Dietitians

Home >> Careers & Education

Dietitians

Dietitians


Education

What’s needed: Dietitians complete an accredited baccalaureate program in nutrition and a supervised internship that qualify them to apply for the Registered Dietitian credential. Most programs are didactic meaning that they provide the classroom component and the student applies separately to dietetic internships. Some schools offer a coordinated program comprised of both classroom training and an internship.

What you study:

Dietetic programs train students in the life sciences as a foundation for nutritional studies. Coursework for dietitians includes:

  • Anatomy and physiology
  • Chemistry
  • Biochemistry
  • Food science
  • Food service management
  • Nutrition science
  • Medical Nutrition Therapy


Video Overview

Shows a short overview of the dietician career. Produced for the US Department of Labor.


A Day in the Life

You teach people how to eat for optimum health.

As a dietitian your day varies depending on whether you work as a clinician food service expert or consultant. The profession’s many choices often involve managing the dietary aspects of illness and teaching people how to eat for optimum health. You interact daily with clients or patients and use your expertise in nutritional science to create appropriate eating plans.

You provide medical nutrition therapy to patients with acute and chronic illnesses.

If you are a clinical dietitian you provide medical nutrition therapy to patients with acute and chronic illnesses. Your morning begins with a review of today?s patient information and consulting schedule. Your first patient has low levels of the blood protein albumin indicating the need for additional protein and calories. You review his current diet plan and calculate optimal changes. As the patient?s compliance is crucial you ask him about his food preferences. He is pleased to receive more filling meals and to be consulted about food choices. You write up notes to update the rest of his care team.

You create healthier versions of favorite recipes.

Your next patient is borderline diabetic and meets with you to create a diet plan to maintain wellness. She is accustomed to eating meals high in sugar and refined carbohydrates and is daunted by the prospect of drastic lifestyle changes. As a skilled cook you craft healthier versions of her favorite recipes and print them for her to take home. You also give her a shopping list of healthy grocery items. The patient leaves feeling more in control of her future.

You educate patients about tasty and affordable meals for special diets.

After a quick lunch at your desk while completing paperwork you head to the conference room to give a nutrition presentation. Today you are educating celiac patients about how to make gluten-free family meals tasty and affordable. For people learning to live with severe dietary restrictions tasks such as planning a meal can seem overwhelming. Your audience expresses appreciation for the tips and you end your shift with final paperwork that quantifies the positive difference you made today in several lives.


Certifications and Licensing

Most states require that dietitians be licensed and licensing pathways vary between states. Generally states accept the Registered Dietitian (RD) credential obtained through the independent Commission on Dietetic Registration. Candidates who have completed an accredited dietetics training program are eligible to apply for the registered dietitian (RD) credential and qualify via exam.


Job Flexibility

Full-time versus part-time:

About 80 percent of dietitians work full time and those employed in facilities or businesses usually work regular shifts. Self-employed dietitians have more freedom to structure their schedules.

Work location:

Dietitians work in a variety of settings including medical facilities schools and businesses. Hospitals employ about one third of all RDs. Some dietitians are self-employed consultants and see clients in offices or travel to client sites.


Recommended Websites

  • U.S. Department of Labor Occupational Outlook Handbook ? The site provides a clear overview of the dietetics and nutrition field with an emphasis on the roles of registered dietitians. The information is a good starting point for researching this career path’s scope and entry requirements. For a closer look consult sites that serve nutrition students and professionals.
  • Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics ? The Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics is the field?s largest professional membership organization. The site has a career section that explains to students and career changers how to become a dietitian. You can view a list of accredited programs by state as well as options for advanced degrees. The site also provides helpful job descriptions for credentialed dietitians.
  • Commission on Dietetic Registration ? The CDR is the credentialing agency for registered dietitians and dietetic technicians. The site includes a clear explanation of licensing requirements and a list of the 46 states that currently mandate licensing. The section on specialty certifications provides valuable information about career options as well as advanced training.
  • Explore Health Careers ? The site is an academic and healthcare initiative that provides information on many health professions. The section on dietitians focuses on RDs and describes diverse career paths including business consultant and researcher.


Salaries by City

See typical salaries and ranges for this career below*. Shift click to sort by more than one column — for example first shift-click on state and then shift-click on salary to find best and worst salaries in each state.

<$40K - $76K

State City / Region Typical Salary Salary Range Job Count % of All Jobs
AK Anchorage $66780 $45K – $88K 90 0.05%
AL Birmingham – Hoover $44110 $33K – $60K 250 0.05%
AL Dothan $53140 $40K – $64K 30 0.05%
AL Huntsville $50700 $34K – $67K 60 0.03%
AL Mobile $45350 $31K – $67K 70 0.04%
AL Montgomery $53690 $28K – $73K 60 0.04%
AL Tuscaloosa $51540 $39K – $69K 50 0.05%
AR Fayetteville – Springdale – Rogers $48540 $35K – $85K 70 0.03%
AR Little Rock – North Little Rock – Conway $47790 $34K – $73K 210 0.06%
AZ Phoenix – Mesa – Glendale $52120 $26K – $71K 550 0.03%
AZ Tucson $49430 $29K – $73K 310 0.09%
AZ Yuma $30890 $17K – $81K 30 0.05%
CA Bakersfield – Delano $59640 $48K – $87K 90 0.03%
CA Chico $52280 $30K – $75K 50 0.07%
CA Fresno $69520 $55K – $86K N/A N/A
CA Los Angeles – Long Beach – Glendale (Metro Area) $67870 $43K – $90K 1740 0.05%
CA Modesto $73210 $55K – $91K 50 0.03%
CA Napa $58420 $51K – $82K 40 0.07%
CA Oakland – Fremont – Hayward (Metro Area) $79260 $51K – $102K 520 0.05%
CA Oxnard – Thousand Oaks – Ventura $67310 $50K – $84K 90 0.03%
CA Redding $74240 $63K – $92K 60 0.10%
CA Riverside – San Bernardino – Ontario $65040 $49K – $83K 440 0.04%
CA Sacramento – Arden – Arcade – Roseville $69660 $52K – $97K 270 0.03%
CA Salinas $77830 $64K – $98K 40 0.02%
CA San Diego – Carlsbad – San Marcos $64710 $43K – $84K 400 0.03%
CA San Francisco – San Mateo – Redwood City (Metro Area) $69800 $49K – $92K 490 0.05%
CA San Jose – Sunnyvale – Santa Clara $76410 $43K – $95K 340 0.04%
CA San Luis Obispo – Paso Robles $63500 $50K – $107K N/A N/A
CA Santa Ana – Anaheim – Irvine (Metro Area) $69890 $52K – $89K 330 0.02%
CA Santa Barbara – Santa Maria – Goleta $68770 $54K – $90K 70 0.04%
CA Santa Rosa – Petaluma $73340 $50K – $98K 60 0.04%
CA Stockton $72300 $63K – $90K 200 0.10%
CA Vallejo – Fairfield $80740 $61K – $102K 60 0.05%
CA Visalia – Porterville $67310 $49K – $88K 60 0.04%
CO Boulder $50260 $27K – $73K 90 0.05%
CO Colorado Springs $57440 $43K – $75K 90 0.04%
CO Denver – Aurora – Broomfield $57200 $39K – $74K 440 0.04%
CO Fort Collins – Loveland $47740 $36K – $67K 60 0.04%
CO Grand Junction $54830 $34K – $75K N/A N/A
CO Greeley $60750 $29K – $76K 70 0.09%
CO Pueblo $52300 $39K – $66K 30 0.06%
CT Bridgeport – Stamford – Norwalk $66430 $48K – $83K 100 0.02%
CT Danbury $69040 $42K – $103K 30 0.05%
CT Hartford – West Hartford – East Hartford $60990 $42K – $77K 260 0.05%
CT New Haven $63650 $44K – $78K 140 0.05%
CT Norwich – New London $57670 $34K – $80K 60 0.05%
DC Washington – Arlington – Alexandria (Metro Area) $59780 $37K – $87K 700 0.03%
DE Wilmington (Metro Area) $59660 $42K – $76K 100 0.03%
FL Cape Coral – Fort Myers $50400 $19K – $72K 80 0.04%
FL Deltona – Daytona Beach – Ormond Beach $46200 $33K – $73K 70 0.05%
FL Fort Lauderdale – Pompano Beach – Deerfield Beach (Metro Area) $55620 $33K – $75K 260 0.04%
FL Gainesville $50010 $40K – $73K 130 0.11%
FL Jacksonville $47800 $34K – $60K 180 0.03%
FL Lakeland – Winter Haven $56250 $41K – $87K 80 0.04%
FL Miami – Miami Beach – Kendall (Metro Area) $55630 $37K – $85K 300 0.03%
FL North Port – Bradenton – Sarasota $44990 $29K – $68K 80 0.03%
FL Ocala $44780 $27K – $80K 40 0.04%
FL Orlando – Kissimmee – Sanford $52070 $33K – $71K 270 0.03%
FL Palm Bay – Melbourne – Titusville $48510 $31K – $69K 70 0.04%
FL Pensacola – Ferry Pass – Brent $49730 $35K – $70K 80 0.05%
FL Port St. Lucie $65790 $42K – $86K N/A N/A
FL Tallahassee $47200 $29K – $69K 70 0.04%
FL Tampa – St. Petersburg – Clearwater $52110 $28K – $79K 530 0.05%
FL West Palm Beach – Boca Raton – Boynton Beach (Metro Area) $54860 $36K – $79K 200 0.04%
GA Atlanta – Sandy Springs – Marietta $50680 $38K – $73K 600 0.03%
GA Augusta – Richmond County $50770 $28K – $75K 110 0.05%
GA Columbus $47550 $32K – $62K 40 0.04%
GA Gainesville $44570 $33K – $60K 40 0.06%
GA Macon $48270 $22K – $79K 80 0.08%
GA Rome $37830 $27K – $74K 40 0.11%
GA Savannah $46290 $35K – $75K 60 0.04%
HI Honolulu $66110 $50K – $77K 220 0.05%
IA Cedar Rapids $53940 $40K – $66K 40 0.03%
IA Davenport – Moline – Rock Island $48640 $26K – $64K 70 0.04%
IA Des Moines – West Des Moines $46950 $41K – $63K 200 0.06%
IA Iowa City $50160 $41K – $74K 50 0.05%
IA Waterloo – Cedar Falls $51200 $40K – $61K 40 0.05%
ID Boise City – Nampa $53080 $39K – $70K 110 0.04%
ID Idaho Falls $38820 $19K – $65K 40 0.07%
IL Champaign – Urbana $50490 $26K – $73K 70 0.07%
IL Chicago – Joliet – Naperville (Metro Area) $52000 $25K – $73K 1430 0.04%
IL Lake County – Kenosha County (Metro Area) $40310 $26K – $73K 150 0.04%
IL Peoria $45270 $24K – $67K 40 0.02%
IL Rockford $52550 $39K – $62K N/A N/A
IL Springfield $65280 $49K – $75K N/A N/A
IN Bloomington $48960 $40K – $61K 30 0.04%
IN Elkhart – Goshen $45880 $34K – $59K 40 0.04%
IN Evansville $53650 $41K – $65K 50 0.03%
IN Fort Wayne $45900 $34K – $65K 70 0.04%
IN Gary (Metro Area) $51810 $38K – $73K 120 0.05%
IN Indianapolis – Carmel $50590 $39K – $70K 380 0.04%
IN Lafayette $46420 $32K – $71K 50 0.06%
IN South Bend – Mishawaka $55450 $43K – $77K 50 0.04%
KS Topeka $49030 $32K – $65K 40 0.04%
KS Wichita $52760 $40K – $69K 120 0.04%
KY Lexington – Fayette $46380 $36K – $75K 80 0.03%
KY Louisville – Jefferson County $47130 $37K – $68K 520 0.09%
LA Alexandria $60650 $36K – $73K 50 0.08%
LA Baton Rouge $46940 $28K – $71K 160 0.04%
LA Houma – Bayou Cane – Thibodaux $49430 $35K – $71K 50 0.05%
LA Lafayette $47910 $23K – $71K 50 0.04%
LA Monroe $47800 $34K – $72K 40 190 0.04%
LA Shreveport – Bossier City $37940 $22K – $66K 120 0.07%
MA Barnstable Town $65280 $44K – $89K 70 0.07%
MA Boston – Cambridge – Quincy (Metro Area) $59330 $41K – $87K 910 0.05%
MA Brockton – Bridgewater – Easton (Metro Area) $69020 $43K – $90K 40 0.04%
MA Framingham (Metro Area) $59120 $33K – $87K 50 0.03%
MA Haverhill – North Andover – Amesbury (Metro Area) $62750 $39K – $90K 40 0.05%
MA Lawrence – Methuen – Salem (Metro Area) $60370 $50K – $79K 40 0.08%
MA Lowell – Billerica – Chelmsford (Metro Area) $53180 $38K – $72K 70 0.06%
MA Peabody (Metro Area) $64930 $50K – $89K 80 0.08%
MA Pittsfield $65970 $49K – $115K 30 0.10%
MA Springfield $60460 $37K – $84K 170 0.06%
MA Taunton – Norton – Raynham (Metro Area) $54160 $31K – $90K N/A N/A
MA Worcester $56810 $37K – $76K 150 0.06%
MD Baltimore – Towson $61640 $46K – $87K 380 0.03%
MD Bethesda – Rockville – Frederick (Metro Area) $102870 $54K – $142K N/A N/A
MD Hagerstown – Martinsburg $58330 $30K – $87K 50 0.05%
ME Portland – South Portland – Biddeford $55680 $40K – $70K 70 0.04%
MI Ann Arbor $50930 $32K – $74K 160 0.08%
MI Detroit – Livonia – Dearborn (Metro Area) $50350 $37K – $70K 350 0.05%
MI Flint $55450 $46K – $70K 50 0.04%
MI Grand Rapids – Wyoming $53590 $39K – $74K 200 0.05%
MI Jackson $52210 $41K – $67K 40 0.08%
MI Kalamazoo – Portage $54280 $39K – $69K 70 0.05%
MI Lansing – East Lansing $56280 $41K – $76K 110 0.06%
MI Muskegon – Norton Shores $49190 $22K – $62K 40 0.07%
MI Saginaw – Saginaw Township North $55080 $41K – $73K 40 0.05%
MI Warren – Troy – Farmington Hills (Metro Area) $52840 $39K – $70K 500 0.05%
MN Duluth $52450 $40K – $67K 60 0.05%
MN Minneapolis – St. Paul – Bloomington $55040 $40K – $74K 1170 0.07%
MN Rochester $62740 $48K – $75K 100 0.10%
MN St. Cloud $60000 $43K – $80K 50 0.05%
MO Columbia $52760 $35K – $84K 50 0.06%
MO Jefferson City $45700 $33K – $66K 50 0.07%
MO Kansas City $52580 $39K – $71K 310 0.03%
MO Springfield $52250 $34K – $84K 130 0.07%
MO St. Louis $46910 $34K – $61K 510 0.04%
MS Gulfport – Biloxi $57810 $42K – $75K 40 0.04%
MS Hattiesburg $47200 $40K – $59K 50 0.08%
MS Jackson $45010 $34K – $67K 130 0.05%
NC Asheville $48970 $40K – $67K 90 0.05%
NC Burlington $49060 $41K – $61K 40 0.07%
NC Charlotte – Gastonia – Rock Hill $51030 $33K – $71K 180 0.02%
NC Durham – Chapel Hill $53820 $40K – $72K 200 0.07%
NC Fayetteville $47610 $36K – $71K 70 0.05%
NC Greensboro – High Point $45040 $37K – $59K 110 0.03%
NC Greenville $53170 $40K – $69K 60 0.08%
NC Hickory – Lenoir – Morganton $46020 $36K – $68K 50 0.04%
NC Raleigh – Cary $53530 $40K – $68K 180 0.03%
NC Rocky Mount $50230 $35K – $68K 30 0.05%
NC Wilmington $47740 $39K – $75K 40 0.03%
NC Winston – Salem $51060 $37K – $68K 100 0.05%
ND Bismarck $46200 $39K – $57K 30 0.05%
ND Fargo $51890 $32K – $69K 60 0.04%
ND Grand Forks N/A N/A – N/A 50 0.10%
NE Lincoln $45760 $37K – $59K 60 0.04%
NE Omaha – Council Bluffs $53600 $40K – $72K 230 0.05%
NH Manchester $58830 $46K – $77K 70 0.07%
NH Nashua (Metro Area) $58820 $43K – $73K 30 0.03%
NJ Atlantic City – Hammonton $63260 $46K – $85K 40 0.03%
NJ Camden (Metro Area) $65700 $50K – $82K 140 0.03%
NJ Edison – New Brunswick (Metro Area) $58030 $43K – $84K 410 0.04%
NJ Newark – Union (Metro Area) $64960 $46K – $75K 570 0.06%
NJ Trenton – Ewing $66140 $47K – $91K 140 0.06%
NJ Vineland – Millville – Bridgeton $68320 $48K – $75K 30 0.06%
NM Albuquerque $53890 $36K – $73K 140 0.04%
NM Las Cruces $42160 $30K – $76K 30 0.05%
NV Las Vegas – Paradise $66640 $44K – $167K 170 0.02%
NV Reno – Sparks $60310 $45K – $73K 50 0.03%
NY Albany – Schenectady – Troy $59760 $41K – $87K 230 0.05%
NY Binghamton $57620 $43K – $74K 50 0.05%
NY Buffalo – Niagara Falls $54090 $40K – $73K 260 0.05%
NY Elmira $41880 $32K – $66K 40 0.10%
NY Ithaca $47450 $40K – $110K 40 0.08%
NY Nassau – Suffolk (Metro Area) $65760 $49K – $85K 620 0.05%
NY New York – White Plains – Wayne (Metro Area) $59840 $42K – $81K 2970 0.06%
NY Poughkeepsie – Newburgh – Middletown $63900 $44K – $86K 180 0.07%
NY Rochester $51360 $20K – $73K 260 0.05%
NY Syracuse $57070 $37K – $80K 150 0.05%
NY Utica – Rome $52140 $32K – $73K 90 0.07%
OH Akron $51060 $35K – $61K 200 0.06%
OH Canton – Massillon $48410 $41K – $61K 90 0.05%
OH Cincinnati – Middletown $53860 $38K – $73K 460 0.05%
OH Cleveland – Elyria – Mentor $56040 $39K – $73K 520 0.05%
OH Columbus $52870 $38K – $70K 400 0.04%
OH Dayton $48620 $30K – $70K 180 0.05%
OH Toledo $54900 $42K – $73K 110 0.04%
OH Youngstown – Warren – Boardman $42790 $32K – $62K 130 0.06%
OK Oklahoma City $45210 $32K – $71K 280 0.05%
OK Tulsa $47340 $30K – $63K 240 0.06%
OR Eugene – Springfield $56450 $29K – $72K 50 0.04%
OR Portland – Vancouver – Hillsboro $62780 $43K – $81K 300 0.03%
OR Salem $63670 $45K – $74K 70 0.05%
PA Allentown – Bethlehem – Easton $55290 $41K – $74K 120 0.03%
PA Altoona $37370 $25K – $68K 60 0.10%
PA Erie $48600 $24K – $67K 130 0.10%
PA Harrisburg – Carlisle $50890 $28K – $78K 160 0.05%
PA Johnstown $36820 $21K – $61K 50 0.09%
PA Lancaster $56320 $35K – $73K 150 0.07%
PA Lebanon $45800 $28K – $73K 40 0.07%
PA Philadelphia (Metro Area) $55710 $23K – $75K 1050 0.06%
PA Pittsburgh $44540 $19K – $64K 720 0.06%
PA Reading $27470 $19K – $59K 220 0.13%
PA Scranton – Wilkes – Barre $43900 $33K – $72K 230 0.09%
PA Williamsport $52620 $34K – $71K 50 0.10%
PA York – Hanover $35740 $19K – $67K N/A N/A
PR San Juan – Caguas – Guaynabo $31320 $18K – $45K 500 0.07%
RI Providence – Fall River – Warwick $60860 $35K – $83K 370 0.07%
SC Charleston – North Charleston – Summerville $53470 $34K – $73K 120 0.04%
SC Columbia $46500 $28K – $69K 150 0.04%
SC Florence $44780 $29K – $69K 40 0.05%
SC Greenville – Mauldin – Easley $45190 $29K – $69K 100 0.03%
SC Myrtle Beach – North Myrtle Beach – Conway $40670 $25K – $63K 30 0.03%
SC Spartanburg $49550 $28K – $88K 50 0.04%
SD Rapid City $52760 $36K – $67K 30 0.05%
SD Sioux Falls $51150 $40K – $69K 60 0.05%
TN Chattanooga $51690 $25K – $72K 110 0.05%
TN Johnson City $66350 $37K – $77K N/A N/A
TN Kingsport – Bristol – Bristol $52080 $28K – $70K 40 0.04%
TN Knoxville $51820 $38K – $66K 130 0.04%
TN Memphis $51320 $36K – $73K 190 0.03%
TN Nashville – Davidson – Murfreesboro – Franklin $47730 $31K – $72K 290 0.04%
TX Amarillo N/A N/A – N/A 80 0.07%
TX Austin – Round Rock – San Marcos $42120 $27K – $65K 250 0.03%
TX Beaumont – Port Arthur $54930 $29K – $73K 60 0.04%
TX Brownsville – Harlingen $53150 $29K – $73K 40 0.03%
TX College Station – Bryan $44820 $31K – $64K 40 0.04%
TX Corpus Christi $45380 $18K – $73K 80 0.04%
TX Dallas – Plano – Irving (Metro Area) $55050 $39K – $76K 670 0.03%
TX El Paso $55880 $42K – $76K 90 0.03%
TX Fort Worth – Arlington (Metro Area) $53830 $19K – $69K 280 0.03%
TX Houston – Sugar Land – Baytown $54610 $39K – $76K 690 0.03%
TX Killeen – Temple – Fort Hood $59440 $41K – $75K 60 0.05%
TX Laredo $51870 $40K – $80K 30 0.04%
TX Longview $55650 $42K – $72K N/A N/A
TX Lubbock $57340 $24K – $73K 40 0.03%
TX McAllen – Edinburg – Mission $53730 $39K – $108K 60 0.02%
TX San Antonio – New Braunfels $54720 $36K – $73K 290 0.03%
TX Tyler $54730 $40K – $74K 40 0.04%
TX Waco $51260 $32K – $75K 30 0.03%
UT Ogden – Clearfield $37670 $22K – $66K 120 0.06%
UT Provo – Orem $45270 $38K – $67K 50 0.03%
UT Salt Lake City $49480 $21K – $71K 290 0.05%
VA Charlottesville $57790 $39K – $75K 30 0.03%
VA Richmond $57600 $41K – $76K 230 0.04%
VA Roanoke $48880 $29K – $74K 90 0.06%
VA Virginia Beach – Norfolk – Newport News $51580 $35K – $72K 180 0.03%
VA Winchester $56490 $40K – $73K 50 0.10%
VT Burlington – South Burlington $53530 $35K – $76K 60 0.05%
WA Bellingham $58820 $48K – $75K 40 0.05%
WA Kennewick – Pasco – Richland $57380 $39K – $72K 40 0.04%
WA Seattle – Bellevue – Everett (Metro Area) $65650 $51K – $84K N/A N/A
WA Spokane $56180 $39K – $71K 100 0.05%
WA Tacoma (Metro Area) $62560 $34K – $81K 120 0.05%
WA Yakima $49820 $26K – $71K 70 0.09%
WI Eau Claire $54230 $45K – $61K 40 0.06%
WI Green Bay $51080 $35K – $71K 70 0.04%
WI Janesville $48330 $37K – $62K 30 0.06%
WI Madison $59000 $42K – $76K 260 0.08%
WI Milwaukee – Waukesha – West Allis $53460 $29K – $68K 420 0.05%
WI Oshkosh – Neenah $53410 $42K – $62K 40 0.04%
WI Racine $51580 $41K – $69K 30 0.04%
WI Wausau $52940 $43K – $61K 30 0.05%
WV Charleston $43860 $20K – $71K 70 0.05%
WV Huntington – Ashland $43990 $25K – $73K 80 0.07%
WV Morgantown $46610 $39K – $70K 40 0.06%

    Advertisement

    POWERED BY
    Customer Service: 855.213.0348
    Mon-Fri 8AM-8PM CST, Sat 8AM-5PM CST, Sun 10AM-6PM CST
    © 2017, Bold Limited. All rights reserved.