Dietetic majors prepare students to use advanced knowledge about food and nutrition to help prevent and treat disease and maintain and promote good health. This field offers variety of specialties from which to choose. Below is a description of various specialties in this field as well as the national median salaries and expected job growth.
|Position||Median Yearly Wages (2018)*||Job Outlook (2018-2028)*|
|Registered Dietitian and Nutritionist||$60,370*||11 % (dietitian and nutritionist)|
|Renal Dietitian||$60,117 (2019)**||11 % (dietitian and nutritionist)|
|Sports Dietitian||$43,000 (2019)**||11 % (dietitian and nutritionist)|
|Nutrition and Dietetic Technician, Registered||$44,000 (diet technician, registered) 2019**||6% (dietetics technicians)|
|Educator & Researcher||$54,220 (health educator)*||10% (health educator)|
|Independent Consultant||$60,870 (training & development specialist)*||9% (training & development specialist)|
Sources: *U.S. Bureau of Labor & Statistics; **PayScale
Career Information for Dietetic Majors
Registered Dietitian and Nutritionist
A registered dietitian nutritionist (RDN) collects information about the patient's diet so that they can develop an eating plan to help them manage their disease and overall health. But, the position isn't restricted to just patient interaction. They might also conduct nutritional research. To work in this field, dietetic majors must also complete a 1200-hour dietetic internship and pass the board exam from the Commission on Dietetic Registration (CDR).
Renal dietitians (also known as dialysis dietitians) review lab test results to develop dietary plans for patients with diabetes, high blood pressure and chronic kidney disease. To work in this field, a dietitian must usually obtain certification in renal nutrition available through the Commission on Dietetic Registration.
The sports dietitian provides counseling and education to athletes to enhance their health and athletic performance. The sports dietitian may have to develop special meal menus for an individual athlete or for an entire team. To specialize in this field, one must typically obtain special certification through the Commission on Dietetic Registration.
Nutrition and Dietetic Technician, Registered (NDTR)
The nutrition and dietetic technician, registered (NDTR) is a jack of all dietetic trades, so to speak, because they can work in a variety of settings, including hospitals, clinics, schools and restaurants, to name a few. The diversity of their role enables them to both plan menus and prepare meals. To work in this specialty, the NDTR must usually have an associates degree, 450 hours in training and credentialing from the Commission on Dietetic Registration.
Educator & Researcher
If you prefer to work behind the scenes, research and education may be the perfect fit. In this field you can take your talents to a variety of settings including pharmaceuticals, hospitals or the government. In addition to written research, you may also find yourself training other medical professionals about the science of food so that they can better advise their patients. To work in research, it may be best to start working directly with professors who specialize in your area of interest; for work as an educator, a Certified Health Education Specialist (CHES) credential may be required.
For those more entrepreneurial, you could work as an independent contractor providing consultation, assessments or screenings to food service businesses like restaurants, or to other entities like nursing homes or sports teams. If you want a more direct business approach, you can marry your talents with either the marketing, public relations or product development industries. Those interested in this field should commonly take additional coursework in business.