How to Become a

Dietetic Technician

The complete career guide to be a Dietetic Technician: salary, job growth, employers, best schools, and education you may need to get started.

Why We Love It

  • $29,170
    Potential Avg. Salary
  • 13.3%
    Job Growth Rate
  • Growing Demand
    Job Outlook
  • Dependable Daily Workload
    Career Attribute

Dietetic technicians work alongside dietitians with individual clients and for organizations and other food service providers. The goal of a dietetic technician is to educate others on eating properly, and ensure groups are getting the nutrition they need to prevent disease and maintain health.

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What is a Dietetic Technician?

The following job responsibilities are common for individuals in dietetic technician roles:

  • Work with dietitians to develop meal plans, order food, and manage budgets for large food service organizations like restaurants, schools, and nursing homes
  • Collect client data and histories, run tests, and provide results to dietitians to aid in client nutrition recommendations
  • Create materials for community nutrition presentations to be delivered by dietitians

A Day in the Life

The primary goal of a dietetic technician is to support dietitians in performing their roles. Dietetic technicians are experts in nutrition, and the goal of their work is to encourage people to manage disease and maintain health through healthy eating practices. Some dietetic technicians work alongside dietitians who counsel individual clients in a clinical setting, while others assist dietitians in managing large-scale food service programs for organizations and institutions.

Dietetic technicians who work in clinical settings often do the bulk of the work of collecting patient/client data and histories. They work with patients to establish current eating habits, collect medical histories, and understand patient goals, budgetary concerns, and dietary restrictions. Often, they use the information they collect to form a meal plan for the client, but the meal plan is usually reviewed and presented to the patient by the dietitian.

In an institutional setting, dietetic technicians assist dietitians in managing large food service programs. They oversee food service for individual schools, entire school systems, nursing homes, prisons, and other facilities. The goal in this career is to ensure that a large group receives healthy, balanced meals within a facility’s budget. The dietetic technician assists the dietitian in this setting by managing food service employees, ordering food and supplies, and assisting in meal and recipe planning.

Typical Work Schedule

Most dietetic technicians work full-time hours. They may work during normal business hours, or they may be required to work on evenings and/or weekends to support client schedules.

Projected Job Growth

Public recognition of the importance of healthy eating has been on the rise in recent years, which is expected to drive growth in the number of opportunities available for dietetic technicians.

Typical Employers

Dietetic technicians are commonly hired to work for hospitals, schools, nursing homes, and prisons. They may also be hired by dietitians who own nutrition counseling practices.

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How To Become a Dietetic Technician

For some people, working as a dietetic technician is a career plan, and for others it’s a stepping stone to becoming a dietitian. To work as a dietetic technician, you must have an associate’s degree in dietetics, food service systems management, or nutrition. With an associate’s degree, dietetic technicians can begin to look for employment with dietitians. After earning more than 400 hours of work experience as dietetic technicians, you can apply to take an exam that, if passed, will qualify you to become a Dietetic Technician, Registered (DTR).

Each state has different laws governing the requirements for working as a dietetic technician. For example, some states do not require licensure at all, which others require all dietetic technicians to be certified, and to complete ongoing educational requirements to maintain certification.

Many dietetic technicians continue their education while earning their work experience hours and go on to earn bachelor’s degrees and become dietitians. To become a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist (RDN), you’ll need a bachelor’s degree and additional hours of experience.

Individuals interested in becoming nutrition and dietetics educators may need additional schooling, and many who want to pursue work as educators later in their careers earn a master’s degree to become Certified Nutrition Specialists (CNSs).

Dietetic Technician Salary Data

We’ve provided you the following to learn more about this career. The salary and growth data on this page comes from recently published Bureau of Labor Statistics data while the recommendations and editorial content are based on our research.

National Anual Salary

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High Range


National Hourly Wage

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High Range


How do Dietetic Technician salaries stack up to other jobs across the country? Based on the latest jobs data nationwide, Dietetic Technician's can make an average annual salary of $29,170, or $14 per hour. This makes it an Above Average Salary. On the lower end, they can make $20,760 or $10 per hour, perhaps when just starting out or based on the state you live in.

Salary Rankings And Facts

  • #714 Nationally for All Careers

Programs and Degrees

Here are the most common degrees for becoming a Dietetic Technician. a is usually recommended and specifically a degree or coursework that prepares you for the particular field, see below.

Highest Education Among Dietetic Technicians

  • 1%   Doctorate
  • 1.7%   Masters
  • 16.1%   Bachelors
  • 21.4%   Associates
  • 35%   College
  • 22.9%   High School
  • 1.8%   Less than High School

Job Growth Projections and Forecast

2014 Total Jobs


2024 Est. Jobs


Job Growth Rate


Est. New Jobs


How does Dietetic Technician job growth stack up to other jobs across the country? By 2024, there will be a change of 3,900 jobs for a total of 33,200 people employed in the career nationwide. This is a 13.3% change in growth over the next ten years, giving the career a growth rate nationwide of Below Average.

Growth Rankings And Facts

  • #127 Nationally for All Careers

What Companies Employ The Most Dietetic Technicians

Industry Current Jobs New Jobs Needed % Increase
General medical and surgical hospitals; private 10,300 700 1%
Nursing care facilities (skilled nursing facilities) 7,600 800 1%
Continuing care retirement communities and assisted living facilities for the elderly 2,500 1,200 1%

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