Dietetic Technician

Certified Dietary Manager (CDM), Clinical Dietetic Technician, Clinical Technician   More Names
Cook Chill Technician (CCT), Diet Aide, Diet Assistant, Diet Clerk, Diet Tech (Diet Technician), Diet Tech (Dietetic Technician), Diet Technician Registered (DTR), Dietary Aid, Dietary Aide, Dietary Assistant, Dietary Manager, Dietetic Assistant, Dietetic Technician, Registered, Dietetic Technicians, Food Service Technician, Menu Planner, Nutrition Assistant, Nutrition Counselor, Nutrition Technician, Registered Diet Technician

Assist dietitians in providing food service and nutritional programs. Under supervision of dietitians, may plan and produce meals based on established guidelines.

Responsibilities include maintaining food preparation, storage, and distribution safety standards in healthcare and other food service settings. Also may help with food purchases, budget preparation, and food-service operations management.

Dietetic technicians with higher levels of education, training or experience also may be responsible for managing other dietary employees. In addition, dietetic technicians often will work with Registered Nurses to assist in providing medical nutrition therapy in a variety of employment settings including hospitals, clinics, health maintenance organizations (HMOs), nursing homes, or other healthcare facilities.

Dietetic technicians are employed in a broad range of commercial and non-commercial settings. Within healthcare, they can be found working in hospitals and clinics; nursing homes, retirement centers, and hospices, as well as home health care. Some also work with research facilities, helping to treat and prevent disease while providing medical nutrition therapy as an important part of health care teams.

Dietetic technicians also work in schools, day-care centers, and correctional facilities; and for public and non-profit community health care organizations. In the private sector, they can be found working in restaurants, health clubs, and other businesses, including contract food management companies and food vending and distributing operations.

Dietetic technicians work with registered dietitians to plan meals, nutritional programs, and diets for those with regular and special food needs. They work to develop menus and shopping lists. They closely monitor changes in patients' eating habits and dietary needs. They also coordinate meals for institutions and are responsible for upholding food service industry safety standards. Some also may prepare food labeling information and assist with nutrition analysis.

Typically, dietetic technicians work in either healthcare-based medical careers or other food service careers. In the medical career field, they often specialize in nutritional care to ensure that individual patients' dietary needs are met. This involves studying medical histories and researching nutrition and diet facts to create nutritional programs for patients. As part of the healthcare industry, they often work in hospital settings and are responsible for reporting changes in patients' conditions or food needs to the registered dietitian.

In food service careers, their tasks often involve stocking and ordering food supplies, developing budgets, menus and ingredient lists, overseeing food preparation and ensuring that high standards are maintained. They must be well-organized and have a clear focus on the needs for safe and sanitary food preparation and storage. They need to be able to detect when their food chain system is not running as efficiently as it should. In addition, they have to know how to order and monitor the distribution and use of large quantities of groceries. Food service dietetic technicians typically work in restaurants, cafeterias, schools, colleges, or elder care facilities.

The occupation of dietetic technician can serve as an entry-level employment opportunity in the food service industry. With experience and additional training, a dietetic technician may become a supervisor, a manager, or a general manager who runs an entire food service facility. They may also aspire to become a dietitian or nutritionist with more education, training, and experience.

Credentials Needed: Most states do not require dietetic technicians to be state licensed or registered. Requirements vary by state and may change over time, so it is a good idea to check with your state's Board of Health when beginning a dietetic technician course of study to find out the latest information.

Certain voluntary industry-based, skill certifications may be useful in support of this occupation. For example, the Commission on Dietetic Registration, which is the credentialing agency for the American Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, sponsors the Dietetic Technician, Registered credential as well as provides training modules on various dietary health and nutrition topics.

Individuals who complete an Accreditation Council for Education in Nutrition and Dietetics (ACEND) accredited Dietetic Technician program, or Didactic Program in Dietetics, are eligible to take the national registration exam administered by the Commission on Dietetic Registration to become a Dietetic Technician, Registered.

Some Key Things to Remember: Dietetic technicians assist dietitians in providing food service and nutritional programs. Under the supervision of dietitians, they may plan and produce meals based on established guidelines, teach principles of food and nutrition, and counsel individuals. Employers prefer to hire entry-level dietetic technicians with an associate's or bachelor's degree in areas such as food science or nutrition.

Individuals who complete an Accreditation Council for Education in Nutrition and Dietetics accredited Dietetic Technician program, or Didactic Program in Dietetics, are eligible to take a national registration exam administered to become a Dietetic Technician, Registered.

More Details
Job Growth and Wages
Percent Job Growth:  
13% - Average
Typical Wages (National):  
Annual: $21,170 - $35,410    Hourly: $10 - $17
Physical/Medical/Health Requirements

Oral Expression: Able to convey information and ideas through speech in ways that others will understand. Near Vision: Able to see details of objects at a close range (within a few feet of the observer). Speech Clarity: Able to speak clearly so listeners understand.

Legal Requirements
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(Data Drawn from O*NET)

Career Snapshot

Typical Education:

High School or GED (HS)
Find Programs

Percent Job Growth:

13% - Average
Find Jobs

Typical Wages:

Annual: $21,170 - $35,410

Hourly: $10 - $17