Why Should You Study Nutrition or Dietetics In Australia
If your goal is to build a career in the food industry or the healthcare sector, studying a course in nutrition or dietetics can be extremely helpful. When it comes to health, it is a challenging task to help people make long-lasting changes in their habits, but when you get them to do that it can be very satisfying. If this is a career option that you are planning to pursue, then it is a good idea to consider studying Nutrition/Dietetics in Australia.
As a Nutrition Professional/Dietitian, you would apply the science behind human nutrition in assisting people to attain better health. You would also help them prevent as well as treat various diseases and illnesses. In order to work as a Nutrition Professional/Dietitian, you usually need to have a Bachelor’s degree either in nutrition or dietetics. Many professionals are known to complete postgraduate studies as well.
The tasks that you will have to perform when working as a Nutrition Professional or Dietitian will include the following:
- Planning diets, menus, and providing instructions to people regarding their requirements as well as the importance of diet; food planning and preparation.
- Supervision of meal preparation and serving.
- Collecting, organising, and analysing data related to health as well as the nutritional status of groups, communities, and individuals.
- Monitoring food quality and intake as a part of providing nutritional care.
- Calculating the nutritional value of the food being served.
- Planning, conducting, and assessing nutrition intervention programs; compiling educational material.
- Providing nutrition assessment reports, nutrition management; nutrition education, training, and research.
- Consulting with Health Professionals and health workers for the management of the dietary/nutritional requirements of patients.
Both nutritionists and dietitians provide a wide range of services to clients, including basic nutrition advice to individuals, private organizations, and public health bodies, and contributions to community health programs by way of policy input.
Nutritionists mostly work at the community, population, and organization level to provide advice and information with regards to foods for promoting health. On the other hand, dietitians have the freedom to work in any field that nutritionists work and also handle patients on a one-on-one basis in clinical setups such as hospitals, residential care centres, and private clinics as they have additional accredited qualifications. Dietitians often provide medical advice and/or medical nutrition therapy to individuals and prescribe treatments for several conditions including diabetes, cancer, allergies, and obesity.
Growth potential is the most important reason for studying any course. Apart from that, there are many reasons why you should consider studying one of the courses in Nutrition/Dietetics in Australia. Some of the important ones are as follows:
- The courses in nutrition and dietetics offered by the top universities in Australia are recognized around the world.
- In addition to the world-class programmes offered by the universities/colleges in Australia, you get hands-on training and opportunities to interact with industry leaders.
- Apart from flexible study options, opting for one of the courses in Nutrition/Dietetics in Australia opens up opportunities for international students to continue to remain in the country, after the studies, and work for a longer time in specified regional areas.
- The employment prospect in Australia is very good. The employment prospects for Nutrition Professionals are expected to see very strong growth over the five years from 2018 to 2023 (7,500 to 8,900). Job openings are expected to come from the creation of new employment and the leaving of workers. Approximately 5,000 job openings @ 1,000 per year are expected over the five years.
- On an average, full-time workers earn about $1,992 per week. At work, full-time Nutrition Professionals spend about 42 hours a week at work.
- The total number of professionals working in the field of Dietetics grew from 3700 in 2011 to 4000 in 2016. This trend is expected to continue over the next few years. On an average, professionals in the field of Dietetics work for round 41 hours per week and can expect to earn a weekly pay package of $1,992.
Knowledge and Skills Required
When it comes to knowledge and skills required, employers often look at the ability of the Nutrition Professionals/Professionals in the field of Dietetics to communicate clearly with a diverse population. They also consider whether prospective candidates are caring, empathetic, and are team players. As far as knowledge and skill levels are concerned, the requirements to be met are the same for both nutritionists and dietitians.
The most important knowledge areas as far as Nutrition Professionals/Dietitians are:
Education and training: Design of curriculum and training, ability to teach and provide instructions for individuals as well as groups, and capability to measure the effectiveness of training.
Customer and personal service: Ability to understand the needs of the customers, provide good quality service, and measure customer satisfaction
Psychology: Clear understanding of human behavior, differences in personality, interests, and ability; ability to learn and motivate; devise research methodologies; assess and treat disorders
Therapy and counselling: Ability to diagnose, treat, and rehabilitate both physical and mental dysfunctions; career guidance and counselling
English language: Proficiency in the English language, which includes understanding the meaning of words, ability to spell words, and following grammar and composition rules
When it comes to the skills required for working as a Nutrition Professional/Dietitian, employers mainly consider the following skills of prospective candidates:
Reading comprehension: Ability to read and understand work-related information
Social perceptiveness: Ability to understand why people act or react in specific ways
Writing: Ability to write notes, memos, and instructions for co-workers and customers.
Monitoring: Ability to keep track of the progress of work so that changes or improvements can be recommended
Speaking: Ability to converse with others
A host of other skills are also assessed. They include skills such as listening, critical thinking, instructing, judgement and decision making, learning, complex problem solving, persuasion, serving others, coordination with others, learning strategies, negotiation, systems analysis, management of personnel and resources, science, and operations analysis.
Career Opportunities for Nutritionists and Dietitians
For nutritionists, there are no official accrediting bodies. As a holder of a bachelor’s degree in nutrition science, you will find career opportunities in sectors such as Education (Training, Research), Industry (Nutrition advisor, Product development, Regulatory affairs, Communications), and Public health (Policy advice, Research, Communication, Food regulation, Nutrition Advisor). You could also find job opportunities in governmental and non-governmental organizations. Nutrition science graduates can apply and become members of the Nutrition Society of Australia.
In food industries, a nutritionist often acts as an intermediary between the company and the public. You will be focusing on improving the health of the people by analyzing the impact of the company’s products.
Media and Marketing:
If you are employed in the media and marketing field, you will work as a liaison officer, food commentator for television and radio, or writer/editor of nutrition-related content for websites, books, magazines, and social media.
Nutrition Education and Research:
If you want to become an expert in nutrition and improve the understanding of society with respect to health, you have to look for a career in nutrition education and research. You can publish your work and travel across the world to conduct research in your chosen field. You can also work in hospitals, universities, research institutes, or the food industry in the role of an academic researcher.
Public Health Nutrition:
As a public health nutritionist, you will be responsible for preventing the outbreak of diseases and illnesses in communities. You will encourage people to choose a healthier lifestyle and ensure equal health care access to all.
Self-employment and Consulting:
As a nutrition professional, you can work as a consultant and provide advice to various government agencies with regards to public/community health, private businesses like gyms, weight loss service providers, and PR agencies. You can also be self-employed as a lifestyle health consultant or public speaker and conduct wellbeing seminars.
In Australia, if you want to practice as a dietitian you need to be certified as an Accredited Practicing Dietitian by the Dietitians Association of Australia. Career opportunities for an accredited dietitian include assisting government bodies in developing food regulation policies, educating communities regarding the importance of diet, and working for a sporting club as a sports dietitian.
As a dietitian, you can work in hospitals or residential care centres. You will also be responsible for assessing patients’ nutritional needs, planning proper diets, and teaching patients as well as families about dietary change.
Private Practice and Consultancy:
If you are an accredited dietitian, you can offer consultancy services to groups of people, organizations, and even individuals. You may counsel individuals, offer group or preventive health programmes, and nutrition education.
Dietitians working in the food industry are often responsible for food planning on a large scale. They may have to coordinate and assess as well as plan processes related to food service in places such as healthcare facilities, schools, and even prisons. Employment areas include menu assessment, food planning and service, consulting and hospitality, and catering.
Media and Marketing:
If you choose to work in the media industry or as a marketing professional, you may have to serve as a liaison officer, food commentator for radio/television, or write/edit nutrition-related content on websites, books, magazines, and social media.
Public Health and Nutrition:
If you hold a bachelor’s or master’s degree in dietetics and choose to work in the Public Health Department, you will have to handle health and nutrition education programs at the community level and assist in health planning, developing nutrition policies, and establishing nutritional standards.
Geographical Locations That Offer High Employment Opportunities For Nutritionists and Dietitians
In Australia, nutritionists work in several regions across the country. However, the regions (states and territories) that offer high employment opportunities for nutritionists are:
- New South Wales (37.2 percent)
- Victoria (23.2 percent)
- Queensland (23.1 percent)
- South Australia (3.1 percent)
- Western Australia (8.2 percent)
- Tasmania (1.9 percent)
- Northern Territory (2.0 percent)
- Australian Capital Territory (1.4 percent)
The figures within parenthesis indicate the percentage share of employment opportunities for nutritionists.
Dietitians also work in various regions across Australia, but the regions (states and territories) that offer high employment opportunities for them are:
- New South Wales (33.1 percent)
- Victoria (25.8 percent)
- Queensland (21.1 percent)
- South Australia (6.5 percent)
- Western Australia (8.6 percent)
- Tasmania (1.6 percent)
- Northern Territory (1.2 percent)
- Australia Capital Territory (2.2 percent)
- All occupations: 1.9%
The figures within parenthesis indicate the percentage share of employment opportunities for dietitians.
Work Environment For Nutritionists and Dietitians
As a Professional (nutritionist or dietitian), your job would demand that you use electronic mail as part of your day-to-day work, speak to an individual face-to-face, talk to people on the telephone, and stay indoors within temperature-controlled spaces during work hours. Further, when it comes to decision making, you will have a lot of freedom.
You will also be required to work and get along well with others in the team and organization. Of course, you can work independently with little/no supervision, make decisions, and try out your own ideas. However, you should be results-oriented. You will be recognized for the work you do. In general, your work will be interesting and your pay and working conditions will be good. Finally, you can be sure of fair treatment by the management of your organization.
Some of the other qualities that employers look for in Nutrition Professionals/Dietitians include a high level of analytical capability, helping attitude, ability to start and implement projects, and creativity. You would also be expected to be practical and follow set of procedures.
Top-Rated Universities Offering Dietetics/Nutrition Courses In Australia
In Australia, you can study a Bachelor’s or Master’s course in nutrition and/or dietetics at many universities across the country. However, you have to keep in mind the fact that all programmes are not created equal. Studying the best course that suits your needs at one of the top universities is crucial for building a great career.
The course should provide you with the information you need to know about the wellness of human beings in a very engaging manner. It should also help you to build a strong knowledge base and skills you need. Further, the university or college should create an environment that would encourage you to learn the basics well, expand your knowledge, and perform and succeed in your career. Having said that here is a list of top-rated courses in Nutrition/Dietetics and universities that offer the same:
Australian Catholic University : Bachelor of Nutrition Science & Bachelor of Nutrition Science (Honours) & Master of Dietetic Practice
Curtin University: Bachelor Double Degree in Nutrition & Health Promotion, Bachelor of Nutrition & Food Science, Master’s In Dietetics and more.
Deakin University: Bachelor of Nutrition Science, Bachelor of Nutrition Science (Honours), Bachelor of Nutrition Science (Dietetics Pathway), Master of Nutrition & Population Health, Master of Dietetics and more.
Edith Cowan University: Bachelor of Health Science, Master of Nutrition & Dietetics and more
Federation University: Bachelor of Food & Nutritional Science
Flinders University: Bachelor of Human Nutrition, Bachelor of Nutrition and Dietetics & Master of Nutrition & Dietetics.
La Trobe University: Bachelor of Human Nutrition, Bachelor of Human Nutrition (Honours), Bachelor of Food & Nutrition & Master of Dietetic Practice.
Queensland University of Technology: Bachelor of Nutrition Science and Bachelor of Nutrition & Dietetics (Honours)
Swinburne University of Technology: Bachelor of Health Science, Bachelor of Health Science (Honours), Bachelor of Health Science (Professional) & Master of Dietetics.
University of South Australia: Bachelor of Nutrition & Food Sciences, Bachelor of Health Science (Nutrition & Exercise), Master of Health Services Management and more
University of Wollongong: Bachelor of Nutrition Science, Bachelor of Nutrition & Dietetics (Honours) & Mater of Nutrition & Dietetics.
University of Canberra: Bachelor of Health Science (Nutrition Studies), Bachelor of Human Nutrition, Bachelor of Human Nutrition (Honours), Master of Nutrition & Dietetics and more
The University of Adelaide: Bachelor of Food and Nutrition Science, Bachelor of Food and Nutrition Science (Honours), Bachelor of Health and Medical Sciences and more.
Hope you found this article on the prospects of studying Nutrition/Dietetics in Australia helpful. If you are a prospective student who is planning to pursue a course in Nutrition/Dietetics in Australia, then get in touch with us today to know more on the fee structure and attractive scholarship opportunities.