Unique Career Routes for Dietitians

Lauren Groth

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March 18, 2021
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There are many career routes for dietitians. The nutrition career routes that most consider are clinical, community, consulting, food service, research and education. However, there are many other categories and subcategories to consider when going into this field. Below, you will find a description of these categories, as well as a list of unique career routes for dietitians. 

Common Fields of Nutrition

Clinical Nutrition

  • What the RD does:
    • Provides medical nutrition therapy for patients
    • Analyzes if a person is consuming adequate amounts of nutrients for good health
    • Focuses on how the body is processing, storing and excreting nutrients
    • Focuses on how intake affects overall well-being
    • Performs a nutrition assessment to make recommendations on individual nutritional needs
    • Citation: https://learn.org/articles/What_is_Clinical_Nutrition.html 

Community Nutrition

Consulting

Foodservice

  • What the RD does: 
    • Bridges the gap for patients and customers about better meal options
    • Initiates policies and guidelines for food service settings
    • Provides education about eating healthy
    • Ensures that health food service operations have cost-effective production to meet nutrition, safety, sanitation, and quality standards 
    • Citation: https://juniperpublishers.com/nfsij/pdf/NFSIJ.MS.ID.555604.pdf 

Research and Education

  • What the RD does: 
    • Improves patient care and outcomes by collecting, evaluating, and analyzing data from different nutrition interventions to provide a foundation for evidence-based dietetics practice 
    • Citation: https://www.eatrightpro.org/research 

Dietitians may think that the clinical world of nutrition is the only path for their career; however, there are so many more paths that a dietitian can take. Here are some examples of unique career routes for RD’s

Sports Dietitian

Eating Disorder Dietitian

  • Job Description: 
    • Work closely with multidisciplinary team to tailor a patient’s meal plan to promote weight restoration, weight maintenance, or weight loss
    • Work with patients and their eating disorder, behaviors they engage in, etc. 
  • Median Salary: $86,811
  • Citation: dietitiansondemand.com  

Travel Dietitian

  • Job Description: 
    • A dietitian who temporarily relocates for work. Assignments can last from weeks to months 
  • Median Salary: $29,250 
  • Citation: dietitiansondemand.com

Health Educator

Health Coach

Some More Career Routes for Dietitians

Freelance Writer or Author (example: for health and wellness websites or print materials)

Social Media (Influencer or Dietitian for Companies)

Recipe Developer

Corporate Wellness Program Director

Non-Profit Organizations (such as Meals on Wheels)

Food Scientist

Nutrition Policy Developer/Specialist

Pharmaceutical Representative or Medical Sales

Other Research Routes (food product development, supplements, etc)

Edited by PreRD intern, Lauren Gatto

Lauren Groth

Lauren Groth

Hi, I'm Lauren. I am getting my Masters in Nutrition and Dietetics at Metropolitan State University in Denver. I received my undergrad in Nutrition and Dietetics for the University of New Mexico. Because everything is online right now, I have been traveling around, taking in as many cultures and environments as I can. I hope to become a dietitian in the future and eventually own my own practice.