Why The Right Nutrition Course Can Be So Rewarding

by Yvette McKenzie
Posted: July 05, 2016

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There are many reasons to undertake a nutrition course, but one of the main ones is the ever-improving job outlook.

Mothers, grandfathers, school-leavers, job changers or even people who just want to improve their own health and wellbeing are turning to online study to learn more about what they love: food, health and optimal happiness. 

Nutritionists and dietitians both aim to assist in a person’s journey to reaching optimal health through food and nutrition. The main role of a nutritionist is to help people achieve their best level of health by providing information and advice about health and food choices. 

Interestingly, there is no national standard needed to call yourself a nutritionist in Australia and the term nutritionist can be used freely by people with a range of backgrounds. People with a nationally-recognised Certificate IV in a specialty area of nutrition can call themselves a nutritionist and those who study and attain a certificate in a non-accredited programme may also call themselves a nutritionist. As such, it is important for nutritionists to advertise and promote their qualifications and the learning they have achieved. 

The Certificate in Human Nutrition

Nutrition lesson - career in nutrition

Some online courses are designed to give you a framework for your journey towards personal health. This certificate in nutrition would be suitable for people who are interested in pursuing a career in nutrition, or for those who want to develop extra nutrition knowledge to further their careers, for example, personal trainers or those working in health care.

Many personal trainers want to flesh out their experience and knowledge base by getting extra qualifications under their belts, and the Certificate in Human Nutrition equips them to advise on nutrition for sport and fitness and to provide health education and promotion.

Some people might study the course to gain extra knowledge of chronic disease management. Chronic diseases are the leading cause of illness, disability and death in Australia, accounting for 90% of all deaths in 2011, according to the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare. 

Pregnancy and children's nutrition, nutrition for a healthy lifestyle and also weight management, including loss and gain are all elective options, for this non-accredited course. 

Certificate IV in Allied Health Assistance (Nutrition and Dietetics)

Nutrition fruit

Dietitians are tertiary qualified in food, nutrition and dietetics. Dietitians may work in many of the same settings as nutritionists, such as public health and community nutrition, research and teaching, food industry and nutrition marketing and communications. However, dietitians are also qualified to work in hospitals and the medical nutrition industry

A course in Allied Health Assistance allows you to work alongside an accredited allied health professional, such as a nutritionist or 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 includes substantial theory and supervised and assessed professional practice in clinical nutrition, medical nutrition therapy and food service management. Often dieticians will have many patients on their books and may require skilled assistance, where is where this qualification comes in. 

The Certificate IV in Allied Health Assistance (Nutrition and Dietetics) course allows you membership to Nutrition Australia, the peak industry body for the nutrition industry in Australia. The mission of Nutrition Australia is to promote optimal health for all Australians by encouraging food variety and physical activity.

In Australia, all dietitians are considered to be nutritionists, but nutritionists without a dietetics qualification cannot work as dietitians. With the health and wellness industry currently booming, there are increasingly large numbers of desirable career options available for those with substantial study in either nutrition or dietetics. 

Why having nutrition qualifications is great for your career, and health!

nutrition meal

According to the Australian Bureau of Statistics, in 2011-12, 62.8% of Australians aged 18 years and over were overweight or obese, with 35% overweight and 27.5% obese. The prevalence of people who are overweight and those who are obese has increased in Australia over time, from just over 56% in 1995 and 61% in 2007–08. The figures are not good, and they’re getting worse.

Studying online to gain more knowledge of what makes people healthy, either to benefit your own life or the lives of others is a worthwhile career path, or terrific option for personal growth and study. 

Want to learn more about careers in nutrition? Research roles, average salaries and job prospects for a career in Nutrition here.


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Yvette McKenzie


Is the content strategist at Open Colleges. She has over a decade of professional experience at some of Australia’s largest media corporations, including Southern Cross Austereo and the Macquarie Media Network. With a degree in Communications (majoring in Journalism), she covers stories on education, new knowledge technologies and independent learning.

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