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Career Advice on How to Become a Dietitian or Nutritionist

General Career Information

Dietitians and nutritionists really have their work cut out for them. With an aging and increasingly unhealthy population that laughs in the face of nutritional facts and concepts, the dietitians and nutritionists are fighting an uphill battle. Individuals in the process of a job search of career planning should not be surprised if future employment numbers to do exceed official expectations. Most dietitians and nutritionist work in hospitals, physician’s offices and other medical facilities. Some nutritionist and dietitians also find employment in nursing homes or similar facilities. 
 
In general, dietitians and nutritionists use food and nutrition plans to help improve the health of patients and hopefully prevent disease. Since dietitians and nutritionists have to potentially deal with so many nutritional and medical issues, their knowledge base on health and nutrition needs to be varied and large. Dietitians and nutritionist provide a valuable service for their clients, as they seek to improve their overall health and prevent and delay disease.
 

Career Facts:

Dietitians and nutritionists look at the nutritional needs and food habits of their patients and attempt to guide those, often reluctant, patients towards better health. Dietitians can be found working in large institutions, such as schools, school systems and hospitals managing aspects of their food systems. Dietitians work in a variety of capacities ranging from consultants to “management dietitians” who are in charge of supervising the meal planning for large institutions, such as large cafeterias and schools.

 

Career Opportunities and Job Outlook-Fair:

The official expected rate of job growth in the industry is nine percent, which is roughly average. However, with the current state of the nation’s health and the wave of expected Baby Boomers entering retirement, it is logical to conclude that this number might actually be understated. The number of openings will largely depend on a wide-array of factors in health care and preventive medicine.
 
Job Outlook is Fair  
 

A Day in The Life:

Due to the fact that dietitians and nutritionists work in such varied locations, ranging from large corporations to school systems, their work environments and experiences can vary greatly. In general, dietitians and nutritionists spend their days attempting to increase the health of their clients. It is possible that the role of the dietitian and the nutritionist may become more pronounced if the nation moves from a treatment oriented health system to a preventive oriented health system. Under a preventive oriented health system, more attention will clearly be given to diet choices.
 

Average Salary:

The average dietitian and nutritionist earn about $47,000 per year, with the top ten percent earning about $68,000.

$47k - $68k

 

Career Training and Qualifications:

Dietitians and nutritionist are expected to hold a Bachelor’s Degree in dietetics or a related field. Currently, there are 281 programs offering degree programs in the field with twenty-two programs offering Master’s Degrees. Not surprisingly, the course work has a focus on science and health. Most states require dietitians and nutritionists to obtain some sort of certification.
 
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