Ten Ways to Earn a Living as a Holistic Nutrition Professional

Miriam G. Zacharias, MS, NTC, BCHN, President of the NANP

What can you do with your holistic nutrition credential?

If you aren’t sure that building a solo practice is your “thing,” here’s the good news: there are a boatload of ways to use your education.

Below you’ll find a list of career options for you to consider.

Professions in Holistic Nutrition

1. Open a private practice (or partner with someone to build one with you) 

Nutrition professionals today have many more options than the 1:1 consultation model of the past. Many teach cooking classes, offer meal prep services or conduct pantry clean-outs in a client’s home. Online nutrition counseling is easier and more effective than ever, with low-cost methods to conduct video calls, conduct group coaching sessions, submit forms, send handouts and offer email support. Bottom line:  creating a thriving solo practice is limited only by your imagination.

2. Join an existing practice or clinic

Working with an established clinic lends confidence through mentorship. Most important is to find allies who value your skills and will pay you accordingly. If this sounds like you, learn how to find the right clinic and negotiate a fair contract in the NTA’s Career Development Course. Learn more and register for October’s class by clicking here.

3. Build and teach online courses

If you have (or want to create) a unique program, protocol, or method and yearn to share it with others, join the leagues of those who develop and teach online courses. Digital marketing skills are essential for success in this work, as this will be your primary method to attract prospective students.

4. Research

Love to bury your nose in the books? Adore writing white papers or other scientific materials? Not terribly interested in working with clients? Nutrition research may be just the ticket for you. Researchers are highly sought after in a variety of roles in the education, food and supplement fields, but this is just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to potential opportunities.

5. Writer

I’m a big fan of writing because of the authority it brings (root word of authority is, yep, author). Whether it’s your own blog, book or guest blogging for others, writing can bring in money. Bloggers earn bucks through selling sponsorships and affiliates. Guest blogging also pays, too. In fact, one of my first gigs out of nutrition school 14 years ago was as a paid writer for Mercola.com, which was a great launchpad for my later work. 

6. Corporate wellness professional

Many companies have budgets in place for in-house Wellness Program Managers, Coordinators and more. In fact, I pulled up thousands of positions around the U.S. with this title in a quick online search, each offering anywhere from $50 - $125K per year plus benefits! Jobs in a multitude of industries are available. 

7. Work for a nutraceutical company

Another career path for holistic nutrition professionals is employment at a dietary supplement company. Whether your interest is in sales, research, or management, these companies offer lucrative salary and benefit plans, and are highly motivated to hire someone with a credential from an NANP-approved school.

8. Executive (or other staff position) at health-related organizations or schools

You don’t need to look any further than at our own Nicole Hodson, Executive Director of the NANP, for this career. Whether you choose to align yourself with a non-profit that speaks to your heart or pursue a position at a for-profit health organization, contribution toward advancing our industry can bring great joy to your life. Just ask Nicole!

9. Community advocate for a cause

There are ample community events and programs that would love your help. Causes such as AIDS Walks, bike rides for MS, and fun runs are ubiquitous; non-profit organizations teach young adults and other special populations how to cook and new mothers how to feed their babies. While many of these organizations seek volunteers, all have paid staff, too. Simply search for “volunteer (city name)” and start exploring.  

10. Dietary supplement sales at local grocer 

Many use their education to work in supplement departments at natural foods stores. Many of these spots also include opportunities to do 1:1 consults, so you’ll be able to work with clients, too. Even if the pay isn’t ideal, fulltime spots often include benefits like health insurance, vacation, discounts and more.

These are the first 10 positions that quickly came to mind. Others are:

  • Manage or help promote a farmer’s market
  • Apply for a paid board of directors seat at a for-profit health company
  • Start a podcast and drum up monies from sponsors and affiliates
  • Become an instructor at a nutrition school – start with your alma mater!
  • Develop & sell a phone or computer app to support client engagement and compliance
  • Become an authoritative, fee-based conference speaker for consumer or professional audiences
  • Become a farmer
  • Open a café or restaurant and offer a REAL heart-healthy menu
  • Combine your love of nutrition with experience as a business advisor, something that I have personally pursued to advance my own mission of creating an army of successful holistic health practitioners

These careers build skills and confidence along with your resume. Some may become the job of your dreams, others a stepping-stone or a way in to something greater down the road. Regardless of where you are in your journey, with bit of ingenuity, sufficient hustle, and a holistic nutrition credential in your back pocket, your future in this industry has never looked brighter.


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Steven Ashton - Tuesday, September 03, 2019

Thank you for detailing many of the possibilities for us in the holistic nutrition business. This gives me more ideas. I often struggle with this because they all sound appealing to me but I am gradually leaning more towards the writing side of nutrition. I think the holistic nutrition field is slowly expanding and I am glad to be a part of it.

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