Career Spotlight: Registered Dietician

How to Become a Registered Dietician

Are you passionate about food, nutrition, health, and helping people? Do you want a career that can combine your hobbies and passions, and allow you to help people live a better life? A career as a registered dietician could be the right option for you. Becoming a registered dietician requires a heavy course load and long hours of patient care, but the rewards and benefits are worth it.

What Is a Registered Dietician?

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), a registered dietician is a certified health care professional who is an expert in nutrition and dietetics. They provide advice and guidance to clients on what they should eat to live a healthier life. The average salary for registered dieticians is $65,400 a year.

What Does a Registered Dietician Do?

The job duties of a registered dietician can vary depending on the type of industry or workplace. Registered dieticians can work for private practices, fitness facilities, schools, hospitals, nursing home facilities, and many other places. The main goal of a registered dietician is to help clients live a healthy lifestyle and reach their nutritional goals at any stage of their life. Check out a few standard job duties that cross all industries:

● Develop dietetic and nutritional plans
● Access patient needs and research nutritional trends
● Educate others on diet and nutrition
● Counsel patients and facilitate group sessions

What Skills Does a Registered Dietician Need?

A registered dietician must be a compassionate, caring, and thoughtful person. While science-based course work must be completed to enter this career, being proficient in science is not the only skill that will help you to succeed. Here are some of the top skills needed to be a great registered dietician:

● Active listening skills and strong communication skills
Because of the amount of client care and interaction in this role, you must be able to listen and care for your clients, while communicating with them in a way they understand.
● Effective organizational and time management skills
As a registered dietician, you will have multiple clients at a time, all with different needs. It is important to be organized to be effective and be your best for each client.
● Strong problem-solving skills

Creating a nutritional and dietetic plan for each patient will require research and a bit of trial and error. As everyone’s health is different, it is important to be flexible if a program isn’t going as planned. Being a problem solver can help you provide patients with the right plan from the start or pivot quickly to revise a plan.

How to Become a Registered Dietician

There are many paths to becoming a registered dietician and, depending on where you are in your educational journey, it may be different. A registered dietician needs at least a bachelor’s degree in a health sciences-related field as well as many hours of on-the-job training. Some states even require a master’s degree to complete the registered dieticians certification exam. At Excelsior College, the Graduate Certificate in Nutrition will get you one step closer to becoming a registered dietician!