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Dietetic Technician Certification and Training Requirements

In order to become a dietetic technician you must meet the education and certification requirements as stated by the Commission on Dietetic Registration. Read on to learn about dietetic technician program curriculum, common courses, and certification requirements.

What Dietetic Technician Training Programs Are Available?

The highest level of education offered for dietetic technicians is an associate's degree. Upon completion, you may be awarded an Associate of Science or Associate of Applied Science. Your program may focus on healthy eating education, preparing food, and compiling a menu adhering to possible dietary concerns.

You may also be able to find schools offering courses though distance education. These courses might be offered completely online, on-campus or a mixture of both. If you do enroll in a distance education program, you still may be required to complete clinical work, internships or a practicum through an affiliated work center.

Program Curriculum You will learn various topics from healthy eating education to preparing food through a two year associate's program.
Common Courses Food service management, clinical nutrition, nutrition therapy
Certification Requirements Earn associate's degree from an accredited program, 450 practice hours, and passing the CDR administered exam.
Median Salary (2018)$27,140 (for dietetic technicians)*
Job Outlook (2016-26)9% growth (for all dietetic technicians)*

Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

What Courses Can I Expect?

These programs often center on food service management and nutrition therapy. You can learn how to plan meals, compile patient food intake data, communicate with dieticians and make changes to recipes. You might also learn how the human body reacts to different foods, work around food allergies, keep track of a patient's diet and supervise food service providers. Courses in the program include food service management, clinical nutrition, food sanitation, food safety, purchasing, storage, menu development, nutrition therapy and food science.

How Do I Earn Certification?

To be able to take the certification exam, you will need to earn at least an associate's degree from a program accredited by the Commission on Accreditation for Dietetics Education (CADE) of the American Dietetic Association (ADA), earn at least 450 practice hours and pass an exam administered by the Commission on Dietetic Registration (CDR). You will be required to pass a written exam that consists of at least 110 multiple-choice questions. Your exam will cover topics in food and nutrition systems, nutrition care process and models, simple conditions, counseling, education, training, foodservice systems and management.

The CDR requires the renewal of certification every five years. You will need to have completed 50 hours of continuing education courses from an accredited program and maintain your Professional Development Portfolio (PDP). Case presentations, certificate programs, exhibitions, workshops, seminars and research work can fulfill continuing education. Your PDP will require you to complete modules in self-reflection, learning needs assessment, establishing a learning plan, maintaining an activity log and a professional development evaluation.