an Insurance Company that provides health checks and seminars to busy corporate offices. Your role may include presenting a healthy eating workshop or completing BMI or waist circumference checks. Nutritionists with specialist expertise in particular areas of nutrition (e.g. Workplace health promotion) may act as a consultant to various government and non-government groups to assist in the development of resources and programs, in addition to working as a consultant for health clubs, large companies or institutions.

Professional Associations:
The Nutrition Society of Australia (NSA)
Nutrition Australia (NA)
Public Health Association of Australia (PHAA)
World Public Health Nutrition Association (WPHNA)

Job titles/roles:
Weight Loss Consultant
Corporate Nutritionist
Company Nutritionist
Public speaker/motivational speaker
Nutrition consultant

Employers:
Large government and non-government organisations
Food companies
Public Relations companies
Communications agency
Health clubs
Charity organisations
Insurance companies
...the list could continue indefinitely

Suggested electives:
HSN741 Postgraduate Nutrition Practicum

Graduate profiles:
Dianne Sfiligoi (word doc 25KB)
Completed the Graduate Certificate of Human Nutrition in 2008.

Dianne has previously completed a Bachelor of Applied Science (Physiotherapy) degree but felt it only taught her a single focussed approach to managing health, working in private practice in a community setting. With the knowledge of nutrition and more specifically diet and disease, she is now able to present a lifestyle management plan for improved health outcomes for her clients.

Expert in area:
Kristen Beck (word doc 48KB)
Kristen is a registered Nutritionist and an experienced media commentator, public speaker and lecturer.

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21st February 2013