Dietitian and Nutritionist Career Information, Dietitian and Nutritionist Salary Information

Career Description

Duties and Responsibilities of a Dietitian

Dietitian and nutritionist duties include planning nutrition and food programs, as well as supervising the preparation of meals. They regulate the serving size of what is being eaten so patients get the right amount of servings for their bodies. Dietitian duties also include helping prevent and treat illness by promoting healthy eating habits and suggesting diet modifications.

Work Environment for a Dietitian and Nutritionist

Dietitians run food services for different places, most popularly hospitals and schools. They work to promote healthy eating habits through educational programs. Dietitians sit at a desk but also have to be on their feet. If working in a nursing home with the elderly, they have to be patient and understanding of their patients needs. They have to work with people one on one and in groups, so they should have good communication Dietitian skills.

How to Become a Dietitian - Education and Training

Dietitians and nutritionists need a bachelor’s Dietitian 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.

Employment Opportunities for a Dietitian and Nutritionist

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 opportunities for dietitians with specialized training, an advanced degree or certifications beyond the state’s requirement.

How Much Does a Dietitian & Nutritionist Make – Dietitian Salary and Wages

Median annual earnings in the Dietitian salary range were around $50,000. The median dietitian salary range was 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, but healthcare, pension plans, and social security do have an impact on the dietitian salary range.

Dietitian & Nutritionist Resources - American Dietetic Association

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