Jobs for registered dietitians are expected to continue to rise as the population continues to age and fight the obesity health crisis. According to U.S. News and World Report‘s Best Jobs Ranking, the Bureau of Labor Statistics expects to see an increase of 11,000 jobs in the field of Registered Dietitians by 2024. There are many different areas that offer specialized jobs for registered dietitians.
1. Private Practice Counselor
Registered dietitians working as a private practice counselor can work with a medical practitioner to ensure that their clients are following specific nutritional guidelines for their individual medical issues. Another option is to provide nutritional advice and guidelines for people who are struggling with weight issues or other health concerns. Finally, many private practice counselors provide guidance for people who just want to learn how to improve their overall health by eating a proper diet.
2. Research and Development for Food Products
Registered dietitians are involved in the research and development of new food products. They need to ensure that new food products provide the maximum amount of nutrition possible while appealing to the taste and desires of the general public. In addition, these products have to be able to be produced at an efficient cost allowing a certain profit margin for the corporation. Finally, new food products have to have the proper nutritional labeling as required by the federal government. Registered dietitians play an important role in every area of developing new food products.
3. Counselor for Developmental Disabilities, Substance Abuse, or Eating Disorders
Registered dietitians working as counselors for people with developmental disabilities, substance abuse issues, or eating disorders play a critical role in the life of people who are struggling with their health issues. To work as a dietitian in a specific field of medicine might require additional education or training beyond what the normal field of registered dietitians require. However, additional education generally comes with a higher salary as well.
4. Home Health Care Dietitian
As the population ages, many people are unable to independently care for themselves in their private home without assistance. One area where registered dietitians are needed is to visit these residents to help teach them proper nutrition for their individual needs. In addition to teaching proper nutrition, dietitians can help the residents shop and prepare their meals. Often times these dietitians work closely with the residents’ primary caregiver.
5. Dietitian for Nonprofit or Governmental Agencies
Governmental agencies that employee registered dietitians include correctional facilities, schools, or military branches. Nonprofit agencies include hospitals, Meals on Wheels programs, nursing home facilities, and more. Dietitians in charge of the food program for these agencies are expected to put together menus that adhere to the minimum daily nutritional requirements as set by the USDA. Another governmental job could include working for agencies where dietitians are responsible for collecting, organizing, and preparing data for the benefit of the overall public.
Registered dietitians have many different career paths available to them once they complete their education. The one aspect that each job has in common is that a registered dietitian has the ability to help people to make healthy choices for their diet and live their best life possible.