Nutritional therapist: job description
Nutritional therapists work with adults and children who are affected by conditions such as depression, anxiety, learning difficulties, asthma, skin disease, fatigue, weight problems, arthritis, physical, psychiatric and neurological disorders, and migraines.
Typical responsibilities of the job include:
- booking and undertaking confidential one-to-one consultations with clients
- gaining information from clients about previous dietary and lifestyle history
- analysing and interpreting laboratory test results
- assessing and planning treatment requirements
- recommending appropriate nutritional supplements and diets
- providing education, information and advice about lifestyle, exercise, diet and nutrition
- creating and keeping accurate confidential records and reports
- tracking progress of clients on treatment plans
- undertaking general administrative and business management tasks
- attending conferences and training events
- keeping up to date with developments in the profession
- marketing and promoting the business
- undertaking financial administration
- Private practices
- Specialist clinics
- Complementary healthcare clinics
Nutritional therapy courses are offered at diploma, degree and postgraduate level at a number of universities and colleges. Relevant experience is not normally needed, although course providers may expect knowledge of the profession. To apply for a degree or diploma course you will usually need five GSCEs, including maths and English, and a minimum of two A levels or equivalent qualifications, with at least one in science.
A degree in a relevant subject (for example chemistry, biology, medicine, nursing, nutrition, dietetics, health studies, food science and technology) can be beneficial if applying for postgraduate courses. It is also advantageous to possess a strong science background, for example, A levels or equivalent qualifications in chemistry, biology, physiology, anatomy or food science.
The nutritional therapy profession is regulated on a voluntary basis by the Complementary and Natural Healthcare Council (CNHC). Courses are accredited by the Nutritional Therapy Education Commission, and providers of accredited courses are listed on its website.
The British Association for Nutrition and Lifestyle Medicine (BANT, formerly the British Association for Applied Nutrition and Nutritional Therapy) is the professional association for nutritional therapists. It offers various different types of membership. Full membership is open to nutritional therapists who have trained on an accredited course, and student membership is open to those who are enrolled on an accredited course.
- Interactive skills
- Good interpersonal skills
- Planning skills
- Communication skills
- Analytical and information skills