State Requirements for Nutrition and Dietitian Fields

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Nutrition Career Information in Texas

In 2015, the Texas legislature passed a senate bill that transferred regulation of dietitian licensing from the Department of State Health Services to the Texas Department of Licensing and Regulation (TDLR). According to TDLR, a dietitian is a professional who applies and integrates scientific principles of food, nutrition, biochemistry, physiology, management, and behavioral and social sciences under different conditions, for the proper care, education and nourishment of an individual or group.

Although dietitians and nutritionists need not be professional licensed in Texas, the use of the terms “licensed dietitian” requires a state license.
Texas, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), ranked second among states with the highest employment level as of May 2018. The annual mean salary for dietitians and nutritionists in Texas during this time was $56,550.

Further, the BLS reported that metropolitan areas of Houston-The Woodlands-Sugar Land and Dallas-Fort Worth-Arlington ranked among the top areas in the country with the highest employment level for dietitians and nutritionists. The mean annual salary for dietitians and nutritionists in the Houston-The Woodlands-Sugar Land metropolitan area, as of May 2018, was $59,270, and the mean annual salary for dietitians and nutritionists in the Dallas-Fort Worth-Arlington metropolitan area during the same period was $51,370.

To qualify for licensure as a dietitian in Texas, you must complete a number of steps:

 
Step 1

Education Program in Dietetics in Texas

If you want to pursue a career as a licensed dietitian in Texas, you must first complete an education program that leads to a bachelor’s or graduate degree from a regionally accredited college or university. The program must be accredited by ACEND, the Accreditation Council for Education in Nutrition and Dietetics of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics.

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

There are two types of dietetics programs in Texas:

Coordinated Programs (CP) in Dietetics

A coordinated program in dietetics is a program that includes both a course of study that includes all required coursework and at least 1,200 hours of supervised practice within the program. Once you complete a CP you are eligible to sit for the CDR examination:

Didactic Programs in Dietetics
A didactic program in dietetics (DPD) is a program that culminates in a bachelor’s or graduate degree and includes all required coursework. However, unlike a coordinated program, you must apply for and complete a dietetic internship upon completion of the program in order to be eligible to sit for the CDR examination:

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Step 2

Dietetic Internship (DI) in Texas

Once you have completed a didactic program in dietetics, you must apply for a dietetic internship in Texas. All DI programs in Texas include at least 1,200 hours of supervised practice. You must complete an ACEND-accredited DI before you can qualify to sit for the CDR examination. DI programs in Texas include:

The following ACEND-accredited DI programs are located in Texas:

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Step 3

Pass the (CDR) Examination in Texas

Upon completion of your DI program, you will receive notification to register to take the Commission on Dietetic Registration (CDR) examination and pay the $200 examination fee, both of which can be completed online.

After you have successfully registered and paid for the exam, you will then receive email notification from Pearson VUE Exams, the company that administers the CDR exam, asking you to schedule the date, time and location of your exam. There are more than 250 Testing Centers located across the country. Testing Centers in Texas are located in:

  • Abilene
  • Amarillo
  • Bryan
  • Midland
  • Lubbock
  • Waco
  • Austin
  • Shavano Park
  • Arlington
  • Hurst
  • Dallas
  • Carrollton
  • San Antonio
  • Tyler

Take the time to prepare by reading the Comprehensive Study Outline and Study Guide and the Registration Examination for Dietitians Handbook for Candidates

On the day of the examination, it is important to bring your government-issued photo identification and the confirmation email from Pearson VUE Exams with you to the testing center.
The computer-based, multiple-choice examination includes 125 questions, 25 of which are pre-test questions that are not scored. Upon completion of the exam, you can view your score by clicking the Report button in your online account. You must score at least 25 on a scale of 0 to 50 to pass the exam.

If you fail the exam, you may be able to retest again after 45 days, provided you obtain reauthorization (and pay the examination fee) by email at cdrexams@eatright.org, or by telephone at (312) 899-4859.


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Step 4

Texas Jurisprudence Examination

All individuals applying for licensure as a dietitian in Texas must complete the Texas Jurisprudence Exam before applying for licensure with the Board, an online “no-fail” exam designed to ensure that you are familiar with Board rules.

To complete the Texas Jurisprudence exam you must pay the exam fee of $35. The exam takes about 2 hours of complete, although there is no time limit. You can stop and start the exam and complete it at your leisure.

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Step 5

Licensure as an (RD) in Texas

Upon successfully completing the Texas Jurisprudence exam, you will be eligible to apply online for state licensure as a registered dietitian. If you prefer, you may download the Dietitian License Application Form and fill it out. In addition to your application, you must submit (online or via mail):

  • Proof of completing the Texas Jurisprudence exam
  • Copy of your CDR card
  • An application fee of $108

Mail the completed application and all required documents to:
Texas Department of Licensing & Regulation
P.O. Box 12157
Austin, TX 78711-2157

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Step 6

Maintain your Credentials as an RD in Texas

Maintaining your CRD Registration

To maintain your CDR registration, you must renew it every five years and show proof of at least 75 hours of continuing education units. You can find continuing education opportunities and track your completed work through the CDR’s Professional Development Portfolio (DPD).

Completing the Texas Jurisprudence Exam

The Board of Examiners of Dietitians requires that you successfully complete the Texas Jurisprudence Exam every two years (and pay the $35 fee) for renewal of your dietitian’s license in the state.

Renewing your Texas License

You must renew your Texas license every 2 years and pay the $905 renewal fee. You can renew online through the Texas Department of Licensing and Regulation Online Licensing Services.

Before license renewal, you must complete at least 12 continuing education credits during your two-year cycle in Texas. All continuing education credits must be approved or offered by the Commission on Dietetic Registration or by a regionally accredited college or university. This page further explains what is acceptable and unacceptable in terms of continuing education activities.

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