National Avg. Salary

$58,410 More Salary Data →

Job Growth Rate

16.3% More Growth Data →

Recommended Degree

Bachelor's Programs & Degrees →

Attributes

  • Dependable Daily Workload
  • Don't Take Work Home
  • Good Entry Level Salary
  • Growing Industry

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Dietitians help people maintain good health and manage diseases by educating them on how to eat properly. They may work with individuals interested in losing weight, preventing disease, or managing health, or they may work for large organizations, developing healthy and diverse menus and meal plans.

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Job Description

The following job responsibilities are common for individuals in dietitian roles:

  • Develop healthy meal plans and menus for schools, hospitals, nursing homes, and restaurants
  • Create meal plans for individual patients seeking to lose weight, prevent illness, manage disease, or handle new health-related dietary restrictions
  • Consider patients’ needs and budget concerns when providing dietary advice and guidance
  • Conduct presentations for large groups of individuals to educate the public about the importance of healthy eating

A Day in the Life

The primary role of a dietitian is to promote good health through healthy eating habits. Dietitians study nutrition as a means of promoting health, managing disease, and preventing illness, and they may work with individuals, groups, and/or organizations. For example, a dietitian employed by a hospital may spend time with patients suffering from heart disease or renal failure to educate them on new dietary restrictions caused by their health problems and help them form plans for avoiding restricted foods.

Other dietitians work for large organizations—schools, prisons, or nursing homes—and help develop meal plans that will satisfy the nutritional needs of individuals fed by the organization. These dietitians may have administrative responsibilities as well as a role in meal planning; for example, they may be responsible for handling the organization’s food budget and taking that into consideration when developing meal plans.

Another common responsibility for a dietitian is to educate groups of individuals on healthy eating. They may give presentations at schools or nursing homes to teach different age groups how to eat for good health and disease prevention. They may also counsel individuals on how to eat to promote weight loss, or teach new parents on how to feed their infants and toddlers to ensure they’re getting the nutrients needed for proper growth and development.

Typical Work Schedule

Most dietitian jobs are full-time roles, many of which are performed during normal business hours. However, some self-employed dietitians may work part-time hours, and some roles may require evening or weekend shifts.

Projected Job Growth

In recent years, public awareness of the importance of healthy eating has increased, and this increased awareness is expected to create more demand for individuals to fill dietitian roles in the coming decade.

Dietitian Specializations

  • Clinical dietitians counsel individuals on the benefits of maintaining a healthy diet. They may work for themselves, for a hospital or doctor’s office, or for the government.
  • Community dietitians provide nutritional advice to large groups of individuals and often work for health insurance providers, fitness centers, or government organizations.
  • Management dietitians work in institutions like schools, nursing homes, and hospitals. They manage food budgets and develop menus and nutrition programs for their institutions.

Typical Employers

The most common employers of dietitians are hospitals. However, dietitians may also be self-employed or work for health insurance companies, fitness centers, schools, nursing homes, prisons, or restaurants.

 

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Dietitian 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 Annual Salary

Low Range

$46,160

Average

$58,410

High Range

$80,950

National Hourly Wage

Low Range

$22/hr

Average

$28/hr

High Range

$39/hr

How do Dietitian salaries stack up to other jobs across the country? Based on the latest jobs data nationwide, Dietitian's can make an average annual salary of $58,410, or $28 per hour. On the lower end, they can make $46,160 or $22 per hour, perhaps when just starting out or based on the state you live in.

Salary Rankings And Facts

  • #290 Nationally for All Careers

  • Above Average Salary Nationally

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How To Become

To work as a dietitian, you’ll need to pursue a bachelor’s degree in dietetics, food service systems management, public health, or nutrition. As part of your studies, you’ll be required to take part in an internship or supervised training program that will provide real-word training on the day-to-day responsibilities of being a dietitian. This allows aspiring dietitians to gain valuable experience working alongside an experienced dietitian that will prepare them to do individual counseling after college.

Some states also require dietitians to be licensed in order to practice in the state. To become licensed, you’ll need to earn a bachelor’s degree, complete an internship or training program, and pass a licensing exam. By completing these three activities, aspiring dietitians may also qualify for Registered Dietitian Nutritionist (RDN) credentials from the Commission on Dietetic Registration. An RDN certification can make you more a more competitive candidate when applying for jobs after college.

After working as dietitians for several years, many dietitians want to seek advancement into more senior-level positions and higher-paying roles. For advancement, additional degrees and certifications may be required. Many dietitians go on to earn master’s or doctoral degrees that qualify them to become Certified Nutrition Specialists (CNSs). This higher-level credential requires a graduate degree and more than 1,000 hours of experience in the field working as a dietitian.


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Quick Summary

  • Recommended Min. Degree

    Bachelor's

Programs and Degrees

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

Highest Education Among Dietitian

  • 6.6%   Doctorate
  • 26.4%   Masters
  • 39.4%   Bachelors
  • 4.4%   Associates
  • 7.2%   College
  • 12.6%   High School
  • 3.3%   Less than High School

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Job Growth Projections and Forecast

2014 Total Jobs

66,700

2024 Est. Jobs

77,600

Job Growth Rate

16.3%

Est. New Jobs

10,900

How does Dietitian job growth stack up to other jobs across the country? By 2024, there will be a change of 10,900 jobs for a total of 77,600 people employed in the career nationwide. This is a 16.3% change in growth over the next ten years, giving the career a growth rate nationwide of Above Average.

Growth Rankings And Facts

  • #87 Nationally for All Careers

  • Above Avg. Growth Nationally

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What Companies Employ The Most Dietitians

Industry Current Jobs New Jobs Needed % Increase
General medical and surgical hospitals; private 15,500 1,100 1%
Nursing care facilities (skilled nursing facilities) 4,900 500 1%
Self-employed workers 4,200 1,500 2%

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