healthcare

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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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Median Salary $
61,000
Jobs Available
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)
Duties + 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

Nutrition Studies Certificate

Normandale Community College
Bloomington (0.0 Miles)

Dietetic Technician, A.A.S.

Truckee Meadows Community College
Reno (0.0 Miles)

Dietetic Technician, A.A.S.

Westchester Community College - SUNY
Valhalla (0.0 Miles)

Dietetic Service Supervisor, A.A.

Long Beach City College
Long Beach (0.0 Miles)

Dietetic Technology, Skills Certificate

Truckee Meadows Community College
Reno (0.0 Miles)

Foods & Nutrition, A.S.

Westchester Community College - SUNY
Valhalla (0.0 Miles)

Dietetic Service Supervisor Certificate of Achievement

Long Beach City College
Long Beach (0.0 Miles)

Nutrition Science, A.A.

South Seattle College
Seattle (0.0 Miles)

Dietary Manager Certificate

Allegany College of Maryland
Cumberland (0.0 Miles)
Paradise Valley Community College

Dietetic Technology, A.A.S.

Paradise Valley Community College
Phoenix (0.0 Miles)

Dietetic Technology, A.A.S.

Middlesex County College
Edison (0.0 Miles)

Dietetic Service Supervisor Certificate

Merced College
Merced (0.0 Miles)
Meet Ambassador
Catherine Shaw
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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.
Meet Ambassador
Catherine Shaw

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.

Find Registered Dietitian Jobs in Your Area

Coordinates

Clinical Dietitian

Dignity Health
Los Angeles ( 0.0 ) Miles
Posted 2 months 3 weeks ago

Dietitian

County of Sacramento
Sacramento ( 0.0 ) Miles
Posted 2 months 3 weeks ago

Diet Clerk- DRTX

Mission Regional Medical center
Mesquite ( 0.0 ) Miles
Posted 2 months 2 weeks ago

Registered Dietitian FT

RevereHealth
Provo ( 0.0 ) Miles
Posted 2 months 1 week ago

Food Service Tech II - Food and Nutrition Services - Kenansville, NC

Vidant Health
Kenansville ( 0.0 ) Miles
Posted 2 months ago

Clinical Dietician | Bariatrics

Regional Health
Spearfish ( 0.0 ) Miles
Posted 1 month 4 weeks ago

Dietitian

CoxHealth
Springfield ( 0.0 ) Miles
Posted 1 month 3 weeks ago

Dietician and Food Dietitian

The MENTOR Network
Carbondale ( 0.0 ) Miles
Posted 1 month 3 weeks ago