5 Best Places For Dietitians to Work
- Nursing Homes
- Public Health Programs
You need to have completed the appropriate academic requirements before seeking out great places to work as a dietitian. Once you’ve achieved a college associate’s degree or higher and have completed a dietetic technician program accredited by an agency recognized by the State Department of Health Services, you can begin your career in this satisfying field of nutritional health.
A hospital is a great place to work as a dietitian if the goal is to improve a patient’s health and wellness through the development of specific meal plans, by personally counseling patients on healthy eating habits, and assessing their dietary needs. A dietitian working in a hospital has the satisfaction of seeing firsthand results of the work accomplished when patients recover more swiftly and learn to make healthier food choices because of a dietitian’s recommendations and direct intervention.
According the the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), 5,150 people work as dietitians in skilled nursing facilities. The BLS estimates their mean annual wage to be $58,200, making a nursing home a financially great place to work as a dietitian. In a skilled nursing facility, dietitians have the opportunity to develop rewarding relationships with the residents.
A great place to work as a dietitian is in a school setting. The National Center for Education Statistics notes that 99 percent of public schools offer nutrition education somewhere within their curriculum. As a school dietitian, you have the opportunity to offer an important safety net for children from lower income families via school meal programs. Educating children about nutrition and watching a child excitedly eat a new vegetable for the first time is just one more perk to working in a school as a dietitian. It’s also a school dietitian’s job to help plan lunch and breakfast menus to ensure children are getting the nutrients they require while also helping with the management of food allergies and cooperating with teachers in hands-on learning opportunities.
Weight control clinics are a great place to work as a dietitian. Dietitians working in a clinic help clients either lose or gain weight by helping them with meal planning, grocery shopping, creating food journals, and by providing recipe suggestions. Setting goals, helping manage chronic diseases or allergies are part of a dietitian’s role in a clinical setting. A clinical dietitian can either work in a hospital or doctor’s clinic or for a private weight loss clinic or retreat center.
5. Public Health Programs
A public health dietitian helps improve the nutritional habits of the public rather than working with individuals. Dietitians can positively impact the lives of others in a community by working for an organization to develop strategies for improving nutrition, educating the community, and promoting better nutrition.
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The work that a dietitian does is rewarding, regardless of the setting, though a particular person’s personality, characteristics, and strengths will help with the decision as to where to actually apply for a position. The settings listed above are great places to work as a dietitian, but many other opportunities in this broad field also exist.