Becoming a Licensed or Non-Licensed Nutritionist in Louisiana

Although Louisiana does require dietitians to be licensed in order to practice in the state, the law provides broader provisions for nutritionists. The Louisiana Dietitians/Nutritionists Practice Act states that anyone representing themselves as a licensed dietitian/nutritionist must meet certain requirements set forth by the state. However, it does allow some exemptions for what you may legally do without a license. Therefore, we will consider the requirements for both licensed nutritionists and non-licensed nutritionists in the state of Louisiana within this article. 

What Qualifications Must Licensed Nutritionists in Louisiana Meet?

Under the Louisiana Dietitians/Nutritionists Practice Act, in order to receive a license as a dietitian/nutritionist in Louisiana, you must meet the following requirements:

Scenario A: You possess at least a bachelor’s degree in human nutrition, dietetics, food and nutrition or food systems management. You must also complete at least 900 hours of experience supervised by a licensed dietitian/nutritionist or registered dietitian. You must pass the examination mandated for registered dietitians and administered by the Commission on Dietetic Registration (CDR). Finally, in order to maintain a dietitian/nutritionist license in Louisiana, you must complete continuing education requirements prescribed by the Louisiana Board of Examiners in Dietetics and Nutrition. 

Scenario B: You possess a doctorate degree granted before July 1, 1988, as well as a bachelor’s degree with a major in human nutrition, dietetics, food and nutrition or food systems management. Under an 

Scenario C: You already earned your Registered Dietitian credentials from the CDR prior to July 1, 1988.

To more fully examine the ways that you can become a licensed, registered dietitian in Louisiana in greater depth, see this article this article (Becoming a Registered Dietitian in Louisiana).

How Can One Obtain a License as a Nutritionist in Louisiana?

After you have fulfilled the above requirements, you may apply for licensure as a dietitian/nutritionist in Louisiana by using the Louisiana Board of Examiners in Dietetics and Nutrition’s  online system.  You must pay the licensure fee and supply any required supplemental documentation. 

Your nutritionist license in Louisiana expires annually on June 30. You must submit a renewal application and fee online prior to that date and complete the CDR’s mandated continuing education in the span of your licensure period in order to keep your license active and valid. 

What Qualifications do Non-Licensed Nutritionists in Louisiana Need to Meet?

Because there are no laws or rules governing non-licensed nutritionists in Louisiana, they need meet no specific requirements. It is always a good idea to become as educated as you can in nutrition, however, if you plan to work in the field. Some examples of education possibilities for potential non-licensed nutritionists in Louisiana are:

  • American College of Healthcare Sciences – Certificate in Holistic Nutrition Consulting, Bachelor of Science in Holistic Nutrition, and other degrees or certificates online
  • National University of Natural Medicine- various degrees in holistic nutrition available online
  • Louisiana State University – Bachelor of Science in Nutrition & Food Sciences – Concentration in the Nutrition, Health and Society
  • McNeese State University – Bachelor of Science in Health and Human Performance – Sports Medicine

What Can Non-Licensed Nutritionists in Louisiana Legally Do?

There are exemptions included within the Louisiana Dietitians/Nutritionists Practice Act that allow nutritionists without a license to do certain things. The following people do not need a dietitian/nutritionist license in Louisiana:

  • A nutritionist who serves for any federal agency or the Armed Forces may practice nutrition and dietetics without a license, as long as that practice is related to their employment
  • A person who is licensed as a dentist, doctor, osteopath, chiropractor, nurse, or pharmacist may practice nutrition and dietetics as long as that practice is incidental to the practice of their profession and as long as they do not use the titles dietitian or nutritionist
  • Any employee of a doctor or osteopath who works in a private office under their supervision do not need a license, as long as they do not engage in the practice of nutrition or dietetics or use the titles dietitian or nutritionist 
  • A person who works as a nutrition educator for a federal, state, parish, or municipal agency or an elementary, secondary or degree-granting school may practice nutrition and dietetics without a license as long as that is part of their position
  • A person who markets or distributes food, food products or food supplements may provide explanations of their use or preparation and may provide general nutritional information about those products, as long as they don’t call themselves a dietitian or nutritionist. 
  • A person may provide weight control services through a program that has been reviewed by a licensed dietitian/nutritionist
  • A person may provide information or make recommendations regarding lifestyle modifications, food, dietary supplements, or homeopathic remedies for a consulting fee without a license as long as they provide consumers with the facts that they are not licensed as a health care provider in Louisiana and that any of their foods or dietary supplements are not medically prescribed drugs. The consumer must provide a written copy back to the person stating that they acknowledge they have been provided this information.
  • A person who was employed on or before Aug 15, 1999 by a physical fitness center that is a member of the Louisiana Health and Fitness Association can provide information on exercise and weight control to members of the center without a license
  • A person with a doctorate degree granted before July 1, 1988 in human nutrition, dietetics, food and nutrition, food systems management, or food science may use the title nutritionist but may not practice dietetics and nutrition unless they have a license

What Types of Jobs Can I Get as a Non-Licensed Nutritionist in Louisiana?

It is possible to find some interesting, lucrative positions suitable for non-licensed nutritionists in Louisiana. Some recent examples from an online search conducted in August 2022 include:

  • Health Coach – Access Health Louisiana, New Orleans, LA
    • Salary: $46,300 – $58,700/year
    • Bachelor’s degree required
    • Health coaching certification preferred
    • Experience in health or life coaching preferred
  • Nutrition Educator I – Louisiana State University, Baton Rouge, LA
    • Salary: $32,700 – $41,300/year
    • No specialized training required
    • No specialized experience required
  • Director of Food and Nutrition Services – Lakeview Regional Medical Center, Covington, LA
    • Salary: not specified
    • Bachelor’s degree required
    • Three years of food service experience required
    • Three to five years of management experience required
  • Health Educator/CPA – Teche Action Clinic, Houma, LA
    • Salary: $36,200 – $45,800/year
    • Bachelor’s degree in nutrition/related area preferred; will accept associate degree with two years of WIC Clinic nutrition education experience, or 12 semester hours in food and nutrition and three years of WIC clinic nutrition education experience