Nutritionists and dietetic technicians are important in helping people control their diets to reduce the risk of obesity, diabetes, heart disease, and other health problems. We’ve learned about the nutritionist vs dietitian job in our previous blog. Today, you will get to know more about the dietetic technician jobs.
Dietetic Technician Job Description
Dietetic technicians work with registered nutritionists to plan and prepare food for people. The food they prepare must follow a specialized nutrition plan. Workplaces for dietetic technicians are various. They can work in hospitals, nursing homes, long-term care facilities, kitchens in schools/companies. Even government agencies, prisons hire dietetic technicians to plan food for their employees. Therefore, dietetic technicians have more options and freedom to choose working environments.
Within their duties and responsibilities, dietetic technicians buy, prepare foods, and manage the food service employees where they work for.
Dietetic technicians are in charge of supervising food safety, collecting data, analyzing nutrients, and preparing labels at food companies. They ensure that food labels are complete and accurate.
They also help the registered dietitians to provide nutritional therapy to patients.
Dietetic technicians also educate parents, children, and other people on the importance of proper nutrition. They consult which foods they should choose to have developed healthy menus for every family member.
When working for public health organizations, they create nutrition curricula for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) programs.
Dietetic technician salary
According to Salary(dot)com, the average salary for dietetic technicians is $41,865 per year. However, ZipRecruiter has a more impressive number. The tracking of ZipRecruiter tells us that a dietetic technician can earn $53,572 /year or $26 /hour on average.
At the entry-level, a dietetic technician earns $29,500 per year. When having more experience, they can earn up to $83,000 by doing more jobs at the same time.
How to become a dietetic technician?
Follow these steps if you wish to become a dietetic technician in the near future:
Step 1: Earn an associate degree
To become a dietetic technician, you have to obtain an associate degree in dietetics or nutrition for the minimum requirement. The Accreditation Council for Education in Nutrition and Dietetics (ACEND) offers courses in management of food service systems, general sciences, and food/nutrition sciences, which help you get this degree easily. It may take up to two years to complete the curriculum of the course, then you have to sit for an exam to get a certification.
Getting a bachelor’s degree is optional. You can obtain a bachelor’s degree in dietetics or nutrition and complete 450 supervised practice hours.
Step 2: Pass the national Commission on Dietetic Registration (CDR) exam
After completing the required education, it’s necessary to take the national exam to earn your DTR credential. It’s necessary to improve your job opportunities because many employers prefer to hire certified dietary technicians.
Step 3: Maintain your registration
If you need to complete 50 hours of continuing education to maintain your DTR credential. The Commission on Dietetic Registration maintains a list of qualified continuing education activities, but you can still participate in activities that are not on the list.
Is dietetic technician job satisfying?
I have a friend who works as a dietetic technician in the kitchen of this company of thousands of employees. Every day she is responsible for testing dozens of foods on the menu. From the very first days, it is such an interesting job for her because she has a chance to test many kinds of delicious food. She could talk all the time about food and advise friends what kinds of food are good for health, how to choose fresh food, and where to buy high-quality food at cheaper prices.
However, you know that many dietetic technicians have to work in enormous institutional kitchens that may easily get hot and stuffy. They frequently use cooking-related tools such as knife cuts, they have burns, and eye irritations. Therefore, dietetic technicians must follow up on rigorous standards of safety and cleanliness to avoid injuries and contamination.
Overall, it’s an interesting job for those who actually care about the conjunction between nutrition and human health. Are you suited to be a dietetic technician? We believe you now have the answer for yourself.