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A dietician (or dietitian)[1] is an expert in dietetics; that is, human nutrition and the regulation of diet. A dietitian advises people on what to eat in order to lead a healthy lifestyle or to achieve a specific health-related goal. Dietitians work in a variety of settings from clinical to community and public policy to media communications.[2]

A registered dietitian (RD) or registered dietitian nutritionist (RDN),[3] is a dietitian who meets all of a set of special academic and professional requirements, including:

  • the completion of a bachelor's degree with an accredited nutrition curriculum
  • satisfactory performance on the registration exam
  • an internship at an approved health-care facility, foodservice organization, or community agency

Roughly half of all RDNs hold graduate degrees[citation needed] and many have certifications in specialized fields such as sports, pediatrics, renal, oncological, food-allergy, or gerontological nutrition. After learning about a patient's health history, favorite foods, eating and exercise habits, the RD helps the person to set goals and to prioritize. Follow-up visits often focus on maintenance and monitoring progress.

Most RDs work in the treatment and prevention of disease (administering medical nutrition therapy, as part of medical teams), often in hospitals, health-maintenance organizations, private practices, or other health-care facilities. In addition, a large number of registered dietitians work in community and public-health settings, and/or in academia and research. A growing number of dietitians work in the food industry, journalism, sports nutrition, corporate wellness programs, and other non-traditional dietetics settings.[citation needed]

Careers as a Dietitian

  • Clinical Dietitian
  • Community Dietitian
  • Food Service Dietitian
  • Gerontological Dietitian
  • Neonatal Dietitian
  • Pediatric Dietitian
  • Research Dietitian
  • Administrative Dietitian
  • Business Dietitian
  • Dietitian Consultant

Other Dietitian Certifications

  • Celiac Disease
  • Gerontological Nutrition
  • Sports Dietetics
  • Diabetes Management
  • Adult Weight Management
  • Childhood Weight Management

Salary Information

Dietitians and Nutritionists$56k/annually
Food Scientists and Technologists$65k/annually
Dietetic Technicians$28k/annually
Health Educators$54k/annually
Chefs and Head Cooks$46k/annually
How To Become a Nutritionist
Nutrition Courses
Nutritionist Degree
Sports Nutritionist
Dietitians and Nutritionists
Online College Degree Programs

Dietitian Schools and Degrees