Best Online Degrees in: Nutrition and Fitness
Explore a Bachelor's Degree in Nutrition and Fitness
If you have a passion for eating right and exercising, and you want to make a career out of helping others learn how to get and stay healthy, you may want to consider earning an online degree in nutrition and fitness. Many institutions offer online bachelor's degrees in nutrition and fitness, which can generally be earned in around four years. However, the amount of time it takes to earn a degree depends on several factors, including your ability to successfully complete each course, whether you attend classes full-time or part-time, and if you were able to transfer any previously-earned credits and use them toward your degree, reducing the number of courses you need to take.
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Nutrition and fitness majors will learn about how foods and nutrients combined with exercise can be used to achieve optimum health. This involves learning about types of nutrients, vitamins, proteins, and minerals, different forms of exercise and movement, and how they all affect the human body and can be used to improve health. The curriculum will vary by program, but these are some of the more common classes found in a nutrition and fitness program:
- Fundamentals of Nutrition. This class will examine the principles of nutrition science by focusing on the functions, structure, biology, and usage of various nutrients. Students will also learn about psychological needs and how nutrition affects mental and physical health.
- Weight Control and Conditioning. Students will learn how to safely and effectively lose, gain, and maintain weight by use of nutrition and exercise. This class will also focus on body weight and how to assess an individual and determine how much they should weigh.
- Personal Fitness Planning. This class will teach students how to use fitness to gain and maintain health, and to prevent disease. Students will learn how to assess an individual, determine their needs, and develop an individualized plan for them.
Your assignments as a nutrition and fitness major may include tests, quizzes, and papers which require you to show your understanding of the material by, for instance, identifying nutrients and describing how they are used, describing how certain exercises affect the body, and methods of weight loss. You may also be required to develop nutrition and fitness plans based on an individual's description, condition, and goals.
Building a Career
Nutrition and fitness majors learn how to evaluate and assess a person, and then design a nutrition and exercise plan based on their particular needs and goals. These skills can be applied in careers as a nutritionist, dietician, or fitness trainer or instructor. All of these professions focus on improving people's health. Employment opportunities for individuals with a bachelor's degree in nutrition and fitness may be available at fitness centers, healthcare facilities, schools, and universities, conducting research and finding new ways nutrition and fitness can be used to improve people's health. Many people choose to start a private practice where they work with clients on an individual basis and develop personalized plans for each of them.
The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) states that employment for nutritionists and dietitians is expected to grow 20% through the year 2020, and employment for fitness trainers and instructors is expected to grow 24%. Keep in mind that earning your degree does not guarantee employment.
According to the BLS, the average income for nutritionists and dieticians is $53,250 a year, and the average income for fitness trainers and instructors is $31,090 a year. However, what you earn may be different from the national average because income depends on many factors, including your employer, the industry you work in, how much experience you have, and your location.