Have you ever wanted to improve your diet, but been overwhelmed with all the advice, opinions, and options available? Enter dietitians and nutritionists— experts in the use of food and nutrition to promote health and manage disease. Dietitians and nutritionists meet with clients to assess their current nutritional habits and health needs. They advise clients on all aspects of eating for a healthy lifestyle or to reach a goal… covering topics such as portion control, food allergies, weight loss, or weight gain. They discuss food preparation and meal plans that detail calories, nutrients, and timing of meals. Dietitians and nutritionists frequently work in hospitals, nursing homes, and clinics helping patients with specific medical needs, such as managing blood sugar in diabetes, or supplementing extra calories for very ill patients. Hospital-based dietitians and nutritionists may work in intensive care units with doctors to manage critically ill patients and insert feeding tubes. Some dietitians may work in schools where they consult with food services and educate students on healthy eating. A bachelor’s degree in dietetics, foods and nutrition, or a related area is required for most dietitian jobs, along with a license. Many dietitians and nutritionists have advanced degrees or other specialized credentials. When patients ask “what’s for dinner?” dietitians and nutritionists give them more than just food for thought.
What they do:
Plan and conduct food service or nutritional programs to assist in the promotion of health and control of disease. May supervise activities of a department providing quantity food services, counsel individuals, or conduct nutritional research.
On the job, you would:
Monitor food service operations to ensure conformance to nutritional, safety, sanitation and quality standards.
Assess nutritional needs, diet restrictions and current health plans to develop and implement dietary-care plans and provide nutritional counseling.
Advise patients and their families on nutritional principles, dietary plans and diet modifications, and food selection and preparation.
Education and Training
teaching and course design
Arts and Humanities
Math and Science
reading work related information
keeping track of how well people and/or groups are doing in order to make improvements
noticing a problem and figuring out the best way to solve it
changing what is done based on other people's actions
teaching people how to do something
communicate by speaking
communicate by writing
Ideas and Logic
notice when problems happen
use rules to solve problems
People interested in this work like activities that include ideas, thinking, and figuring things out.
They do well at jobs that need:
Concern for Others
Attention to Detail
You might use software like this on the job:
Analytical or scientific software
Axxya Systems Nutritionist Pro
Compu-Cal Nutrition Assistant
BioEx Systems Nutrition Maker Plus
Lifestyles Technologies DietMaster Pro
Data base user interface and query software
certificate after college or bachelor's degree usually needed
Get started on your career:
New job opportunities are very likely in the future.