How to become Dietitian
Educational and Training
Dietitians and nutritionists need a bachelor’s Dietician degree in foods and nutrition, food service management, or related area. Graduate Dietitian degrees are also available with further training. Licensure, certification, and or registration varies in each different State. College students in this major should take Dietitian courses in foods, nutrition, chemistry, biochemistry, biology, microbiology, and physiology. Other suggested Dietitian courses to take include business, mathematics, statistics, computer science, psychology, sociology, and economics. Even when still in high school, people interested in becoming a dietitian of nutritionist take courses in chemistry, health, mathematics, biology and communications.
Of the 48 States with laws governing dietetics, 35 require licensure, 12 require statutory certification, and 1 requires registration for Dietitian qualifications. Requirements vary by State. In states that require licensure as a Dietitian qualification, only people who are licensed can work as a dietitian or nutritionist. States that require certification limit the use of occupational titles to people who meet certain requirements. Individuals without certifications can still work as a dietitian or nutritionist but without using certain titles.
Experienced dietitians may advance to management positions such as assistant director, associate director, or director of a dietetic department, or may choose to become self employed. A master’s Dietitian degree can help some workers to advance their careers, particularly in career paths related to research, advanced clinical positions, or public health.
Dietitians work in the community, clinics, management, and consultant dietetics. Dietitians and nutritionists held about 57,000 jobs in 2006. More than half of those dietitians and nutritionists worked in hospitals, clinics, nursing homes, and physicians offices. Dietitian opportunities are expected to increase nine percent during the 2006-2016 projection decade. Dietitian opportunity growth will result from an increasing emphasis on disease prevention through healthier dietary habits.
There were some dietitians and nutritionists that were employed in special food services, which is an industry consisting of firms providing food services to company cafeterias, colleges and universities, correctional facilities, and airlines. There are many good Dietitian opportunities for dietitians with specialized training, an advanced degree, or certifications beyond the State’s requirement.
How much does a Dietitian make – Dietitian Salary and Wages
Median annual earnings in the Dietitian salary range were around $50,000 in July of 2009. The middle fifty percent of the Dietitian salary range earned between $45,000 and $55,000. The lowest ten percent of the Dietitian salary range earned less than $40,000, and the highest ten percent earned more than $60,000. There aren't a whole lot of bonuses available for dietitians, with an average of only $46 in the past year, but healthcare, pension plans, and social security do have an impact on the Dietitian salary range.
Dietitian & Nutritionist Resources
American Dietetic Association