What Does A Dietitian and Nutritionist Do (including Their Typical Day at Work)

Stan T.Career, OverviewLeave a Comment

Salary, Job Description, How To Become One, and Quiz

Dietitians and Nutritionists

Dietitians and Nutritionists plan and conduct food service or nutritional programs to assist in the promotion of health and control of disease. May supervise activities of a department providing quantity food services, counsel individuals, or conduct nutritional research.

Salary
$64150
Becoming One
Very Hard
Education
Bachelor's degree
Job Satisfaction
Job Growth

Personality





Find a job you love and you will never work a day in your life.Confucius

What they do

Dietitians and Nutritionists plan and conduct food service or nutritional programs to assist in the promotion of health and control of disease. May supervise activities of a department providing quantity food services, counsel individuals, or conduct nutritional research.

  • Monitor food service operations to ensure conformance to nutritional, safety, sanitation, and quality standards.
  • Assess nutritional needs, diet restrictions, and current health plans to develop and implement dietary care plans and provide nutritional counseling.
  • Advise patients and their families on nutritional principles, dietary plans, diet modifications, and food selection and preparation.
  • Counsel individuals and groups on basic rules of good nutrition, healthy eating habits, and nutrition monitoring to improve their quality of life.

Typical day

On a daily basis, Dietitians and Nutritionists monitor food service operations to ensure conformance to nutritional, safety, sanitation, and quality standards. They inspect meals served for conformance to prescribed diets and standards of palatability and appearance.

A typical day for a Dietitian and Nutritionist will also include:

  • Assess nutritional needs, diet restrictions and current health plan to develop and implement dietary care plans and provide nutritional counseling.
  • Manage quantity food service departments or clinical and community nutrition services.
  • Consult with physicians and health care personnel to determine nutritional needs and diet restrictions of patient or client.
  • Coordinate diet counseling services.
  • Advise patients and their families on nutritional principles, dietary plans, diet modifications, and food selection and preparation.

Other responsibilities

Besides their typical day, Dietitians and Nutritionists also purchase food in accordance with health and safety codes. They may also plan and conduct training programs in dietetics, nutrition, and institutional management and administration for medical students, healthcare personnel, and the general public.

On a weekly to monthly basis, Dietitians and Nutritionists advise food service managers and organizations on sanitation, safety procedures, menu development, budgeting, and planning to assist with the establishment, operation, and evaluation of foodservice facilities and nutrition programs. They might also develop curriculum and prepare manuals, visual aids, course outlines, and other materials used in teaching.

In addition, they coordinate recipe development and standardization and develop new menus for independent foodservice operations.

Although specific duties may vary, many of them write research reports and other publications to document and communicate research findings.

To some Dietitians and Nutritionists, it is also their responsibility to organize, develop, analyze, test, and prepare special meals, such as low-fat, low-cholesterol, or chemical-free meals.

Featured Schools


What is the job like

Job satisfaction

Very High

Is this job meaningful

Very High

74% said they were satisfied with their job and 78% said they found their job meaningful.


As a nutritionist, I am responsible for giving clients macronutrient (carbohydrate, protein, and fat) guidelines. With clients that are wanting more help, I provide them with a detailed meal plan. It is very dependent on the person whether they want to eat the same meals every day and keep it simple or if they want … Read More


I’m a Registered Dietitian and Nutritionist RDN. To start, a quick briefing on the difference between a registered dietitian and a nutritionist. A Registered dietitian (RD) is someone who’s completed nutrition coursework, done hands on training in a hospital during a dietetic internship, and passed the RD exam. RD’s have extensive knowledge about not only … Read More


Chris & Filly Functional Medicine

As a Clinical Nutritionist, specializing in Functional Medicine, a typical day would involve meeting with clients for initial consultations or follow-up consultations. During initial consultations, I dive deep into their health history, their present concerns and complaints, and doing an overview of their nutrition and lifestyle. I specialize in Functional Medicine, so I then put … Read More


Pros

Suitable for people who like to solve problems mentally.

Suitable for people who value relationships between co-workers and customers and want to work in a friendly non-competitive environment.

This career is perfect for people who love to work indoors.

Demand for this career is growing very fast.

Cons

Not suitable for people who like to follow routines.

It is very hard to get into this career. Extensive skills, knowledge, and experience are required for this career.

How much do they make

Average salary

$64150 per year

Average hourly wage

$31 per hour

Entry-level Dietitians and Nutritionists with little to no experience can expect to make anywhere between $39,840 to $51,700 per year or $19 to $25 per hour.

Salary by experience Annual Hourly
Highest (Top 10%) $90,000 $43
Senior (Top 25%) $77,180 $37
Median $63,090 $30
Junior (Bottom 25%) $51,700 $25
No experience (Bottom 10%) $39,840 $19

This table shows the top 10 highest paying industries for Dietitians and Nutritionists based on their average annual salary.

Salary by industry Annual Hourly
Federal Executive Branch $77580 $37.30
Home Health Care Services $73460 $35.32
Outpatient Care Centers $70650 $33.97
Spectator Sports $69370 $33.35
Employment Services $69140 $33.24
Scientific Research and Development Services $68730 $33.04
Grantmaking and Giving Services $68710 $33.03
Insurance Carriers $68290 $32.83
Management of Companies and Enterprises $68150 $32.77
Electronic Shopping and Mail-Order Houses $67680 $32.54

View more salary by industries here.

Where can they work

Where can Dietitians and Nutritionists work? Here is a table showing the top 10 largest employers of Dietitians and Nutritionists including the average salary in that industry.

Employers Total Employed Annual Salary Hourly Wages
General Medical and Surgical Hospitals 19690 $64760 $31.14
Outpatient Care Centers 7230 $70650 $33.97
Nursing Care Facilities (Skilled Nursing Facilities) 5020 $60430 $29.06
Local Government 3740 $57960 $27.86
Special Food Services 3710 $65210 $31.35
Offices of Other Health Practitioners 3650 $62170 $29.89
Offices of Physicians 3220 $63730 $30.64
Federal Executive Branch 2480 $77580 $37.30
State Government 2480 $57780 $27.78
Individual and Family Services 1670 $57090 $27.45

What is the work day like

Working hours

Less than 40 hours
5%

40 hours
77%

More than 40 hours
18%

Working schedule

81%

19%

0%

Email

How often do you use email in this job?

Once a week
0%

Every day
100%

Telephone

How often do you have telephone conversations in this job?

Once a week
9%

Every day
91%

Group discussions

How often do you have group discussions in this job?

Once a week
9%

Every day
91%

Public speaking

How often does this job require you to do public speaking?

Never
0%

Once a year
35%

Once a month
43%

Once a week
9%

Every day
13%

Level of competition

How much competitive pressure is in this job?

Not competitive at all
13%

Slightly competitive
26%

Moderately competitive
39%

Highly competitive
17%

Extremely competitive
4%

What is the work environment like

Office-style environment

Indoors in an environmentally controlled condition

Never
9%

Once a year or more
0%

Once a month or more
0%

Once a week or more
5%

Every day
86%

Warehouse-style environment

Indoors in a non-controlled environmental condition such as a warehouse

Never
55%

Once a year or more
32%

Once a month or more
5%

Once a week or more
5%

Every day
5%

Outdoors

Outdoors exposed to all weather conditions

Never
70%

Once a year or more
26%

Once a month or more
0%

Once a week or more
4%

Every day
0%

Outdoors – Under Cover

Outdoors but under cover (e.g. structure with roof but no walls)

Never
65%

Once a year or more
35%

Once a month or more
0%

Once a week or more
0%

Every day
0%

How to become one

Difficulty to become one

Very Hard
You will need an extensive amount of skill, knowledge, and experience. Careers in this difficulty category usually require graduate school and more than five years of experience. These careers usually involve coordinating, training, supervising, or managing the activities of others to accomplish goals. Very advanced communication and organizational skills are required. Similar careers include Pharmacists, Lawyers, Astronomers, Neurologists, and Veterinarians.

Required level of education

What level of education do you need to perform the job?

Less than a High School Diploma
0%

High School Diploma or equivalent
0%

Post-Secondary Certificate
0%

Some College Courses
0%

Associate’s Degree or similar
0%

Bachelor’s Degree
29%

Post-Baccalaureate Certificate
33%

Master’s Degree
24%

Post-Master’s Certificate
5%

First Professional Degree
0%

Doctoral Degree
10%

Post-Doctoral Training
0%

Relevant majors

Dietetics/Dietitian

A program that prepares individuals to integrate and apply the principles of the food and nutrition sciences, human behavior, and the biomedical sciences to design and manage effective nutrition programs in a variety of settings. Includes instruction in human nutrition; nutrient metabolism; the role of foods and nutrition in health promotion and disease prevention; planning and directing food service activities; diet and nutrition analysis and planning; supervision of food storage and preparation; client education; and professional standards and regulations.

Clinical Nutrition/Nutritionist

A program that prepares individuals to apply the principles of dietetics and the biomedical and nutrition sciences to design and manage effective nutrition programs as part of clinical treatment and therapy programs, and to manage health care facility food services. Includes instruction in human nutrition, nutrient metabolism, the role of foods and nutrition in health promotion and disease prevention, nutrition as a treatment regime, planning and directing hospital food service programs, diet and nutrition analysis and planning, supervision of food storage and preparation, special diets, client education, and professional standards and regulations.


Nutrition Sciences

A scientific program that focuses on the utilization of food for human growth and metabolism, in both normal and dysfunctional states, from the interdisciplinary perspective of the agricultural, human, biological, and biomedical sciences. Includes instruction in food science, biochemistry, physiology, dietetics, food and nutrition studies, biotechnology, biophysics, and the clinical sciences.

Foods, Nutrition, and Wellness Studies

A general program that focuses on the role of foods and nutrition in human health and wellness. Includes instruction in nutritional care and education, the planning and provision of food services, the development of consumable food products, life-span nutrition and wellness, the principles of nutritional assessment, and food safety and food composition.

Human Nutrition

A program that focuses on the relationships between food consumption and human development and health. Includes instruction in the cellular and molecular processes of food processing in the human body, related metabolic processes, the relationship of food and nutrition to disease, and nutritional needs across the life span.


Foodservice Systems Administration/Management

A program that focuses on the principles and practices relating to the administration of food service systems in institutional settings, and that prepares individuals to manage such operations in public and private facilities. Includes instruction in human nutrition, food safety, the design and organization of food service systems, purchasing, personnel management, and related business practices.

Relevant work experience

How much related work experience do you need to get hired for the job?

None
9%

1 month
0%

1 to 3 months
0%

3 to 6 months
0%

6 months to 1 year
23%

1 to 2 years
27%

2 to 4 years
23%

4 to 6 years
9%

6 to 8 years
0%

8 to 10 years
0%

Over 10 years
9%

On The Job Training

How much on the job training do you need to perform the job?

None or short demonstration
5%

1 month
32%

1 to 3 months
32%

3 to 6 months
23%

6 months to 1 year
5%

1 to 2 years
5%

2 to 4 years
0%

4 to 10 years
0%

Over 10 years
0%

Should you become one

Best personality type for this career

The Thinker

People with this personality likes to work with ideas that require an extensive amount of thinking. They prefer work that requires them to solve problems mentally.

The Builder
33%

People with The Builder personality type likes practical and hands-on work. They prefer working with plants, animals, and real-world materials like wood, tools, and machinery.


The Thinker
95%

People with The Thinker personality likes to work with ideas that require an extensive amount of thinking. They prefer work that requires them to solve problems mentally.


The Artist
33%

People with The Artist personality likes to work with designs and patterns. They prefer activities that require self-expression and prefer work that can be done without following a clear set of rules.


The Helper
90%

People with The Helper personality type likes to work with people and in teams. They prefer work that allows them to build relationships with others.


The Leader
57%

People with The Leader personality likes to start and work on projects. They also like leading people and making many decisions.


The Organizer
29%

People with The Organizer personality type likes to follow set procedures and routines. They prefer working with data and details more than with ideas.


You can read more about these career personality types here.

People who are suitable for this job tend to like working with ideas and require an extensive amount of thinking. They like searching for facts and figuring out problems mentally.

They also like working with, communicating with, and teaching people. They like helping or providing service to others.

Take this quiz to see if this is the right career for you.

Work Values

Which values are the most important to a person’s satisfaction for this job?

Achievement
71%

You are someone who is results oriented. You prefer work that allows you to utilize your skills and abilities while at the same time giving you a sense of accomplishment.

Working Conditions
67%

You are someone who values job security, steady employment, and good working conditions. You also prefer work that keeps you busy all the time with something different to do every day.

Recognition
71%

You are someone who values job advancement and leadership roles. You prefer work that receives recognition for the work you do and jobs that are looked up to by others in the company and your community.

Relationships
86%

You are someone who likes to provide a service to others. You prefer a work environment where you can work with your co-workers in a friendly non-competitive environment.

Support
57%

You are someone who values a company that stands behind their employees. You prefer a work environment where everyone is treated fairly and is being supported by the company.

Independence
81%

You are someone who likes to work on your own and make your own decisions. You prefer work that requires little supervision and are allowed to try out your own ideas.

FAQ


Don’t know which career to pursue?

Take the career quiz to find careers that match your personality type.

Take The Career Quiz


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.