Dietitians and Nutritionists

nutritionist
$66,450 Median Wage (2022)
5,600 Projected job openings (2022-2032)
6.60% Projected growth (2022-2032)

Plan and conduct food service or nutritional programs to assist in the promotion of health and control of disease. May supervise activities of a department providing quantity food services, counsel individuals, or conduct nutritional research.

Experience Requirements Overview

  • Job Zone Five: Extensive Preparation Needed
  • Extensive skill, knowledge, and experience are needed for these occupations. Many require more than five years of experience. For example, surgeons must complete four years of college and an additional five to seven years of specialized medical training to be able to do their job.
  • Most of these occupations require graduate school. For example, they may require a master's degree, and some require a Ph.D., M.D., or J.D. (law degree).
  • Employees may need some on-the-job training, but most of these occupations assume that the person will already have the required skills, knowledge, work-related experience, and/or training.

Education, Training and Experience

Required Level of Education: Post-Baccalaureate Certificate - awarded for completion of an organized program of study; designed for people who have completed a Baccalaureate degree but do not meet the requirements of academic degrees carrying the title of Master.

Related Work Experience: Over 1 year, up to and including 2 years

On-Site or In-Plant Training: Up to and including 1 month

On-the-Job Training: Anything beyond short demonstration, up to and including 1 month

Detailed Work Activities

  • Monitor nutrition related activities of individuals or groups.
  • Analyze laboratory findings.
  • Interpret cultural or religious information for others.
  • Compile data or documentation.
  • Analyze patient data to determine patient needs or treatment goals.
  • Create new recipes or food presentations.
  • Plan menu options.
  • Evaluate data quality.
  • Devise research or testing protocols.
  • Collaborate with healthcare professionals to plan or provide treatment.
  • Provide health and wellness advice to patients, program participants, or caregivers.
  • Monitor medical facility activities to ensure adherence to standards or regulations.
  • Manage preparation of special meals or diets.
  • Design public or employee health programs.
  • Prepare healthcare training materials.
  • Manage healthcare operations.
  • Order medical supplies or equipment.
  • Train caregivers or other non-medical personnel.
  • Supervise medical support personnel.
  • Direct healthcare delivery programs.
  • Advise communities or institutions regarding health or safety issues.
  • Conduct research to increase knowledge about medical issues.
  • Conduct health or safety training programs.
  • Train medical providers.
  • Present medical research reports.
  • Consult with others regarding safe or healthy equipment or facilities.

Work Values

Achievement

Occupations that satisfy this work value are results oriented and allow employees to use their strongest abilities, giving them a feeling of accomplishment. Corresponding needs are Ability Utilization and Achievement.

Working Conditions

Occupations that satisfy this work value offer job security and good working conditions. Corresponding needs are Activity, Compensation, Independence, Security, Variety and Working Conditions.

Recognition

Occupations that satisfy this work value offer advancement, potential for leadership, and are often considered prestigious. Corresponding needs are Advancement, Authority, Recognition and Social Status.

Relationships

Occupations that satisfy this work value allow employees to provide service to others and work with co-workers in a friendly non-competitive environment. Corresponding needs are Co-workers, Moral Values and Social Service.

Support

Occupations that satisfy this work value offer supportive management that stands behind employees. Corresponding needs are Company Policies, Supervision: Human Relations and Supervision: Technical.

Independence

Occupations that satisfy this work value allow employees to work on their own and make decisions. Corresponding needs are Creativity, Responsibility and Autonomy.

Tasks

  • Assess nutritional needs, diet restrictions, and current health plans to develop and implement dietary-care plans and provide nutritional counseling.
  • Evaluate laboratory tests in preparing nutrition recommendations.
  • Counsel individuals and groups on basic rules of good nutrition, healthy eating habits, and nutrition monitoring to improve their quality of life.
  • Advise patients and their families on nutritional principles, dietary plans, diet modifications, and food selection and preparation.
  • Incorporate patient cultural, ethnic, or religious preferences and needs in the development of nutrition plans.
  • Consult with physicians and health care personnel to determine nutritional needs and diet restrictions of patient or client.
  • Record and evaluate patient and family health and food history, including symptoms, environmental toxic exposure, allergies, medication factors, and preventive health-care measures.
  • Develop recipes and menus to address special nutrition needs, such as low glycemic, low histamine, or gluten- or allergen-free.
  • Coordinate diet counseling services.
  • Develop curriculum and prepare manuals, visual aids, course outlines, and other materials used in teaching.
  • Plan, conduct, and evaluate dietary, nutritional, and epidemiological research.
  • Plan and conduct training programs in dietetics, nutrition, and institutional management and administration for medical students, health-care personnel, and the general public.
  • Write research reports and other publications to document and communicate research findings.
  • Select, train, and supervise workers who plan, prepare, and serve meals.
  • Make recommendations regarding public policy, such as nutrition labeling, food fortification, or nutrition standards for school programs.
  • Manage quantity food service departments or clinical and community nutrition services.
  • Monitor food service operations to ensure conformance to nutritional, safety, sanitation and quality standards.
  • Inspect meals served for conformance to prescribed diets and standards of palatability and appearance.
  • Purchase food in accordance with health and safety codes.
  • Develop policies for food service or nutritional programs to assist in health promotion and disease control.
  • Organize, develop, analyze, test, and prepare special meals, such as low-fat, low-cholesterol, or chemical-free meals.
  • Advise food service managers and organizations on sanitation, safety procedures, menu development, budgeting, and planning to assist with establishment, operation, and evaluation of food service facilities and nutrition programs.
  • Prepare and administer budgets for food, equipment, and supplies.
  • Plan, conduct, and evaluate nutrigenomic or nutrigenetic research.
  • Coordinate recipe development and standardization and develop new menus for independent food service operations.
  • Plan and prepare grant proposals to request program funding.
  • Test new food products and equipment.
  • Confer with design, building, and equipment personnel to plan for construction and remodeling of food service units.

Work Styles

Achievement/Effort

Job requires establishing and maintaining personally challenging achievement goals and exerting effort toward mastering tasks.

Persistence

Job requires persistence in the face of obstacles.

Initiative

Job requires a willingness to take on responsibilities and challenges.

Leadership

Job requires a willingness to lead, take charge, and offer opinions and direction.

Cooperation

Job requires being pleasant with others on the job and displaying a good-natured, cooperative attitude.

Concern for Others

Job requires being sensitive to others' needs and feelings and being understanding and helpful on the job.

Social Orientation

Job requires preferring to work with others rather than alone, and being personally connected with others on the job.

Self-Control

Job requires maintaining composure, keeping emotions in check, controlling anger, and avoiding aggressive behavior, even in very difficult situations.

Stress Tolerance

Job requires accepting criticism and dealing calmly and effectively with high-stress situations.

Adaptability/Flexibility

Job requires being open to change (positive or negative) and to considerable variety in the workplace.

Dependability

Job requires being reliable, responsible, and dependable, and fulfilling obligations.

Attention to Detail

Job requires being careful about detail and thorough in completing work tasks.

Integrity

Job requires being honest and ethical.

Independence

Job requires developing one's own ways of doing things, guiding oneself with little or no supervision, and depending on oneself to get things done.

Innovation

Job requires creativity and alternative thinking to develop new ideas for and answers to work-related problems.

Analytical Thinking

Job requires analyzing information and using logic to address work-related issues and problems.

Data Source: This page includes information from the O*NET 28.0 Database by the U.S. Department of Labor, Employment and Training Administration (USDOL/ETA). Used under the CC BY 4.0 license. O*NET® is a trademark of USDOL/ETA. This page includes Employment Projections program, Occupational Employment and Wage Statistics program, U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.