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What Does a Registered Dietitian Do?

Healthy food can be life-changing. What if you could help people understand and embrace that choice? Then this job could be for you. Registered Dietitians (RD) design nutrition programs to improve patient well-being or to boost disease recovery. These food and nutrition experts may also advise someone who wants to embrace a healthier lifestyle. A dietitian explains how smart food choices help the body function better, including what foods to eat and what to avoid.

Clinical dietitians work in a traditional medical setting like a hospital or nursing home while community dietitians work with corporations or communities to teach better eating habits. Food service dietitians, sometimes called management dietitians, oversee food planning for a cafeteria, food company or school. Many dietitians also work in private practice.

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$ 36,000 - $ 87,000
$ 61,000
5,180+
A registered dietitian helps people embrace a healthy diet and understand the role of good nutrition
A registered dietitian helps clients understand how food affects every aspect of long-term health, and why fruits and vegetables are so powerful. (Credit: Komsan Loonprom/Shutterstock)
A Day In the Life
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'You have to be a good listener and be able to develop a good rapport with people,' said registered dietician Cathy Shaw.
A Day In the Life

Catherine Shaw knows that some people may equate her job with the “food police,” but the truth is so much more interesting. A Registered Dietician has the knowledge and the relationships to help people change in ways they didn’t think possible. 

“When we work so closely with patients on skills to help facilitate lifestyle change, they are so appreciative when they start feeling better, moving better and are able to enjoy their lives more,” says Catherine.

If you're interested in food science and have a passion for improving people's lives, this could be the job for you.

Job Responsibilities
  • Assess nutritional needs
  • Consult with doctors and other healthcare personnel
  • Explain the principles of healthy eating and nutrition and counsel patients to follow them
  • Create customized meal plans and adjust them as needed
  • Keep up with the latest nutrition research
EDUCATION + TRAINING

A registered dietitian (RD) must earn a bachelor’s degree in an accredited program, complete several hundred hours of supervised practice and take an exam to become credentialed through the Commission on Dietetic Registration (CDR). Many states require a license to practice. Some employers look for the Registered Dietitian Nutritionist (RDN) credential.

In general there are two program approaches. A coordinated program in dietetics provides classroom and supervised practical experience at the same time. In a didactic program, classes are followed by a dietetic internship or supervised experience, which can last eight to 24 months.

Many hold advanced degrees and some hold additional certifications in areas of specialization, like pediatric or sports nutrition. The requirements for licensure and certification vary by state, but continued professional education is required to maintain certification.

YOU MAY BE A GOOD FIT FOR THIS POSITION IF YOU
  • Communicate and listen well
  • Understand complicated research and are able to translate it for everyday use
  • Enjoy working with people and helping solve problems
  • Have strong organization skills

Registered Dietitian Training in Your Area

Coordinates
University of Arkansas Community College - Morrilton logo

Dietary Management Certificate Of Proficiency

University of Arkansas Community College - Morrilton
Morrilton (212.8 Miles)
Des Moines Area Community College logo

Dietary Manager Certificate

Des Moines Area Community College
Ankey (338.2 Miles)

Nutrition and Dietetics, A.S.

Vincennes University
Vincennes (459.9 Miles)
Pikes Peak Community College logo

Dietary Manager Certificate

Pikes Peak Community College
Colorado Springs (507.6 Miles)
Community College of Denver logo

Nutrition, A.A.S.

Community College of Denver
Denver (535.0 Miles)
Community College of Denver logo

Dietary Manager Certificate

Community College of Denver
Denver (535.0 Miles)

Dietetic Technology, A.A.S

Normandale Community College
Bloomington (548.9 Miles)

Nutrition Studies Certificate

Normandale Community College
Bloomington (548.9 Miles)

Culinary Nutrition Assistant Certificate

Atlanta Technical College
Atlanta (677.6 Miles)
Cuyahoga Community College

Dietary Management Certificate

Cuyahoga Community College
Cleveland (809.0 Miles)
Cuyahoga Community College

Dietetic Technology, A.A.S.

Cuyahoga Community College
Cleveland (809.0 Miles)
Gaston College logo

Nutrition and Dietetics Technician, A.A.S.

Gaston College
Dallas (818.1 Miles)

Find Registered Dietitian Jobs in Your Area

Coordinates

Nutrition Educator - 64084645

Florida Department of Transportation
Pinellas Park ( 0.0 ) Miles
Posted 7 months ago

Registered Dietitian, Full Time, Community Health Education,Hanford

Adventist Health NW
Hanford ( 0.0 ) Miles
Posted 8 months 2 weeks ago

Registered Dietitian 1 / Healthcare

Elior
Parsons ( 30.4 ) Miles
Posted 1 month 1 week ago

Registered Dietitian

DaVita
Claremore ( 53.0 ) Miles
Posted 2 months 1 week ago

Clinical Dietitian, FT- Days

Ardent Health Services
Owasso ( 56.5 ) Miles
Posted 1 month 4 weeks ago

Dietary Manager ALF

Americare Senior Living
Pittsburg ( 59.2 ) Miles
Posted 8 months 1 week ago

Dietitian

Compass Group USA Inc
Pittsburg ( 59.7 ) Miles
Posted 4 months ago

Dietitian I

Mercy Healthcare
Joplin ( 66.3 ) Miles
Posted 6 months 1 week ago