Dietary Tech Degree Programs and Schools

Learn about the duties performed by dietary technicians, and get information about degree options. Find out about degree levels offered and which schools offer relevant programs as well as registration and licensure requirements. Schools offering Fitness & Nutrition degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

What You Need to Know

As a dietary technician (DT), you may counsel and assist patients one-on-one who face dietary challenges relating to their health, such as diabetes and Crohn's disease. Licensing rules for dietary technicians vary by state. There are associate's and bachelor's degrees available to ensure you can receive the training you need.

Schools Students should consider programs accredited by the Accreditation Council for Education in Nutrition and Dietetics (ACEND)
Courses Food service management, nutrition assessment, nutrition counseling, metabolism and nutrition throughout the lifecycle
Programs Associate's and bachelor's degrees are common
Licensure/Certification License not usually required; Registered Dietary Technician credential available

What Does a Dietary Technician Do?

In addition to advising patients, you will also manage the menu for institutions such as dining halls, correctional facilities or assisted living facilities. You may work under the supervision of a registered dietician, or you may work on your own. In addition to residential facilities, you can work in a hospital or private practice.

Which Schools Offer Dietary Technician Programs?

Both 2- and 4-year colleges and universities across the U.S. offer accredited programs for those aspiring to be dietary technicians. Those pursuing a bachelor's degree can earn a degree in dietetics, nutrition or nutritional sciences. Some schools that provide these programs include:

  • Central Arizona College
  • Southwest Tennessee Community College
  • Mitchell Community College
  • Gaston College
  • PennState
  • University of Northern Colorado
  • The University of Vermont
  • Texas Woman's University

What Can I Expect From an Associate's Degree Program?

In a 2-year degree program, you will take courses in food management, nutrition assessment and nutrition counseling. Your program may, or may not require an internship. Some accredited programs are available online. To become a DTR, you will also have to complete 450 clinical hours along with your associate's degree program. Your program may also qualify you for certification as a Certified Dietary Manager or Certified Food Protection Professional.

What Can I Expect From a Bachelor's Degree Program?

Bachelor's degree programs in dietetics and nutrition focus on dietetics principles, medical nutrition and nutrition therapy. You can expect to take courses addressing the following:

  • Community nutrition
  • Food service management
  • Food science
  • Nutrition research
  • Food microbiology
  • Nutrition assessment

You might also take courses in metabolism, food preparation and nutrition throughout the lifecycle. You can also take classes in human growth, anatomy, biology and chemistry. Most likely, you will have the opportunity to complete clinical coursework as part of your bachelor's requirement.

What Can I Expect After Completing a Degree Program?

A student who has completed an accredited bachelor's degree program is eligible to sit for the Registered Dietician Nutritionist (RDN) exam, while completion of a 2-year degree program leaves you eligible to take the Dietetic Technician, Registered (DTR) exam. The DTR credential can serve as a stepping-stone while you complete your internship.

Will I Need a License to Work?

Each state has its own guidelines for licensing dietary technicians. Most states don't require licensing for DTs. Some states follow the criteria set by the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics (formerly known as the American Dietetic Association). To become a registered dietary tech (DTR), you can complete a Accreditation Council for Education in Nutrition and Dietetics (ACEND)-approved associate's or bachelor's degree program.

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:
The schools in the listing below are not free and may include sponsored content but are popular choices among our users. Tuition and costs will vary across programs and locations. Be sure to always request tuition information before starting a program.

Popular Schools

  • American University

    American University responds quickly to information requests through this website.

    Popular programs at American University:

    • Master

    Online Programs Available

  • Southern New Hampshire University

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    Popular programs at Southern New Hampshire University:

    • Master

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  • Capella University

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    Popular programs at Capella University:

    • Doctoral

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  • Grand Canyon University

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    Popular programs at Grand Canyon University:

    • Master
    • Bachelor Degrees

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  • Herzing University

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  • Penn Foster High School

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  • Regent University

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    Popular programs at Regent University:

    • Doctoral
    • Master

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  • Youngstown State University

    Campus Locations:

    • Ohio: Youngstown
  • Westmoreland County Community College

    Campus Locations:

    • Pennsylvania: Youngwood
  • Milwaukee Area Technical College

    Campus Locations:

    • Wisconsin: Milwaukee