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Dietetic Technician

   
Dietetic Technicians work with, and under the supervision of, a registered dietitian. They assist in planning and implementing nutritional programs and services in facilities such as hospitals and schools. Dietetic technicians may specialize in a particular are, such as nutritional care or food service management. Nutritional care technicians determine the nutritional needs of their patients by interviewing them and reviewing their medical histories. They help patients plan meals that fit into their prescribed diet and food budget. They also report the patient's progress or any dietary problems to the supervising dietitian. Dietetic technicians in a food service management role conduct slightly different activities. Their activities include planning meals and menus for many people, ordering and stocking food and supplies, overseeing the production of meals and services, and maintaining quality control and safety standards. They may also be in charge of designing and implementing new food service systems to make facilities run more efficiently. These individuals may work with computer systems to verify diet orders, record laboratory data, and to calculate payroll. Dietetic technicians, regardless of specialty, are responsible for counseling and educating patients and community groups on proper nutrition that will lead to a healthy and productive lifestyle.

Work Environment:

Dietetic technicians work in a variety of settings including school systems, colleges and universities, government agencies, hospitals, nursing homes, prisons, home health agencies, community health centers, long term care facilities, research facilities, and food related industries.

High School Preparation:

Students interested in a career as a dietetic technician should take high school courses in biology, chemistry, algebra, home economics, English, business, health occupations/medical professions education, physical education, psychology, and computer skills.

College Requirements:

Individuals entering a dietetic technician program should have a high school diploma or the equivalent. The majority of employers require an associate's degree from and accredited community college that is approved by the American Dietetic Association. These programs combine both classroom study as well as practical experience. Individuals must pass a national examination given by the Commission on Dietetic Registration to become certified and registered. Students interested in a dietetic technician program should contact schools for information on admission and course of study.

For educational institutions in Mississippi
offering this course of study click here.

Career Outlook:

Employment opportunities for dietetic technicians are expected to grow about as fast as the average, which is an increase of 10%-20% over the next eight years. This is largely due to the emphasis that the medical community is placing on disease prevention through improved dietary habits. The growing aging population will also increase demand for dietetic technicians because they will need balanced meals and nutritional counseling in nursing homes and assisted living facilities. As in most other occupations, job openings will result from the need to replace experienced workers who retire or leave the profession for other reasons.
 

 

 

Salary:
Average Annual Salary
$27,800


Salary Range
$21,500-$33,900

Professional Organizations:

American Dietetic Association
216 West Jackson Blvd., Suite 800
Chicago, IL 60606
Phone: (800) 877-1600
Phone: (312) 899-0008
 www.eatright.org


American Society for Nutritional Sciences
9650 Rockville Pike
Bethesda, MD 20814
Phone: (301) 530-7050
 www.faseb.org/asns


Society for Nutrition Education
7101 Wisconsin Avenue, Suite 901
Bethesda, MD 20814
Phone: (800) 235-6690
Phone: (301) 656-4938
Fax: (301) 656-4958
Web: www.sne.org

 

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