Did you know that the field of nutrition is expected to grow 20% from 2010 to 2020? That’s a huge increase in this current economic state.

As we struggle with the media’s description of unhealthy America, these numbers show that more and more people are working on their health, and seeking nutritionists and dieticians to help them along the way.

For those of you studying in the field, you know there’s a lot more to healthy nutrition than eating fruits and vegetables, and the following states’ statistics show that they’re on your side! Here are three categories for the best states for nutrition jobs.

Related: 10 In-Demand Jobs with Six-Figure Salaries

best states for nutrition jobs

Employment Level

      1. California
      2. New York
      3. Pennsylvania
      4. Texas
      5. Florida

If you want to go to a place that’s saturated with nutritionists, it’s best to grab at a one of the five states on this list.

This is an excellent idea if you’re just starting out and you want the opportunity to work under a professional for a while. The great thing about lots of people in this industry in these areas is that it means the market is very popular in these states, meaning more jobs are likely to open up over time as you gather your experience in a competitive area.

Concentration of Jobs

      1. Rhode Island
      2. Pennsylvania
      3. Minnesota
      4. Kentucky
      5. New Jersey

On the flip side, these states have the highest concentration of nutritionist and dietician-related jobs. That doesn’t mean it’s necessarily saturated with nutritionists, but that there are a lot of jobs — available and filled — in these states.

Average Salary

      1. Maryland – $82.650
      2. Nevada – $71, 840
      3. California – $68,700
      4. Hawaii – $65,050
      5. Alaska – $63,560

For those of you in the market for a fat salary, consider these five states. Nutritionists in these states average more than $30 per hour, with Maryland topping the pay scale at an average salary of $82,650. Those are some pretty numbers for a recent college graduate. And remember, those are the average salaries.

If I were to look at these three lists and choose the best state for recent nutrition graduates, the clear winner would be California. The pay is good and there are lots of nutritionists around to network with and learn from.

However, if you’re desperate to get a job right away in order to gain experience, you’re likely to find your solution in a place like Rhode Island or Pennsylvania.

And if you’ve got recommendations out the wazoo and a little clinical internship experience, you might as well try your hand in one of the highly paid states, such as Maryland. You could get lucky and land a high salary with minimal experience.

What do you think are the most important factors when choosing a state for work? These lists should help you narrow down your options, but only you can decide if you should sacrifice other things that make you happy, like family, coastal life, or weather, in order to find work.

Images: Bob Peters, U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics