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Dietitian or Nutritionist

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Life As a Dietitian or Nutritionist

Job Description & Duties Plan and conduct food service or nutritional programs to assist in the promotion of health and control of disease. May supervise activities of a department providing quantity food services, counsel individuals, or conduct nutritional research.

List of Dietitian or Nutritionist Job Duties

  • Coordinate diet counseling services.
  • Plan and conduct training programs in dietetics, nutrition, and institutional management and administration for medical students, health-care personnel, and the general public.
  • Prepare and administer budgets for food, equipment, and supplies.
  • Organize, develop, analyze, test, and prepare special meals, such as low-fat, low-cholesterol, or chemical-free meals.
  • Test new food products and equipment.
  • Plan and prepare grant proposals to request program funding.

What a Dietitian or Nutritionist Should Know

When polled, Dietitians and Nutritionists say the following skills are most frequently used in their jobs:

Reading Comprehension: Understanding written sentences and paragraphs in work related documents.

Critical Thinking: Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions or approaches to problems.

Speaking: Talking to others to convey information effectively.

Active Listening: Giving full attention to what other people are saying, taking time to understand the points being made, asking questions as appropriate, and not interrupting at inappropriate times.

Monitoring: Monitoring/Assessing performance of yourself, other individuals, or organizations to make improvements or take corrective action.

Writing: Communicating effectively in writing as appropriate for the needs of the audience.

  • Correctional Food Service Supervisor
  • Dietary Aide
  • Therapeutic Dietitian
  • Menu Planner
  • Clinical Dietician

Is There Job Demand for Dietitians and Nutritionists?

There were about 68,000 jobs for Dietitian or Nutritionist in 2016 (in the United States). New jobs are being produced at a rate of 14.6% which is above the national average. The Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts 9,900 new jobs for Dietitian or Nutritionist by 2026. Due to new job openings and attrition, there will be an average of 5,400 job openings in this field each year.

Forecasted Number of Jobs for Dietitians and Nutritionists in U.S.

The states with the most job growth for Dietitian or Nutritionist are Colorado, Arizona, and Utah. Watch out if you plan on working in Rhode Island, Maine, or Illinois. These states have the worst job growth for this type of profession.

How Much Does a Dietitian or Nutritionist Make?

The salary for Dietitians and Nutritionists ranges between about $38,460 and $84,610 a year.

Salary Ranges for Dietitians and Nutritionists

Dietitians and Nutritionists who work in California, Hawaii, or Connecticut, make the highest salaries.

Below is a list of the median annual salaries for Dietitians and Nutritionists in different U.S. states.

State Annual Mean Salary
Alabama $55,580
Alaska $71,210
Arizona $55,060
Arkansas $58,390
California $74,060
Colorado $60,500
Connecticut $69,610
Delaware $64,590
District of Columbia $65,490
Florida $61,710
Georgia $54,550
Hawaii $69,050
Idaho $53,420
Illinois $58,020
Indiana $56,620
Iowa $47,580
Kansas $57,300
Kentucky $57,980
Louisiana $56,440
Maine $58,310
Maryland $68,760
Massachusetts $64,860
Michigan $57,000
Minnesota $61,820
Mississippi $51,690
Missouri $54,030
Montana $50,650
Nebraska $55,900
Nevada $65,710
New Hampshire $60,900
New Jersey $68,810
New Mexico $54,300
New York $68,050
North Carolina $54,810
North Dakota $56,240
Ohio $57,500
Oklahoma $56,100
Oregon $68,590
Pennsylvania $56,440
Rhode Island $61,870
South Carolina $53,690
South Dakota $55,680
Tennessee $55,120
Texas $56,550
Utah $56,390
Vermont $57,640
Virginia $61,550
Washington $65,110
West Virginia $55,180
Wisconsin $55,760
Wyoming $63,120

What Tools do Dietitians and Nutritionists Use?

Below is a list of the types of tools and technologies that Dietitians and Nutritionists may use on a daily basis:

  • Microsoft Excel
  • Microsoft Word
  • Microsoft Office
  • Microsoft PowerPoint
  • Microsoft Outlook
  • Web browser software
  • Word processing software
  • Spreadsheet software
  • Database software
  • Graphics software
  • Google Drive
  • Statistical software
  • ValuSoft MasterCook
  • Axxya Systems Nutritionist Pro
  • Aurora FoodPro
  • ESHA Research The Food Processor
  • The Nutrition Company FoodWorks
  • BioEx Systems Nutrition Maker Plus
  • Skype
  • CyberSoft NutriBase

How to Become a Dietitian or Nutritionist

Learn what Dietitian or Nutritionist education requirements there are.

Dietitian or Nutritionist Degree Level

What work experience do I need to become a Dietitian or Nutritionist?

Dietitian or Nutritionist Work Experience

Where Dietitians and Nutritionists Are Employed

Dietitian or Nutritionist Sectors

Below are examples of industries where Dietitians and Nutritionists work:

Dietitian or Nutritionist Industries

Those thinking about becoming a Dietitian or Nutritionist might also be interested in the following careers:


Image Credit: Senior Airman Brittany Paerschke-O’Brien via Public domain

More about our data sources and methodologies.

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