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Nutrition Science Major

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Nutrition Science

1,182 Master's Degrees Annually
152 Doctor's Degrees Annually
#99 in Popularity (Master's)
$83,600 Median Salary

Types of Degrees Nutrition Science Majors Are Getting

The following table lists how many nutrition science graduations there were in 2018-2019 for each degree level.

Education Level Number of Grads
Master’s Degree 1,182
Doctor’s Degree 152
Graduate Certificate 105

What Nutrition Science Majors Need to Know

O*NET surveyed people in occupations related to nutrition science and asked them what knowledge areas, skills, and abilities were important for their jobs. The responses were rated on a scale of 1 to 5 with 5 being most important.

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

Nutrition Science majors often go into careers where the following abilities are vital:

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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?

Below is a list of occupations associated with nutrition science:

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 Master’s Degree in Nutrition Science?

1,182 Master's Degrees Annually
88% Percent Women
22% Percent Racial-Ethnic Minorities
This major is dominated by women with about 88% of recent graduates being 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 Master's Degrees
Race/Ethnicity Number of Grads
Asian 79
Black or African American 38
Hispanic or Latino 113
White 705
International Students 115
Other Races/Ethnicities 132

Geographic Diversity

Americans aren’t the only ones with an interest in Nutrition Science. About 9.7% 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?

Master’s Degree Starting Salary

Data from the U.S. Department of Education shows that nutrition science students who graduated in 2015-2017 with a master’s degree made a median starting salary of $48,600 per year. During this timeframe, most salaries fell between $32,925 (25th percentile) and $52,900 (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

Average salaries range from $61,210 to $97,340 (25th to 75th percentile) for careers related to nutrition science. This range includes all degree levels, so you may expect those with a more advanced degree to make more while those with less advanced degrees will typically make less.

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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250K
Median Salary for a High School Graduate  ( 30000 to 57900 )
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250K
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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250K

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 2018-2019 academic year, 129 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 1
Bachelor’s Degree 7 3
Post-Baccalaureate 1 0
Master’s Degree 86 14
Post-Master’s 5 0
Doctor’s Degree (Research) 46 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 2,661
Sustainability Science 1,184
International Studies 1,182
Computational Science 763
Behavioral Science 724
Museum Studies 710
Gerontology 645
Peace Studies & Conflict Resolution 630
Biological & Physical Science 611
Human Computer Interaction 562
Dispute Resolution 522
Systems Theory 460
Historic Preservation 292
Interdisciplinary Studies 213
Mathematics & Computer Science 189
Science, Technology & Society 187
Cognitive Science 152
Multicultural & Diversity Studies 131
Natural Sciences 94
Marine Science 92
Cultural Studies & Analysis 69
Medieval Studies 49
Classical & Ancient Studies 30
Holocaust Studies 30
Maritime Studies 20
Accounting & Computer Science 10
Human Biology 8
Biopsychology 1

References

More about our data sources and methodologies.

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