Dietitians and Nutritionists

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About the Job

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.

It is also Called

  • WIC Site Coordinator (Women Infants and Children Site Coordinator)
  • Therapeutic Dietitian
  • Teaching Dietitian
  • Sports Nutritionist
  • Research Dietitian
  • Registered Dietitian
  • Registered Dietician
  • Public Health Dietitian
  • Pediatric Dietician
  • Pediatric Clinical Dietician
View All

What They Do

  • Test new food products and equipment.
  • Confer with design, building, and equipment personnel to plan for construction and remodeling of food service units.
  • Coordinate recipe development and standardization and develop new menus for independent food service operations.
  • Develop policies for food service or nutritional programs to assist in health promotion and disease control.
  • Plan and conduct training programs in dietetics, nutrition, and institutional management and administration for medical students, health-care personnel and the general public.
  • 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.
  • Develop curriculum and prepare manuals, visual aids, course outlines, and other materials used in teaching.
  • Plan and prepare grant proposals to request program funding.
  • Prepare and administer budgets for food, equipment and supplies.
  • Organize, develop, analyze, test, and prepare special meals such as low-fat, low-cholesterol and chemical-free meals.


People who work in this occupation generally have the interest code: IS.

This means people who work in this occupation generally have Investigative interests, but also prefer Social environments.

Work Values

People who work in this occupation generally prize Relationships, but also value Independence and Achievement in their jobs.

Things They Need to Know

  • 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.
  • 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.
  • English Language - Knowledge of the structure and content of the English language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition, and grammar.
  • Biology - Knowledge of plant and animal organisms, their tissues, cells, functions, interdependencies, and interactions with each other and the environment.
  • Medicine and Dentistry - Knowledge of the information and techniques needed to diagnose and treat human injuries, diseases, and deformities. This includes symptoms, treatment alternatives, drug properties and interactions, and preventive health-care measures.

Things They Need to Be Able to Do

  • Reading Comprehension - Understanding written sentences and paragraphs in work related documents.
  • 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.
  • Monitoring - Monitoring/Assessing performance of yourself, other individuals, or organizations to make improvements or take corrective action.
  • Speaking - Talking to others to convey information effectively.
  • Critical Thinking - Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions or approaches to problems.
  • Writing - Communicating effectively in writing as appropriate for the needs of the audience.
  • Learning Strategies - Selecting and using training/instructional methods and procedures appropriate for the situation when learning or teaching new things.

Additional Resources

Preparation Required

Most of these occupations require graduate school. For example, they may require a master's degree, and some require a Ph.D., M.D., or J.D. (law degree).


In 2016, the average annual wage in California was $71,430 with most people making between $40,570 and $98,570


avg. annual growth

During 2014, this occupation employed approximately 7,400 people in California. It is projected that there will be 8,900 employed in 2024.

This occupation will have about 150 openings due to growth and about 60 replacement openings for approximately 210 total annual openings.