The Scoop on Dietetic Technicians

Dietetic Technicians are basically Assistant Dieticians.

You would be helping Dieticians as they help people eat for good health, teach them how to prepare their food (even make the food themselves), and manage kitchens. If you enjoy food, like eating well and want the chance to work in the food industry AND in medicine - this might be the thing for you.

What in the World Does a Dietetic Technician Do?

Dietetic Technicians work with Dieticians everyday. If you were working as a Dietetic Technician, you would be working under the supervision of a Dietician while making food, managing a kitchen, or teaching clients about health and nutrition.

Because this is an entry-level job, you would not have all of the responsibility of a Registered Dietician, but you would be learning all of those responsibilities while working as the Dietician's apprentice.

You would have many opportunities to cook for clients, teach clients how to prepare their food and counsel them with your boss at your side. This is an excellent way to learn the trade of a Dietician on the job.

What Kind of Training do I need (A.K.A. - Will I have to go to School?)

You do not need to have a license to work as a Dietetic Technician. You would be working as an apprentice. You might want to go back to school to become a Registered Dietician, but do not yet have the opportunity. This would be a good way for you to learn what's going on so that you are better prepared for school.

Perhaps you are already in the middle of your education to become a Registered Dietician. Because you usually need at least a Bachelor's Degree in Dietetics to become a Registered Dietician (and that is a 4 year program), part of your training might be on the job as a Dietetic Technician.

While in this position, you may want to begin work on certification from the American Dietetic Association. The certification can only be completed after you have a degree, but it is a good idea to get a jump start on anything that will make you a more marketable jobseeker.

How Do I get One of These Jobs Anyways?

Most Dieticians work in hospitals, cafeterias, and as independent businesspeople. All you need to do is go where Dieticians are and see if they need helpers. At a hospital, you might be able to get a job where you help multiple dieticians who work in the same place. If you wanted to work in a more "foodie"-like environment, then you might want to try any sort of health clinic, nursing home, or hospital where a dietician might be managing the cafeteria. This would give you invaluable experience in how to work in a kitchen and how to manage a kitchen. If you worked for an independent Dietician, you might get the chance to travel to client's homes and cook for them, watch how someone runs their own business and learn how to build a client pool.

Perhaps the smartest thing to do would be to work in all of these areas to get a better idea which path you want to take when you become a fully licensed Dietician. Remember, advancement here means that you will eventually finish your time as a Dietetic Assistant and become the Registered Dietician. However, in a difficult job market, you could simply stay with your current boss until you have the chance to step up to a different job.

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Dietetic Technicians Overview

Dietetic Technician Salary:$26,080
Job Prospects:B
Education after high school:2 years
# Employed in US:24,620
% Who work Part Time:33%
Physical Difficulty:+ +
Intellectual Difficulty:+ +
Emotional Difficulty:+ +

The Pros of being a Dietetic Technician

  • This is an entry-level job so you only need to be working on your schooling as a Dietician or on the way to working on your schooling
  • You can get a lot of different experiences in working with lots of different Dieticians
  • You can set your own hours, in a way, by working with many different people

The Cons of being a Dietetic Technician

  • Your only goal will be to stop doing this job so you can work as a Registered Dietician
  • You will end up doing a lot of grunt work because you are an assistant.
  • It might be frustrating to hold your tongue sometimes because you have your own opinions, but you are still "in training"