Follow the step by step process or choose what situation that best describes you:
Arizona does not require dietitians or nutritionists to be licensed to work in the state. However, in order to become a Registered Dietitian, you must fulfill requirements of the Commission on Dietetic Registration (CDR), the credentialing branch of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics (AND). The Bureau of Labor Statistics of the United States Department of Labor says that as of May 2012, there were 980 dietitians and nutritionists employed in Arizona, earning an annual mean wage of $49,700. Dietitians working in the Phoenix/Mesa/Glendale metropolitan area earned slightly higher annual salaries averaging $49,930. Unique challenges that face registered dietitians in Arizona include working with a varied population, for some of whom English is a second language. Read on to discover what education and experiential learning you must complete to become a registered dietitian in Arizona.
The Commission on Dietetic Registration (CDR) requires all dietitians to receive certain education and experience before they may use the credentials Registered Dietitian (RD). You must graduate from one of the following types of dietitian education programs in Arizona, all of which are accredited by the Accreditation Council for Education in Nutrition and Dietetics (ACEND:
Arizona ACEND-Accredited Programs Leading to Registered Dietitian (RD) Licensure:
What if I want to become a Dietetic Technician in Arizona?
For students who do not want to invest as much time as it takes to become a Registered Dietitian, Arizona also offers the option of studying to become a Dietetic Technician, Registered (DTR). This occupation is not licensed in Arizona, but does require completion of a program that combines coursework and 450 hours of supervised work, culminating in an associate degree. The programs must be ACEND-accredited. In Arizona, your choices are:
You must pass CDR’s Dietetic Technician Exam before working as a Dietetic Technician in Arizona.
Can I become a Nutritionist in Arizona?
Becoming a nutritionist in Arizona does not require a state license, but does require obtaining graduate education and experience. There are many certification organizations for nutritionists, and most require a minimum of a master’s degree in nutrition or a related field as well as 900 hours of supervised nutrition practice. Certification bodies for nutritionists in Arizona include:
The next qualification you must satisfy is to complete a Dietetic Internship (DI) in Arizona. All DI programs must be ACEND-accredited and offer 1200 hours of supervised dietetic work. Arizona DI programs include:
Now that you have satisfied the educational and experiential requirements, you are ready to take the CDR Examination for Registered Dietitians. After ACT, Inc. (CDR’s testing service) sends you an email authorizing your testing eligibility status, you have 12 months to take the exam. You can apply for and pay for the exam at CDR’s website. You must pay the $200 testing fee by credit card. PSI Exam Centers are the testing centers used by CDR, and they will send you an email asking that you schedule the date and location of the exam. In Arizona, testing centers include:
On exam day, don’t forget to bring a photo ID and a printout of your scheduling confirmation email.
To prepare for the exam, you might use the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics Student Exam Prep Site. The CDR’s Study Guide for the Registration Examination for Dietitians and Study Outline are also helpful.
CDR Registration Exam for Dietitians
CDR’s Registration Exam for Dietitians takes three hours to complete on the computer. Questions may be from 125 to 145, and you are not permitted to skip any questions or go back to change or review answers. You must answer at least 125 questions in order for the computer to score the exam. Questions are multiple-choice and from four domain areas (not in order – usually mixed up on the exam):
The score report will be given to you after you complete the test. To pass, you must earn a scaled score of 25 or better. If you fail, you can re-take the exam in 45 days. Contact CDR to receive authorization to take the exam again, by writing or calling them at 120 South Riverside Plaza, Suite 2000, Chicago, IL 60606. (800) 877-1600, Ext. 5500.
CDR Registration Exam for Dietetic Technicians
If you earned an Associate in Applied Science degree and are pursuing a career as a Dietetic Technician, Registered (DTR) in Arizona, you must pass the CDR Registration Exam for Dietetic Technicians. This exam is also computerized, and its length varies. You will be tested on your knowledge of:
Maintaining your CDR Registration in Arizona
You are required to renew your CDR Registration as a Registered Dietitian every five years. During this time, you must complete 75 continuing professional education units (CPEUs). At least one unit must be in ethics. The PDP Guide and CDR’s online CPE database can assist you in determining appropriate continuing education activities. They include:
Specialty Certifications in Dietetics and Nutrition in Arizona
Some Registered Dietitians in Arizona opt to pursue specialty certifications in concentrations in dietetics and nutrition. This may also help you to fulfill your CPE requirements. Some of the most popular specialty certifications earned by Arizona RDs are:
Another step that can further your career and offer networking opportunities is to pursue membership in professional dietary organizations and associations in Arizona. Depending upon your clinical specialty or concentration, you might want to join the following associations in Arizona: