Dietitian Assistant

Dietitian assistants work alongside registered dietitians, providing clients with nutritional guidance and planning. Below are several resources that can help you decide if a career as a dietician assistant is right for you and what type of educational training you'll need to reach your goal.

Is Becoming a Dietician Assistant For Me?

Career Overview

Dietician assistants, also referred to as dietetic technicians, help registered dietitians in providing patients with advice on how to lead healthier lives by adapting better eating habits. As a dietician assistant, your daily routine may include planning menus for individual or group clients and counseling people on making healthy food choices. You may also be responsible for ordering food and managing budgets for places like day cares, schools, hospitals, nursing homes and prisons.

Employment Information

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), there were 26,420 employed dietetic technicians in May 2013, and the field is expected to grow faster than average from 2012-2022 (www.bls.gov). The BLS also reported that the mean annual salary for dietetic technicians was $28,580 in May 2013.

How Can I Work in Dietician Assistance?

Education

You may not always need to have completed a postsecondary program to become a dietitian assistant, but some sort of vocational training is the most common education for professionals in the field. To become registered as a dietitian assistant, you must complete a dietetic technician associate's degree program approved by the American Dietetic Association. This type of curriculum centers on the importance of food and nutrition in healthcare, public health and food services. Additionally, as a prospective dietitian assistant, you'll likely receive hands-on training working with others to build interpersonal and communication skills.

Registration

Upon completion of an approved associate's degree program and fulfillment of the supervised training hours, you'll be eligible to take the Commission on Dietetic Registration exam. Once you pass the exam, you will become a registered dietetic technician (DTR) and qualify for entry-level dietitian assistant positions in the nutrition and dietetics field.

If you're interested in pursuing advancement in the dietitian field, you can choose to complete a bachelor's degree program in dietetics. Programs at this level may include additional instruction on subjects, such as food production management, counseling strategies, human nutrition, public health, biology and psychology.

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