Become a Food and Nutrition Expert: Dietician Degree

If you are a firm believer in the adage “You are what you eat” then the career path of a dietician could be just for you. With a focused specialization in the area of nutritional food content and its intake, earning a dietician degree is the first step in becoming a registered dietician. Dietitian degree graduates will work with all kinds of people seeking nutritional help tips and advice, from athletes to the retired and elderly, both healthy and sick After earning your degree you will be an expert in nutrition science and will be able to assist others with improving their health by changing their diets.

Dietician Degree Information

Bachelor’s Degree

A bachelor’s dietitian degree program is the minimum requirement for anyone wishing to be certified and accredited by the American Dietetic Association (ADA), with a four year degree program, graduating with a Bachelor of Science in Dietetics, Nutritional Science or Food Service Management. Experimental foods, food service organization, quantity food production, medical nutrition therapy and human nutrition are typically included among the core courses for this degree.

Master’s Degree

After completing a bachelor’s degree in this field, those wishing to take on management roles can then further their studies by earning a master’s degree in nutrition. This can help you to qualify for more advanced clinical positions or ones involving research. Course topics for a master’s degree can include research methods, metabolism, exercise physiology, nutritional biochemistry and developmental nutrition. To obtain your degree you might also have to complete a master’s thesis.

Licensing

Even after earning a degree you will probably also have to obtain licensure, registration or certification if you want to practice this profession in most states. Out of these three, licensure is the strictest and can lead to prosecution if you practice without one in the states where they are a requirement. For certification, you might only need the qualifications as stipulated by the state. Registration is the least restrictive, but also least common.

Dietitian Degree FAQ

Can I Complete My Dietitian Degree Online?

Since one of the requirements for becoming a registered dietitian is the completion of an Accreditation Council for Education in Nutrition and Dietetics (ACEND) approved internship, it can be difficult to earn a degree fully online. However, there are schools that provide an online version of the course that matches that of on-campus programs while also allowing students to perform their internship at nearby facilities.

In What Type of Environments Does Dietitians Operate?

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the majority of dietitians work at hospitals, either state, local or private. This is followed closely by those working for the government and ones employed by nursing and residential care facilities. It is also not uncommon for dietitians to work in schools or physicians’ offices.

What Type of Responsibilities Do Dietitians Have?

One of your primary responsibilities as a dietitian is evaluating the health of clients and then providing them with advice on what to eat and what to avoid. If you are self employed you could either meet with patients or operate on a consultant basis for other organizations. Dietitians working in hospital or similar facilities are usually in charge of creating the nutritional programs for the patients while those working in schools could be tasked with buying food or overseeing kitchen staff.

What is The Job Outlook For Dietitians?

There are numerous diseases that are associated with obesity and with a rising number of the population falling into this category there is a big demand for dietitians. This is why the BLS estimate that the projected growth for the employment of dietitians is 16% up until 2024.

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