How to Get a Job as a Dietitian or Nutritionist in 2020

“Food is the best medicine,” so says Hippocrates (and your favorite Instagram fitness model). In our modern world, we have access to more food than any generation ever before. Nutritionists and dietitians are there to help guide their clients through the complex world of food science and health. But nutritionists and dietitians do so much more than harp on people to eat more veggies! They offer a personalized wellness plan and seemingly-endless support based on what their client’s needs are. If you want to give people access to the cornucopia of benefits associated with a healthy diet, consider a job as a nutritionist or dietitian! Strong communication skills and critical thinking abilities are needed to succeed in the world of nutrition.  Download JobFlare today and prove to employers that you’ve got the skills it takes to succeed!

Your job as a nutritionist or dietitian is to assess the nutritional needs of patients and clients, helping them to reach their health goals and educating them on how to lead a healthier life. The definition of “healthy” varies from one person to another, and as a healthcare professional, it is your job to help them chart a course for their success. Dietitians and nutritionists can work in many different capacities. While they work primarily in hospitals or doctors’ offices, they can also work in retired living communities, nursing facilities, cafeterias, schools, in government at the local or state level, or at private practices.

So what’s the difference between a dietitian and a nutritionist? Think of it this way: every registered dietitian is a nutritionist, but not every nutritionist is a registered dietitian.  Typically, dietitians will have patients and nutritionists will have clients. Dietetics is a more tightly regulated field than nutrition, so to earn the title of registered dietitian, you have to have a bachelor’s degree from a school that has been approved by the Accreditation Council for Education in Nutrition and Dietetics (ACEND), complete an ACEND-accredited practice program where you shadow other dietitians, and pass the Commission of Dietetic Registration’s exam.  In order to maintain your registered dietitian status, you have to participate in continued professional development every 5 years.  As for nutritionists, there is far less federal regulation surrounding the position, but most companies prefer to hire nutritionists who have a degree from an ACEND-accredited program or school.

Dietitian or Nutritionist

US Median Salary
$59,410/year or $28.56/hour

Education Requirements
Bachelor’s Degree in dietetics, nutrition, food science, or other related fields
All states require dietitians to be licensed or certified (except New Jersey and Arizona)
Many nutritionists pursue Registered Dietitian Nutritionist (RDN) credentials.

Robot Risk Rating
Automation Risk Robot
1%

LOW AUTOMATION RISK

You'd be great for this position if...

– You’re patient
– You love helping others
– You’re health-conscious
– You’re open-minded
– You’re dependable
– You’re compassionate

Robot Risk Rating
Automation Risk Robot
96%

LOW AUTOMATION RISK

You'd be great for this position if...

– You’re patient
– You love helping others
– You’re health-conscious
– You’re open-minded
– You’re dependable
– You’re compassionate

Resume Tips for Dietitians and Nutritionists

To have a successful career as a dietitian or nutritionist, there are certain skills that hiring managers know to look for. Take inventory of these important qualities and emphasize them in your resume:

  • Active listening skills
  • Ability to build and maintain trusting relationshios
  • Solid decision-making skills
  • Highly adaptable to the needs of a diverse clientele
  • Great time management skills
  • Strong analytic and critical thinking abilities
  • Excellent communication skills
  • Comfortable with medical terminology

If you don’t have much on-the-job experience, include things like…

  • Experience working in customer service, especially in health-related settings like fitness centers or health food stores
  • Internships or shadowing experience at a hospital or doctor’s office
  • Volunteering ventures, especially at food banks, hospitals, or nursing homes
  • Any additional strengths, like experience with food preparation, being multilingual, or affiliation with a dietetic association

If you’re still feeling stuck on what skills to list in your resume, check the job description! Hiring managers list the key qualities they’re looking for, so you can score serious points for including them.

Interview Pointers for Dietitians and Nutritionists

Prior to your interview, be sure to think of examples of personal experience applicable to the role:

  • Be ready to explain why you decided to become a nutritionist or dietitian. Discuss your main motivators for going into this field.
  • Talk about how you handle difficult patients or clients. What are your techniques for convincing someone to follow your recommendations?
  • Describe one of your success stories. How did your support help improve this person’s life?
  • Discuss how you handled a conflict with a coworker. How did you resolve the issue?
  • Be prepared to talk about how you would handle a certain patient or client. For example, you may be asked to recommend a diet for an older diabetic woman or a young man who has previously suffered from an eating disorder.

Be prepared to answer questions like:

  • What would you do if you realized a patient was not following your recommendations?
  • How do you deal with having to juggle multiple deadlines?
  • Why do you want to work for this specific company?

Trouble finding Dietitian or Nutritionist jobs to apply for? Try searching for these jobs as well!

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