State Requirements for Nutrition and Dietitian Fields

Nutrition Career Info in Utah

The mean annual salary for registered dietitians and nutritionists in Utah was $56,170, as of May 2010. Further, the top-paying industries (mean, annual salary) for dietitians and nutritionists during the same time were:

  • Animal food manufacturing: $88,100
  • Miscellaneous nondurable goods merchant wholesalers: $74,270
  • Federal executive branch: $69,360
  • Grantmaking and giving services: $66,590
  • Insurance carriers: $64,700

Registered dietitians (RDs) in Utah are experts in food and nutrition, and their jobs often require them to assess the health and dietary needs of patients; educate others on nutrition issues; develop and evaluate meal plans; and promote better nutrition for preventing and managing specific diseases.

To practice as an RD in Utah, you must receive certification through the Utah Division of Occupational & Professional Licensing, which requires completing the following steps:

 
Step 1

Dietetic Educational Program in Utah

To become a certified and registered dietician in Utah you must, under Utah law, earn a bachelor’s degree or higher from an accredited college or university and complete a major course of study in the following (or an equivalent course of study):

  • Sciences of food
  • Dietetics
  • Food systems management

ACEND-Accredited Programs Leading to Registered Dietitian in Utah:

Your bachelor or master’s degree in dietetics must be accredited by the Accreditation Council for Education in Nutrition and Dietetics (ACEND), and programs may either be Coordinated Programs (CP) or Didactic Programs (DP).

Coordinated Programs in Utah

Coordinated programs in dietetics are comprehensive programs that include a course of study leading to a bachelor’s or master’s degree, as well as supervised practice of at least 900 hours. Upon completion of a CP in Utah, you are eligible to write for the CDR exam to become a registered dietitian (see Step 3). The following ACEND-accredited coordinated programs are located in Utah:

Didactic Programs in Utah

Didactic programs lead to an undergraduate or graduate degree in dietetics. Upon completion of a didactic program in Utah, you must then apply to an ACEND-approved dietetic internship (see Step 2) to qualify to sit for the Commission on Dietetic Registration (CDR) examination. The following ACEND-accredited didactic programs are located in Utah:

If you want to become a certified nutritionist in Utah and obtain the Certified Nutrition Specialist (CNS) designation through the Certification Board for Nutritional Specialists (CBNS), you must possess the following:

  • A master’s or doctoral degree in nutrition (or a closely related field) from a regionally accredited college or university
  • At least 9 credit hours in nutrition
  • At least 3 credit hours in anatomy/physiology
  • At least 12 credit hours in life/clinical sciences
  • At least 6 credit hours in biochemistry
  • At least 1,000 hours of documented, supervised practice in nutrition

You must then pass the CBNS examination to receive your CNS designation. This certification requires you to recertify and complete at least 75 continuing nutrition education credits every 5 years.

*Featured Master's Nutritionist Program:

American University’s online Master of Science in Nutrition Education will prepare you to become an influential leader in nutrition education and advocacy while promoting nutrition and healthy lifestyle choices in your community. This program does not prepare you to be a registered dietician. However, there are currently registered dieticians in this program for professional development and career advancement.

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Step 2

ACEND-Approved Dietetic Internship in Utah

Once you have successfully completed a didactic program in dietetics, you must apply for and complete supervised practice in dietetics through a dietetic internship (DI). Dietetic internships, which must be accredited by ACEND, offers, at a minimum, 1,200 hours of supervised practice over a period of 8 to 24 months, depending on whether they are part-time or full-time programs.
The following ACEND-accredited DI programs are located in Utah:

  • Brigham Young University, Provo (only accepts individuals who are graduates or current students in Brigham Young University Didactic Program in Dietetics)
    • Full-time, 9-month program with an emphasis on leadership
  • Utah State University, Salt Lake
    • Full-time, 7-month program with an emphasis on child nutrition programs, school foodservice system management

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Step 3

Pass the (CDR) Examination in Utah

  1. Once you have completed your DI program, your program administrator will provide you with information on the CDR examination process. You will likely receive email or mail correspondence from ACT Inc., the company contracted to handle the CDR exam process, asking you to register and pay the application fee of $200 for the CDR exam. You can register and pay the application fee online.
  2. Once you have completed the registration process and have paid the application fee, you can expect an email from PSI Exams Online, the company of PSI Testing Centers, where you will take your exam. There are more than 250 PSI Testing Centers nationwide, and you can take the test year-round. Most testing centers Monday through Friday and some are open on Saturdays. In Utah, there are PSI Testing Centers in:
    1. Hurricane
    2. North Orem
    3. North Salt Lake
    4. Sunset
  3. Once you have registered to take the CDR exam, you can prepare for the exam by studying the Study Guide for the Registration Examination for Dietitians and the Registration Examination for Dietitians Handbook for Candidates.
  4. The exam is a computer-based, multiple-choice test that consists of about 125 questions, which include 25 pre-test questions that are not scored. As of January 2012, the test format includes the following:
    1. Food and Nutrition Sciences: 12 percent
    2. Nutrition Care for Individuals and Groups: 50 percent
    3. Management of Food and Nutrition Programs  and Services: 21 percent
    4. Foodservice Systems: 17 percent
  5. On the day of the exam, bring your PSI Exams confirmation email and your government-issued photo identification. PSI will provide you with a simple calculator and time to familiarize yourself with the computer and the testing format.
  6. You will have 2 ½ hours to complete the examination, and you can view your score upon finishing the test by clicking the “Report” button on your online account. You must score at least 25 (on a scale of 0 to 50) to pass the test.
  7. If you fail the test, you may retest after 45 days, provided you pay the testing fee again and obtain reauthorization from CDR (1-800-877-1600). There is no limit to the number of times you can take the test, provided you wait 45 days in between tests and receive reauthorization from CDR to do so.

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Step 4

State Certification as a RD in Utah

To qualify for state certification as a registered dietitian in Utah, you must provide the Division of Occupational & Professional Licensing (DOPL) with a completed and signed Application for Certified Dietitian, a copy of your CDR card and submit an application-processing fee of $60 made to the DOPL.

Send the completed application, fee, and related documents to:

Division of Occupational & Professional Licensing
Post Office Box 146741
Salt Lake City UT 84114

You can contact the DOPL at 801-530-6628 or 1-866-275-3675 (toll-free in Utah) if you have any questions regarding the application process.

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Step 5

Maintain your Utah Certification

To maintain your state certification to practice as a dietitian in Utah, you must re-certify biennially on September 30 of each even year and pay the renewal fee of $37. Certification is NOT based on the initial date of certification.

The DOPL does not require continuing professional education or current CDR registration to renew your Utah certification. You can renew your certification online here.

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