What's the Job Description of a Dietetic Technician?

Dietetic technicians put together healthy menus and assist people with making good food choices. Read on to find out more about job responsibilities, working conditions, and salary info. Schools offering Fitness & Nutrition degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

Occupation Overview

Under the guidance of a dietitian, you'll create meal plans and provide nutritional education. You may deal with people who have special dietary needs, such as diabetics. You may have to design menus that are low in salt or fat. Responsibilities may include developing menus for individuals who are trying to lose weight, lower their blood pressure, or recover from an illness. Typically, you will follow set guidelines as you create menus.

Another part of your job may be to counsel individuals on what they should be eating according to their medical needs or personal goals. You may teach individuals why some foods are healthier than others. Helping individuals make proper food choices may also be part of what you do.

Required Education Associate's degree (non-registered), bachelor's degree (registered)
Certifications CDR Dietetic Technician Registered Exam
Similar Occupations Registered nurse, lab technician
Key Skills Teaching, communication, interpersonal skills, problem-solving, listening, critical thinking

Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

Responsibilities

Apart from working directly with food handling, menu planning, or education services, you may also carry out some other duties, such as supervising food workers, creating work schedules, and developing cost-cutting procedures. Additionally, you may come up with new recipes, monitor patient's food intake, and participate in research.

Working Conditions

You may have a variety of job opportunities working in medical and non-medical facilities. Some places you can find employment include hospitals, daycare centers, schools, correctional facilities, nursing homes, retirement centers, and health clubs. In some locations, such as correctional facilities, you may follow guidelines to create a well-balanced meal using only limited ingredients. You also find work in other settings, such as health clubs, where you'll have a large choice of prime ingredients from which to choose. Those who work in locations relating to medical care, such as nursing homes or hospitals, may have to prepare multiple meals to meet different types of diet restrictions.

Your work may take place mainly in a kitchen, but you may also hold consultations in an office or give presentations in a meeting room. You'll work with a variety of people, from patients and kitchen workers to staff at the facility at which you work. You may have to wear safety gear, such as gloves and a hairnet. Conditions in a kitchen area may be extremely hot, especially in warmer climates. You'll also work with cooking utensils and equipment, which can be dangerous if not properly used.

Salary Statistics and Job Outlook

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS, www.bls.gov), the median annual salary earned by dietetic technicians was reported as $27,140 in May 2018. Technicians employed by colleges, universities, and professional schools earned the highest salaries that year, averaging $39,680 annually, per the BLS. Although the Bureau didn't report the projected employment growth of dietetic technicians, the last update in May 2018 stated that there were approximately 33,540 estimated employment that year.

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