What Does a Dietitian and Nutritionist Do?

Learn About the Salary, Required Skills, & More


Dietitians and nutritionists plan food and vitamins applications and supervise the practise and serving of food. They assist prevent and treat illnesses by means of promoting healthy ingesting habits and suggesting diet adjustments.

Some dietitians run meals service systems for establishments along with hospitals and schools, sell sound eating habits through schooling, and behavior studies. Primary areas of practice consist of medical, community, management, and representative dietetics.

Dietitian and Nutritionist Duties & Responsibilities

This profession normally requires the ability to do the following paintings:

  • Offer dietetic instructional services
  • Assess patients’ dietary wishes
  • Develop dietetic plans at an institutional level
  • Facilitate institution sessions
  • Oversee meal planning
  • Collect statistics and prepare statistical reports

Dietitians and nutritionists once in a while paintings with person customers to broaden custom designed diets and meal plans as part of their normal fitness care. This includes coordinating with customers’ caregivers to ensure the plan is appropriate for the person’s fitness care needs.

Some dietitians and nutritionists will broaden meal plans at an institutional level. For instance, a expert on this subject may work with food service managers at a nursing care facility or comparable region to increase a menu this is suitable for the residents.

Dietitians and nutritionists also work with organizations and individuals to help offer education approximately eating conduct and how they can impact general fitness.

Dietitian and Nutritionist Salary

Those working in outpatient care centers generally tend to earn the most, whilst dietitians and nutritionists operating for government centers or for nursing home centers have a tendency to earn a bit much less.

  • Median Annual Salary: $59,410 ($28.fifty six/hour)
  • Top 10% Annual Salary: $83,070 ($39.ninety three/hour)
  • Bottom 10% Annual Salary: $36,910 ($17.seventy four/hour)

Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, 2017

Education, Training, & Certification

Working as a dietitian and nutritionist calls for at least a bachelor’s degree, and most states have licensure necessities as properly.

Dietitian and Nutritionist Skills & Competencies

Dietitians and nutritionists need certain tender capabilities so one can effectively paintings with sufferers and positioned their knowledge of weight loss plan and nutrition to apply. Some of those abilities encompass:

  • Active listening: Clients want whole interest when they're talking about their fitness issues, dietary concerns, and different demanding situations.
  • Verbal verbal exchange: A full-size part of a dietitian and nutritionist’s process includes conveying data to clients and their caregivers. Doing so successfully calls for high-quality communique abilities and speaking capabilities.
  • Interpersonal Skills: These people competencies permit dietitians and nutritionists to train and persuade clients and also to interact with colleagues.
  • Time control and organizational abilities: Caseloads occasionally can be heavy, and be exceedingly prepared can assist prevent dietitians and nutritionists from becoming crushed.
  • Work independently: While dietitians and nutritionists spend a number of time running with clients and their caregivers, they need in order to meet with those clients, compare cases, and make recommendations independently.

Job Outlook

Job increase for dietitians and nutritionists is projected at 15 percent for the decade ending in 2026, in step with the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. This is slightly higher than two times the 7 percentage rate projected for all occupations.

In element, BLS attributes the growth to the Centers for Disease Control document that approximately one-0.33 of adults in the U.S. are overweight and dietitians and nutritionists may be had to assist save you heart disease, diabetes, and any other conditions that can be traced back to weight problems.

Work Environment

Hospitals hire the maximum sizable quantity of dietitians and nutritionists. Others paintings for the government, in addition to for nursing and residential care facilities. Some dietitians and nutritionists paintings independently and build their very own patron bases. In addition to working with patients or customers, they also need for you to paintings with doctors or other health care companies who're overseeing the overall take care of their sufferers or clients.

Work Schedule

Hours can vary relying on wherein a dietitian and nutritionist works. Some hospitals, nursing care facilities, or different clinical practices might time table them best all through wellknown commercial enterprise hours, however some patients might be to be had best throughout evenings or weekends and nonetheless want to be accommodated.

How to Get the Job


An undergraduate degree in dietetics or some related discipline is a necessary start.


Many undergraduate or graduate programs encompass internships.


A unique credential is needed to be a registered dietitian.

Comparing Similar Jobs

Those inquisitive about operating as a dietitian and nutritionist might also be interested in the subsequent careers, indexed below with median annual salaries:

  • Community health worker: $45,360
  • Registered nurse: $70,000
  • Rehabilitation counselor: $34,860

Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, 2017