There’s an expression – “you are what you eat.” And that’s certainly true when it comes to good nutrition. Dietetic technicians help patients understand the important connection between food and health. Under a dietitian’s supervision, they assist with food service and nutritional programs. They plan menus and prepare meals following nutritional standards and recipes that ensure patients’ individual needs are met. Dietetic technicians observe and gather information from a patient, so a registered dietitian or doctor can determine the patient’s needs. They also counsel people about the food choices they should make to prevent or manage disease, such as cutting back on sugar for patients with diabetes. Most work in a variety of healthcare settings, including hospitals, nursing homes, and assisted living facilities; or for state and local government. In all settings, dietetic technicians follow guidelines established by the government and medical experts. Most employers prefer candidates with an associate's degree from an accredited dietetics or nutrition program, though qualifications may vary. While everybody needs to eat, dietetic technicians help those with special nutritional requirements to improve their health through informed choices.
What they do:
Assist in the provision of food service and nutritional programs, under the supervision of a dietitian. May plan and produce meals based on established guidelines, teach principles of food and nutrition, or counsel individuals.
On the job, you would:
Observe and monitor patient food intake and body weight, and report changes, progress, and dietary problems to dietician.
Conduct nutritional assessments of individuals, including obtaining and evaluating individuals' dietary histories, to plan nutritional programs.
Prepare a major meal, following recipes and determining group food quantities.
Arts and Humanities
Education and Training
teaching and course design
Math and Science
arithmetic, algebra, geometry, calculus, or statistics
talking to others
listening to others, not interrupting, and asking good questions
noticing a problem and figuring out the best way to solve it
looking for ways to help people
teaching people how to do something
communicate by speaking
listen and understand what people say
Ideas and Logic
use rules to solve problems
make general rules or come up with answers from lots of detailed information
People interested in this work like activities that include helping people, teaching, and talking.
They do well at jobs that need:
Attention to Detail
Concern for Others
You might use software like this on the job:
Data base user interface and query software
USDA Child Nutrition Database
Analytical or scientific software
Axxya Systems Nutritionist Pro
NutriGenie Optimal Nutrition
associate's degree or certificate after high school usually needed
Get started on your career:
New job opportunities are very likely in the future.