A Registered Dietitian is a nutrition professional that is an integral part of the health care team that provides medical nutrition therapy and a variety of preventative services. Registered Dietitians (or R.D.) work in a wide variety of settings including: weight loss clinics, schools, public health, hospitals, sports teams, wellness centers or gyms, WIC offices, and food service operations. Registered Dietitians are widely known as the true nutrition professionals and they have the credentials to prove it. So, if you're interested in becoming a Registered Dietitian, this article is for you.
Things You Will NeedA Bachelor of Science Degree in Dietetics, Nutrition, Food Science or other approved field.
Step 1Graduate from high school and enroll at a University that offers Dietetics or Nutrition as a major. Make sure that the completion of the college program will allow you to sit for the national exam offered by the Commission on Dietetic Registration. If you cannot take this exam, you cannot become a Registered Dietitian.
Step 2Complete the requirements of the college program in which you have enrolled. This will involve passing required courses and completing an internship with a Dietitian or supervised practical experience with a Dietitian. A supervised practicum is offered if your university has what's called a "coordinated program" in dietetics. It essentially means that you will complete your internship or clinicals in between attending classes.
Step 3Take the national exam to become a Registered Dietitian. You cannot legally refer to yourself as a Registered Dietitian if you do not pass this exam, so study hard! Once you've become registered, you must complete continuing education to maintain your professional certification as a Dietitian.
Although the schooling to become a Registered Dietitian can be difficult (it requires many semesters of chemistry), the field of dietetics offers a wide variety of settings and a very rewarding line of work.
Tips & WarningsLicensure for Dietitians varies by state. Check with your state's dietetic association for more information.
The field of dietetics involves intensive schooling with focuses on chemistry, microbiology, physiology, and nutrition. Be prepared to study hard!