Knowing what are the right foods to eat and the importance of nutrition and nutritional values can be confusing concepts for many individuals. Fortunately, there are many qualified professionals in the field of nutrition and dietetics who are willing to help. Registered Dietitians, Dietetic Technicians, Registered, Licensed Nutritionists and Non-Licensed Nutritionists are all educated, experienced health care professionals who work in a variety of settings to advise, educate and instruct clients in what foods they should and should not be eating and the nutritional values of all foods.
Dietetics and nutrition is a burgeoning field full of possibilities and one that is expected to increase over the next decade. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics of the U.S. Department of Labor, careers in dietetics and nutrition are projected to increase by almost 30 percent between the years 2010 and 2020. This exciting field can be entered into with as little as an associate’s degree.
According to the Commission on Dietetic Registration (CDR) of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics (formerly known as the American Dietetic Association, or ADA), as of 2013 there are about 75,000 members of the academy. Seventy-two percent of these members are Registered Dietitians (RD), while two percent are Dietetic Technicians, Registered (DTR). The remaining members consist of licensed and non-licensed nutritionists, educators, students and researchers.
Although the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics is based in the United States, the organization prides itself on diversity, offering opportunities to individuals with various cultures, educational backgrounds, ethnicities, geographic locations, races, and more. Food and nutrition information and values are provided in a variety of languages and formats to appeal to everyone.
The Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics found in a 2007 survey that half of all Registered Dietitians working in the United States for at least five years full-time earned an average annual income between $42,000 and $55,000. RDs who work in business and management can make up to $86,000 per year. Dietetic Technicians, Registered who had been employed in 2007 for at least five years full-time earned between $30,000 and $40,000 annually.
|Although there is no legal opposition to individuals performing nutrition counseling on their own, insurance limitations regarding reimbursement eligibility may apply.|
|The answer to whether anyone can perform nutrition counseling on their own remains yes, however only an RD (Registered Dietitian) is accredited and authorized to be recognized by the US Government as performing services that are eligible for reimbursement under the current health care laws.|
|Unless an individual is licensed (or exempt in some cases), that individual cannot legally perform specific nutrition counseling. Additional licenses are available for nutritionists not interested in becoming an RD.|
|Unless an individual is licensed (or exempt in some cases), that individual cannot legally perform specific nutrition counseling. The fact remains that unless one becomes licensed as an RD, they would remain ineligible.|
Becoming a registered dietitian is a challenging process that involves obtaining the proper education and experience through approved, accredited programs. The Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics (AND) regulates the Registered Dietitian practice nationwide. Each state may also have its own requirements for certification and licensure, in addition to those required to obtain RD credentials.