Error message

  • Deprecated function: Array and string offset access syntax with curly braces is deprecated in include_once() (line 20 of /var/www/vhost/
  • Deprecated function: implode(): Passing glue string after array is deprecated. Swap the parameters in drupal_get_feeds() (line 394 of /var/www/vhost/

Diet and Nutrition

Earnings Potential

Median annual earnings of dietitians and nutritionists were $43,630 in May 2004. The middle 50 percent earned between $35,940 and $53,370. The lowest 10 percent earned less than $27,500, and the highest 10 percent earned more than $63,760. In May 2004, median annual earnings in general medical and surgical hospitals, the industry employing the largest number of dietitians and nutritionists, were $44,050.

According to the American Dietetic Association, median annualized wages for registered dietitians in 2005 varied by practice area as follows: $53,800 in consultation and business; $60,000 in food and nutrition management; $60,200 in education and research; $48,800 in clinical nutrition/ambulatory care; $50,000 in clinical nutrition/long-term care; $44,800 in community nutrition; and $45,000 in clinical nutrition/acute care. Salaries also vary by years in practice, education level, geographic region, and size of the community.

Facts at a glance

  • Most jobs are in hospitals, nursing care facilities, and offices of physicians or other health practitioners.
  • Dietitians and nutritionists need at least a bachelor’s degree in dietetics, foods and nutrition, food service systems management, or a related area.
  • Faster than average employment growth is expected; however, growth may be constrained if employers substitute other workers for dietitians and if limitations are placed on insurance reimbursement for dietetic services.
  • Those who have specialized training in renal or diabetic diets or have a master’s degree should experience good employment opportunities.

Summary of what this career entails

A dietitian or nutritionist plans food and nutrition programs for people, they also oversee the cooking and serving of foods for said people. The work they do prevents and treats illnesses that occur due to a poor diet. An example of that is telling someone with high blood pressure that they need to eat less salty foods or telling someone overweight to cut back on foods filled with sugar. A dietitian would manage a food service system for a hospital or a school. They also educate people on the importance of a good diet and conduct research. There are different types of dietitians including clinical dietitians; they work in hospitals and other medical facilities, they analyze the nutrition needs of a patient and from there assist in the preparation of their food. A clinical dietitian will often work with an overweight patient. A community dietitian counsels people on healthy diets to prevent disease and promote health. A management dietitian oversees meal planning in cafeterias, prisons and schools. A consultant dietitian is contracted with a health care facility or has their own practice. A consultant dietitian may work for a sports team.

Examples and or details of work

A dietitian or nutritionist is crucial to someone who has diabetes. The reason being that diet is very important to someone with a disease that has a lot to do with sugar and blood glucose levels. Another reason the job is important, especially today is that snacks are becoming a major source of nutrition and people who snack often need to be educated in dieting, at least in terms of snacking healthier.  

Degrees that lead to this career

Degrees needed for a career in diet and nutrition fields include dietetics, foods and nutrition, and food service management system. There are 46 states with laws governing dietetics and 31 require license and 14 require certification.

Specific Career openings in this field

Specific careers in the diet and nutrition field include clinical dietitian, community dietitian, management dietitian, consultant dietitian, nutritionist, assistant or associate director, and food manufacturer.  


Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook, 2006-07 Edition,

Dietitians and Nutritionists, on the Internet at