What are the career opportunities for dietitians?
Dietitians are employed by healthcare facilities such as hospitals, long-term care facilities, and clinics; sports, wellness and fitness centers; food service operations, industry, pharmaceutical and food companies; community programs; government agencies, private practice, and professional health organizations. Their jobs may include offering one-on-one counseling, group education, and assessment of the nutritional needs in an effort to promote health, prevent diseases and treat diseases using medical nutrition therapy. Some dietitians focus on the business aspects of the profession working in food service operations and management at schools, colleges, hospitals, or day-care facilities. Others become entrepreneurs redefining their roles in the media, marketing, consumer affairs, and product development. You will also see nutrition and dietetics professionals teaching in culinary schools, community colleges, universities, and conducting research with food and pharmaceutical companies and other organizations.
What is the Job Outlook and Salary range for dietitians?
According to the U.S. Department of Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics (http://www.bls.gov/ooh/healthcare/dietitians-and-nutritionists.htm), job opportunities for dietitians are expected to grow 16 percent from 2014 to 2024, much faster than the average for all occupations. This growth is related to the concern and emphasis on disease prevention, the aging of the population, and consumer interest in nutrition. The fastest growth for employment opportunities are anticipated in nursing homes, residential care facilities, and physician clinics, with smaller growth in hospitals due to cost containment and shorter hospital stay.
In a survey conducted by the Academy in 2009, it was reported that half of all RDNs in the US who have been working in the field for five years or less earn $51,100 to $62,200 per year. Salaries and fees vary by region of the country, employment settings, scope of responsibility and supply of RDNs. RDNs in management and business, can earn incomes of $85,000 to $88,000.
Based on the 2015 Compensation & Benefits Survey of the Dietetics Profession, among all RDNs in all positions, the median hourly wage as of April 1, 2015, was $30.62 per hour. If annualized (40 hours/week – 52 weeks/year), this equates to a full-time salary of $63,700 per year. Median total cash compensation for RDNs employed in the position full time for at least one year was $65,000.
For more information on a career in Dietetics, visit the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics.