dcsimg

Dietitians and nutritionists develop food and nutrition programs, but their responsibilities can differ based on their place of employment, which may include a hospital, a doctor's office or other health care facility. Their responsibilities range from preparing menus to supervising food preparation and providing counseling. They also help to prevent and treat illnesses and may advocate for healthier eating plans in specific settings.

Dietitians can either be employed by an organization or work independently for themselves. While self-employment often allows for a more flexible schedule, those who work for themselves may need to be available on evenings and weekends to better accommodate the needs of clients.

Responsibilities of Dietitians

Other job titles associated with the dietitian occupation include clinical dietitian, registered dietitian, outpatient dietitian and pediatric clinical dietitian. No matter what the specialization, a dietitian may need to:

  • Evaluate a client's nutritional needs, current health plans and diet restrictions to create an individualized dietary care plan
  • Provide counseling to groups and individuals about food nutrition and healthy eating habits
  • Collaborate with doctors and healthcare personnel to determine diet restrictions and nutritional needs of patients
  • Oversee food operation to ensure conformance to nutritional, sanitation, safety and quality standards
  • Develop special meals
  • Make recommendations about public policy including food fortification, nutrition labeling and nutrition standards for schools

Community dietitians instruct at-risk groups such as diabetics, pregnant women and senior citizens about the types of food to include in their diet and which foods to avoid.

Clinical dietitians plan menus and oversee the preparation of meals in hospitals, nursing homes and other institutions.

Management dietitians direct large-scale meal planning and preparation in company cafeterias, health care facilities, schools and prisons.

Research dietitians are involved with nutrition research for commercial food companies.

Dietitian Job Characteristics

Many dietitians work in clean, well-ventilated settings. However, some may work in hot, busy kitchens or similar areas overseeing the preparation of meals and food. Here's what to expect:

  • Full-time dietitians and nutritionists usually work 40 hours a week
  • Approximately one in five are self-employed
  • Those that are self-employed may have more flexibility on the job
  • Evening or weekend hours may be required
  • Some may work on their feet while others may spend more time at a desk

Qualities that are preferred in a good dietitian include:

  • Analytical skills
  • Clear, concise speaking abilities
  • Compassion and empathy
  • Good organization skills
  • Problem-solving capabilities

Dietitian Salary and Career Information

  • Total Employed: 59,490 as of 2014
  • Job Growth: 21% growth from 2012 to 2022
  • Average Salary: $57,440 as of 2014

According to the BLS, dietitians who have advanced degrees or specialty certifications could find some of the best job opportunities. Those working in California, Maryland, Nevada, Connecticut and New Jersey had the highest mean annual wages, all above $64,000.

Education, Certification and Licensing

A bachelor's degree in dietetics, food service systems management, food and nutrition, or in a related area is typically needed to enter the field, but students also can pursue graduate degrees in the subject. Students in a degree program typically take courses such as:

  • Biochemistry
  • Biology
  • Chemistry
  • Institution management
  • Microbiology
  • Nutrition
  • Physiology

Certification is available though the Commission on Dietetic Registration and the Certification Board for Nutrition Specialists. Registered Dietitian Nutritionist (RDN) and Certified Nutrition Specialist (CNS) are among the credentialing options.

Licensing is required in most states, although the requirements can vary. In some states, CNS credentialing is part of the licensing process. To obtain this credential, applicants need to have at least 1,000 hours of experience and a graduate-level degree. However, applicants typically must have a minimum of a bachelor's degree, a certain amount of time on the job and be able to pass an exam to become licensed.

Major Employers

  • Assisted living facilities
  • Home health care services and government agencies
  • Hospitals
  • Nursing care facilities
  • Offices of doctors and other health practitioners
  • Outpatient care centers

Resources

  • Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics
  • Certification Board for Nutrition Specialists
  • The American Dietetic Association
  • The Commission on Dietetic Registration

Sources:

  1. Dietitians and Nutritionists, Bureau of Labor Statistics, Occupational Outlook Handbook, Jan. 8, 2014. http://www.bls.gov/ooh/healthcare/dietitians-and-nutritionists.htm
  2. Dietitians and Nutritionists, Bureau of Labor Statistics, Occupational Employment Statistics, May 2014. http://www.bls.gov/oes/current/oes291031.htm

Metro Areas Sorted by Total Employment for:
Dietitians and Nutritionists

Listed below are metro areas sorted by the total number of people employed in Dietitians and Nutritionists jobs , as of 2015

Source: 2015 Occupational Employment Statistics and 2014-24 Employment Projections, Bureau of Labor Statistics, BLS.gov.

     
Metro Area (Alabama) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Birmingham 490 $47,080
Hoover 490 $47,080
Montgomery 80 $55,420
Tuscaloosa 60 $60,330
Mobile 40 $49,940
Huntsville 40 $53,890
     
Metro Area (Alaska) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Anchorage 80 $69,850
Fairbanks 60 $69,680
     
Metro Area (Arizona) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Scottsdale 750 $52,480
Mesa 750 $52,480
Phoenix 750 $52,480
Tucson 240 $55,820
Prescott 40 $37,060
Flagstaff 40 $51,280
     
Metro Area (Arkansas) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Conway 270 $51,020
North Little Rock 270 $51,020
Little Rock 270 $51,020
     
Metro Area (California) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Los Angeles 2650 $73,210
Anaheim 2650 $73,210
Long Beach 2650 $73,210
Hayward 910 $83,190
San Francisco 910 $83,190
Oakland 910 $83,190
Roseville 600 $74,260
Sacramento 600 $74,260
Arden 600 $74,260
Arcade 600 $74,260
San Bernardino 500 $69,470
Ontario 500 $69,470
Riverside 500 $69,470
Carlsbad 470 $67,970
San Diego 470 $67,970
Sunnyvale 300 $76,870
San Jose 300 $76,870
Santa Clara 300 $76,870
Fresno 220 $62,480
Stockton 150 $74,160
Lodi 150 $74,160
Ventura 120 $61,630
Thousand Oaks 120 $61,630
Oxnard 120 $61,630
Bakersfield 100 $63,700
Santa Rosa 90 $73,670
Santa Barbara 90 $76,700
Santa Maria 90 $76,700
Vallejo 90 $84,150
Fairfield 90 $84,150
Modesto 80 $74,140
Watsonville 50 $45,580
Santa Cruz 50 $45,580
Redding 50 $60,980
Napa 50 $69,560
Salinas 50 $75,370
Chico 40 $55,270
Arroyo Grande 40 $63,370
Paso Robles 40 $63,370
San Luis Obispo 40 $63,370
Porterville 40 $71,950
Visalia 40 $71,950
     
Metro Area (Colorado) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Aurora 520 $59,500
Lakewood 520 $59,500
Denver 520 $59,500
Colorado Springs 90 $58,560
Fort Collins 80 $56,560
Grand Junction 60 $50,900
Pueblo 40 $53,020
Boulder 40 $57,370
     
Metro Area (Connecticut) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Hartford 340 $60,720
East Hartford 340 $60,720
West Hartford 340 $60,720
Bridgeport 180 $65,840
Norwalk 180 $65,840
Stamford 180 $65,840
New Haven 130 $69,090
Waterbury 30 $59,400
Danbury 30 $64,930
     
Metro Area (Florida) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Fort Lauderdale 940 $57,220
West Palm Beach 940 $57,220
Miami 940 $57,220
Tampa 510 $55,280
Clearwater 510 $55,280
St. Petersburg 510 $55,280
Orlando 280 $53,370
Sanford 280 $53,370
Kissimmee 280 $53,370
Jacksonville 260 $48,630
North Port 160 $57,550
Sarasota 160 $57,550
Bradenton 160 $57,550
Gainesville 90 $56,660
Brent 80 $53,950
Ferry Pass 80 $53,950
Pensacola 80 $53,950
Melbourne 80 $60,060
Titusville 80 $60,060
Palm Bay 80 $60,060
Tallahassee 70 $53,650
Deltona 70 $54,320
Ormond Beach 70 $54,320
Daytona Beach 70 $54,320
Winter Haven 70 $54,670
Lakeland 70 $54,670
Cape Coral 70 $56,780
Fort Myers 70 $56,780
Port St. Lucie 50 $54,120
Panama City 30 $55,890
Homosassa Springs N/A $56,960
     
Metro Area (Georgia) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Sandy Springs 800 $55,020
Atlanta 800 $55,020
Roswell 800 $55,020
Savannah 100 $32,490
Valdosta 60 N/A
Rome 60 $41,420
Clarke County 50 $53,880
Athens 50 $53,880
Gainesville 40 $53,650
Albany 30 $54,850
Macon N/A $58,650
     
Metro Area (Hawaii) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Urban Honolulu 270 $65,680
     
Metro Area (Idaho) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Boise City 130 $51,070
Coeur d'Alene 30 $50,860
     
Metro Area (Illinois) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Peoria 120 $54,660
Rockford 80 $53,720
Springfield 50 $45,740
Marion 30 $62,480
Carbondale 30 $62,480
Champaign N/A $45,990
Urbana N/A $45,990
Bloomington N/A $54,690
     
Metro Area (Indiana) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Anderson 370 $54,650
Carmel 370 $54,650
Indianapolis 370 $54,650
Fort Wayne 100 $53,280
West Lafayette 40 $36,750
Lafayette 40 $36,750
     
Metro Area (Iowa) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
West Des Moines 140 $49,580
Des Moines 140 $49,580
Cedar Rapids 50 $54,260
Iowa City N/A $56,070
     
Metro Area (Kansas) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Wichita 90 $57,240
Topeka 60 $54,510
     
Metro Area (Kentucky) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Fayette 120 $55,360
Lexington 120 $55,360
Fort Knox N/A $63,410
Elizabethtown N/A $63,410
     
Metro Area (Louisiana) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
New Orleans 240 $55,890
Metairie 240 $55,890
Baton Rouge 130 $44,130
Lafayette 90 $44,860
Bossier City 70 $46,970
Shreveport 70 $46,970
Alexandria 50 $58,950
Lake Charles 40 $48,620
Monroe 30 $41,210
     
Metro Area (Maine) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Portland 100 $57,670
South Portland 100 $57,670
Bangor 40 $54,750
     
Metro Area (Maryland) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Towson 540 $64,780
Columbia 540 $64,780
Baltimore 540 $64,780
     
Metro Area (Massachusetts) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Barnstable Town 40 $65,660
     
Metro Area (Michigan) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Dearborn 710 $54,000
Detroit 710 $54,000
Warren 710 $54,000
Wyoming 210 $55,490
Grand Rapids 210 $55,490
Ann Arbor 170 $57,200
Flint 70 $50,660
Kalamazoo 70 $57,360
Portage 70 $57,360
Lansing 70 $63,230
East Lansing 70 $63,230
Saginaw 60 $48,640
Jackson 50 $54,890
Battle Creek 50 $58,340
Muskegon 30 $51,110
     
Metro Area (Minnesota) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Rochester 130 $61,250
     
Metro Area (Mississippi) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Jackson 160 $48,760
Pascagoula 80 $59,960
Biloxi 80 $59,960
Gulfport 80 $59,960
     
Metro Area (Missouri) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Springfield 80 $52,270
Columbia 60 $50,360
Jefferson City 40 $46,970
Joplin 30 $52,520
     
Metro Area (Montana) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Missoula 30 $41,080
     
Metro Area (Nebraska) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Lincoln 100 $49,510
     
Metro Area (Nevada) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Paradise 180 $64,640
Henderson 180 $64,640
Las Vegas 180 $64,640
Reno 80 $58,630
     
Metro Area (New Hampshire) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Manchester N/A $69,860
     
Metro Area (New Jersey) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Trenton 230 $68,260
Bridgeton 50 $58,110
Vineland 50 $58,110
Atlantic City 40 $66,630
Hammonton 40 $66,630
     
Metro Area (New Mexico) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Albuquerque 170 $56,220
Las Cruces 30 $45,450
     
Metro Area (New York) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Rochester 280 $56,230
Cheektowaga 270 $59,070
Buffalo 270 $59,070
Niagara Falls 270 $59,070
Schenectady 250 $60,730
Albany 250 $60,730
Troy 250 $60,730
Syracuse 170 $58,010
Glens Falls 70 $48,810
Rome 60 $63,930
Utica 60 $63,930
Binghamton 50 $56,820
Kingston 30 $65,780
     
Metro Area (North Carolina) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Durham 250 $58,460
Chapel Hill 250 $58,460
Raleigh 220 $55,280
High Point 130 $47,470
Greensboro 130 $47,470
Asheville 130 $59,110
Winston 100 $50,730
Salem 100 $50,730
Fayetteville 70 $48,450
Greenville 70 $50,040
Lenoir 50 $49,540
Hickory 50 $49,540
Morganton 50 $49,540
Wilmington 30 $59,090
     
Metro Area (North Dakota) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Bismarck 40 $53,810
     
Metro Area (Ohio) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Cleveland 570 $56,970
Elyria 570 $56,970
Columbus 440 $55,310
Akron 180 $53,780
Toledo 140 $56,190
Dayton 130 $54,620
Massillon 90 $59,680
Canton 90 $59,680
Springfield 30 $54,330
     
Metro Area (Oklahoma) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Oklahoma City 260 $54,990
Tulsa 140 $52,140
     
Metro Area (Oregon) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Salem 110 $59,520
Eugene 40 $68,850
     
Metro Area (Pennsylvania) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Pittsburgh 530 $50,700
Carlisle 110 $54,060
Harrisburg 110 $54,060
Wilkes 100 $52,730
Hazleton 100 $52,730
Scranton 100 $52,730
Barre 100 $52,730
Reading 100 $56,530
Lancaster 90 $47,920
York 70 $58,220
Hanover 70 $58,220
Erie 60 $57,040
Altoona 40 $55,020
Berwick N/A $52,650
Bloomsburg N/A $52,650
     
Metro Area (Puerto Rico) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Caguas 530 $33,390
Carolina 530 $33,390
San Juan 530 $33,390
     
Metro Area (South Carolina) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Charleston 170 $44,350
North Charleston 170 $44,350
Columbia 170 $53,650
Mauldin 140 $46,760
Greenville 140 $46,760
Anderson 140 $46,760
Florence 70 $42,090
Spartanburg 40 $54,600
     
Metro Area (South Dakota) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Rapid City 30 $55,670
     
Metro Area (Tennessee) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Murfreesboro 330 $50,980
Franklin 330 $50,980
Davidson 330 $50,980
Nashville 330 $50,980
Knoxville 100 $52,570
Johnson City 40 $58,570
     
Metro Area (Texas) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
The Woodlands 1150 $58,720
Houston 1150 $58,720
Sugar Land 1150 $58,720
Fort Worth 1010 $57,010
Arlington 1010 $57,010
Dallas 1010 $57,010
San Antonio 380 $57,010
New Braunfels 380 $57,010
Austin 280 $54,570
Round Rock 280 $54,570
McAllen 110 $59,020
Mission 110 $59,020
Edinburg 110 $59,020
El Paso 90 $55,430
Lubbock 70 $58,200
Killeen 70 $58,400
Temple 70 $58,400
Tyler 60 $44,160
Port Arthur 50 $55,660
Beaumont 50 $55,660
Corpus Christi 50 $56,170
Brownsville 50 $62,580
Harlingen 50 $62,580
Amarillo 50 $70,280
Abilene 40 $50,960
Waco 40 $53,440
Bryan 30 $45,480
College Station 30 $45,480
Laredo 30 $50,420
     
Metro Area (Utah) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Salt Lake City 310 $46,340
Clearfield 120 $41,580
Ogden 120 $41,580
Provo 110 $41,230
Orem 110 $41,230
     
Metro Area (Vermont) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
South Burlington 60 $59,470
Burlington 60 $59,470
     
Metro Area (Virginia) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Richmond 240 $63,140
Roanoke 90 $52,690
Charlottesville 70 $56,280
Lynchburg 30 $49,360
     
Metro Area (Washington) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Bellevue 740 $66,940
Seattle 740 $66,940
Tacoma 740 $66,940
Spokane Valley 110 $58,870
Spokane 110 $58,870
Yakima 40 $61,160
Richland 30 $50,350
Kennewick 30 $50,350
     
Metro Area (West Virginia) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Morgantown 60 $53,350
Charleston 60 $54,130
     
Metro Area (Wisconsin) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Milwaukee 360 $57,610
Waukesha 360 $57,610
West Allis 360 $57,610
Madison 250 $55,950
Eau Claire 50 $55,090
Green Bay 50 $65,490
Wausau 40 $55,810
Oshkosh 30 $55,870
Neenah 30 $55,870
Racine N/A $54,110

Career Stories (Job Profiles) for Dietitians and Nutritionists

To find out more about building a career as Dietitians And Nutritionists, we spoke with professionals in the field across a variety of specialties. Learn about their experiences on the job, the steps they took to complete their education, and what it takes to excel in this industry. Click the link to see a story.

All Types

Most Popular Industries for :
Dietitians and Nutritionists

Industries representing at least 1% of total jobs for the occupation.

Source: 2015 Occupational Employment Statistics and 2014-24 Employment Projections, Bureau of Labor Statistics, BLS.gov.

Industry Jobs Percent Annual Median Salary
Hospital 20,210 37% $51,500
Medical Office 8,660 16% $53,210
Government 8,360 15% $51,660
Nursing And Residential Care 6,030 11% $50,240
Restaurant 3,750 7% $46,280
Social Service 1,800 3% $43,430
Education 1,770 3% $41,170
Personal Services 880 1% $35,780
These schools offer particularly quick info upon request, and we have written detailed profiles for each (click school names to see the profiles). Request info from multiple schools, by clicking the Request Info links.
 
Results:  8
Matching School Ads
Programs
  • Master of Science in Nutrition Education
  • Change the World with American University

    Be a part of something bigger than yourself.

Programs
  • Health & Fitness Trainer
  • Turn your talents into a career at nationally recognized and accredited Platt College.
camnpus icon
Anaheim
Request Info
Programs
  • Fitness Specialist
  • Get your career started with Intercoast Colleges.
camnpus icon
Riverside
Request Info
Programs
  • Sports Management - Doctor of Education
  • Sports Management - Master of Education
  • Sports Management - PhD in Education
  • Earn your graduate degree online with Northcentral University.

Programs
  • Sports Marketing and Media, Bachelor of Science
  • Learning at Full Sail University has always centered around interaction and the exchange of ideas. Our online curriculum fully embraces this philosophy.
Programs
  • Personal Fitness Trainer/Health and Wellness Professional Program
  • Since 1996, Southern California Health Institute has been dedicated and committed to helping students achieve their dreams by providing an exceptional education that enables them to become skilled and successful manual therapists.
Programs
  • Sport Management Studies - Wellness and Fitness (Bachelor of Science) - Online
  • Sport Psychology (Master of Science) - Online
  • Sport Psychology (Certificate) - Online
  • Recognized by the U.S. News and World Report for: Best Online Programs, Bachelor’s 2017, Best Online Programs, Grad Education 2017 and Best Online Programs, Bachelor’s for Veterans 2017

Programs
  • Sport-Exercise Psychology (MA)
  • Welcome to Argosy University

    Argosy University offers doctoral, master's, and bachelor's degree programs to students through its eight colleges:  College of Behavioral Sciences, Graduate School of Business and Management, College of Education,  College of Health Sciences, College of Arts and Sciences, College of Creative Arts and Design, College of Clinical Psychology and Western State College of Law at Argosy University as well as certificate programs in many areas.

camnpus icon
Orange
Request Info
CityTownInfo Career and College Resources

We have some additional detailed pages at the state level for Dietitians and Nutritionists.

Numbers in parentheses are counts of relevant campus-based schools in the state; online schools may also be available.

Back to Top
SPEAK TO AN ADVISOR 1.844.285.6104