Dietitians and Nutritionists

Description

Plan and conduct food service or nutritional programs to assist in the promotion of health and control of disease. May supervise activities of a department providing quantity food services, counsel individuals, or conduct nutritional research.

Tasks

  • Counsel individuals and groups on basic rules of good nutrition, healthy eating habits, and nutrition monitoring to improve their quality of life.
  • Assess nutritional needs, diet restrictions and current health plans to develop and implement dietary-care plans and provide nutritional counseling.
  • Advise patients and their families on nutritional principles, dietary plans and diet modifications, and food selection and preparation.
  • Consult with physicians and health care personnel to determine nutritional needs and diet restrictions of patient or client.
  • Monitor food service operations to ensure conformance to nutritional, safety, sanitation and quality standards.
  • Organize, develop, analyze, test, and prepare special meals such as low-fat, low-cholesterol and chemical-free meals.
  • Develop curriculum and prepare manuals, visual aids, course outlines, and other materials used in teaching.
  • Make recommendations regarding public policy, such as nutrition labeling, food fortification, and nutrition standards for school programs.
  • Purchase food in accordance with health and safety codes.
  • Plan and conduct training programs in dietetics, nutrition, and institutional management and administration for medical students, health-care personnel and the general public.
  • Plan, conduct, and evaluate dietary, nutritional, and epidemiological research.
  • Coordinate diet counseling services.
  • Select, train and supervise workers who plan, prepare and serve meals.
  • Manage quantity food service departments or clinical and community nutrition services.
  • Develop policies for food service or nutritional programs to assist in health promotion and disease control.
  • Inspect meals served for conformance to prescribed diets and standards of palatability and appearance.
  • Advise food service managers and organizations on sanitation, safety procedures, menu development, budgeting, and planning to assist with the establishment, operation, and evaluation of food service facilities and nutrition programs.
  • Write research reports and other publications to document and communicate research findings.
  • Coordinate recipe development and standardization and develop new menus for independent food service operations.
  • Prepare and administer budgets for food, equipment and supplies.
  • Plan and prepare grant proposals to request program funding.
  • Test new food products and equipment.
  • Confer with design, building, and equipment personnel to plan for construction and remodeling of food service units.

Knowledge

Education and Training
Knowledge of principles and methods for curriculum and training design, teaching and instruction for individuals and groups, and the measurement of training effects.
Therapy and Counseling
Knowledge of principles, methods, and procedures for diagnosis, treatment, and rehabilitation of physical and mental dysfunctions, and for career counseling and guidance.
Psychology
Knowledge of human behavior and performance; individual differences in ability, personality, and interests; learning and motivation; psychological research methods; and the assessment and treatment of behavioral and affective disorders.
Customer and Personal Service
Knowledge of principles and processes for providing customer and personal services. This includes customer needs assessment, meeting quality standards for services, and evaluation of customer satisfaction.
Biology
Knowledge of plant and animal organisms, their tissues, cells, functions, interdependencies, and interactions with each other and the environment.
English Language
Knowledge of the structure and content of the English language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition, and grammar.
Chemistry
Knowledge of the chemical composition, structure, and properties of substances and of the chemical processes and transformations that they undergo. This includes uses of chemicals and their interactions, danger signs, production techniques, and disposal methods.
Sociology and Anthropology
Knowledge of group behavior and dynamics, societal trends and influences, human migrations, ethnicity, cultures and their history and origins.
Mathematics
Knowledge of arithmetic, algebra, geometry, calculus, statistics, and their applications.
Administration and Management
Knowledge of business and management principles involved in strategic planning, resource allocation, human resources modeling, leadership technique, production methods, and coordination of people and resources.

Skills

Reading Comprehension
Understanding written sentences and paragraphs in work related documents.
Writing
Communicating effectively in writing as appropriate for the needs of the audience.
Social Perceptiveness
Being aware of others' reactions and understanding why they react as they do.
Speaking
Talking to others to convey information effectively.
Monitoring
Monitoring/Assessing performance of yourself, other individuals, or organizations to make improvements or take corrective action.
Active Listening
Giving full attention to what other people are saying, taking time to understand the points being made, asking questions as appropriate, and not interrupting at inappropriate times.
Critical Thinking
Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions or approaches to problems.
Learning Strategies
Selecting and using training/instructional methods and procedures appropriate for the situation when learning or teaching new things.

Abilities

Oral Comprehension
The ability to listen to and understand information and ideas presented through spoken words and sentences.
Oral Expression
The ability to communicate information and ideas in speaking so others will understand.
Written Expression
The ability to communicate information and ideas in writing so others will understand.
Written Comprehension
The ability to read and understand information and ideas presented in writing.
Deductive Reasoning
The ability to apply general rules to specific problems to produce answers that make sense.
Problem Sensitivity
The ability to tell when something is wrong or is likely to go wrong. It does not involve solving the problem, only recognizing there is a problem.
Category Flexibility
The ability to generate or use different sets of rules for combining or grouping things in different ways.
Speech Recognition
The ability to identify and understand the speech of another person.

Work Activities

Updating and Using Relevant Knowledge
Keeping up-to-date technically and applying new knowledge to your job.
Getting Information
Observing, receiving, and otherwise obtaining information from all relevant sources.
Monitor Processes, Materials, or Surroundings
Monitoring and reviewing information from materials, events, or the environment, to detect or assess problems.
Identifying Objects, Actions, and Events
Identifying information by categorizing, estimating, recognizing differences or similarities, and detecting changes in circumstances or events.
Establishing and Maintaining Interpersonal Relationships
Developing constructive and cooperative working relationships with others, and maintaining them over time.
Organizing, Planning, and Prioritizing Work
Developing specific goals and plans to prioritize, organize, and accomplish your work.
Communicating with Supervisors, Peers, or Subordinates
Providing information to supervisors, co-workers, and subordinates by telephone, in written form, e-mail, or in person.
Performing for or Working Directly with the Public
Performing for people or dealing directly with the public. This includes serving customers in restaurants and stores, and receiving clients or guests.
Processing Information
Compiling, coding, categorizing, calculating, tabulating, auditing, or verifying information or data.
Coaching and Developing Others
Identifying the developmental needs of others and coaching, mentoring, or otherwise helping others to improve their knowledge or skills.

Work Context

Electronic Mail
How often do you use electronic mail in this job?
Face-to-Face Discussions
How often do you have to have face-to-face discussions with individuals or teams in this job?
Telephone
How often do you have telephone conversations in this job?
Indoors, Environmentally Controlled
How often does this job require working indoors in environmentally controlled conditions?
Deal With External Customers
How important is it to work with external customers or the public in this job?
Work With Work Group or Team
How important is it to work with others in a group or team in this job?
Contact With Others
How much does this job require the worker to be in contact with others (face-to-face, by telephone, or otherwise) in order to perform it?
Frequency of Decision Making
How frequently is the worker required to make decisions that affect other people, the financial resources, and/or the image and reputation of the organization?
Exposed to Disease or Infections
How often does this job require exposure to disease/infections?
Freedom to Make Decisions
How much decision making freedom, without supervision, does the job offer?

Interests

Investigative
Investigative occupations frequently involve working with ideas, and require an extensive amount of thinking. These occupations can involve searching for facts and figuring out problems mentally.
Social
Social occupations frequently involve working with, communicating with, and teaching people. These occupations often involve helping or providing service to others.
Enterprising
Enterprising occupations frequently involve starting up and carrying out projects. These occupations can involve leading people and making many decisions. Sometimes they require risk taking and often deal with business.
Realistic
Realistic occupations frequently involve work activities that include practical, hands-on problems and solutions. They often deal with plants, animals, and real-world materials like wood, tools, and machinery. Many of the occupations require working outside, and do not involve a lot of paperwork or working closely with others.
Artistic
Artistic occupations frequently involve working with forms, designs and patterns. They often require self-expression and the work can be done without following a clear set of rules.
Conventional
Conventional occupations frequently involve following set procedures and routines. These occupations can include working with data and details more than with ideas. Usually there is a clear line of authority to follow.

Work Style

Integrity
Job requires being honest and ethical.
Dependability
Job requires being reliable, responsible, and dependable, and fulfilling obligations.
Attention to Detail
Job requires being careful about detail and thorough in completing work tasks.
Cooperation
Job requires being pleasant with others on the job and displaying a good-natured, cooperative attitude.
Concern for Others
Job requires being sensitive to others' needs and feelings and being understanding and helpful on the job.
Analytical Thinking
Job requires analyzing information and using logic to address work-related issues and problems.
Self Control
Job requires maintaining composure, keeping emotions in check, controlling anger, and avoiding aggressive behavior, even in very difficult situations.
Adaptability/Flexibility
Job requires being open to change (positive or negative) and to considerable variety in the workplace.
Initiative
Job requires a willingness to take on responsibilities and challenges.
Achievement/Effort
Job requires establishing and maintaining personally challenging achievement goals and exerting effort toward mastering tasks.

Work Values

Relationships
Occupations that satisfy this work value allow employees to provide service to others and work with co-workers in a friendly non-competitive environment. Corresponding needs are Co-workers, Moral Values and Social Service.
Independence
Occupations that satisfy this work value allow employees to work on their own and make decisions. Corresponding needs are Creativity, Responsibility and Autonomy.
Achievement
Occupations that satisfy this work value are results oriented and allow employees to use their strongest abilities, giving them a feeling of accomplishment. Corresponding needs are Ability Utilization and Achievement.
Recognition
Occupations that satisfy this work value offer advancement, potential for leadership, and are often considered prestigious. Corresponding needs are Advancement, Authority, Recognition and Social Status.
Working Conditions
Occupations that satisfy this work value offer job security and good working conditions. Corresponding needs are Activity, Compensation, Independence, Security, Variety and Working Conditions.
Support
Occupations that satisfy this work value offer supportive management that stands behind employees. Corresponding needs are Company Policies, Supervision: Human Relations and Supervision: Technical.

Lay Titles

Administrative Dietitian
Certified Dietary Manager
Chief Dietitian
Clinical Dietician
Clinical Dietitian
Community Dietitian
Consultant Dietitian
Correctional Food Service Supervisor
Diet Consultant
Diet Counselor
Diet Supervisor
Diet Therapist
Dietary Manager
Dietetic Intern
Dietician
Dietist
Dietitian
Dietitian Teacher
Food Adviser
Food Consultant
Food Supervisor
Menu Planner
Nutrition Consultant
Nutrition Counselor
Nutrition Director
Nutritionalist
Nutritionist
Outpatient Dietitian
Pediatric Clinical Dietician
Public Health Dietitian
Public Health Nutritionist
Registered Dietician
Registered Dietitian
Research Dietitian
Sports Nutritionist
Teaching Dietitian
Therapeutic Dietitian

National Wages and Employment Info

Median Wages (2008):
$26.56 hourly, $55,240 annual.
Employment (2008):
58,240 employees