Apply as a Transfer/Demotion applicant

$32.42-$40.96 hourly / $5,619.00-$7,100.00 monthly / $67,433.60-$85,196.80 yearly

Apply as a Transfer/Demotion applicant

$36.03-$45.52 hourly / $6,245.00-$7,890.00 monthly / $74,942.40-$94,681.60 yearly


Under direction, plans, develops, implements and coordinates the nutrition component of public health care programs and provides consultative, educational and technical services in the field of nutrition; and performs other work as required.

Distinguishing Characteristics

Public Health Nutritionist is the journey level class in the series. Incumbents perform the full range of professional nutrition counseling services including presentation of educational programs.

Senior Public Health Nutritionist is the advanced journey level in the series. Incumbents provide work direction to other Public Health Nutritionists, may supervise support staff and are the principal nutritional resource to other agency clinics, programs and community groups.

Typical Tasks

Plans, arranges and conducts the nutrition component of public health care programs to promote health and dietary control of disease; conducts in-service training programs and serves as a consultant in nutrition for departmental staff and local health and community groups on food preparation, food value and dietary needs of various groups; interviews, identifies and assesses individuals and groups at high risk to nutritional deficiencies including expectant or nursing mothers, infants, children, seniors, individuals with chronic illnesses or physical handicaps and the economically disadvantaged; develops, implements and monitors individual nutritional care plans to address specific client needs; provides consultant services on menu planning, food preparation, purchasing, modified diets and nutrition education to food service personnel in schools, institutional facilities, group care and other community centers; assists public health nurses with specific nutrition and related problems of clients and their families; conducts studies and surveys relating to nutritional status, dietary patterns and food needs of various groups; participates in workshops and conferences in order to promote nutrition; may act as liaison to the state and other public agencies on nutrition issues; prepares, writes, or recommends pamphlets, posters, exhibits, news releases, audiovisual materials and other publicity on nutritional subjects; recommends policies, procedures and protocols as required; prepares reports, funding applications, nutrition budget components and correspondence; maintains records; and supervises or directs assigned staff.

Employment Standards


Public Health Nutritionist

  • Working knowledge of the principles, techniques and practices of nutrition and its relationship to health and disease;
  • Working knowledge of nutritional requirements for various socio-economic groups, expectant mothers, children, seniors and others;
  • Working knowledge of the analytical and statistical research methods used in nutritional investigation and dietary studies;
  • Working knowledge of educational methods and materials used in training others in the principles of nutrition;
  • Working knowledge of interviewing and counseling; and
  • Some knowledge of community health organizations and resources available to assist clients with nutritional and other health needs.

Senior Public Health Nutritionist

The above, plus:

  • Thorough knowledge of the nutrition components of various community health programs;
  • Thorough knowledge of client nutritional assessment techniques;
  • Working knowledge of community health organizations and resources available to assist clients with nutritional and other health needs;
  • Some knowledge of institutional food service consulting; 
  • Some knowledge of the principles of supervision.

Ability to:

Both levels:

  • Assess nutritional needs of clients and develop and implement specific nutritional care programs;
  • Establish and maintain effective working relationships with clients, staff and representatives from other agencies and community groups;
  • Work effectively as a member of an interdisciplinary health team;
  • Analyze menus and diets for nutritional adequacy;
  • Develop and present educational programs and materials on nutrition;
  • Communicate effectively both orally and in writing and make group presentations;
  • Train others in the principles of nutrition and their application to public health programs; 
  • Write and prepare reports.

Training and Experience: Any combination of training and experience, which would provide the required knowledge and abilities, is qualifying. Typical ways to gain the knowledge and abilities would be:

Public Health Nutritionist: Graduation from an accredited four year college or university with a major in nutrition, dietetics, food and nutrition or a related field AND equivalent to successful completion of an internship approved by the American Dietetic Association.

Senior Public Health Nutritionist: Two years experience equivalent to the class of Public Health Nutritionist with

Santa Cruz County (a Master's Degree in nutrition or public health nutrition may be substituted for one year of the required experience).

Registration: Either eligible for professional registration or professional registration with the American Dietetic Association.

Special Requirements: Possession of a valid California Class C Driver's License or the incumbent must be able to provide suitable transportation approved by the appointing authority.  


Analyst: PC

CLASS: NU5; EST: 5/1/1988;
CLASS: NU7; EST: 5/1/1988;