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ACSM CPT to Nutritionist

by Stephanie
(Chicago)

I am going through a career change and am about 95% sure I want to go to school for nutrition. In the meantime I was thinking of getting certified as a CPT, seeing CPT takes a couple months and a nutrition degree about 4-5 years. Does this seem like a good idea or is this redundant? ACSM seems like the ideal certification, does it cover nutrition in its program?

Thank you

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two different things
by: Maria

Stephanie,

I am on the same page as you. I have been in the fitness industry for 3 years as a group exercise instructor. I have a BA in Radio-TV production and I started working in fitness as a hobby. Now, I plan to turn in into a career.

Becoming a nutritionist is not easy and a cPT certification covers basic nutrition principles. You cannot call yourself a nutritionist with it.

I plan to try getting into a Master's progam in clinical health studies, which makes you eligible for getting a nutritionist certification. This program is offered in UCF in Orlando.I am sure there are a ton of other nutrition master's programs out there that have a different name.

My suggestion to you is to take things one step at a time. Becoming a personal trainer will expose you to the fitness and nutrition world like nothing else. Once you feel like a pro, you will know that it is time to take on new challenges. A nutritionist or dietician degree may be one of them!

Good luck!
maria

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Nutritionst point of view
by: Anonymous

Becoming a nutritionist or Dietician is very hard work. I went to school and received my BS in Nutrition and Dietetics. I loved the program but once you graduate, you are stuck unless you are accepted into a masters program or are accepted into an internship. The application process is extremely difficult and there are so few programs. You must really be willing to relocate in order to find a program that will suite your needs.(I was getting married and this did not suite my needs) I can call myself a nutritionist because of my degree but industry standards when applying for a job may not recognize my credentials because I am not registered or licensed. You can only sit for the RD exam after completing the internship. Having and R.D. or L.D. behind your name is the only way to successfully obtain a job in a hospital setting. The internship prepares you for all aspects of the role as a Dietician.I worked in a community nutrition position until I had children but the pay was very low.

Good luck on your endeavor, I just wanted to pass along information I wish I had when I started my college career.

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Makes a lot of sense...
by:

I think this makes perfectly good sense and is an option I am considering as well, for the very same reasons. Getting a master's in nutrition will take at least 1-1/2 years, probably closer to 2, and at least 12,000 to 20,000. Fitness and nutrition go hand and hand, so I think it makes perfect sense to work towards a personal trainer certification first as a stepping stone towards the bigger committment of becoming a nutritionist. It is less expensive and a shorter time frame at least to get started with.

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career
by: Anonymous

Hey, thanks so much guys. The input and advice is so appreciated. Makes me think twice about my career path, and what is really important to me. I'm actually meeting up with a potential new client this week and she happens to be a dietician, so I will try to pry all info from her as well.
Thank you!

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ACSM or NSCA for Registered Dietitina to pursue
by: Crystal

I am going the opposite direction... I am a Registered Dietitian and love it but want to become more involved in the fitness side of health. Just like a PT should not give diet Rx I don't feel confident giving fitness Rx without a certification. The fields are not parallel but intersecting and having knowledge in both would be very helpful. Any input as to which cert is better to work with elderly, obese, ect ( my current nutrition clients?) Thanks

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me too
by: brianne

I am looking into pursuing a career in Nutrition as well. Im in the process now of obtaining my certification in CPT, Im almost done. Im very interested in this type of field for many reasons, for my own personal reasons and primarily because I workout a lot with a trainer and have seen results. When you work so hard at something you enjoy, it will motivate you to eat healthier as well. I have and its addiciting, honestly.
Ive begun with an online course through Framingham State College to begin and see if its something Id like to further a career in, right now Im in a different career. The course is called Nutrition Science and Applications, there is a lot of science invovled which before all of this, I wasnt aware. Maybe try something of that sort to see if its even something you are definitely interested in.Good luck to all.

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Best Certification
by: Matthew

Crystal: ACSM or NSCA for Registered Dietitian to pursue.

I am looking into certs myself. I have been involved with fitness for 27 years and don't want to waste my time with a cert that just anybody can get. Like the people working in Gyms (some trainers excluded). As far as I have been able to figure out. NSCA-cPT is the ONLY basic certification that allows you to work with special needs people. ALL of the others can only work healthy people.

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special needs clients
by: Anonymous

NCSF claims that they prepare you to work with special needs clients as well... it does not look like they cover that as a major focus but someone higher up did write to me and specifically tell me that and I think there is a post on here somewhere else about that too.

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CPT and next steps
by: Anonymous

Is it possible to get other certifications within ACSM beyond cPT if you don't have 4 year degree in a health related field? I have a BA in Communications and would like to get my cPT cert and move into this field for the long run. If I were to get this cert and a few years of experience under my belt, could I pursue more advanced certs (for example the Health Fitness Specialist) through ACSM?

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minor in nutrition
by: Anonymous

I'm gonna be majoring in athletic training and minoring in nutrition over my next four years in college; does anyone know if that minor in nutrition will allow me to take a test to become an RD???

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RD = Registered Dietitian
by: Anonymous

The ONLY way to become a Registered Dietitian, as mentioned above, is to have a Bachelors in Nutrition AND be accepted and complete a American Dietetics Assoc. approved Dietetic program/internship. Once you complete and pass the internship you are eligible to take and MUST pass the exam to become a Registered Dietitian.

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Registered Dietitian/Nutritionist
by: Anonymous

I am a registered dietitian and I passed the ACSM CPT exam last week. I think working as a personal trainer is a great idea while working toward your dietetics degree. As noted above, you must complete the approved dietetics degree and internship followed by a registration exam to be certified as a nutritionist or dietitian. Most people don't realize that to call yourself a nutritionist you must be a registered dietitian (in most states). Good luck!

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NUTRITIONIST
by: Anonymous

In order to be a certified or call your self a Nutritionist one must have a degree in nutrition. In order to be called a Dietitian one must complete an internship and pass the register exam to be come an RD. I currently have a BS in Food Science and Nutrition and work at a non-profit, I am also seeking a PT certification I would like to be involved in the fitness industry. I did not want to become an RD because the process to apply for the internship is long and ridiculous, I was also getting married when I finished my degree and need it a job ASAP. I'm currenty seeking a master in Health Education and look forward in working in the fitness industry.

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Dietetics Degree to CPT
by: KEA

I have a BS degree in Deitetics and got the ACSM certification for CPT. I am currently a nutritionist/CPT at the local SAC, atheltic Club. I have been able to develop my own nutrition "Coaching" business here when I provide general nutrition and weight loss information, We offer 1, 6 and 12 week programs and though it is new it is going very well. without an licsense, I dont feel confortable offering Nutrition "counseling" so I call it coaching and give more general information, which seems to be what people want.

I also have an abundance of training clients that I work with up to 3 times a week. ACSM is a great certification, very science based and you will know your anatomy and safety concerns for working with a wide range of clients. NASM provides more information on how to be a trainer, you will learn technique purpose and training styles which will help you start a career in training. I wish I would have done NASM (I still might). I have had alot of challenges, and still do but so far it is working out very well. GOOD LUCK

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WITS Personal Trainer Certification
by: Anonymous

I just became a CPT through WITS (world instructor training schools). This is not well known but it is the only one that you can use for college credits. It is a 6 week (every saturday) in the classroom certification. I plan to pursue an ASCM cert as well, mainly b/c it's considered to be the best(plus I already have the books for it so I may as well use them). Im also thinking about pursuing a cert in nutrition. I'm glad I stumbled along this site b/c I got a lot of helpful info about the path to becoming a nutritionist that I had no clue about. Thanks everyone.

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