Dietitians are responsible for planning meals and nutrition programs, recommending changes to current eating habits, supervising preparation of a meal, and educating individuals about healthy nutrition. These responsibilities may differ depending upon where an individual works. For example, dietitians who work in public health settings are often focused on educating the public about healthy food choices, while dietitians working in a nursing home are often focused on ensuring each resident has food that is nutritious and upholds any dietary restrictions any resident may have due to health problems.
Most dietitians need a bachelor's degree in dietetics or nutrition.
Many states require certification or licensing upon completion of a degree, as well as supervised, practical experience.
Dietitians have a number of different options of places to work, with most found in hospitals, nursing homes and physician offices. However, others can be found in health departments, state and local government agencies, schools, law enforcement facilities, and public health clinics or facilities.
The average pay for a dietitian has been approximately $41,000 a year, although it may range from $25,000 to over $60,000.
Currently the job outlook for dietitians is good, although this may be changed if health insurance restrictions change and no longer cover services provided by dietitians. The biggest area of growth for dietitians is related to the growing number of senior citizens and individuals reaching this age group. The increasing number has put a demand on hospitals, nursing homes, assisted living facilities, and home health care organizations to hirer more dietitians.
Most dietitians work a regular 40-hour week, although some work evenings or weekends to accommodate the needs of their clients.