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Nutrition Science Major

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Nutrition Science

3,449 Bachelor's Degrees Annually
1,237 Master's Degrees Annually
#97 in Popularity
$83,600 Median Salary

Types of Degrees Nutrition Science Majors Are Getting

The following table lists how many nutrition science graduations there were in 2017-2018 for each degree level.

Education Level Number of Grads
Bachelor’s Degree 3,449
Master’s Degree 1,237
Doctor’s Degree 186
Graduate Certificate 93
Associate’s Degree 18
Undergraduate Certificate 7

What Nutrition Science Majors Need to Know

People with careers related to nutrition science were asked what knowledge areas, skills, and abilities were important for their jobs. They weighted these areas on a scale of 1 to 5 with 5 being the highest.

Knowledge Areas for Nutrition Science Majors

This major prepares you for careers in which these knowledge areas are important:

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  • English Language - Knowledge of the structure and content of the English language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition, and grammar.
  • Biology - Knowledge of plant and animal organisms, their tissues, cells, functions, interdependencies, and interactions with each other and the environment.
  • Mathematics - Knowledge of arithmetic, algebra, geometry, calculus, statistics, and their applications.
  • Education and Training - Knowledge of principles and methods for curriculum and training design, teaching and instruction for individuals and groups, and the measurement of training effects.
  • Chemistry - Knowledge of the chemical composition, structure, and properties of substances and of the chemical processes and transformations that they undergo. This includes uses of chemicals and their interactions, danger signs, production techniques, and disposal methods.

Skills for Nutrition Science Majors

When studying nutrition science, you’ll learn many skills that will help you be successful in a wide range of jobs - even those that do not require a degree in the field. The following is a list of some of the most common skills needed for careers associated with this major:

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  • Reading Comprehension - Understanding written sentences and paragraphs in work related documents.
  • Speaking - Talking to others to convey information effectively.
  • Critical Thinking - Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions or approaches to problems.
  • Writing - Communicating effectively in writing as appropriate for the needs of the audience.
  • Active Listening - Giving full attention to what other people are saying, taking time to understand the points being made, asking questions as appropriate, and not interrupting at inappropriate times.

Abilities for Nutrition Science Majors

A major in nutrition science will prepare for your careers in which the following abilities are important:

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  • Oral Expression - The ability to communicate information and ideas in speaking so others will understand.
  • Written Comprehension - The ability to read and understand information and ideas presented in writing.
  • Oral Comprehension - The ability to listen to and understand information and ideas presented through spoken words and sentences.
  • Deductive Reasoning - The ability to apply general rules to specific problems to produce answers that make sense.
  • Written Expression - The ability to communicate information and ideas in writing so others will understand.

What Can You Do With a Nutrition Science Major?

People with a nutrition science degree often go into the following careers:

Job Title Job Growth Rate Median Salary
Biological Science Professors 15.1% $82,550
Dietetic Technicians 9.3% $27,140
Dietitians and Nutritionists 14.6% $60,370
Life Scientists 9.0% $78,190
Molecular and Cellular Biologists 8.0% $79,590
Natural Sciences Managers 9.9% $123,860

Who Is Getting a Bachelor’s Degree in Nutrition Science?

3,449 Bachelor's Degrees Annually
83% Percent Women
38% Percent Racial-Ethnic Minorities
This is a less frequently chosen undergraduate major. Only 3,449 students graduated with a bachelor’s degree in nutrition science in 2018, making it rank #97 in popularity. The major attracts more women than men. About 83% of the recent graduates in this field are female.

Racial-Ethnic Diversity

At the countrywide level, the racial-ethnic distribution of nutrition science majors is as follows:

Racial-Ethnic Diversity of Nutrition Science Students with Bachelor's Degrees
Race/Ethnicity Number of Grads
Asian 478
Black or African American 122
Hispanic or Latino 559
White 1,860
International Students 172
Other Races/Ethnicities 258

Geographic Diversity

Americans aren’t the only ones with an interest in Nutrition Science. About 5.0% of those with this major are international students. The most popular countries for students from outside the country are:

  • China
  • Saudi Arabia
  • India
  • Taiwan
  • South Korea

How Much Do Nutrition Science Majors Make?

Bachelor’s Degree Starting Salary

The U.S. Department of Education found that students who graduated in 2015-2017 with a bachelor’s degree in nutrition science made a median starting salary of $28,500 per year. During this timeframe, most salaries fell between $26,900 (25th percentile) and $31,400 (75th percentile).

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It’s important to note that just because the people reporting these salaries have a degree in nutrition science, it does not mean that they are working in a job related to their degree.

Salaries According to BLS

Nutrition Science majors often go into careers where salaries can range from $61,210 to $97,340 (25th to 75th percentile). This range includes all degree levels, so the salary for a person with just a bachelor’s degree may be a little less and the one for a person with an advanced degree may be a little more.

To put that into context, according to BLS data from the first quarter of 2020, the typical high school graduate makes between $30,000 and $57,900 a year (25th through 75th percentile). The average person with a bachelor’s degree (any field) makes between $45,600 and $99,000. Advanced degree holders make the most with salaries between $55,600 and $125,400.

Median Salary for a Nutrition Science Major  ( 61210 to 97340 )
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Median Salary for a High School Graduate  ( 30000 to 57900 )
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Median Salary for a Bachelor's Degree Holder  ( 45600 to 99000 )
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Median Salary for an Advanced Degree Holder  ( 55600 to 125400 )
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Some careers associated with nutrition science require an advanced degree while some may not even require a bachelor’s. In general, the more advanced your degree the more career options will open up to you. However, there is significant time and money that needs to be invested into your education so weigh the pros and cons.

Find out what the typical degree level is for nutrition science careers below.

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Education Level Percentage of Workers
Less than a High School Diploma 5.8%
High School Diploma - or the equivalent (for example, GED) 13.1%
Some College Courses 1.3%
Associate’s Degree (or other 2-year degree) 1.0%
Bachelor’s Degree 19.2%
Post-Baccalaureate Certificate - awarded for completion of an organized program of study; designed for people who have completed a Baccalaureate degree but do not meet the requirements of academic degrees carrying the title of Master. 6.7%
Master’s Degree 12.3%
Post-Master’s Certificate - awarded for completion of an organized program of study; designed for people who have completed a Master’s degree but do not meet the requirements of academic degrees at the doctoral level. 0.7%
Doctoral Degree 23.2%
Post-Doctoral Training 16.7%

Online Nutrition Science Programs

In the 2017-2018 academic year, 122 schools offered some type of nutrition science program. The following table lists the number of programs by degree level, along with how many schools offered online courses in the field.

Degree Level Colleges Offering Programs Colleges Offering Online Classes
Certificate (Less Than 1 Year) 1 0
Certificate (1-2 years) 1 0
Certificate (2-4 Years) 0 0
Associate’s Degree 5 0
Bachelor’s Degree 7 2
Post-Baccalaureate 1 0
Master’s Degree 81 14
Post-Master’s 5 0
Doctor’s Degree (Research) 44 0
Doctor’s Degree (Professional Practice) 0 0
Doctor’s Degree (Other) 0 0

Is a Degree in Nutrition Science Worth It?

The median salary for a nutrition science grad is $83,600 per year. This is based on the weighted average of the most common careers associated with the major.

This is 110% more than the average salary for an individual holding a high school degree. This adds up to a gain of about $874,000 after 20 years!

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You may also be interested in one of the following majors related to nutrition science.

Major Number of Grads
Other Multi/Interdisciplinary Studies 34,540
Biological & Physical Science 27,751
International Studies 8,097
Interdisciplinary Studies 6,179
Behavioral Science 4,502
Natural Sciences 2,445
Cognitive Science 1,875
Sustainability Science 1,682
Gerontology 1,380
Peace Studies & Conflict Resolution 1,297
Human Computer Interaction 1,146
Human Biology 1,066
Science, Technology & Society 1,060
Mathematics & Computer Science 833
Museum Studies 778
Systems Theory 694
Computational Science 619
Dispute Resolution 583
Historic Preservation 446
Multicultural & Diversity Studies 416
Classical & Ancient Studies 315
Marine Science 243
Cultural Studies & Analysis 236
Biopsychology 158
Medieval Studies 119
Holocaust Studies 54
Accounting & Computer Science 45
Maritime Studies 15

References

More about our data sources and methodologies.

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