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If you are looking at becoming a nutritionist or dietitian, we have all the data and information for you to get started today! From start to finish we cover the steps for you to get in to this growing allied health career. In the article below we will cover the details of the career as a whole and what the exact steps are to get in to the profession. We will walk you through what the job is, all the way to finding a job and what the future holds for the career.

What is the process to become a Nutritionist?

Follow the steps listed below to get on the career path to success as a dietitian and nutritionist:

Enroll in accredited program
Complete required hours of training
Pass certification exam
Find a job as a nutritionist or dietitian

Select an Accredited Program

If you are going to be a nutritionist or a dietitian, you will need to select an accredited program that is accredited by (ACEND) Accreditation Council for Education in Nutrition and Dietetics, Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics or . To make this choice easier go to this links listed below. For internship information see their guide here.

Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics Accredited Programs

Nutritionists and dietitians need a bachelor’s degree in either dietetics, foods and nutrition or a related area. If All dietitians may also study food service systems management. A bachelors degree is the minimum level of study for eligibility for the career. In fact, most dietitians and nutritionists have advanced degrees (master’s degrees). Dietitians/nutritionists, in most cases, receive hundreds of hours of supervised training. Commonly done in the form of of an internship. Check with your perspective school to see if programs exist for supervised training while studying in your program.

Complete accredited program and state-required hours

Being eligible for the RDN requires that all dietitian/nutritionists have a minimum of a bachelor’s degree and a Dietetic Internship (DI). This will include a minimum 1,200 hours of experience. Both these criteria can be completed in the training program of your choice before your internship. Programs must be accredited by the (ACEND) Accreditation Council for Education in Nutrition and Dietetics. To maintain your RDN credential, all dietitians/nutritionists must complete 75 continuing education credits every five years.

Get your RDN Certification

The RDN exam is given by Pearson Vue and the Commission on Dietetic Registration. The exam is how nutritionists and dietitians get certified for their careers. It is not mandated by law but more and more employers every year. Pearson VUE is the CDR’s testing vendor for the entry-level exams. Register for the test, pay the fee and you will be ready to take the exam.

Taking the CDR Exam

The CDR exam is given by Pearson Vue. See all the details of the exam here.

What does a Nutritionist and Dietitian do?

People go to a dietitian and a nutritionist because they are experts food use and overall nutritional health. They will also advise patients on how to reach a health related goal with healthy eating habits and lifestyle. We will get in to the details of the job below.

Below we cover in detail what the core functions of dietitians and nutritionists are:

Assess patient nutritional/health needs
Counsel patients healthy eating habits and nutrition
Educate patients on healthy food choices
Develop meal and nutrition plans
Document patient progress
Evaluate meal plan effects
Stay up on the latest nutritional science research

Finding a job as a Nutritionist

Finding a job as a nutritionist is easier when you earn your (RDN) Registered Dietitian Nutritionist credential. The credential will earn your more money get you noticed above those who just have their degrees. Many employers prefer and even require the credential for hiring but in cases where it is not required, candidates will be ahead of the game if they do have it.

Where do Nutritionist and Dietitians Work?

Below we list the percentages of where nutritionists and dietitians work:
Hospitals 30%
Government 14%
Outpatient care 10%
Nursing/residential care 9%
Self-employed 6%

About Nutritionist salary

With the growth for the career higher than the national allied health career average the time could not be better to get in to the career of being a dietitian or nutritionist. Below we cover all the details of the pay and salary.

What is the average salary for a Nutritionist/Dietitian?

The average hourly pay and salary is $28.56 per hour and $59,410 per year.

Nutritionist and Dietitian salary by state

StateAvg HourlyAvg. Salary
District of Columbia$26.68$55,500
New Hampshire$28.61$59,500
New Jersey$30.24$62,900
New Mexico$24.18$50,300
New York$29.18$60,700
North Carolina$24.23$50,400
North Dakota$24.57$51,100
Rhode Island$29.90$62,200
South Carolina$22.26$46,300
South Dakota$24.95$51,900
West Virginia$25.05$52,100


Nutritionist Salary by employer type

As of May 2017, the average wages for nutritionists and dietitians for where they worked were as listed below:

Outpatient care center $65,650
Hospitals $60,210
Government $57,910
Nursing care facility $57,020

What is the job outlook for Nutritionist?

The projected employment of dietitians and nutritionists is predicted to grow 15% over the next decade according to’s latest data. This is higher than the national average for allied health careers and is due to many factors. The most important factor is the population of the United States being more interested in their health and nutrition. This is a growing trend that has a direct impact on the demand for dietitians and nutritionists.