- Provide advice and guidance to people about how the food they eat could impact their health and wellbeing
- You'll normally work for yourself so will have the freedom to set your own hours
- You'll need to gain specialist knowledge and skills in nutrition before going into this field
As a nutritional therapist, you'll have consultations with people of all ages, about problems relating to issues with their skin, digestion, stress, migraine, and allergies.
You'll then give advice on which foods to remove from or increase in their diet, whether to take vitamin or mineral supplements, and any lifestyle changes they could make.
- Taking a detailed medical history
- Conducting tests using hair samples and allergy testing
- Encouraging clients to understand the link between diet and their own future health
Most nutritional therapists are self employed, so you'll set your own hours. You may need to provide evening and weekend appointments to meet the needs of your patients. You'll usually work from consulting and treatment rooms at your home, an alternative therapy centre, natural health clinic or GP surgery. You might also visit patients in their own homes.
For this role, you'll need excellent verbal communication skills, active listening and customer service skills, sensitivity and understanding, knowledge of biology, thoroughness and attention to detail, the ability to work well with others, and thinking and reasoning skills.
You'll need a qualification that is recognised by one of the professional organisations for nutritional therapy. The Nutritional Therapy Education Commission (NTEC) accredit courses in nutritional therapy. Graduates are eligible to apply for direct entry to the professional register held by the Complementary and Natural Healthcare Council. You should check how the course is delivered and how much of the course involves clinical placements.
Career prospects will be greatest as a self-employed therapist, where you'll need to build up and maintain a good reputation and client base. Networking and training in other therapies may help to increase the number of clients that you see.
With experience you could move into teaching or research.