Who is a registered dietitian (RD)?
Read about what services RD's provide
Management dietitians work in all aspects of dietetics - food systems management, clinical management, and community management. Additionally, Management dietitians oversee large-scale meal planning and preparation.
- Hiring, training, and directing other dietitians and food service workers
- Budgeting and purchasing food, equipment, and supplies
- Enforcing food safety regulations
Examples of employment opportunities for management dietitians include:
- Healthcare facilities
- Company cafeterias
- Schools Nutrition and Dietetics Departments
- Community Nutrition
Community dietitians counsel individuals and groups on nutritional practices designed to prevent disease and promote good health.
- They evaluate individual needs
- Develop nutritional care plans
- Instruct individuals & families
Where do community dietitians work?
- Public Health Clinics
- Home Health Agencies
- Health Maintenance Organizations
Emerging professional opportunities include:
- Food Manufacturing
- Advertising & Marketing
- Reporting on issues such as content of recipes, dietary fiber, or dietary supplement
Pharmaceutical companies and manufacturers of medical nutrition products employ dietitians to provide technical and clinical information for sales, marketing, and other departments.
The skills needed for success in this industry include:
- Technical and professional proficiency
- Strong quantitative and qualitative analysis skills
- Attention to detail
- Skill at written and oral communication
- Strong science background
Consulting Dietitians and Private Practice
Dietitians who work in private practice are often referred to as Consultant Dietitians. They work under contract with healthcare facilities or in their own private practice. They perform nutrition screenings for their clients, and offer advice on diet-related concerns such as weight loss or cholesterol reduction.
Employment opportunities include:
- Wellness programs
- Sports teams
- Doctors' offices
- Other nutrition-related businesses
Consultant Dietitians may also consult with:
- Food service managers
- Long-term care facilities
Dietitians in Education
Many dietitians serve as educators during thier careers, such as administrative dietitians who conduct inservice programs for food service employees or medical nutrition therapy dietitians who take part in medical nutrition education. There are also full-time career opportunities in education. Career opportunities include:
- Elementary and Secondary Schools
- Colleges and Universities
- Medical and Dental Education
- Nursing and Allied Health Nutrition Education
- Industry-Based Education
- Work-site Nutrition Education
- Government agencies
Dietitians who work in medical and dental education can be involved in problem-based learning to make nutrition relevant for future medical practice or they may teach in medical residency training programs. Dietitians who work in work-site nutrition education focus on wellness programs for employees.
Medical Nutrition Therapy
As part of the Coordinated Program, students learn to provide nutritional services for patients in facilities such as medical centers, nursing homes, rehabilitative and outpatient clinics.
Medical Nutrition Therapy dietitians:
- Assess patients' nutritional needs
- Develop and implement medical nutrition therapy plans
- Evaluate and report plan results
- Work with doctors and other health care professionals to coordinate the medical and nutritional needs of patients
Specializations in the field include, but are not limited to:
- Management of overweight patients
- Care of the critically ill
- Renal (kidney) disease
Dietitian and Product Development
Dietitians are often employed in the area of product development. Their contributions to new product development include:
- Providing recommendations on the nutritional content of products
- Highlighting trends in nutritional science
- Advising on nutrition labeling, claims, and product promotion including advertising