Mapping Your Future logo

Career Profile: Dietitians and Nutritionists

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.

Salary and Outlook

According to the US Department of Labor, there are 73,000 people employed as dietitians and nutritionists in the United States. The median annual salary is $63,100. Entry level employees earn approximately $39,840 per year and senior employees earn approximately $90,000 per year.

Estimates do not include other potential benefits such as health insurance, overtime pay, or retirement benefits that may be offered by employers.

Job Duties

  • Select, train, and supervise workers who plan, prepare, and serve meals.
  • Make recommendations regarding public policy, such as nutrition labeling, food fortification, or nutrition standards for school programs.
  • Manage quantity food service departments or clinical and community nutrition services.
  • Monitor food service operations to ensure conformance to nutritional, safety, sanitation and quality standards.
  • Inspect meals served for conformance to prescribed diets and standards of palatability and appearance.
  • Purchase food in accordance with health and safety codes.
  • Develop policies for food service or nutritional programs to assist in health promotion and disease control.
  • Test new food products and equipment.
  • Confer with design, building, and equipment personnel to plan for construction and remodeling of food service units.
  • Organize, develop, analyze, test, and prepare special meals, such as low-fat, low-cholesterol, or chemical-free meals.
  • Advise food service managers and organizations on sanitation, safety procedures, menu development, budgeting, and planning to assist with establishment, operation, and evaluation of food service facilities and nutrition programs.
  • Prepare and administer budgets for food, equipment, and supplies.
  • Plan, conduct, and evaluate nutrigenomic or nutrigenetic research.
  • Coordinate recipe development and standardization and develop new menus for independent food service operations.
  • Plan and prepare grant proposals to request program funding.
  • Assess nutritional needs, diet restrictions, and current health plans to develop and implement dietary-care plans and provide nutritional counseling.
  • Evaluate laboratory tests in preparing nutrition recommendations.
  • Counsel individuals and groups on basic rules of good nutrition, healthy eating habits, and nutrition monitoring to improve their quality of life.
  • Advise patients and their families on nutritional principles, dietary plans, diet modifications, and food selection and preparation.
  • Incorporate patient cultural, ethnic, or religious preferences and needs in the development of nutrition plans.
  • Consult with physicians and health care personnel to determine nutritional needs and diet restrictions of patient or client.
  • Plan and conduct training programs in dietetics, nutrition, and institutional management and administration for medical students, health-care personnel, and the general public.
  • Write research reports and other publications to document and communicate research findings.
  • Record and evaluate patient and family health and food history, including symptoms, environmental toxic exposure, allergies, medication factors, and preventive health-care measures.
  • Develop recipes and menus to address special nutrition needs, such as low glycemic, low histamine, or gluten- or allergen-free.
  • Coordinate diet counseling services.
  • Develop curriculum and prepare manuals, visual aids, course outlines, and other materials used in teaching.
  • Plan, conduct, and evaluate dietary, nutritional, and epidemiological research.

Career List

Job Outlook


Total Current Jobs:
73,000
Annual Openings:
5,900
Increase in Openings by 2030:
11%
Annual Salary Range:
$39,840 - $90,000
Education Requirements:
Bachelor's degree