Most Indian students are unaware they can make amazing careers in nutrition and dietetics sector and there are dozens of nutrition & dietician courses that can help you to make an excellent career in this.
The reason: Indians nowadays are paying more attention to food and nutrition than anytime earlier in the post-independence history of this country.
And there’re several strong reasons why nutrition & dietetics now plays an important part in the life of every person in India.
Growing Importance of Nutrition and Dietetics
Walk into any supermarket or browse online grocery stores. You’ll find a formidable choice of food products. Organic, Genetically Modified (GM), Low Calorie, Low Cholesterol, Low Sugar, Gluten Free and several other such products.
The reason? Indians have become extremely health conscious. Rightly so. In fiscal year 2018-2019, healthcare inflation in India rose by whopping 7.6 percent. This means, you’ll pay much more for medical treatment and medicines in coming years.
Shockingly, most of these disease and medical issues arise due to sedentary lifestyle and improper diet. It is well known fact that inadequate nutrition or nutritional imbalances cause a lot of otherwise preventable diseases.
Furthermore, Indians now are spoilt for choice when it comes to food. They have a variety of options now.
Hence, they consume what suits their taste and budget while remaining blissfully blind to dietary and nutritional considerations.
The Current Scenario in India
Over 135 million people in India suffer from obesity and overweight, according to a report available on the US government’s National Library of Medicine.
This means almost 10 percent of the Indian population are bulkier than national and global limits for normal and healthy weight standards.
It is well known that heavier individuals are more prone to heart disease, diabetes and other major chronic ailments.
And worse, India is home to the second largest population of overweight children in the world. Over 14.4 million children in India are affected by obesity and overweight,
Though the Indian government continues to take several steps to combat this menace, their efforts seem to be fetching little success.
While the government stipulates that school canteens and restaurants don’t sell unhealthy food, there’s no stopping parents and even children from buying such stuff outside.
What This Means?
The above facts and figures haven’t gone unnoticed among Indians. In fact, most people are now awaking to the hazards of improper food, nutrition and diet.
A clear indicator is that Indians are spending a lot more money on buying health insurance to cover any costs arising out of chronic diseases.
A research clearly shows there’s a 24 percent increase in the number of Indians taking medical insurance to cover expensive treatments for cardiac and other lifestyle diseases.
Furthermore, Indians are also willing to pay higher for health foods, leading to several existing food companies and startups to create products for a healthier lifestyle.
And at the same time, Indians are more than willing to visit dieticians and nutrition experts to learn about balanced and healthy food habits to ward off any lifestyle related diseases.
Therefore, this is the right time to make a career in the nutrition and dietetics sector of India.
Nutrition and Dietetics Careers in India
From the facts I mention above, you can clearly see there’s not only an urgent need but also a wide scope for nutrition and dietetics careers in India.
Therefore, let’s start by looking at the various nutrition and dietetics career choices that’re currently available.
- Food Technologist
- Nutrition Analyst
- Nutrition Consultant
- Food Processing Technician
- Nutrition Consultant
- Food & Nutrition Auditor
- Quality Assurance Officer/ Technician
- Medical Coder for Food & Nutrition
- Research & Development Scientist
- Food Additives Specialist
- Field Advisor: Nutrition & Food
- Food Production Manager
- Food & Nutrition Writer/ Columnist
In fact, there’re over 100 such job titles and designations you can look if you’re serious about a food and nutrition career.
Food & Nutrition Courses in India
Depending upon where you stay, the level of your education and career choice, there’re countless dietetics and nutrition courses you can do in India.
Industrial Training Institutes (ITI)
If you’re standing at crossroads of your career, here’s some good news. Under Skill India program of the Indian government, several Industrial Training Institutes or what are commonly known as ITI in India, are offering Certificate Courses in Food and Nutrition.
- Certificate in Food Technology
- Certificate in Food Processing
- Laboratory Technician: Food & Nutrition
- Nutrition Assistant (for hospitals, companies etc.)
- Laboratory Food Analyst
These are non-engineering courses available at select ITI centers across India. These courses are of six months to two-year duration. And they don’t cost much.
Therefore, if you’re serious about a nutrition and dietetics career that requires lesser studies and involves lower expenses, check with your nearest ITI for these and similar other courses.
Diploma Programs in Dietetics, Food & Nutrition
There’re several excellent universities in India that offer one-year diploma courses in dietetics, food and nutrition.
These are generally post-graduate courses. Meaning, you’ll require a Bachelor of Science (BSc) or any other graduation degree to enroll for them.
University of Mumbai, for example, offers one of the best dietetics, nutrition and dietetics diploma courses of one-year duration.
This course is ideal for graduates that wish to take up dietetics, food and nutrition as career option at an entry level.
Generally, a Diploma will fetch you jobs at hospitals, food companies and food testing labs across India. You can fine-tune your skills and go for higher positions.
Another advantage of the Diploma program is for journalism graduates. If you wish to make a career as health writer for any newspaper or magazine or wish to host a healthy eating show on TV, you can take this one-year Diploma after graduating from a journalism course.
Furthermore, this Diploma will also qualify you to work as dietician and nutrition consultant at fitness centers and upmarket gyms that are fast springing up across the country as more and more people take to exercising as part of their lifestyle.
Bachelor Degree in Dietetics, Food & Nutrition
A Bachelor degree in food nutrition and dietetics is by far the best qualifications you can hold to make a career in this field.
There’re several Bachelor of Science (BSc) courses available from some of the most respected universities in India.
A BSc in dietetics, food and nutrition can get you the best jobs in this industry.
You can work on any of the above list of jobs.
Therefore, I suggest you check for some of the best universities, depending upon your location, to do a BSc in dietetics, nutrition and food.
Salaries in Food, Nutrition & Dietician Jobs
As you have seen, there’s no shortage of jobs in the food, nutrition and dietician industry of India. And salaries are also extremely good, by any standards.
If you’re lucky enough to find a job- even an entry level post with the government in agencies such as Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) and Food and Drug Administration, you will be paid as per the prevailing 7th Pay Commission for Central and state government employees.
Meaning, you’re starting pay scale would be in excess of Rs.25,000 plus perks per month
And if you’re employed by any of the reputed Fast Moving Consumer Goods (FMCG) companies of India, including Multinational Companies (MNCs), your starting pay would be about Rs. 30,000 per month plus perks.
Star rated hotels and resorts pay slightly lower for entry level food, nutrition and dieticians, with average pay starting from Rs.20,000 per month plus perks.
Food and nutrition journalists at entry level can expect Rs.10,000 to Rs.15,000 per month.
Food and nutrition technicians holding ITI certificates usually get Rs.10,000 to Rs.15,000 per month, depending upon the industry, for entry level jobs.
Lab technicians for food and nutrition at entry level also get between Rs.10,000 and Rs.15,000.
Please note, these are entry level job salaries. With your experience and expertise and of course, a good degree, you can earn much more.
But here’s some very good news: breweries and distilleries in India rank among the topmost recruiters for food and nutrition graduates.
However, vacancies are usually limited. They require food, nutrition and dieticians to test all kinds of alcoholic beverages. It’s a tough job but entry level recruits can expect Rs.50,000 as minimum pay.
Given the above facts, the time to make a food and nutrition career is right now. Almost every university in India offers BSc degrees in food and nutrition. Therefore, select one closest to you and launch your career