Dietitian Career Success Tips

By Sara Schapmann

If you are considering a career in dietetics, understanding your potential clients and their symptoms can help you steer your education, internship and eventual job search toward a position that bests suits your specific interests. Determining the client issues you want to handle as well as your ideal work environment are two ways to prepare for a successful dietitian career. Do you have what it takes?

Dietitian Education

Individuals seek help from dietitians for various reasons, so determining your area of specialization early is key. Find out which online courses can help you bolster the education section of your resume.

Obesity – Many overweight individuals — from moderately obese, to grossly overweight — seek the help of dietitians, either on their own or through doctors. Fundamental online health care courses can educate you in meal planning and weight management.

Eating Disorders – Treatment plans for individuals suffering from anorexia or bulimia usually include assistance from a trained dietitian. Earning a degree in psychology can ensure you are equipped with the refined skills required to help these individuals through recovery.

Old Age – Nutritional needs change with age. Working as a dietitian for a nursing home can be a rewarding career direction. Courses in institution management and long-term care nutrition will be especially helpful for this focus.

Illnesses – Dietitians work with other health care professionals to implement dietary modifications and meal plans for patients with chronic medical conditions, transitory illnesses or terminal illnesses. Completing coursework in medical nutrition therapy, critical care nutrition or advanced biochemistry can give you the essential knowledge needed for this direction.

Pediatric Needs – Courses in pediatric nutrition can help prepare you for a job in a pediatric clinical setting or as a school dietitian.

Pregnancy – Pregnant women, breast-feeding mothers and those with gestational diabetes often require dietetic assistance. Specialized classes in prenatal and postnatal nutrition can educate you on how to deal with these types of special needs situations.

Working as a Dietitian

After researching the many work environments for dietitians, you can start to gear your education toward the most fitting path. The following list includes possible work settings for dietitians.

  1. Clinical – There are many dietitian jobs available in hospitals, nursing homes and inpatient eating disorder clinics.
  2. Community Settings – Dietitians can find jobs with health care agencies, public health facilities and home health agencies.
  3. Management Positions – Many dietitians take on management jobs in prisons, school and work cafeterias.
  4. Consulting Positions – Dietitians who work as consultants can contract with large organizations or work with individuals in private practice.
  5. Marketing and Development Positions – Dietitians can be found in marketing and media positions, as well as health care technology.

A career in dietetics can be challenging, lucrative and satisfying. The job outlook is positive and the possibilities for job placement are vast. The U.S. Department of Labor projects good job opportunities in the future, especially for those who have advanced degrees or specialized training. Begin your search for an accredited online college today and take the first steps toward a rewarding career as a dietitian.

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