Steps to Become a Registered Dietitian in Missouri


Follow the step by step process or choose what situation that best describes you:

  1. Get Your Registered Dietitian Education in Missouri
  2. Get Your Dietetic Internship (DI) in Missouri
  3. Pass the Missouri CDR Registered Dietitian Examination
  4. Apply for Dietitian Licensing and Registration in Missouri
  5. Maintain Your Licensure and Registration in Missouri

Registered Dietitian job Description in Missouri

The Commission on Dietetic Registration reports that as of April 2022, there were 2,080 Registered Dietitians (RDs) and Registered Dietitian Nutritionists (RDNs) in Missouri. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the average salary for nutritionists and dietitians in Missouri was $55,860 as of May 2021. Early career professionals earned about $47,110, while those with extensive experience earned about $77,060 during this time.

It’s commonplace for metro areas of the state to report average salaries that exceed the state average for dietitians and nutritionists. For example, the St. Louis metro area reported an average salary of $57,220 as of May 2021.*

Education, experience and passing an examination are required both for becoming registered and licensed to practice dietetics in the state of Missouri.

For more information on how to become a registered dietitian in Missouri, please read below.


Step 1

Registered Dietitian Education in Missouri

The Missouri Division of Professional Regulation State Committee of Dietitians has ruled that those who meet the Commission on Dietetic Registration (CDR) of the American Dietetic Association (ADA)’s requirements to become a registered dietitian in Missouri are also eligible for state licensure. You must complete undergraduate or graduate, ACEND-accredited (Accreditation Council for Education in Nutrition and Dietetics) registered dietitian education in Missouri.

Missouri ACEND-Accredited Programs Leading to Registered Dietitian (RD) Licensure:

Missouri’s licensure requirements specify that you must have at least a bachelor’s degree and have completed coursework in the following areas:

  • Nine semester hours in biological sciences, which must include microbiology, human anatomy and physiology
  • Six semester hours in chemistry, including biochemistry
  • Six semester hours in behavioral sciences, such as educational psychology, counseling psychology, sociology or psychology
  • Six semester hours in management, including institutional management and food service management
  • 25 semester hours in foods and nutrition, with coursework in each of these areas:
    • Food science
    • Human nutrition
    • Advanced human nutrition
    • Applied human nutrition
    • Nutrition through the life cycle
    • Clinical nutrition
    • Medical dietetics
    • Diet therapy

The following bachelors and Master’s programs offer career-focused instruction delivered by trained nutritionists with experience in the field. Find out more what each individual course of study offers through the locations below.

Featured Nutritionist Programs

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Step 2

Dietetic Internship (DI) in Missouri

The Missouri Department of Insurance, Financial Institutions and Professional Regulation State Committee of Dietitians agrees with the Commission on Dietetic Registration (CDR) of the American Dietetic Association (ADA)’s requirement for all registered dietitians to undergo an ACEND-accredited dietetic internship (DI) of at least 900 hours.  In Missouri, they include:

What if I want a shorter education and internship program in dietetics in Missouri?
Do you feel that studying for four to six years and completing a minimum 900-hour dietetic internship is too long, but you are still interested in the field of dietetics? You might want to study to become a Dietetic Technician, Registered (DTR) instead. These professionals must complete ACEND-accredited educational programs that usually last about two years, and include a 450-hour internship. At the end of a DTR educational program/internship, you must pass the CDR’s Registration Examination for DTRs. Licensure is not required of DTRs in Missouri. ACEND-accredited DTR education is found in this location in Missouri:

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Step 3

Missouri CDR Registered Dietitian Examination

The Missouri Division of Professional Regulation State Committee of Dietitians and the Commission on Dietetic Registration (CDR) of the American Dietetic Association (ADA) require that you next step is to pass the CDR Exam for Registered Dietitians before you may become a registered and licensed dietitian in Missouri. Review this Registration Examination for Dietitians Handbook for Candidates  that will help you apply for and take the exam. The exam costs $200, payable online through your CDR account. You will also register online to take the test at a nearby Pearson VUE Exam Center, which in Missouri include:

  • Columbia – 1700 East Pointe Drive, Suite 204
  • Kansas City (MO)- 4240 Blue Ridge Blvd., Suite 705, Blue Ridge Tower
  • Kansas City (MO)-9200 Ward Pkwy., Suite 101, Ward Parkway Corporate Centre
  • St. Louis – 10805 Sunset Office Drive, Suite 402, 4th Floor
  • St. Louis – 20225 Craigshire Rd, Suite 130
  • Springfield – 2833 A East Battlefield, Suite 106

You must complete up to 145 multiple-choice questions on the computer in 180 minutes. You must answer at least 125 questions for the exam to be properly scored. You are not allowed to skip questions or change answers. At the end of the exam, you will receive a score report from the exam center proctor. You need a scaled score of at least 25 to pass. Passing bestows upon you the credentials RD (Registered Dietitian).

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Step 4

Dietitian Licensing and Registration in Missouri

The next step towards working as a registered, licensed dietitian in Missouri is to apply for state licensing. Download the Missouri Application for Licensure as a Licensed Dietitian. Enclose a $50 check or money order payable to the State Committee of Dietitians and a copy of your CDR registration card. Have your completed application notarized and mail everything to State Committee of Dietitians, P.O. Box 1335, Jefferson City, MO 65102-1335. Once your license is received, you may use the LD (Licensed Dietitian) credentials along with your RD credential in Missouri.

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Step 5

Maintain Licensure and Registration in Missouri

Maintaining Your Missouri Dietitian License

Your Missouri dietitian license is renewed biennially, by April 1 of each even-numbered year. You will receive a renewal form by mail about a month before your license expires. You must enclose the specified renewal fee ($20 as of 2019) with your renewal application. After a 29-day grace period, if you submit the application late, you must submit an additional $50 delinquent fee. No continuing education is required of the State Committee of Dietitians in order to keep your dietitian license.

Maintaining your Registration as a Registered Dietitian in Missouri

Every five years, your CDR registration must be renewed. You must complete 75 hours of continuing professional education (CPE) every five years as well. .CDR’s online CPE database and PDP Guide   offer examples of acceptable CPE activities in Missouri and tell you how to document and submit these hours.

Career Ideas and Job Sites for Registered Dietitians in Missouri

The Missouri Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics lists many career ideas and job sites for those who are registered dietitians and/or are interested in the field of nutrition and dietetics. Potential job sites for dietitians in Missouri include (but are not limited to):

  • Wellness centers
  • Sports programs
  • Rehabilitation hospitals
  • Private practice
  • Pharmaceutical companies
  • Military
  • Medical schools
  • Marketing research firms
  • Long-term care facilities
  • Laboratories at universities
  • Kidney dialysis centers
  • Hospitals
  • Home health care agencies
  • County or state health department
  • Federal or state health agencies
  • Food processing firms
  • Entrepreneur
  • Educational institutions
  • Correctional institutions
  • Cooperative extension system
  • Consumer organizations
  • Catering companies
  • Business – marketing and development departments
  • Biotechnology companies

Possible job titles for dietitians in Missouri, per the Missouri Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, include (but are not limited to):

  • Weight reduction specialist
  • Teacher at the secondary or post-secondary level
  • School foodservice regional manager
  • Restaurant manager
  • Research technician
  • Registered dietitian
  • Purchasing agent
  • Public health service officer
  • Physician
  • Physician assistant
  • Nutritionist
  • Nutritional scientist
  • Nutrition educator
  • Community nutritionist
  • Medical technologist
  • Merchandising supervisor
  • Hospital food service manager
  • Food technologist
  • Food service manager
  • Food scientist
  • Food production manager
  • Food and drug inspector
  • Food and beverage director
  • Extension nutrition specialist
  • Editor
  • Dietary interviewer
  • County supervisor of congregate meal sites
  • Community or consulting dietitian
  • Clinical research associate
  • Clinical dietitian

View how to become a nutritionist in Missouri here.

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

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