Are you a health-conscious person who is interested in the role food plays in human health? A position as a Registered Dietitian may be right for you. Registered Dietitians use nutrition and food science to help people improve their health. Each Registered Dietitian has met the strict educational and experiential standards set forth by the Commission on Dietetic Registration (CDR) or the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics (AND).
The critical role of food and diet in affecting human health is well-documented in scientific studies. Changing a person’s diet can have a substantial effect on a plethora of health problems, including cancer, diabetes, hypertension, eating disorders, and heart disease. Some Registered Dietitians provide care and consultation to patients directly; others have a focus on public health and education, with a commitment to educating the general public about making proper dietary choices. Others work in the corporate world, or the research realm.
Registered Dietitians typically work for large institutions such as hospitals, clinics, prisons, nursing homes, schools and colleges, and for state and local governments.
Typical Duties and Responsibilities
- Provide dietary services following state and federal laws and regulations
- Develop nutrition plans and implement interventions based on knowledge of patients’ current health
- Design plans to address specific health issues, such as obesity, diabetes, eating disorders, or hypertension
- Develop facility-wide nutritional programs for educational, correctional, healthcare, and other institutions
- Complete monthly, quarterly and yearly assessments of clients and adapt nutrition plans as needed
- Implement personalized, age-specific, and culturally appropriate nutrition strategies
- Deliver client nutrition recommendations to physicians, nurses and aides
- Provide nutrition education and counseling for patients
- Increase public awareness of healthy nutritional standards and habits
Education and Background
This position requires a bachelor’s degree in nutrition, dietetics, or a related field. A candidate must also be a Registered Dietitian with the Commission on Dietetic Registration (CDR) or the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics (AND).
Skills and Competencies
- Stay current of, comply with, and model national, state and local legislation, policies, and standards for food safety
- Apply knowledge of biological, physical or chemical properties that may cause food to be unsafe for human and animal consumption
- Develop and provide education and counseling on safe food-handling and sustainable practices to prevent and minimize contamination
- Educate the public on the role and the benefits of receiving care or services from a Registered Dietitian
- Educate patients and the general public on the availability of nutrition services
- Increase public awareness of the importance of nutrition and public welfare
- Apply knowledge of hygienic food preparation practices and causes of foodborne illness in food preparation
- Demonstrate proficient use of technical operating systems and software to communicate and disseminate information; to collect, track and retrieve data; and to create documents, spreadsheets, and presentations
- Use standardized terminology to describe nutrition assessment data, nutrition diagnoses, nutrition interventions, and nutrition monitoring and evaluation
- Identify and promote sustainable, resilient, healthy food to staff, customers and the public
- Recognize the environmental implications of infectious diseases, compromised health conditions, and outbreaks, and identify and implement required preventive action for public safety
According to Payscale the median annual salary of a Registered Dietitian with
1 Year of Experience:
- Orlando, Florida: $55,000
- Tampa, Florida: $51,000
- Jacksonville, Florida: $45,000
- Miami, Florida: $60,000
- Atlanta, Georgia: $52,000
- Chicago, Illinois: $60,000
- Houston, Texas: $53,000
- Los Angeles, California: $60,000
- New York City, New York: $67,000
- Seattle, Washington: $65,000
- Overall: $59,000
5 Years of Experience:
- Orlando, Florida: $60,000
- Tampa, Florida: $60,000
- Jacksonville, Florida: $55,000
- Miami, Florida: $70,000
- Atlanta, Georgia: $60,000
- Chicago, Illinois: $68,000
- Houston, Texas: $60,000
- Los Angeles, California: $65,000
- New York City, New York: $70,000
- Seattle, Washington: $70,000
- Overall: $64,000
Similar Job Titles
- Clinical Dietitian
- Consulting Dietitian
- Dietitian Nutritionist
- Nutrition Technician
- Dietetic Technician
The career path for a Registered Dietitian starts by first earning a bachelor’s degree in one of the sciences — chemistry, physiology, or, especially, food and nutrition sciences.
Students are required to complete a collegiate educational program in dietetics and nutrition that is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Education in Nutrition and Dietetics (ACEND) of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics (AND).
After graduation, a candidate must pass the CDR’s Registration Examination for Dietitians. Once Registered Dietitian credentials have been earned, one must then fulfill the licensing/certification requirements of the state in which he or she plans to work. State laws regarding licensing processes may be found here. Registered Dietitian credentials are renewed on a five-year cycle.
The Registered Dietitian role can begin as an entry-level position. Still, it can have numerous opportunities for growth and advancement, based on experience, performance, and keeping up with new trends and information.
As more and more Americans become aware of the importance food and diet can have on their health, Registered Dietitians will become increasingly valued.
Trends gaining momentum in the dietetic field include incorporating cannabis into relevant patients’ medical nutrition therapy, internal corporate wellness programs, plant-based nutrition, product development, sustainability in farming techniques, and food allergy research.
The job outlook for a Registered Dietitian is bright, with 11 to 16 percent job growth projected, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. This rate is much faster than the average for all occupations, due in part to growing awareness of the role of food and diet in preventing and treating diseases. Because of this, more Registered Dietitians (and related occupations) will be needed to provide care and advice for a wide variety of medical conditions.
Typical Work Hours
The work hours for a Registered Dietitian are typically from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday in an office setting.
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