Dietetic technicians work under the supervision of a registered dietitian. They help plan and implement nutritional programs and services in facilities such as schools, nursing homes and hospitals. They counsel and educate individuals and community groups regarding proper nutrition. They develop and prepare nutritional recipes for people that have special dietary needs. Some Dietetic technicians specialize in an area such as food service management or nutritional care.
Dietetic technicians involved with food service management plan meals and menus, oversee the production of meals and ensure quality control and safety standards are being followed. They also order food and supplies.
Nutritional care technicians interview patients and review their medical histories in order to determine their nutritional needs. They help people plan meals that comply with their prescribed diet and they help people stay within their food budget.
Some common job titles are dietary aide, diet clerk, certified dietary manager, diet technician registered, clinical dietetic technician, dietary manager, nutrition technician.
- Obtain and evaluate an individual's dietary history in order to develop a nutritional program
- Assist dietitians and nutritionists with food service supervising and planning
- Monitor patient food intake and report dietary problems and progress to dietician
- Evaluate recipes and menus and test new products
- Develop menus and diets
- Prepare meals and determine group food quantities
- Help dietitians research food, nutrition and food service systems
- Determine beverage and food costs and help with implementing cost control procedures
Many dietetic technicians work in clean, well-ventilated settings, however some of these technicians work in hot, congested kitchens. They usually work 40 hours a week. Some dietetic technicians have to work during the weekends and on holidays.
The employment growth for dietetic technicians is projected to be faster than the average for all occupations from 2008 to 2018. Demand for dietetic technicians will increase due to an increasing emphasis on disease prevention via improved diets and the needs of an aging population and also from an increasing emphasis on health education. In addition, the median annual earnings for dietetic technicians in 2008 was $26,080.
Education, Certification, and Licensing
The majority of employers seek candidates that have an associate degree from a community college or a vocational school that has been approved by the American Dietetic Association. Many of these programs include practical experience in a food service facility. These programs blend classroom learning with practical experience. In addition, an individual needs to pass a national examination provided by the Commission on Dietetic Registration in order to become certified and registered.
- The American Dietetic Association
- The Commission on Dietetic Registration
- American Society for Nutrition
The primary employers are hospitals, school systems, prisons, nursing homes, colleges and universities, home health agencies, long term care facilities, community health centers, food related industries, and research facilities.
Schools for Dietetic Technicians are listed in the Browse Schools Section.