Becoming a Licensed or Non-Licensed Nutritionist in Indiana

The Centers for Disease ControlIndiana and Prevention (CDC) reports that the majority of adults in the state of Indiana classify as obese or overweight. As of 2010, 65.9 percent of Indiana’s adults were overweight and had a BMI (Body Mass Index) of 25 or higher. Those qualifying as obese, with a BMI of 30 or higher, totaled 29.6 percent of Indiana’s adult population. Most adults also report not eating the recommended level of at least two fruits and at least three vegetables per day. Nutritionists in Indiana can help to improve these percentages. 

If you are interested in becoming a nutritionist in Indiana, you should know that the state only licenses dietitians, not nutritionists. It is completely legal to practice nutrition care without a license. Indiana does not license nutritionists. If you want to stretch the definition, a licensed nutritionist could be seen as a licensed dietitian, who must fulfill Indiana’s requirements for becoming a registered dietitian. (See Becoming a Registered Dietitian in Indiana here).

Non-Licensed Nutritionists in Indiana

Indiana protects the title “licensed dietitian” and “certified dietitian” as well as the initials “CD” and “LD.” If you wish to call yourself a dietitian in Indiana, you must have a license, which means that you must fulfill the mandates of the Commission on Dietetic Registration (CDR) to become a registered dietitian.

If you just want to provide nutrition care in Indiana, however, you do not need a license. With the law written this loosely, it is quite easy to become a nutritionist in Indiana – just don’t refer to yourself as a dietitian. 

Becoming a Non-Licensed Nutritionist in Indiana

As there are no licensing requirements for Indiana’s nutritionists in Indiana, you can take whatever route you desire to become a nutritionist in Indiana. These are some of the recommended education and professional certifications you may wish to pursue:

Education for Non-Licensed Nutritionists in Indiana

You should obtain some type of education in nutrition in Indiana if you wish to work as a non-licensed nutritionist there. Some examples are:

  • Certificate in Dietary Management – Ivy Tech Community College, various locations
  • Certificate in Nutrition – Indiana University 
  • Associate of Applied Science in Hospitality Administration – Ivy Tech Community College, various locations
  • Bachelor of Science in Nutrition Science – Indiana University Bloomington
  • Bachelor of Science in Applied Health Science, Nutrition Science – Indiana University 

Professional Certifications for Non-Licensed Nutritionists in Indiana

One of the certifications you may wish to pursue, should you wish to work in school nutrition in Indiana, is the ISNA/IDOE School Nutrition Certificate Program. A joint venture of the Indiana Department of Education and the Indiana School Nutrition Association, this certification is designed to be completed in two years, and consists of 17 courses, each lasting three hours. Courses each cost $90 for members of the ISNA and $130 for non-members. The courses contained within this program are:

  • Marketing Your School Nutrition Program

● School Nutrition Program Expense Basics

● Facilities Planning & Management

● School Nutrition Program Revenue Basics

● Product and Inventory Management

● Financial Planning and Reporting

● School Nutrition Policies & Procedures

● Advanced Menu Planning and Production Strategies

● Planning for the Next Crisis – Keeping your Staff & Space safe

● Procurement – Beyond the Basics

● Program Accountability and Ethics

● Creating and Implementing your HAACP Plan

● Human Resource Management

● Menu Planning Regulations and Concepts

● Visionary Leadership

● Food Production and Operation Management

● USDA Foods: Background, Utilization and Strategy

Note that this certification does not replace the need for an associate or bachelor’s degree to be hired as a Food Service Director. The program is designed for Food Service Directors, Assistant Food Service Directors and supervisors. 

If working in school nutrition is not your idea of being a nutritionist in Indiana, there are other certifications, including, but not limited to:

  • Level 1 NCI Nutrition Coach- Nutritional Coaching Institute – requires completion of courses and passing exam
  • NASM Certified Nutrition Coach -National Academy of Sports Medicine-  requires completing online classes (Nutritional Science, Behavior Change Strategies, Nutrition Coaching) and pass a final exam
  • ISSA Nutritionist Certification – International Sports Sciences Association- requires completing online courses and passing a final exam
  • Plant-Based Nutrition Certificate – T. Colin Campbell Center- complete 6 weeks of online courses and pass a final exam
  • Certified LEAP Therapist (CLT)- pertains to understanding food sensitivity-related illnesses, requires completing online courses and passing an exam
  • Certified Loomis Digestive Health Specialist – requires completing courses and passing an exam

Employment of Non-Licensed Nutritionists in Indiana

Since no license is required to become a nutritionist in Indiana, there are plenty of job opportunities available. If you become certified in one of the above-mentioned areas, you could also open your own nutritionist business or contract out your services with private clients or other organizations. A recent search for nutritionist jobs in Indiana found the following openings as of July 2022:

  • Nutrition Education Advisor, Purdue University – Indiana
    • Salary: $27,400 to $34,800 per year
    • High school diploma required
    • ServSafe certification required
  • Senior Manager, Food Safety, Infant Formula/Children’s Nutrition – Reckitt, Evansville, IN
    • Salary: $95,900 to $121,000 per year
    • BS in science-based curriculum required
    • Ten years of food safety experience required
  • Health and Nutrition Coordinator, Ohio Valley Opportunities- Madison, IN
    • Salary: $43,900 to $55,500 per year
    • Bachelor’s degree preferred
  • Healthy Results Health Coach, System Health Solutions – Indianapolis, IN
    • Salary: $40,600 to $51,400 per year
    • Bachelor’s degree required
    • Three to five years of health coaching, nutrition or applicable experience required
  • Manager, Nutritional Services
    • Salary: $79,200 to $100,000 per year
    • Bachelor’s degree required
    • Five to seven years of experience in food and nutrition services required