How to Work As a Dietician

Thursday, February 2nd 2017. | Beauty

A dietician looks after the nutritional needs of healthy and ill people and prescribes diets and foods.

A dietician has a great deal of scope as far as work is concerned. Dietetics is a growing field and if you are interested in food and nutrition you should consider becoming a dietician. A dietician will teach people to live with various illnesses which are food related, including but not limited to weight loss, weight gain, diabetes, thyroid disorders, heart disease, cholesterol, blood pressure, general good health and wellness and more.

dietician

The Work

The work is varied and interesting and usually requires one to one contact with people. But it depends a great deal on the place you are working at, because there are so many related fields where one can find jobs. It requires a very thorough knowledge of all kinds of foods and their nutritional contents.

The work may also incorporate creating recipes for the foods (for example sugar free foods for diabetics), so knowledge of cooking is an added advantage. It can also mean making menus for special needs, for bulk cooking as in prisons or hospitals or catering businesses or even devising low calorie or healthy recipes for hotels and restaurants.

Personal Qualities and Academic Qualifications

You should be interested in the health and nutrition field, be happy to work with food, have good communication skills and be able to work as a member of a team or alone, depending on work requirements.

You need to have a background in biology, chemistry, science, nutrition and cooking. You should also get a bachelor’s degree in dietetics from an accredited university. Programs in food and nutrition or food service systems management are also relevant options. You have to complete a certain numbers of hours as an intern to become a registered dietician and fulfil licensing requirements where applicable.

A master’s degree is also valuable and it is necessary to keep updating your knowledge with new information as it becomes available. It is also important to have information about physical activities and sports so that you can advise people on how to balance their intake according to their activity levels or devise menus according to that.

 

Jobs

Jobs are available in hospitals, retirement homes, orphanages and organizations working with babies, senior citizens the health services and community services and also with doctors in private practice. You can also get jobs with the government in various departments, including the armed forces.

Then there are careers in food service management, community nutrition, therapeutic nutrition, research, education or private practice. Pharmaceutical companies employ dieticians to sell their nutrition products. There is also a growing field called nurtraceuticals which require the services of a dietician. Celebrities, sportsmen, sports teams also use the services of dieticians.

Dieticians can also set up practice on their own or work on a freelance basis. You may want to specialize in a particular area such as weight loss, which is currently very lucrative and sought after.

 

Earnings and Job Prospects

As a dietician you can hope to earn between $45,000 to $55,000 a year. Salaries will vary according to the area you are in, the place you are working at and your experience as well. You may be entitled to benefits and perks if you are working in a large company.

Job prospects are excellent and there are expected to be more openings in this growing field. And if you specialize in therapeutic nutrition, weight loss, research, you can have even more scope for employment. In private practice you can make a lot of money as well and have clinic timings.