Is becoming a registered dietitian nutritionist right for me?
The first step to choosing a career is to make sure you are actually willing to commit to pursuing the career. You don’t want to waste your time doing something you don’t want to do. If you’re new here, you should read about:
Still unsure if becoming a registered dietitian nutritionist is the right career path? Take the free CareerExplorer career test to find out if this career is in your top matches. Perhaps you are well-suited to become a registered dietitian nutritionist or another similar career!
Described by our users as being “shockingly accurate”, you might discover careers you haven’t thought of before.
How to become a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist
Aspiring registered dietitian nutritionists must complete a minimum of a bachelor’s degree at a US regionally accredited university or college, and have course work accredited or approved by the Accreditation Council for Education in Nutrition and Dietetics (ACEND) of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics.
The student will study a variety of subjects, ranging from food and nutrition sciences, foodservice systems management, computer science, business, economics, culinary arts, sociology and communication to science courses such as biochemistry, microbiology, physiology, anatomy and chemistry.
They must also complete an ACEND-accredited supervised practice program at a health-care facility, community agency, or a foodservice corporation. A practice program will run six to twelve months in length.
Finally, the student must pass a national examination administered by the Commission on Dietetic Registration (CDR), and complete continuing professional educational requirements to maintain registration.
Some registered dietitian nutritionists hold additional certifications in specialized areas of practice, such as pediatric or renal nutrition, sports dietetics, nutrition support and diabetes education.
Note: If a student already has a bachelor's degree that is not in dietetics and is interested in becoming a registered dietitian, they should have their college transcript evaluated by a director of a dietetics program accredited or approved by ACEND. The program director will evaluate previous academic preparation and identify the courses that will need to be completed at that school to meet the educational requirements for dietetic registration.