A Dietitian Degree Prepares You For a Career in Health and Nutrition

A dietitian degree prepares you to help people with their health and nutrition. You study a variety of subjects, including food and nutrition sciences, business, economics, chemistry, biology, sociology and culinary arts. You learn how to counsel patients on eating habits and how to improve their diets to reduce the risk of disease.

You work in a variety of settings, including hospitals, nursing homes, clinics, cafeterias, research facilities, government agencies, gyms, private companies and schools. You often work with clients with eating disorders, high blood pressure, chronic diseases and other conditions that can be managed by creating meal plans. You may also work in schools and daycare centers advising parents on healthy eating.

To become a registered dietitian, you must complete an accredited bachelor’s degree and pass the national registration exam administered by the Commission on Dietetic Registration (CDR). You can also earn a master’s degree in dietetics or nutrition to increase your job opportunities.

Depending on your educational background and the state in which you plan to practice, you may need to obtain licenses or certification in order to call yourself a dietitian. You can do this through the National Association of Dietitians and other professional organizations. You can also apply for a specialty certification in an area of nutrition that interests you.

If you’re interested in becoming a clinical dietitian, consider completing an ACEND-accredited dietetics degree program and a supervised practice internship. This option is ideal for students who wish to gain the knowledge and skills necessary to sit for the CDR examination after graduation.

This is a four-year, 120-credit degree that focuses on preparing you for a career as a dietitian. You’ll take a variety of classes and obtain off-site practicum hours in community and clinical nutrition. You’ll also take courses in medical sciences, nutrition, physiology and biochemistry.

You’ll also be required to take a series of courses that teach you about the role of nutrition in public health. You’ll be able to apply this knowledge in your future work as a dietitian in a variety of health care and social service settings.

In addition, you’ll develop leadership skills and use them in your career as a dietitian. You’ll often supervise interns and present in front of groups of patients and community members about nutrition.

The job outlook for dietitians is good, with employment expected to grow 8% from 2019-2029. This is due to a growing population, increased focus on preventing diseases and an overall public interest in nutrition.

Several colleges and universities offer financial assistance for students to pursue their degrees in this field. These include federal grants and low-interest loans. You can also seek out scholarships from corporations, community or civic groups, philanthropic or religious organizations or directly from the school you want to attend.

You’ll need to complete a bachelor’s degree in an ACEND-accredited nutrition or dietetics degree program. You’ll then be eligible to participate in an ACEND-accredited supervised practice internship, where you will work closely with your mentors on a dietetic project for an extended period of time. This experience will help you gain the hands-on experience that you need to pass the CDR exam and be a registered dietitian.

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