Dietitians improve the quality of people's lives every day. The exciting career field combines nutrition, science, food and health under one discipline. Eastern Michigan University offers courses on dietetics through its online Bachelor of General Studies (BGS) degree.
Students who enter the flexible program can include dietetics as one of three areas of focus. By combining dietetics with a complementary field, such as business, you can broaden your healthcare skill sets or simply explore other areas of interest.
How Can a BGS Degree Prepare Me for a Career in Dietetics?
A BGS online degree allows students to use past college credits while exploring new areas of study. To complete the degree, students must choose three areas of focus and complete at least 20 credit hours per area. EMU offers dietetics as one area of study. The online courses are taught by EMU faculty — the same faculty who teach on campus — and include:
- Fundamentals of Nutrition and Dietetics: This course teaches students to evaluate the role of nutrition in a healthy lifestyle. The class includes an overview of nutrients and their functions as well as the role culture and society play in informing our views on nutrition.
- Careers in Nutrition and Dietetics: Students gain an overview of dietetics professions and their role within the healthcare system. Ethics and evidence-based practices are emphasized.
- Food and Culture: This course surveys food-related issues through the context of culture. Topics discussed include global food supply, agriculture, livestock, malnutrition and food availability, among others.
- Fundamentals of Healthy Lifestyles: This class examines current nutrition, fitness and lifestyle strategies that promote healthy living.
Potential Careers in Dietetics
Once you complete your BGS degree from EMU, you can pursue the following rewarding careers. Some of these careers require specialized certification beyond a college degree.
Nutritionists, also known as dietitians, help clients create healthy meal plans based on the client's needs and goals. These healthcare professionals may work at a private practice, medical clinic, hospital, school or assisted living facility. Nutritionists also teach healthy eating habits.
Certain dietitians perform health screenings. These professionals should maintain good relationships with the broader medical community so they can give referrals as needed. It is also important that nutritionists stay up to date on new findings related to their field. The average salary for a dietitian or nutritionist is $51,096 per year, according to PayScale (April 2019).
Food Safety Auditor
Food safety auditors are responsible for the safety and quality of the food products they oversee. They may work in processing plants, slaughterhouses, or anywhere food is manufactured or processed. Travel is common in this field. The average salary for this career is $65,840 per year, according to Study.com.
Food Labeling Specialist
Food labeling specialists are responsible for reviewing and approving labels for companies that produce food products. These specialists must have an intimate understanding of their company's products as well as state and federal regulations. One of the most important jobs for these professionals is ensuring that labels are in compliance with federal regulations. The average annual pay for this position is $66,500 per year, according to PayScale.
Sports dietitians use their knowledge of nutrition to draft dietary plans for athletes. Athletes have unique nutritional demands, meaning this specialized field requires a deep understanding of how diet affects performance and recovery. Many of these specialists are certified through the Commission on Dietetic Registration.
Learn How an Online BGS Degree Can Further Your Career in Nutrition
The online BGS program offered through EMU is designed to allow students to pursue their passions, whatever they are. An online degree with an emphasis on dietetics prepares students for rewarding careers in public health, nutrition and other science-related fields.
Learn more about the EMU online Bachelor of General Studies program.
Sources:PayScale: Food Labeling Specialist
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