How To Become A Dietician

Eating healthy an important aspect to a long, well-balanced life and nobody understands this better than a dietician. Dieticians are food and nutrition experts who strive to promote better diet habits by providing information about nutrition, diet, and the important connection between healthy eating habits and preventing particular diseases. Being a dietician comes with a lot of responsibility as one is in charge of other people's well-being, and they may work in settings such as hospitals, nursing homes, cafeterias, and schools.

How To Become A Dietician
Educational And Training Requirements:
A bachelor's degree in dietetics, foods and nutrition, food service systems management, or in a related area, is a basic requirement for anyone hoping to become a dietician. Courses taught in the bachelor's program usually include biology, physiology, chemistry, and nutrition. Students also have to complete an internship program approved by the American Dietetic Association's (ADA) Commission on Dietetic Registration (CDR) following his or her graduation from college. Dieticians have to undergo several hours of supervised trainings which usually take the form of these internships.

The internships may require students to work up to 32 hours per week to complete their internship. During this period, students will learn to plan menus, administer meal preparation for various places such as schools and hospitals, and develop an effective food budget.

Some good news for aspiring dieticians is that many dietician programs are available through online degree programs. Studying to become a dietician through online education is very similar to programs offered at traditional on-campus programs, but students are able to complete online degree programs without having to set foot on a campus. The core demands of a dietetics program may require a thorough knowledge of nutritional needs at different stages of life. Other topics studied may include nutrition education, nutritional assessment, and food science. Online programs that offer dietician degrees are popular due to their convenience. Students may schedule courses around their current schedule and study at a place or time that suits them.

License And Certification Requirements:
Many states in the US require dieticians to obtain a license, while others require only state registration or certification. It is, therefore, a good idea to research beforehand requirements of the state in which one would like to practice. Since many employers prefer or require registered dieticians, it is wise to earn a Registered Dietician (RD) credential. RD programs are accredited by the Accreditation Council for Education in Nutrition and Dietetics (ACEND). Moreover, in order to retain this credential, registered dieticians must complete continuing education courses approved by ACEND.

Job Outlook
According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the employment of dieticians is expected to increase by 20 percent from 2010 to 2020, which is faster than the average of all occupations. Due to the increasing awareness of health and wellness in the community, dieticians are sought after in many places such as schools and hospitals to provide important information about the importance of healthy diets in preventing illness such as diabetes and high blood pressure. According to the BLS, the median salary of dieticians in 2010 was $53,250.


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