Due to the nature of the work, science-related degrees such as biochemistry, biosciences, biomedical sciences, health sciences, dietetics and physiology, and agricultural, food and sports sciences are all relevant. The following subjects may open up more opportunities because of their focus on animals and/or nutrition:
Those with an HND in nutrition hoping for a career in animal nutrition are recommended to transfer onto a relevant degree course to study nutritional science in more detail.
If you have a more general biology or science-related degree, it may be necessary to specialise in nutrition at postgraduate level. This is also an option for career changers.
A PhD is necessary for some posts and in order to undertake advanced training in nutritional research at MPhil or PhD level, you will need a strong degree (first or 2:1) or a relevant Masters.
Valid experience is also valued by employers and clients and so gaining experience in related areas, such as animal feed sales or practical farm experience, or having a farming background should be an advantage.
It is recommended that you should approach experienced nutritionists for work shadowing opportunities or to talk to them about the various areas of nutrition. This will help in choosing specialisations and in understanding current industrial trends.
Candidates need to show evidence of the following:
A decline in agricultural-based jobs has meant that competition is strong for any animal nutrition vacancies. In order to have an advantage for any potential jobs, it is worthwhile gaining professional registration with the Association for Nutrition . Associate registration is available for newly qualified nutrition graduates with little or no experience. Full registration is available for those with a nutrition degree and approximately three years’ experience. You can also apply for full registration without a nutrition degree but only if you have around seven years’ professional experience.
Once registered you will be on the UK Voluntary Register of Nutritionists (UKVRN) which shows you have met certain ethical and quality standards. See the Association for Nutrition website for further details.
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