Diet Technician Certification and Degree Program Info

Find info for diet technician certification and degree programs. Read about educational prerequisites, coursework, certification requirements and career options after graduation.

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Essential Information

Dietetic technicians are responsible for working under the supervision of licensed nutritionists to help plan and administer meal plans for schools, hospitals and private clients. Many dietetic technicians learn their craft on the job, but some choose to complete an associate's degree program and then pursue certification. Programs for the dietetic technician field take two years to complete and cover the basics of nutrition, human health and food service management.

Students enrolled in an Associate of Applied Science Dietetic Technician degree program learn how to successfully obtain diet and nutrition histories from clients, screen clients for medical history, determine the dietary needs of each client, and devise appropriate nutritional plans based upon the recommendations of a registered dietitian. They also learn how to administer and help supervise those nutritional plans. Many degree programs for dietetic technicians also include courses in patient care and communication.

Education Prerequisites

Individuals interested in becoming dietetic technicians should complete a high school diploma program - preferably with an emphasis on math and science - before enrolling in an associate's degree program in the field. Some schools also require incoming students to take reading placement tests and prove they have a grasp of the English language before they can begin taking courses.

Program Coursework

Degree programs for aspiring dietetic technicians include classroom lectures as well as supervised practical training courses. Programs may be set up to require 450 hours of supervised practice since that is the threshold for qualifying for certification. Some classroom courses commonly found in such programs include:

  • Foundations of food safety
  • Nutrition and wellness
  • Human life cycle and nutrition
  • Nutrition assessment
  • Applied food service
  • Food service management
  • Clinical nutrition
  • Supervised practicum

Popular Career Options

Dietetic technicians can go on to assist registered dieticians in several different types of public or private organizations. Some of these include:

  • General and surgical hospitals
  • Schools
  • Long-term care facilities
  • Community nutrition services
  • Public health clinics

Certification Options

Students who complete an accredited degree program for dietetic technicians can take an examination given by the American Dietetic Association's Commission on Dietetic Registration to become Dietetic Technicians - Registered, also called DTRs (www.eatright.org). Some states also have their own licensure requirements for those aspiring to work in the dietetic field.

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Popular Schools

  • Minimum eligibility requirements:
    • Must be a high school graduate or have completed GED
    • Eligibility and relevancy of sample programs below will vary by article and program
    School locations:
    • Online Learning
    • Arizona (3 campuses)
    • California (16)
    • Colorado (3)
    • Florida (6)
    • Georgia (5)
    • Illinois (7)
    • Indiana (2)
    • Maryland (1)
    • Michigan (1)
    • Minnesota (1)
    • Missouri (2)
    • North Carolina (2)
    • New Jersey (3)
    • Nevada (1)
    • New York (2)
    • Ohio (4)
    • Oklahoma (1)
    • Oregon (1)
    • Pennsylvania (4)
    • Tennessee (2)
    • Texas (7)
    • Utah (1)
    • Virginia (3)
    • Washington (3)
    • Wisconsin (1)

    Online and Classroom-Based Programs

    What is your classroom preference?

  • Minimum eligibility requirements:
    • Must be a high school graduate or have completed GED
    School locations:
    • Online Learning

    What is your highest level of education?

  • Minimum eligibility requirements:
    • Must be a high school graduate or have completed GED
    • Currently not accepting applications from Texas residents
    School locations:
    • Online Learning

    Online Programs

    Which subject are you interested in?

  • Minimum eligibility requirements:
    • Must complete an application online and submit transcripts for their highest degree earned.
    School locations:
    • Online Learning

    Online Programs

    • Master
        • MHA in Health Care Leadership

    What is your highest level of education?

  • Minimum eligibility requirements:
    • Must be a high school graduate or have completed GED
    School locations:
    • Online Learning

    Online Programs

    • Master
        • Master of Business Administration - Healthcare

    What is your highest level of education?

  • Minimum eligibility requirements:
    • Must be 18 years of age or older
    School locations:
    • Online Learning

    What is your highest level of education?

  • Minimum eligibility requirements:
    • Applicants must have completed 12 college credits
    School locations:
    • Online Learning
    • California (19 campuses)
    • Washington (1)

    Online and Classroom-Based Programs

    • Non-Degree
        • Certificate - Undergraduate: Nutrition and Wellness
        • Certificate - Health Administration

    What is your highest level of education?

Other Schools:

  • School locations:
    • Wisconsin (1 campus)
    Areas of study you may find at Milwaukee Area Technical College include:
      • Non-Degree: Certificate, Coursework
      • Undergraduate: Associate
    • Medical and Health Professions
      • Clinical Laboratory Science Professions
      • Dental
      • Medical Administrative Services
      • Medical Assisting
      • Medical Diagnostic and Treatment Professions
      • Mental Health Services
      • Nursing Professions
      • Nutrition Services
        • Dietetic Technician - DTR
        • Foodservice Systems Administration
      • Optometric and Ophthalmic Services
  • School locations:
    • California (1 campus)
    Areas of study you may find at Stanford University include:
      • Graduate: Doctorate, First Professional Degree, Master
      • Undergraduate: Bachelor
    • Medical and Health Professions
      • Medical Administrative Services
      • Medical Informatics and Illustration
      • Medical Residency Programs
  • School locations:
    • Massachusetts (1 campus)
    Areas of study you may find at Harvard University include:
      • Graduate: Doctorate, First Professional Degree, Master
      • Post Degree Certificate: Postbaccalaureate Certificate
      • Undergraduate: Associate, Bachelor
    • Medical and Health Professions
      • Dental
      • Medical and Health Preparatory Sciences
      • Medical Residency Programs
      • Public Health and Safety

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