First off, there is a difference between a dietitian and a nutritionist. A "Nutritionist" is anyone who chooses to call themselves so, who may or may not have some sort of academic qualifications. However, it does not mean they are not knowledgeable or credible, but there are some who are not. Anybody can call themselves a nutritionists if they wanted to. They just haven't gone through an educational process that a "Dietitian" or "Registered dietitian (RD)" has gone through to ensure a comprehensive science-based education. Dietitians can practice in the medical field and prescribe special diets for people with acute and chronic diseases, unlike a nutritionist who counsels normal people to eat healthy. Under no circumstances can somebody who calls themselves a nutritionist practice what is called "Medical Nutrition Therapy," even if they know about it. In addition, dietitians keep up to date with current research as required by their certification process.
what they don't tell you in school is that the challenge and hurdle in the field is actually getting into a dietetic internship program after completing your bachelors degree from a CADE accredited school. There are a lot of dietetic graduates in school, and not a shortage of graduates. It's just the same amount of programs, from 20 years ago.... so it is very competitive. Those with a nutrition degree-We're all floating out there marginalized in the field working in food service or as Diet techs. It does not pay extraordinary for the education, work responsibility, and work load, but you definitely have to have an outstanding GPA and passion to get into the program because not everybody that graduates gets to become a dietitian. That is the truth. Some people are lucky though and get into the program. There a lot of brilliant individuals who don't make it. The dietetic internship is unpaid for 10 months-1 year