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What Does it Take to Be a Dietitian or Nutritionist?

Job Description: Plan and conduct food service or nutritional programs to assist in the promotion of health and control of disease. May supervise activities of a department providing quantity food services, counsel individuals, or conduct nutritional research.

What Do Dietitians and Nutritionists Do On a Daily Basis?

  • Plan and conduct training programs in dietetics, nutrition, and institutional management and administration for medical students, health-care personnel, and the general public.
  • Test new food products and equipment.
  • Develop policies for food service or nutritional programs to assist in health promotion and disease control.
  • Assess nutritional needs, diet restrictions and current health plans to develop and implement dietary-care plans and provide nutritional counseling.
  • Make recommendations regarding public policy, such as nutrition labeling, food fortification, or nutrition standards for school programs.
  • Advise food service managers and organizations on sanitation, safety procedures, menu development, budgeting, and planning to assist with establishment, operation, and evaluation of food service facilities and nutrition programs.

Skills Needed to be a Dietitian or Nutritionist

Dietitians and Nutritionists state the following job skills are important in their day-to-day work.

Reading Comprehension: Understanding written sentences and paragraphs in work related documents.

Critical Thinking: Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions or approaches to problems.

Speaking: Talking to others to convey information effectively.

Active Listening: Giving full attention to what other people are saying, taking time to understand the points being made, asking questions as appropriate, and not interrupting at inappropriate times.

Monitoring: Monitoring/Assessing performance of yourself, other individuals, or organizations to make improvements or take corrective action.

Writing: Communicating effectively in writing as appropriate for the needs of the audience.

Other Dietitian or Nutritionist Job Titles

  • Food Adviser
  • Research Dietitian
  • Diet Counselor
  • Registered Dietitian
  • Dietary Assistant

Is There Going to be Demand for Dietitians and Nutritionists?

In the United States, there were 68,000 jobs for Dietitian or Nutritionist in 2016. New jobs are being produced at a rate of 14.6% which is above the national average. The Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts 9,900 new jobs for Dietitian or Nutritionist by 2026. There will be an estimated 5,400 positions for Dietitian or Nutritionist per year.

Forecasted Number of Jobs for Dietitians and Nutritionists in U.S.

The states with the most job growth for Dietitian or Nutritionist are Colorado, Arizona, and Utah. Watch out if you plan on working in Rhode Island, Maine, or Illinois. These states have the worst job growth for this type of profession.

What is the Average Salary of a Dietitian or Nutritionist

The typical yearly salary for Dietitians and Nutritionists is somewhere between $38,460 and $84,610.

Salary Ranges for Dietitians and Nutritionists

Dietitians and Nutritionists who work in California, Hawaii, or Connecticut, make the highest salaries.

How much do Dietitians and Nutritionists make in each U.S. state?

State Annual Mean Salary
Alabama $55,580
Alaska $71,210
Arizona $55,060
Arkansas $58,390
California $74,060
Colorado $60,500
Connecticut $69,610
Delaware $64,590
District of Columbia $65,490
Florida $61,710
Georgia $54,550
Hawaii $69,050
Idaho $53,420
Illinois $58,020
Indiana $56,620
Iowa $47,580
Kansas $57,300
Kentucky $57,980
Louisiana $56,440
Maine $58,310
Maryland $68,760
Massachusetts $64,860
Michigan $57,000
Minnesota $61,820
Mississippi $51,690
Missouri $54,030
Montana $50,650
Nebraska $55,900
Nevada $65,710
New Hampshire $60,900
New Jersey $68,810
New Mexico $54,300
New York $68,050
North Carolina $54,810
North Dakota $56,240
Ohio $57,500
Oklahoma $56,100
Oregon $68,590
Pennsylvania $56,440
Rhode Island $61,870
South Carolina $53,690
South Dakota $55,680
Tennessee $55,120
Texas $56,550
Utah $56,390
Vermont $57,640
Virginia $61,550
Washington $65,110
West Virginia $55,180
Wisconsin $55,760
Wyoming $63,120

What Tools do Dietitians and Nutritionists Use?

Although they’re not necessarily needed for all jobs, the following technologies are used by many Dietitians and Nutritionists:

  • Microsoft Excel
  • Microsoft Word
  • Microsoft Office
  • Microsoft PowerPoint
  • Microsoft Outlook
  • Web browser software
  • Word processing software
  • Spreadsheet software
  • Database software
  • Graphics software
  • Google Drive
  • Statistical software
  • ValuSoft MasterCook
  • Axxya Systems Nutritionist Pro
  • Aurora FoodPro
  • ESHA Research The Food Processor
  • The Nutrition Company FoodWorks
  • BioEx Systems Nutrition Maker Plus
  • Skype
  • CyberSoft NutriBase

How do I Become a Dietitian or Nutritionist?

What kind of Dietitian or Nutritionist requirements are there?

Dietitian or Nutritionist Degree Level

How many years of work experience do I need?

Dietitian or Nutritionist Work Experience

Who Employs Dietitians and Nutritionists?

Dietitian or Nutritionist Sectors

The table below shows some of the most common industries where those employed in this career field work.

Dietitian or Nutritionist Industries

Similar Careers

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References:

Image Credit: Senior Airman Brittany Paerschke-O’Brien via Public domain

More about our data sources and methodologies.

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