How much do Nutritionists make?

Average Salary and Wage for Nutritionists/Dietetic Technician

Experience, industry credentials, geographic location, industry… a host of factors influence the earning potential for dietitians and nutritionists.

Here we will explore salary information Registered Dietitians/Registered Dietitian Nutritionists, and Dietetic Technician, Registered/Nutrition and Dietetics Technician, Registered and learn more about where the demand for these two professions is headed in the coming years.

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Salary Information for Registered Dietitians and Registered Dietitian Nutritionists

According to the U.S. Department of Labor’s Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), as of May 2021, the average salary for dietitians and nutritionists across the nation was $65,620. Early career dietitians and nutritionists earned about $49,490 during this time, while mid-career pros earned about $61,650.*

Dietitians and nutritionists with significant experience and/or those who hold the Registered Dietitian (RD)/Registered Dietitian Nutritionist (RDN) designation through the Commission on Dietetic Registration earned about $93,640.*

While the BLS doesn’t break down salary differences between registered and non-registered dietitians and nutritionists, it can be assumed that those at the higher end of the pay scale have earned the RD/RDN credential due to the demand for this credential by employers and for state certification/licensure and insurance reimbursement purposes.

Career Demand for Registered Dietitians and Registered Dietitian Nutritionists

The BLS projects that between 2019 and 2029, job opportunities for dietitians and nutritionists will increase by eight percent, faster than the average expected increase across all occupations. An additional 5900 jobs for dietitians and nutritionists are expected to be added nationwide during that time. It is projected that more dietitians and nutritionists will be needed to provide care for patients with medical conditions, the elderly, and the increasing number of people who want to improve overall health and wellness is driving up the number of people that want to know how to become a nutritionist.

Top-Paying Industries for Registered Dietitians and Registered Dietitian Nutritionists

Salaries for dietitians and nutritionists can and do vary significantly based on industry. As of May 2021, the top-paying industries for dietitians and nutritionists, according to average salary, included:

  • Pharmaceutical and medicine manufacturing: $93,920
  • Wholesales of nondurable goods: $85,880
  • Home healthcare: $79,110
  • Federal agencies (e.g., CDC, FDA, NIH, CMS,): $78,830
  • Scientific research and development services: $74,990

Top-Paying Locations for Registered Dietitians and Registered Dietitian Nutritionists

Demand and cost of living are two of the major players in terms of earning potential for dietitians and nutritionists across the country.

States Paying Higher Wages to Dietitians and Nutritionists

As expected, the state in which dietitians and nutritionists work often plays a big part in their earning potential. In general, the top-paying states for dietitians and nutritionists (according to average salary) align with higher costs of living:

  • California: $82,380
  • Washington DC: $80,600
  • Hawaii: $75,020
  • New Jersey: $74,850
  • Rhode Island: $74,080

Cities Paying Higher Wages to Dietitians and Nutritionists

Similarly, you’ll find that the highest-paying metro areas for dietitians and nutritionists are also those with some of the highest costs of living in the country:

  • San Jose (also includes Sunnyvale and Santa Clara), CA: $103,240
  • San Francisco (also includes Oakland and Hayward), CA: $97,490
  • Vallejo (also includes Fairfield), CA: $97,270
  • Santa Rosa, CA: $87,950
  • Santa Cruz (also includes Watsonville), CA: $86,110
  • Napa, CA: $85,520
  • Modesto, CA: $84,750
  • Stockton-Lodi, CA: $84,260
  • Salinas, CA: $83,700
  • Sacramento (also includes Roseville, Arden-Arcade), CA: $83,120

Nonmetropolitan Areas Paying Higher Wages to Dietitians and Nutritionists

While most nonmetropolitan areas of the country report lower salaries for dietitians and nutritionists than their counterparts in metropolitan areas, average salaries in some nonmetro areas exceed those in metro areas, including:

  • Western Wyoming nonmetro area: $84,370
  • North Coast region of CA: $81,850
  • North Valley- Northern Mountains region of CA: $77,330
  • Hawaii/Kauai: $74,200
  • Alaska non-metro area: $72,480

Salary Information for Dietetic Technicians, Registered and Nutrition and Dietetics Technician, Registered

Dietetic Technicians, Registered or DTRs (also called Nutrition and Dietetic Technicians, Registered or NDTRs) work under the supervision of registered dietitian/registered dietitian nutritionists.

As of May 2021, the average salary for DTRs/NDTRs was $34,160. Early career DTRs/NDTRs earned about $28,400, while those with at least a handful of years of experience (mid-career professionals) earned about $29,520. Experienced DTRs/NDTRs earned about $47,120 during this time.*

Career Demand for Dietetic Technicians, Registered and Nutrition and Dietetics Technicians, Registered

The BLS projects a 7 percent increase in the number of jobs for DTRs/NDTRs between 2020 and 2030, rising from 26,800 employees to 28,800 employees during this time. According to the BLS, this occupation will experience about 2,200 annual job openings during this ten-year period due to a combination of new job growth, retirements, and natural job turnover.

Top-Paying Industries for Dietetic Technicians, Registered and Nutrition and Dietetics Technicians, Registered

Similar to dietitians and nutritionists, dietetic technicians may earn salaries that exceed the national average based on the industry in which they work. As of May 2021, the highest-paying industries for DTRs/NDTRs, according to average salary, included:

  • Outpatient care centers: $43,580
  • Physicians’ offices: $42,060
  • Grantmaking and giving services: $41,280
  • Offices of other healthcare practitioners: $40,040
  • Colleges, universities, and professional schools: $39,990

Top-Paying Locations for Dietetic Technicians, Registered and Nutrition and Dietetics Technicians, Registered

Just as it does with registered dietitians and registered dietitian nutritionists, location impacts the salary of a dietetic technician, registered and nutrition and dietetics technician, registered.

States Paying Higher Wages to Dietetic Technicians, Registered and Nutrition and Dietetics Technicians, Registered

As expected, the top-paying states for DTRs/NDTRs are also those with higher costs of living. As of May 2021, the highest-paying states for these professionals, according to average salary, included:

  • Oregon: $46,350
  • Washington: $45,990
  • New York: $43,870
  • Maryland: $43,780
  • California: $43,5750

Cities Paying Higher Wages to Dietetic Technicians, Registered and Nutrition and Dietetics Technicians, Registered

The highest-paying metro areas for dietetic technicians as of May 2021 included:

  • San Jose (also includes Sunnyvale and Santa Clara), CA: $55,550
  • San Francisco (also includes Oakland and Hayward), CA: $52,700
  • Seattle (also includes Tacoma and Bellevue), WA: $48,370
  • Salinas, CA: $47,070
  • Portland (also includes Vancouver and Hillsboro), OR: $46,970
  • NYC (also includes Newark and Jersey City, NJ), NY: $45,900
  • Sacramento (also includes Roseville and Arden-Arcade), CA: $44,750
  • Oxnard (also includes Thousand Oaks), CA: $43,740
  • Los Angeles (also includes Long Beach and Anaheim), CA $43,340
  • Fresno, CA: $43,230

Non-Metropolitan Areas Paying Higher Wages to Dietetic Technicians, Registered and Nutrition and Dietetics Technicians, Registered

Non-metropolitan areas tend to pay lower than average wages, in general. However, these areas paid dietetic technicians higher than average wages as of May 2021:

  • Capital/Northern New York nonmetro area: $41,810
  • North Valley-Northern Mountains region of CA: $37,980
  • North Coast region of CA: $36,030
  • Southwest NY nonmetro area: $35,500
  • South Central WI nonmetro area: $33,180

*2021 US Bureau of Labor Statistics salary figures and job growth projections for dietitians and nutritionists and dietetic technicians reflect national data not school-specific information. Conditions in your area may vary. Salary statistics representing entry-level/early career = 25th percentile; mid-level= 50th percentile; senior-level/highly experienced = 90thpercentile. Data accessed April 2022.

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