What’s the difference between a dietitian and nutritionist?

Written by
Fuel Your Life

“Dietitians take the guess work out of nutrition. They can not only speed up your progress, but help you achieve things you didn’t think possible.”

Tyson Tripcony, Fuel Your Life

We’re often asked about the difference between dietitians and nutritionists. We get that it can be confusing.

Did you know? A dietitian can work as a nutritionist but a nutritionist can’t call themselves a dietitian without extra qualifications?


Dietitian’s are accredited after completing 4-5 years education at university.

Nutritionists may have limited education or no university qualifications. There is no current regulation over the industry.


Dietitians must be registered by the Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency before they can consult in private practice or clinical settings.

Nutritionists can register with the Nutrition Society of Australia and/or the Dietitians Association of Australia. There is no legal requirement to register with either.


Dietitians can provide medical nutrition therapy to their clients and can also work as a nutritionist.

Nutritionists cannot provide medical nutrition therapy nor can they work as a dietitian without extra qualifications.


Dietitians are recognised as the only food and nutrition specialist by Medicare, private health insurance funds, NDIS and other organisations.

Nutritionists are not recognised by Medicare and cannot offer rebates through private health insurance funds.

If you’d like to work with a dietitian or nutritionist to help achieve your goals please get in touch with the Fuel Your Life team.

Can I get a rebate for seeing a dietitian?

To find out how you might be able to claim the costs of seeing a dietitian with your health insurance speak with a member of the Care To Compare team on 1300 76 76 00.