Maybe you’re a faithful food label reader. Maybe you love to experiment with recipes. Maybe you love the challenge of planning a meal that’s both delicious and nutritious. Maybe you’re just really interested in good food.
Or maybe you’re interested in healthy eating AND feel called to work as a professional who can help other people learn to eat healthier foods that will help them feel better and live longer.
If so, a career in dietetics may be right for you. It’s fantastic opportunity to make a good living doing something that you love.
How Much Demand is There for Dietetics?
Future dietitians and dietetic technicians, we have some good news for you. Dietetics is a field that’s ripe with potential growth!
In fact, experts are very optimistic about job prospects for dietitians and nutritionists in the near future. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics is predicting a 15% job growth rate between 2016 and 2026, which they have dubbed “much faster than average.”
The job outlook for dietetic technicians also looks promising. Dietetic technicians work in hospitals, nursing facilities, and long-term care facilities. They typically work under the supervision of a registered dietitian or as part of a team. Depending on the setting, they may work directly with clients, or they may work behind the scenes. In a hospital, a dietetic technician can assist a registered dietitian with providing medical nutrition therapy (an individually-tailored nutrition plan) to patients. However, they can also work independently for a number of community-based organizations, where they educate people about good nutrition.
How Much Can You Make with a Dietetics Certificate?
Before you commit yourself to a job or career path, it’s a good idea to get a sense of the income potential.
For one thing, knowing how much money you can expect to make can help you better plan your education and training. Because you have to complete more schooling and training to become a registered dietitian, you can earn a larger salary as a registered dietitian than you can as a dietetic technician.
The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that the median pay for dietitians and nutritionists was $59,410 in 2017. Some dietitians even made close to $80,000 in 2017. Recent benefits surveys from the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics suggest that registered dietitians in management positions tend to earn the highest salaries. You can earn even more with a graduate degree than with a bachelor’s degree. A master’s degree may bump up your hourly wage by a few dollars, while you can earn even more money with a PhD.
The salary outlook, like the job growth outlook, also looks promising for the future. Here are a few more numbers to consider. As of January 2019, the average dietitian salary in the United States was $60,694. Typically, salaries range between $55,248 and $66,694. And the U.S. News and World Report notes that, as a profession, dietitians tend to have above-average flexibility. Not a bad combination!
How to Be a Successful Dietitian
Dietitians strive to help their patients or clients master healthy habits in order to improve their health. They work specifically to help people learn and embrace the many benefits of eating healthy as a way to lose weight, treat lifestyle disease, or just transform their health. A successful dietitian never loses sight of the ultimate goal: helping people make healthier choices that will transform their lives.
Beyond that, you should define “success” for yourself. What does a successful career as a dietitian look like for you? Do you want to work with a specific group of people? Do you want to work in a hospital or perhaps with children? Maybe flexibility or a remote work environment is most important to you. Make a list of attributes that you associate with being a successful dietitian, and that fit with your lifestyle, and then set goals to work toward.
If success means making a good living and earning a good salary is paramount for you, you should keep salary at the top of mind when looking at job postings. When speaking to a recruiter or human resources representative, inquire about the salary so you’ll know whether to pursue the opportunity any further.
Or maybe you equate success with freedom. In that case, you might want to open your own consulting practice or work as a Health Coach with a focus on nutrition, rather than take a job as a company’s employee. You can set your own hours, pick your own clients, and make decisions that work best for you and your clients.
Only you can decide what “successful” means for you. Once you know what you’re aiming for, you can start working toward achieving it!
If you want to blend your expertise in dietetics and nutrition with a passion for helping people, consider becoming a Health Coach! Click this button to explore Health Coach Institute’s Health Coaching program.