Dietetics​: Career Options

A recent report from the American Dietetic Association documented the growing number of jobs held by dietetics professionals, the diversity of job settings and practice areas in dietetics, and the increases in income levels in dietetics. Opportunities are available as:
  • Registered Dietitian
  • Administration: direct food service operations in hospitals, nursing homes, schools, universities, business and industry, restaurants, and correctional institutions. Some specific duties may include:
    • planning nutritious and attractive menus, purchasing food, controlling food service budgets as well as managing food service workers.
  • Education: educate about nutrition.
  • Community: work with nutrition services in the community such as directing or planning meals-on-wheels programs, or other community related nutrition programs.
  • Clinical: develop and implement nutrition programs, evaluate the results, report results, may specialize in a certain area
  • Consultant: may own their own business, or contract with health care or food companies, provide services to foodservice or restaurant managers, food vendors, distributors, athletes, nursing home residents, or company employees.
  • Dietetic Director: plan and direct nutrition services for an institution or healthcare facility. Determine quality and quantity of foods, plan and prepare menus, supervise planning of menus for therapeutic diets and possibly supervise other employees.
  • Public Health Nutritionist: counsel and advise public to improve quality life through healthy lifestyle, healthy eating habits. (ex: WIC program for women infants and children).
  • Research: conduct or direct research for government agencies (ex: FDA), food companies, pharmaceutical companies, universities, or hospitals. Conduct studies in order to answer nutrition questions, find alternative foods or determine validity of nutrition recommendations.
  • Corporate Wellness Dietitian: help encourage healthy behaviors among workers in a certain corporation-establish programs or educate the important relationship between food, fitness, and health, and how to maximize performance and reduce health costs or sick days.
  • Food Systems Manager: Supervise and oversee all dietary and related food services functions such as storage and preparation of food, supplies and equipment, maintenance of food service areas, purchasing of food, kitchen supplies and equipment, supervising food service employees as well as managing diet and menu planning.
  • Professor: teach others about the science of foods and nutrition; may participate in wellness programs, promoting wellness and nutrition on campuses or in the classroom.
  • Chef: plan menus, estimate amounts to prepare, cooking food in restaurants or hotels, may specialize in a particular area
  • Store Manager: (ex: Food and Beverage Controller) plan, organize, direct sales activities for businesses or industrial firms. Food beverage controller compiles and computes amounts and costs of foods that are purchased and sold in order to create summaries.
  • Health Educator: educate the public and students about nutrition and proper diet.
  • Cook: prepare and plan menus.
  • Nutritionist: develop, test, and promote food products, suggest new products, promote improvements, and direct promotions for companies, dealers, manufacturers or other uses.
  • Agribusiness positions: organize and conduct programs to advise and instruct farmers or other individuals involved in industry.
  • Food Industry positions: serve as advisory staff to corporate management on nutrition related aspects of production, such as:
    • product development
    • advertising
    • consumer economics
    • legislation
    • marketing
    • public relations
    • analysis of nutrition contents of food for labeling
    • communications
    • preparing literature to be distributed
    • writing articles for the news media
  • Food and Drug Testers and Inspectors: perform standardized, qualitative and quantitative tests to determine physical and chemical properties of foods or beverages, in order to assure they are in compliance with preset governmental or company standards.
  • Food Technologist: develop new food products and improve existing food products as well as set standards for producing, packaging and marketing food.
  • Dietetic Technician: work independently or team up with RDs in various environments such as: health care, business and industry, schools, hospitals, foodservice, research, correctional facilities, restaurants, health clubs or public health agencies.
For more information about possible careers in dietetics, check out the following websites:
Provides a large amount of information in regards to careers in dietetics, areas dietitians work in, as well as further internet links as to where you can find in-depth information on each specific career.
Career pathways for Food Science, Nutrition and Dietetics, as explained on this website: Home Economics Careers and Technology produced by the California Department of Education.
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