Registered Dietitian Career Information and Education Requirements

Registered dietitians evaluate the nutritional needs of individuals and groups to develop corresponding nutritional plans. Dietitians seeking registration must complete a degree program and internship, as well as pass the registration examination for dietitians.

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Registered Dietitian Career Information

As food and nutrition experts, registered dietitians plan nutrition programs for clients or medical patients, promote healthy eating habits through education, plan menus for hospitals or schools, conduct nutrition research and provide nutritional counseling. Registered dietitians may also recommend dietary changes or nutritional programs to clients that address health issues, such as obesity, high blood pressure or heart disease.

Dietitians work in a variety of settings, including doctors' offices, government agencies, nursing homes, community health organizations, schools, home healthcare services, outpatient care centers and private practices. In clinical or community settings, dietitians perform management, consultant and research duties. Additional specialization areas include diabetes education, renal nutrition and pediatric nutrition.

Career Outlook

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), there is expected to be a 20% increase in jobs for dietitians between 2010 and 2020 (www.bls.gov). Analysts believe this expected growth is the result of the rising interest in health and nutrition of the public, the aging population in particular. The BLS reported that as of May 2012, dietitians and nutritionists earned a mean annual salary of $56,170.

Registered Dietitian Education Requirements

Dietitians are typically required to have at least a bachelor's degree in nutrition or dietetics. Common courses include nutritional assessment, clinical nutrition, food systems management and nutrient metabolism. In addition to coursework, students may complete seminars, research, clinical experiences and internships.

Certification

While not necessary to practice as a dietitian, candidates may earn a Registered Dietitian (RD) credential through the American Dietetic Association's Commission on Dietetic Registration (www.cdrnet.org). Dietitians earn the credential upon completion of a bachelor's degree or academic coursework in dietetics, a supervised internship of at least 1,200 hours and the passage of the Registration Examination for Dietitians. RDs must complete a minimum of 75 hours of continuing education every five years to maintain certification.

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Dietitian: Educational Requirements

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  • 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
    School locations:
    • Online Learning

    What is your highest level of education?

  • 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
    • Currently not accepting applications from Texas residents
    School locations:
    • Online Learning

    Online Programs

    Which subject are you interested in?

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

    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 to master's programs must have already earned a bachelor's degree. Applicants to doctoral programs must have already earned a master's degree.
    School locations:
    • Online Learning

    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:
    • 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

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Other Schools:

  • School locations:
    • Georgia (1 campus)
    Areas of study you may find at University of Georgia include:
      • Graduate: Doctorate, First Professional Degree, Master
      • Undergraduate: Bachelor
    • Medical and Health Professions
      • Communication Disorders Sciences
      • Health and Fitness
      • Nutrition Services
        • Dietitian
        • Wellness Studies
      • Pharmaceutical Sciences and Administration
      • Public Health and Safety
      • Therapeutic and Rehabilitation Professions
      • Veterinary Medicine and Clinical Sciences

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