Some of the more popular careers in nutrition and dietetics include those of Registered Dietitian (RD), Dietetic Technician, Registered (DTR), Licensed Nutritionist and Non-Licensed Nutritionist. Non-Licensed Nutritionists may have little to no formal college education, while Registered Dietitians may possess as high as a master’s degree. Much of the educational requirements of nutrition and dietetics careers depend upon the setting in which one plans to work as well as the individual expectations of employers.
Settings in which food and nutrition careers can be found include schools, hospitals and other medical facilities, long-term care facilities, corporations, food manufacturing industries, community and public health organizations, government agencies, and non-profit organizations. Other job locations are possible for Registered Dietitians, Dietetic Technicians, Registered, Licensed Nutritionists and Non-Licensed Nutritionists as well, including retail stores, holistic healing centers and alternative medicine clinics.
Regardless of the type of career in food and nutrition one chooses, possessing certain skills is vital to becoming an effective professional in dietetics. These include the ability to advise and teach others, good judgment and decision-making skills, active listening skills and patience, good public speaking skills, flexibility and open-mindedness, good problem-solving skills, and the ability to assess and perceive others’ feelings and reactions correctly.
Once one becomes a dietary professional, advancement is desirable and achievable. Continuing professional education opportunities abound for dietary and nutrition professionals. It is always possible to learn more, as the field of food and nutrition is constantly growing and expanding as research brings to light new facts and thinking about how and what we eat.