State Requirements for Nutrition and Dietitian Fields


Nutrition Career Information in Michigan

The Michigan Department of Energy, Labor and Economic Growth’s Employment Forecasts from 2008 to 2018 show that dietitians in the state can expect growth in that occupation. An increase of five percent is expected in the availability of jobs for nutritionists and dietitians in Michigan by 2018.

The average dietitian in Michigan earned $52,680 in 2012, according to the U.S. Department of Labor’s Bureau of Labor Statistics. Dietitians working in certain areas of Michigan earned higher salaries than the state average. For example, dietitians working in the South Bend, Indiana/Mishawaka, Michigan area earned an average of $57,340 per year. Those working in Lansing and East Lansing averaged $56,870 that year. Dietitians in the Saginaw and Saginaw Township area made an average yearly salary of $55,700. Those employed in the Grand Rapids and Wyoming (Michigan) area made an average annual salary of $55,570 in 2012. If you would like to learn how to become a registered dietitian in Michigan and pursue employment opportunities across the state, read on.

Effective July 2014, the Michigan state government passed a law designed to remove unnecessary barriers to becoming a dietician. Under the new law, the Michigan Board of Dietetics and Nutrition was abolished, eliminating the requirement for dietitians in the state to become licensed. Thanks to this decision, it is now easier than even to become a dietitian and begin providing dietetic services in the state.

Step 1

Registered Dietitian Education in Michigan

Before revisions were made to the Michigan Public Code, there were four ways to fulfill the educational requirement to become licensed to work as a dietitian in Michigan. Although licensure is no longer a requirement, a relevant education is still the best way to gain the knowledge and skills necessary to offer quality dietetic services.  You can accomplish this in one of the following ways:

  1. Hold a bachelor’s degree from a regionally accredited school in foods and nutrition, human nutrition, dietetics, nutrition education or food systems management.
  2. Hold a master’s degree from a regionally accredited school in foods and nutrition, human nutrition, dietetics, nutrition education or food systems management.
  3. Hold a doctoral degree from a regionally accredited school in foods and nutrition, human nutrition, dietetics, nutrition education or food systems management.
  4. Complete education, experience and an examination as required for registration as a dietitian with the Commission on Dietetic Registration (CDR) of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics (AND). This involves completing the CDR’s Accreditation Council for Education in Nutrition and Dietetics (ACEND)-accredited programs in dietetics, as described below.

ACEND-Accredited Programs Leading to the Registered Dietitian (RD) credential:


*Featured Master's Nutritionist Program:

UNC's Online MPH With Nutrition Concentration. UNC's top-ranked public health school offers an online MPH with Nutrition concentration. Complete in 20 months. Bachelor's degree required. GRE Required.

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.

Benedictine University's Online Master’s Degrees in Nutrition and Wellness programs offer an advanced education in nutrition science with a focus on promoting health and wellness.

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Step 2

Dietetic Internship (DI) in Michigan

Becoming registered with the Commission on Dietetic Registration (CDR) is optional in Michigan, but it is one of the best ways to demonstrate competence in the field of dietetics, One of the CDR’s main requirements for becoming a Registered Dietitian in Michigan is to complete one of the following Dietetic Internships (DI):

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Step 3

>Pass the CDR Registered Dietitian Examination

If you plan to pursue registration with the Commission on Dietetic Registration, you are required to pass the CDR’s Registration Exam for Dietitians..

The CDR’s Registration Exam for Dietitians Handbook for Candidates is a valuable resource to use when preparing to take the exam. You are required to take the exam within one year of being eligible to do so.  

Register and pay ($200, credit card) online for the exam at the CDR website.

The test is about 180 minutes long and consists of up to 145 multiple-choice questions. You are required to answer all questions, and cannot go back to review or change answers once entered.

The test is given at PSI Exam Centers in Michigan, including:

  • Gaylord:                440 W Main St, Suite D
  • Grand Rapids:   4595 Broadmoor, Suite #145
  • Grand Rapids:   4595 Broadmoor, Suite #201
  • Holt:                         4202 Charlar Drive, Suite 1
  • Marquette:         Mid Towne Office Complex, 1229 W Washington
  • Southfield:           Crossroads Building, 16250 Northland Drive, Suite 359
  • Southfield:           Crossroads Building, 16250 Northland Drive, Suite 361

A scaled score of 25 passes the exam. You will receive your score the day of the test. Passing the exam confers the credentials RD (Registered Dietitian) onto you.

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Step 5

Maintain Your Registration as a Dietitian

Maintaining your Registration as a Registered Dietitian in Michigan

You must renew your CDR registration every five years, and complete 75 hours of continuing professional education (CPE) during each five-year span. The CDR’s CPE Database and PDP Guide can help you to find the right kinds of activities and education to fulfill this requirement.

Professional development programs in Michigan are listed at the Michigan Dietetic Association’s website.

Issues in Dietetics in Michigan: Medical Nutrition Therapy

The Michigan Dietetic Association discusses on its website a practice dilemma that has been facing many registered dietitians in Michigan and nationwide. It regards Medicare’s national coverage determination for medical nutrition therapy. For dietitians who provide medical nutrition therapy (MNT) to patients, Medicare has set limits on MNT. For the first year, a patient may receive up to three hours of MNT, which can be divided at a dietitian’s discretion. In the second year, a patient may receive up to two hours of MNT.

Registered  dietitians in Michigan must collect their patient’s co-pay at the time of the service, then bill Medicare for the full cost of the service. However, because dietitians in Michigan have agreed to accept assignment, they must accept Medicare’s fee as full payment. Medicare fees to dietitians are based on geographical location. Current fees are listed on the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics website.

Professional Organizations for Registered Dietitians in Michigan

Now that you are a registered dietitian in Michigan, you might want to explore professional organizations in your particular geographical area or area of practice. These associations can help you to network with other professionals, find employment, and increase your professional knowledge. In Michigan, they include:

  • Dietitians of West Michigan – serves Ionia, Kent, Ottawa, Lake, Mecosta, Mason, Osceola, Oceana, Newago, Muskegon and Montcalm Counties
  • Lansing Dietetic Association – serves Livingston, Ingham, Eaton and Clinton Counties
  • Southeast Michigan Dietetic Association – serves Wayne, St. Clair, Oakland, Monroe and Macomb Counties
  • Southwest Michigan District Dietetic Association – serves Van Bur, St. Joseph, Kalamazoo, Cass, Calhoun, Branch, Berrien, Barry and Allegan Counties
  • Michigan Cancer Consortium
  • Michigan Diabetes Outreach Network

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