State Requirements for Nutrition and Dietitian Fields


Job Info in Vermont

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, dietitians and nutritionists in Vermont earned a median annual salary of between $51,860 and $57,870 in May 2012. During the same time, the median annual salary for dietitians and nutritionists nationwide was $56,170.

Registered dietitians (RDs) are experts in food and nutrition, and their work requires them to translate the science of nutrition into practical solutions using evidence-based research. Dietitians in Vermont are governed by the Advisor model of regulation created by the Legislature. Vermont certifies RDs to practice in the State of Vermont.

To become a certified and registered dietitian in Vermont, you must complete a number of steps:

Step 1

ACEND-Approved Education in Vermont

Under Vermont law, you must obtain a minimum of a bachelor’s degree from an accredited college or university to become a registered and certified dietitian. Coursework within a program approved by the Accreditation Council for Education in Nutrition and Dietetics (ACEND) typically includes the following: microbiology; food and nutrition sciences; business; economics; computer science; sociology; food services systems management; biochemistry; physiology; and chemistry.

ACEND-Approved Programs Leading to Registered Dietitian (RD) Certification in Vermont:

A dietetic program in Vermont may either be a Coordinated Program (CP) or a Didactic Program (DP).
CP programs offer a comprehensive program in dietetics, which includes supervised practice through a dietetic internship (DI). As such, you are eligible to complete the CDR exam upon completed of a CP.

A DP program culminates in either an undergraduate or graduate degree, but does not include a DI. Upon completion of a DP, you must apply for a DI to qualify to take the CDR exam and become a registered dietitian.

The University of Vermont, Burlington offers both a CP (MSD with an emphasis on community health and nutrition) and a DP (Bachelor of Science degree).

Although Vermont does not certify or license nutritionists, if you want to become a licensed nutritionist in Maryland you must earn the Certified Nutritionist Specialist (CNS) designation through the Certification Board for Nutritional Specialists (CBNS).
To do so you must:

  • Earn a master’s or doctoral degree from a regionally accredited college or university in such fields as
    • Human nutrition
    • Dietetics
    • Food and nutrition
    • Community nutrition
    • Public health nutrition
    • Nutritional sciences
  • Complete the following coursework within your program:
    • At least 6 credit hours in biochemistry
    • At least 9 credit hours in nutrition
    • At least 3 credit hours in anatomy/physiology
  • Complete at least 1,000 hours of documented, supervised practice in nutrition

Provided you meet eligibility requirements, you will then be required to site for the CBNS Certifying exam. You will be required to complete at least 75 continuing education hours and re-certify every 5 years to maintain your CNS 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 Vermont

Upon successfully completing an ACEND-approved didactic program, you will be required to apply to, and successfully complete, a supervised practice program through an ACEND-approved DI.

Although there are no DI programs in Vermont, the following ACEND-approved DI programs are located in nearby New Hampshire:

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Step 3

Vermont Dietetic Registration (CDR) Exam

  1. Upon completed of a CP or DI, your institution will inform you of your eligibility to write for the CDR examination. You will either get notification from ACT Inc., the company that handles the CDR examination, or your institution will instruct you on how to register for the exam. You must register and take the CDR within one year of graduating from a DI.
  2. Register to take the examination and pay the $200 application fee, which can be done online.
  3. Once payment and registration have been received, PSI Exams, the exam centers where you must take the CDR, will send you an email, asking you to schedule the date, time, and location of your exam. There are more than 250 PSI testing centers nationwide, and you can take the exam any time throughout the year. In Vermont, there is a PSI testing center in North Clarendon.
  4. Before taking the exam, you may prepare by reading both the Study Guide for the Registration Examination for Dietitians and the Registration Examination for Dietitians Handbook for Candidates.
  5. On the day of the examination, you must show up on time and bring your confirmation email from PSI and a government-issued ID with you.
  6. You will have 30 minutes to familiarize yourself with this computer-based, multiple-choice examination and 2 ½ hours to complete the exam, which includes about 125 questions. You must answer each question to move on with the exam and, once you have answered a question and moved on, you are not permitted to go back and change any answer. PSI will provide you with a simply calculator to complete the examination; you are not permitted to bring your own calculator.
  7. You can expect to receive an immediate score report by clicking on the Report button of your online account once you have finished the exam. To pass the exam, your score must be at least 25 (on a scale of 0 to 50).
  8. If you fail the exam, you may retake it within 45 days be contacting CDR at 1-800-877-1600 (ext. 5500). There is no limit to the number of times you can take the CDR exam, provided you receive reauthorization from CDR, pay the examination fee, and wait 45 days between exams.

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Step 4

Certification as an RD in Vermont

After passing the CDR exam, you must apply for certification to practice in the State of Vermont. You must complete the Application for Dietitian Certification and pay the non-refundable processing fee of $100. You will also be required to ask the school where you received your dietetic degree to send a set of certified, sealed transcripts.

Send your completed application, application fee, and a copy of your CDR membership card, to:

Vermont Secretary of State
Office of Professional Regulation
National Life Building, North Floor 2
Montpelier, VT 05620-3402

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Step 5

Maintain Credentials as an RD in Vermont

Maintaining your Vermont Certification

You must complete at least 30 continuing education credits every two years to qualify to renew your certification in Vermont. However, you are not required to meet the continuing education requirements upon renewing your dietitian certification for the first time.

Maintaining your Registration as a Registered Dietician in Vermont

You must also maintain your CDR Professional Development Portfolio by completing at least 75 continuing education units every 5 years. You must complete a learning plan online through CDR before participating in any continuing education.
You may achieve continuing education credits by completing:

  • Interactive workshops
  • Exhibits
  • Academic coursework, including distance learning
  • Journal clubs
  • Research
  • Professional reading
  • Professional leadership
  • Posters
  • Seminars, lectures, webinars and teleseminars
  • Experience skill development
  • Sponsored independent learning

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