Becoming a Licensed or Non-Licensed Nutritionist in New York

The state of New York requiresNew York its nutritionists to be certified, and protects the title “certified nutritionist” and “certified dietitian-nutritionist,” bestowing that title only upon those who meet the qualifications defined in the law. However, they do not restrict non-licensed, non-certified nutritionists from offering nutrition care in New York. In this article, we will examine the differences between working as a certified New York nutritionist and a non-certified New York nutritionist, and how you can become either of those health care professionals. 

New York Certified Nutritionist

If you are seeking certification as a nutritionist in the state of New York, the Dietetics-Nutrition Unit of the Office of the Professions has stated clearly what educational, experiential and examination requirements you must meet. We will explore these below.

New York Certified Nutritionist Education and Experience

New York law specifies exactly what type of education and experience is accepted in order to become a certified nutritionist. You may choose one pathway from the following alternatives:

  1. You must earn a bachelor of arts or bachelor of science degree focused on dietetics and nutrition that has been approved by the Accreditation Council on Nutrition and Dietetics (ACEND). This educational degree must include a minimum of 45 hours of courses in dietetics and nutrition and 20 hours of courses in biological human sciences and social and behavioral sciences. Along with this, you must fulfill a total of 800 hours’ scheduled work experience supervised by a New York Certified Dietitian-Nutritionist. Duties within this experience must be: assessing nutritional requirements and food standards, providing nutritional counseling, and considering and controlling the supplying of food to satisfy needs of a nutritional and physical nature. 


  1. You must complete an associate of arts or associate of science degree program in dietetics and nutrition that includes 30 hours of courses in dietetics and nutrition and 15 hours of courses in the biological human sciences and social and behavioral sciences. Additionally, you must complete a combination of 10 full-time years of education and monitored experience in the 15 years before you apply for certification. One full-time year of work experience is considered to be 1600 hours. This experience has to include at least two and a half years of supervised, planned work experience in assessing nutritional requirements and food standards, providing nutritional counseling, and considering and controlling the supplying of food to satisfy needs of a nutritional and physical nature.

New York Certified Nutritionist Examination

The law in New York also dictates that you must take, and pass, your choice of one of two examinations in nutrition and dietetics:


There is one tricky stipulation involved in these choices of examinations that could affect your educational choices, however. As of January 1, 2024, the CDR will require all candidates for examination to have a minimum of a master’s degree from an ACEND-accredited program. Likewise, the BCNS requires all nutritionists who sit for their examination to have a minimum of a master’s degree, or completion of 18 credits of nutrition, 12 at the graduate level; 6 credits of biochemistry; 3 credits of anatomy/physiology; 12 credits of clinical or life sciences; and 2 credits of behavioral science. These are all things to thing about in deciding upon the educational pathway you will take if you intend to become a certified nutritionist.

New York Certified Nutritionist Application

Once you have satisfied the education, experience, and examination requirements of the state of New York, you are prepared to apply to become a certified nutritionist. Use the online application for licensure, and submit $294 as a licensure and first registration fee. You must have certification of professional education sent directly from the school(s) you attended to the Office of the Professions. The BCNS or CDR must also send official certification of your examination results to the Office. You must complete the forms for reporting your planned experience and/or work experience. If you have an associate degree, you must have three certified dietitians or nutritionist fill out forms endorsing you for certification. Information may be emailed directly to or mailed to The New York State Education Department, Office of the Professions, Dietetics and Nutrition Unit, 89 Washington Avenue, Albany, NY 12234-1000. If you want to check the status of your application at any time, send a request to the New York State Education Department via their Contact Us online form. 

New York Non-Certified Nutritionist

If you would rather work as a non-certified nutritionist, there is nothing in New York’s law preventing you from doing so, as long as you do not call yourself a certified nutritionist or certified dietitian-nutritionist. You must meet no specified educational, experiential or examination criteria if you go this route. It is always advisable to have some training and education in nutrition, however, before attempting to work in the field as a non-certified nutritionist. Some examples of educational and professional certification pathways you might pursue include, but are not limited to:

  • The Academy of Healing Nutrition, New York City- offers students online courses in 10 modules, experience in health coaching, and a Holistic Health Coaching certificate when completed.
  • The American Association of Drugless Practitioners – offers students who already have holistic nutrition training certification as an AADP.
  • The Trinity School of Natural Health – offers students Certified Holistic Health Practitioner (CHHP) certification if they complete online classes and pass an examination. Graduates also have the opportunity to become board certified with other organizations, including American Association of Natural Wellness Practitioners (AANWP), Health Coach Alliance (HCA), and International Association of Natural Health Practitioners (IANHP).

Non-Certified Nutritionist Work in New York

If you decide to practice as a non-certified nutritionist, you might decide to work in private practice, join a group of other certified or non-certified nutritionists, or work at one of the following types of jobs suitable for nutritionists who are not certified in New York:

  • Research Support Specialist, Institute for Agriculture and Nutrition – Cornell University, Ithaca
  • WIC Program Nutritionist – Livingston County Department of Health, Mount Morris
    • Salary: $27.07/hour
    • Bachelor’s degree needed with at least six credit hours in nutrition studies
  • Project Coordinator, Exercise and Nutrition Sciences – University at Buffalo, Buffalo
  • Supervisor, Food and Nutrition – CVPH Medical Center, Plattsburgh
  • Nutrition Educator, High School – Harlem Children’s Zone, New York
    • Salary: $49,700-$62,900/year
    • Bachelor’s degree needed
    • Experience in nutrition education needed


Here is also some useful information on Becoming a Registered Dietitian in New York.