In this career, your responsibilities may include:
- Assessing patients’ nutritional needs.
- Educating patients on how to adjust their food intake and nutrition in order to improve their general health, or to manage a health condition.
- Helping patients develop meal plans that support their goals, while working within the constraints of their budgets and food preferences.
- Monitoring patients’ progress and adjusting nutrition plans as necessary.
- Specializing in working with certain populations, such as adolescents, or in managing certain diseases, such as diabetes or celiac.
In your job search, you may find listings for this career under different titles. You can find some examples of these, as well as more information about this career, at Career One Stop.
Typically requires a bachelor’s degree. After graduation, most dieticians and nutritionists also complete an internship consisting of several hundred hours of supervised training, which is required for most certifications and licenses. Some degree programs incorporate these internship hours into their coursework.
Obtaining a master’s degree can make you eligible for careers with greater responsibility and higher salaries in this career pathway, if you do not already have the U.S. equivalent of a master’s degree.
Almost every state regulates the practice of Dietitians and Nutritionists, either through registration, certification, or licensure.
Even in states where certification is not required, it could make employers more likely to hire you or offer you a higher salary.
You may be eligible for Registered Dietitian Nutritionist (RDN) certification from the Commission on Dietetic Registration.
Obtaining a master’s degree can make you eligible for a Certified Nutrition Specialist (CNS) credential, if you do not already have the U.S. equivalent of a master’s degree.
Licensure is required in most states.