What does a Registered Dietitian do?

Registered dietitians teach and counsel individuals and groups about nutrition and its impact on health and well-being. They work in a variety of settings: hospitals and clinics, food service management, public health, business, education, research, and private practice. Areas of specialty include education, pediatrics, geriatrics, business and sports nutrition.

What might a Registered Dietitian do in a workday?

Depending on their work setting, registered dietitians:

  • plan and supervise meal preparation and service in hospitals, schools, restaurants or other public and private institutions.
  • use nutrition, biochemistry and physiology principles to make recommendations regarding patients’ nutritional management.
  • provide counsel about diet modifications that can correct or prevent health problems.
  • analyze food for its nutritional content and study the way the body uses nutrients.
  • select, train and direct nutrition services staff.
  • provide community-based programs designed to promote well-being and prevent chronic diseases.
  • direct purchasing and prepare reports and budgets.

How much salary do Registered Dietitians make?

Annual Mean Wage

How do I become a Registered Dietician?

Students interested in becoming dietitians should prepare by taking challenging high school classes in science, English, math and business.

To become a registered dietitian, students must earn a bachelor’s degree in an accredited academic program and complete an accredited supervised practice program, such as a coordinated program or dietetic internship. Registered dietitians also must pass a national examination and complete continuing education requirements. Students may begin at a local community college and transfer to a four-year program after obtaining an Associate in Science degree.

“Becoming a Registered Dietitian Fact Sheet” and additional information are available at: www.eatright.org/students/education/starthere.aspx.

Where else can I learn about becoming a Registered Dietitian?

Professional Associations:

Virginia Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics
P.O. Box 7061
Fairfax, VA 22039
(703) 815-8293

American Dietetic Association
120 S. Riverside Plaza
Suite 2000
Chicago, IL 60606-6995

(312) 899-0040
(800) 877-1600

American Society for Nutrition
9211 Corporate Blvd
Rockville, MD 20850

(240) 428-3650

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