What Does a Dietitian Career Involve?
Most dietitians specialize in a particular area, with each career path having its own place of employment and unique clients:
What Education Is Required?
- Clinical dietitian: assess the nutritional needs of patients, implement nutritional programs, and work with doctors to align the patients' medical and nutritional needs at hospitals, nursing care facilities, and related institutions
- Community dietitian: advise individuals and groups on preventing disease and promoting health with proper nutrition at public health clinics, home health agencies, or health maintenance organizations.
- Consultant: give advice on weight loss, cholesterol reduction, and other diet-related concerns in a private practice or under contract to a health care facility, sports team, wellness program, supermarket, or related business.
- Management dietitian: supervise large-scale meal planning in company cafeterias, health care facilities, prisons, or schools. Includes hiring workers, managing budgets, purchasing food, and enforcing sanitary regulations.
Working as a dietitian typically requires at least a bachelor's degree in dietetics, food and nutrition, or food service systems management. Useful career courses may include:
The American Dietetic Association's Commission on Accreditation for Dietetics Education has also accredited 22 master's degree programs.
- Computer science
- Institution management
35 States require licensure, 12 states require statutory certification, and 1 requires registration. Most of these involve an exam plus meeting a certain number of supervised internship hours.
The Following Schools Provide Educational Programs For Dietitian Careers: