5 Nutrition Certifications You Should Know About

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Are you looking to advance your career in the nutrition and wellness industry? Congrats! This is a big step to take and can be very exciting. To help you advance in your career, obtaining a nutrition certification will give you a leg up in the industry and allow you to perform your job to the best of your ability, as you’ll have all the knowledge you need to succeed. Read on to learn about five certification options so you can find the best nutrition certification program for you.


The National Academy of Sports Medicine (NASM) is one of the industry’s most popular and highly-regarded certifications. While the name is more commonly associated with fitness-related certifications, it offers the most recognizable nutrition program, certified nutrition coach (CNC).  The program is designed to allow coaches to correct the nutritional habits of their clients to improve their lifestyle overall.

NASM-CNC is a great certification option for both new coaches in the industry as well as seasoned nutrition professionals. The certification must be retaken every two years, and the program features cutting-edge technology that will ensure you stay up to date on all the latest trends to deliver exceptional service to your clients.

2. ACE Fitness Nutrition

American Council on Exercise (ACE) is a highly recognized agency that is known for group fitness certifications. One of the best online nutrition programs, ACE not only dives deep into nutrition but also teaches business practices to allow entrants in the program to succeed as a coach. While the program is designed to be used as a supplemental education for personal trainers, the principles taught through the program are beneficial for those solely looking to go the nutrition route.

Similar to the NASM-CNC, the ACE certification must be renewed every two years. It is wise to renew before the certification expires; otherwise, you could be charged fees.

3. ISSA Nutritionist

International Sports Sciences Association (ISSA) is among the top nutrition certification programs and, similar to ACE, focuses on the business side of being a nutritionist. However, ISSA sets the bar high for business learning as the program allows future certificate holders to develop both business and entrepreneurial skills.

ISSA offers two nutritional certifications: Nutritionist and Sports Nutritionist. The Nutritionist certification primarily focuses on nutritional and dietary practices in a general sense. The Sports Nutritionist certification has a more specialized focus on performance-enhancing nutrition. While you can choose to do just one or the other, earning both certifications is not a bad idea as it allows you to increase your earning potential and become a sought-after coach.

As with the previous certifications, ISSA Nutritionist and Sports Nutritionist certifications must be renewed every 2 years. The recertification process features new fitness trends and routines to keep your business fresh.

4. PN Level 1

Precision Nutrition Certification Level 1 (PN1), was created by Precision Nutrition co-founder Dr. John Berardi and takes a bit of a different approach to nutritional education. Despite being called a certification, it is actually more of a resource for nutritionists to learn cutting-edge, evidence-based methodologies. The program is designed to elevate your entrepreneurial and business owner skills.

One of the benefits of the PN Level 1 program is that you can bundle it with the ISSA certification program for a nice discount. This option is a great value and allows you to take advantage of quality education to thrive as a wellness coach. Earning certifications from each of these provides recognition as both are well-regarded within the industry.

5. AFPA Nutrition

American Fitness Professionals (AFPA) is an accredited program by the American Association of Drugless Practitioners (AADP) that features an emphasis on science-backed principles. The program offers specializations in 8 different areas: Holistic Nutrition, Nutrition and Wellness, Nutrition Consultant, Weight Management Specialist, Sports Nutrition, and Senior Nutrition Specialist. These specializations allow coaches to provide niche services that can help their businesses thrive.

The recertification process for AFPA nutrition is also two years, as with other programs in this list. This program also features a lower-cost program, making it an affordable option for those on a budget. It is even heralded as a great certification for those working towards exercise science careers.


There are many programs at your disposal to help you dive into a career as a nutritionist. As you choose the best nutrition certification program, decide what your goal is in your career and what path you want to follow. This will be instrumental in determining the program that will prove most beneficial.