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Dietary Aide Certification, Degree and Training Program Info

Get information on associate's degree programs in dietetic technology. Learn about prerequisites, coursework, certification requirements and career options.

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Essential Information

A dietary aide, or dietetic technician, works under the direction of a dietitian to provide meals and counsel others on food and nutrition. An associate's degree in a nutrition-related field, such as dietetic technology, is the most common path to a career as a dietetic technician. Students of dietetic technology learn to supervise food production, plan menus according to nutritional and medical guidelines and manage cost control procedures.

These programs generally require two years to complete and combine classroom and practical training components. Graduates are prepared to work in long and short-term care facilities, hospitals and public health offices. Students need a high school diploma or the equivalent, and some programs call for a prerequisite course in chemistry. These programs often incorporate certification training, which many states require for food handlers.

Education Prerequisites

Admissions requirements to community colleges vary, but commonly include a high school diploma or equivalency examination and successful completion of college admissions examinations. For programs in dietetics, a course in chemistry is recommended as a prerequisite. Additionally, the ability to work well and supervise others is a key skill.

Program Coursework

Dietetic students complete a combination of general education and professional courses in order to meet degree requirements. Common topics include:

  • Principles of nutrition
  • Life cycle nutrition
  • Clinical nutrition
  • Food systems management
  • Medical nutrition therapy

Career Outlook and Salary Info

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), job growth for dietetic technicians was expected to grow as fast as average at 16% between 2010 and 2020. The average salary was $28,680 in May 2012, according to the BLS.

Continuing Education

The American National Standards Institute accredits food handling certification programs. States often require such certification in order to work in food service facilities. Common credentials include the Certified Professional Food Manager offered through Prometric, the Food Safety Manager Certification Examination administered by the National Registry of Food Safety Professionals. Some associate's degree programs incorporate certification training within the program's curriculum.

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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

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  • 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

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  • 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

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

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

    • Bachelor
        • BS in Health Information Management

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  • Minimum eligibility requirements:
    • Applicants must have a bachelor's degree or higher
    School locations:
    • Online Learning

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Other Schools:

  • School locations:
    • Kentucky (1 campus)
    Areas of study you may find at Eastern Kentucky University include:
      • Graduate: Master
      • Non-Degree: Coursework
      • Post Degree Certificate: Post Master's Certificate
      • Undergraduate: Associate, Bachelor
    • Medical and Health Professions
      • Clinical Laboratory Science Professions
      • Communication Disorders Sciences
      • Medical Administrative Services
      • Medical Assisting
      • Medical Diagnostic and Treatment Professions
      • Mental Health Services
      • Nursing Professions
      • Nutrition Services
        • Dietitian
        • Dietitian Assistant
        • Wellness Studies
      • Public Health and Safety
      • Therapeutic and Rehabilitation Professions
  • School locations:
    • Minnesota (1 campus)
    Areas of study you may find at University of Minnesota include:
      • Non-Degree: Certificate
      • Undergraduate: Associate, Bachelor
    • Medical and Health Professions
      • Health and Fitness
      • Medical Administrative Services
      • Nutrition Services
        • Dietitian Assistant
  • School locations:
    • Indiana (1 campus)
    Areas of study you may find at Ball State University include:
      • Graduate: Doctorate, Master
      • Post Degree Certificate: Post Master's Certificate, Postbaccalaureate Certificate
      • Undergraduate: Associate, Bachelor
    • Medical and Health Professions
      • Clinical Laboratory Science Professions
      • Communication Disorders Sciences
      • Medical Administrative Services
      • Medical and Health Preparatory Sciences
      • Medical Assisting
      • Medical Diagnostic and Treatment Professions
      • Nursing Professions
      • Nutrition Services
        • Dietitian
        • Dietitian Assistant

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Avg. Wages For Related Jobs

Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics