What Do Certified Dietary Managers Do?

As a certified dietary manager, you'll oversee the meal planning, food ordering, and dietary needs of people in many types of institutions. Read on to find out about the job duties, education, and other requirements of a certified dietary manager. Schools offering Nutrition degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

Career Overview

A dietary manager is a food service manager who oversees departments responsible for the purchasing and preparation of food for patients in noncommercial facilities, such as hospitals, nursing homes, long-term care facilities, senior living communities, schools, prisons, and military facilities. In order to become a certified dietary manager, you must meet education requirements set forth by the Association of Nutrition & Foodservice Professionals (ANFP) and have experience in a related field.

Important Facts About Certified Dietary Managers

Median Salary (2019) $44,116*
Job Outlook (2016-2026) 15% growth (for all dietitians and nutritionists)**
Key Skills Critical thinking; speaking; organization; interpersonal skills
Similar Occupations Health educators; community health workers; registered nurses; rehabilitation counselors

Sources: *PayScale.com, **U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

Job Duties

As a certified dietary manager, you oversee the purchasing and preparation of foods for various institutions. You create meal plans and menus and work closely with doctors, cooks, registered dietitians, and other staff members. You may also supervise and educate dietary team members on food safety and sanitation, patient dietary restrictions, and food preparation. While many opportunities can be found in health care facilities, you might work in schools, restaurants, hotels, or prisons. If you work in the health care field, you might also be responsible for maintaining food-related medical documentation for patients.

Education Required

In order to qualify for training as a dietary manager, most programs stipulate that you first earn a high school diploma or GED. While employers of dietary managers don't require you to hold a specific degree, many prefer you to have completed postsecondary training and earned certification through an organization such as the ANFP.

The ANFP, a national professional organization, offers several paths for qualifying to take their credentialing exam. You can also graduate from an approved training program in dietary management, either through a college or through the military. These programs may culminate in a certificate, diploma, or degree. Alternatively, you could pursue an associate's or bachelor's degree in nutrition, dietetics, or food and hospitality management. You may also qualify if you have two years of foodservice management and you've completed an approved 90-hour foodservice course.


In order to earn your credential as a Certified Dietary Manager, Certified Food Protection Professional (CDM, CFPP), you must take and pass the certification exam administered by the ANFP. The exam is comprised of 200 multiple-choice questions and covers content such as managing equipment, sanitation, business operations, food services, data analysis, and nutrition education. Once certified, you'll need to maintain your credential by completing 45 hours of continuing education every three years and paying an annual maintenance fee (www.anfponline.org).

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