Dietary Manager Course and Training Programs

Dietary managers operate food services for institutions like hospitals, retirement homes or schools. Read on to learn more about the courses and training that can prepare you for a career in this industry. Schools offering Nutrition degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

What You Need to Know

There are various education options and programs available to prepare you for a career as a dietary manager, ranging from 2-year programs in nutrition or culinary arts to 4-year programs in foodservice management. Some of the courses you might study include food and beverage purchasing and human resources.

Degree Options Certificate programs in dietary management; 2-year and 4-year programs in foodservice management; 2-year degrees in nutrition, culinary arts or hotel management
Training Hands-on learning, research & internship opportunities and optional ANFP certification
Courses Accounting, budgeting, human resource management, nutrition, sanitation, food service management

Sources: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, Association of Nutrition & Foodservice Professionals

What Does a Dietary Manager Do?

Dietary managers create healthy food plans for large groups of people. When you work as a dietary manager, you will likely have the responsibility of planning menus, purchasing food, managing food service employees and managing the business operations. Dietary managers may be employed at such places as nursing homes, hospitals or correctional facilities.

What Training Programs and Courses Can I Take?

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, most food service managers are required to have some form of postsecondary education to find a position in today's workplace ( Several community colleges and universities offer 2-year and 4-year programs in foodservice management that can prepare you for a career as a dietary manager.

A 2-year degree in food service management, nutrition, culinary arts or hotel management should help you understand the business aspect of serving food to others. Courses can give you the information you need to pass the certification exam offered by the Association of Nutrition & Foodservice Professionals (ANFP), such as:

  • Operations
  • Human resources
  • Food and beverage purchasing
  • Nutrition
  • Accounting and budgeting

A 4-year degree program in food service management, nutrition or dietetics can also include hands-on learning experiences, research opportunities and internship opportunities.

Do I Need Certification?

Although you are not required to have certification to work as a dietary manager, you may consider earning a designation that proves your skills and training in the field. The ANFP offers both the Certified Dietary Manager (CDM) and Certified Food Protection Professional (CFPP) designations. The exams contain real-world questions that require theoretical knowledge as well as experience.

Some universities may offer specialized courses that can act as preparation for ANFP certification. Such courses can take around 12 months to complete and are designed to enhance your knowledge of foodservice while also preparing you to sit for the certification examination.

To continue researching, browse degree options below for course curriculum, prerequisites and financial aid information. Or, learn more about the subject by reading the related articles below:

  • 1. Degree Options:
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