According to Alaska’s Division of Public Health, obesity in Alaska rose from 13% of the state’s adult population in 1991 to a whopping 31% by 2018. In fact, only 33% of adults in Alaska are at what is considered to be a “healthy weight,” with a Body Mass Index (BMI) of 18.5 to less than 25.0. Obesity in Alaska has no regard for gender, age, ethnicity or income status, as it has affected the state’s entire population.
This might spur on health-minded individuals in Alaska to want to work to correct the problem. One way of doing so is to become a nutritionist. Alaska does license nutritionists who work in the state; however, the state has no licensure requirement for providing nutrition care. We will explain Alaska’s licensure process for nutritionists, as well as whether or not non-licensed nutritionists may legally practice in Alaska.
Licensed Nutritionists in Alaska
Because Alaska is what is known as a Title Protection State, Alaska protects the titles of nutritionist and licensed nutritionist, as well as the occupational title nutritionist. This means that only persons who wish to use those titles must be licensed as a nutritionist in the state. Alaska’s Statutes and Regulations for Dietitians and Nutritionists mandates that the state’s Department of Commerce, Community and Economic Development’s Division of Corporations, Business and Professional Licensing may only license nutritionists who meet certain qualifications.
Prospective licensed nutritionists in Alaska must meet one of the following qualifications:
- Qualify as a diplomate of the American Clinical Board of Nutrition, OR
- Qualify as a Certified Nutrition Specialist with the Board for Certification of Nutrition Specialists, OR
- Have a master’s or doctoral degree from an accredited college or university with a major in human nutrition, nutrition, public health, clinical nutrition, community nutrition, nutrition education, or food and nutrition, AND
- Complete at least 900 hours of supervised work experience in human nutrition or human nutrition research
Applicants who meet one of the qualifications above must complete the Nutritionist Application, have it notarized, and submit it along with a check or money order for $150 ($100 of which is the nonrefundable application fee, and $50 of which is the license fee), to the address listed below. They must also submit verification of their nutrition credentials, or official transcripts and verification of their supervised experience. (The fees may also be paid via credit card online.) Mail the information to:
State of Alaska Department of Commerce, Community and Economic Development
Division of Corporations, Business and Professional Licensing
Dietitians and Nutritionists Program
P.O. Box 110806
Juneau, AK 99811-0806
Call (907) 465-2550 or email [email protected] with any questions.
The average processing time for nutritionist licensing applications is 4 to 6 weeks.
Obtaining the Credentials Necessary for Nutritionist Licensure in Alaska
As mentioned above, two of the ways that you can qualify for licensure as a nutritionist in Alaska are to qualify as a diplomate of the American Clinical Board of Nutrition, or to receive Certified Nutrition Specialist (CNS) credentials from the Board for Certification of Nutrition Specialists.
In order to become a Diplomate of the ACBN, you must be a health care professional with a doctoral degree, and complete 300 hours of education from an approved provider. As of 2022, the only approved provider is Functional Medicine University’s online program. After completing this program, you must apply to take the ACBN’s Diplomate exam via their online application, and submit $1000 via credit card for the exam fee. You will be required to complete some other forms and submit information before your exam is scheduled. Mail this information to:
c/o Ms. Bonnie Sealock, Correspondence Secretary
6855 Browntown Road
Front Royal, VA 22630
Call (540) 635-8844 or email [email protected] with questions.
If you wish to become a Certified Nutrition Specialist (CNS) with the BCNS (link to page on CNS Credential), you must hold a master’s or doctoral degree in nutrition or a related field and complete 1000 hours of supervised nutrition practice in order to qualify for the certification examination. Once you have met the qualifications, you may apply online to take the exam. You will pay the exam fee of $200 online.
If you do not wish to earn either of the above credentials, you can get a graduate degree in nutrition or a related field and obtain 900 hours of supervised practice experience.
Non-Licensed Nutritionists in Alaska
If you wish to use the title nutritionist or licensed nutritionist in Alaska, you must seek licensure. However, if you want to work as a holistic nutritionist (link to career page), you need not be licensed. Non-licensed nutritionists in Alaska are legally allowed to perform the following job responsibilities:
- Work with individuals and groups providing nutrition advice and recommendations on food and supplements
- Work as an animal nutritionist
- Work for the federal government and have a title that includes the word “dietitian” or “nutritionist”
Examples of Jobs for Non-Licensed Nutritionists in Alaska
If this seems a bit confusing to you, here’s a good way to clarify things: If you see a job in which that calls for a nutritionist in Alaska, it is likely a job for a licensed nutritionist. There are some jobs for non-licensed nutritionists, but they usually do not include the word nutritionist in the title. Examples of recent job openings for non-licensed nutritionists in Alaska include:
- WIC Nutrition Educator, SouthEast Alaska Regional Health Consortium- Juneau, AK
- Must have a bachelor’s degree in nutrition or health related field
- Must have two years of experience
- Nutrition Outreach Paraprofessional, Municipality of Anchorage – Anchorage, AK
- Must have a high school diploma and two years of related work experience, or
- Must have an associate degree in nutrition or a related field and work experience
- Call Center Specialist, Food and Nutrition, Providence – Anchorage, AK
- Must have an associate degree in nutrition or a related field
- Must obtain Municipality of Anchorage Food Handler Card within 30 days of hire
- Nutrition Educator, University of Alaska – Anchorage, AK
- Must have a high school diploma
- Must have six months of experience in leading formal or informal educational activities or providing nutrition services to individuals or groups