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According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the annual mean salary for dietitians and nutritionists in the United States, as of May 2012, was $55,240. Nutritionists and dietitians in South Carolina, during the same period, earned a median annual salary of between $32,410 and $50,280.
The South Carolina Panel for Dietitians, which is part of the South Carolina Department of Labor, Licensing, and Regulation (LLR), defines a registered dietitian (RD) as an expert in food and nutrition who has met the minimum academic and professional requirements to qualify for the RD credential. To practice as an RD in South Carolina, you must be licensed in the State of South Carolina, which involves completing the following steps:
According to South Carolina law, you must first earn a bachelor or graduate degree from a regionally accredited college or university in human nutrition, nutrition education, foods and nutrition, public health nutrition, or an equivalent course of study. The program you attend must be accredited by the Accreditation Council for Education in Nutrition and Dietetics (ACEND) in order to sit for the Commission on Dietetic Registration (CDR) exam, a prerequisite for obtaining the RD designation.
The following programs in South Carolina are ACEND-accredited:
If you want to become a certified and registered nutritionist in South Carolina, you must earn the Certified Nutritionist Specialist (CNS) designation through the Certification Board for Nutritional Specialists (CBNS), as South Carolina does not license nutritionists. You must meet the following requirements to be eligible to sit for the CNS exam and become a certified nutrition specialist:
The CNS credential requires recertification every 5 years. To recertify as a CNS, you must complete at least 75 continuing education credits in nutrition.
After completing the ACEND-accredited education program and achieving a bachelor’s or graduate degree, you must apply to and complete a dietetic internship (DI) approved by ACEND. All ACEND-approved DIs include at least 1,200 hours of supervised practice over a course of 8 to 24 months, depending on whether the program is part-time or full-time.
The following ACEND-approved DI programs are located in South Carolina:
After passing the CDR exam, you are eligible to apply for state licensure as an RD in South Carolina. In addition to a completed Application for Licensure, you must provide the Panel with:
Mail the completed application and related documents to:
SC Panel for Dietetics
PO Box 11329
Columbia, SC 29211
State Licensure Renewal Requirements
You must renew your RD license every 2 years (May 31 of odd-numbered years) and pay a biennial renewal fee of $100. There are no continuing education requirements in South Carolina, although you must maintain your current registration with the Commission on Dietetic Registration to qualify for renewal.
Online renewal is encouraged, and the LLR charges as $25 service fee for all renewals done in person instead of online.
CDR Renewal Requirements
To maintain your RD credential, you must recertify with CDR every 5 years and provide documentation of at least 75 hours of continuing education.