Each specialty is described below. Occupational groups are divided into
primary and related occupations so that individuals can investigate other fields
for additional job opportunities.
Following each job description are job resource lists: Associations, Books,
Directories, Internet Sites, Job Ads, Job Hotlines, Job Fairs, and Placement
Services. Job sources are listed alphabetically with the larger sources
Resources for occupational therapists and physical therapists are combined, as
many of them serve both professions.
The first specialty is excerpted along with a sampling of resources from the all
new 4th edition of Health Care Job Explosion!, Chapter
Six. The remaining occupations are featured in the same format as presented for
dietitians and nutritionists in the text version of Health Care Job Explosion!
Occupational groups are divided into primary and related occupations so that
individuals can investigate other fields for additional job opportunities.
Health Care Job Explosion features over 1,400 career
exploration and job vacancy resources. Resources are grouped with each
occupation and a sample of related resources are included with the listed
Theodore is a private practice pediatric occupational therapist in Encino,
California. "I always wanted to do something in the health field and originally
considered being a pediatrician. However, I wanted a family someday and didn't
think I could devote time to both. I had a blind date once, which turned out to
be a man who was going to be an occupational therapist. He told me that it was a
field in which the course of study was a blend of art, psychology, and medicine.
That really intrigued me and so I began to pursue it."
She graduated from the University of Southern California in 1972 with a B. S.
Degree. "After college, I took two required internships, one in mental health
and one in physical disabilities. These were full time positions and, in the
second one, I specialized in pediatrics at Children's Hospital of Los Angeles."
When asked for advice to people just starting out, Tamara replied, "Decide what
area you want to work in and put your mind to it! When I started school, there
were lots of jobs available. When I graduated there were very few. I decided I
wanted to work in pediatrics, which was the hardest to get into. I volunteered
after my internship was over until they created a position for me." Later, she
needed field work experience for a Master's Program. "I went to a special school
for children who could not be handled in the regular public school and asked for
a volunteer position. They offered me a position as Director of Sensory
Integration Therapy because I was an O.T. trained in this specialty. So hang in
Currently, Tamara explains, the job market for occupational therapists is
excellent. "The field is wide open, gives professional status, good income and
plenty of challenge and variety. The thing that is great about this field is
that there are never two days the same. One can create almost any kind of job
environment they want, but the premise is always the same: helping people to
develop, maintain or achieve maximum function for their developmental level."
The great variety in employment possibilities makes this career especially
appealing. Tamara explains, "This job usually includes working closely with
nursing and doing a lot of parent training and education. There are Early
Intervention Programs across the nation for birth to three that are
educationally based and state funded. These programs provide assistance to
families with special needs children to help them to learn and develop in areas
that are deficient in gross and fine motor skills, cognitive skills, language
skills, social and emotional skills. Occupational therapists work with all types
of people, ages and problems from premature infants to geriatrics and everything
"I have been in this field for 30 years and really love it as much today as I
did when I first started. I love working with small children. I love the mix of
psychology, medicine and art. I love the opportunity to be creative. In 30 years
of continuous learning, I still have so much more to learn." Tamara emphasizes
the personality traits needed for success in this field. "I think it is
important to want to help people and to have a genuine interest in their well
being and a true caring for humankind to be a success in this field. Therapists
have to be adaptive and creative and need to enjoy problem solving. If you are
that kind of person, go for it! The possibilities are almost endless; thus one
can change jobs within the field, keeping it interesting and varied."
Note: A complete description of this career choice with
resources is available in chapter six of the new 4th edition of
Health Care Job Explosion.
Dietitians and nutritionists need at least a bachelor's degree in
dietetics, foods and nutrition, food service systems management, or a
According to U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, faster than average employment growth is expected; however, growth may
be constrained if employers substitute other workers for dietitians and if
limitations are placed on insurance reimbursement for dietetic services.
Those who have specialized training in renal or diabetic diets or have a
master's degree should experience good employment opportunities.
Dietitians and nutritionists plan food and nutrition programs and supervise the
preparation and serving of meals. They help to prevent and treat illnesses by
promoting healthy eating habits and recommending dietary modifications, such as
the use of less salt for those with high blood pressure or the reduction of fat
and sugar intake for those who are overweight.
Dietitians manage food service systems for institutions such as hospitals and
schools, promote sound eating habits through education, and conduct research.
Major areas of practice include clinical, community, management, and consultant
Clinical dietitians provide nutritional services for patients in institutions
such as hospitals and nursing care facilities. They assess patients' nutritional
needs, develop and implement nutrition programs, and evaluate and report the
results. They also confer with doctors and other health care professionals to
coordinate medical and nutritional needs. Some clinical dietitians specialize in
the management of over-weight patients or in the care of critically ill or renal
(kidney) and diabetic patients. In addition, clinical dietitians in nursing care
facilities, small hospitals, or correctional facilities may manage the food
Community dietitians counsel individuals and groups on nutritional practices
designed to prevent disease and promote health. Working in places such as public
health clinics, home health agencies, and health maintenance organizations,
community dietitians evaluate individual needs, develop nutritional care plans,
and instruct individuals and their families. Dietitians working in home health
agencies provide instruction on grocery shopping and food preparation to the
elderly, individuals with special needs, and children.
Increased public interest in nutrition has led to job opportunities in food
manufacturing, advertising, and marketing. In these areas, dietitians analyze
foods, prepare literature for distribution, or report on issues such as the
nutritional content of recipes, dietary fiber, or vitamin supplements.
Management dietitians oversee large-scale meal planning and preparation in
health care facilities, company cafeterias, prisons, and schools. They hire,
train, and direct other dietitians and food service workers; budget for and
purchase food, equipment, and supplies; enforce sanitary and safety regulations;
and prepare records and reports.
Consultant dietitians work under contract with health care facilities or in
their own private practice. They perform nutrition screenings for their clients
and offer advice on diet-related concerns such as weight loss and cholesterol
reduction. Some work for wellness programs, sports teams, supermarkets, and
other nutrition-related businesses. They may consult with food service managers,
providing expertise in sanitation, safety procedures, menu development,
budgeting, and planning.
Most full-time dietitians and nutritionists work a regular 40-hour week,
although some work weekends. About 1 in 4 worked part time in 2004. Dietitians
and nutritionists usually work in clean, well-lighted, and well-ventilated
areas. However, some dietitians work in warm, congested kitchens. Many
dietitians and nutritionists are on their feet for much of the workday.
High school students interested in becoming a dietitian or nutritionist should
take courses in biology, chemistry, mathematics, health, and communications.
Dietitians and nutritionists need at least a bachelor's degree in dietetics,
foods and nutrition, food service systems management, or a related area. College
students in these majors take courses in foods, nutrition, institution
management, chemistry, bio-chemistry, biology, microbiology, and physiology.
Other suggested courses include business, mathematics, statistics, computer
science, psychology, sociology, and economics.
Of the 46 states and jurisdictions with laws governing dietetics, 31 require
licensure, 14 require certification, and 1 requires registration. Requirements
vary by state. As a result, interested candidates should determine the
requirements of the state in which they want to work before sitting for any
exam. Although not required, the Commission on Dietetic Registration of the
American Dietetic Association (ADA) awards the Registered Dietitian credential
to those who pass an exam after completing their academic coursework and
As of 2004, there were about 227 bachelor's and master's degree programs approved by the ADA's Commission on Accreditation for Dietetics Education (CADE).
Supervised practice experience can be acquired in two ways. The first requires
the completion of a CADE-accredited program.
Students interested in research, advanced clinical positions, or public health
may need an advanced degree.
Experienced dietitians may advance to management positions, such as assistant
director, associate director, or director of a dietetic department, or may
become self-employed. Some dietitians specialize in areas such as renal,
diabetic, cardiovascular, or pediatric dietetics. Others may leave the
occupation to become sales representatives for equipment, pharmaceutical, or
A growing and aging population will
boost the demand for meals and nutritional counseling in hospitals, residential
care facilities, schools, prisons, community health programs, and home health
care agencies. Public interest in nutrition and increased emphasis on health
education and prudent lifestyles also will spur demand, especially in
management. In addition to employment growth, job openings will result from the
need to replace experienced workers who leave the occupation.
Dietitian and nutritionist employment growth may be constrained if some
employers substitute other workers, such as health educators, food service
managers, and dietetic technicians. Growth also may be curbed by limitations on
insurance reimbursement for dietetic services.
Median annual earnings of dietitians and nutritionists were $53,250 in May 2010.
The lowest 10 percent earned less than $33,330, and the highest 10 percent earned more than $75,480.
According to the Compensation & Benefits Survey 2007 by American Dietetic Association, hourly wages for registered dietitians in 2007 varied by practice area as follows: $38.46 in consultation and business; $37.22 in food and nutrition management; $40.02 in education and research.
Resources for Dietetics, Pharmacy and Therapy
(Partial Listing) There are 264 total resources presented in the paperback
Health Care Job Explosion! 4th edition by Dennis V. Damp for this
occupational group. Resources include Job Ads, Job Hotlines, Job Fairs,
Placement services, Associations, Books, Directories and Internet (Web) Sites.
Your local library may have this book in their reference section or you can
purchase a copy for $19.95 plus shipping with all major credit cards from our
toll free service at 1-800-782-7424 (Orders Only).
The American Dietetic Association (ADA) - 120 South Riverside Plaza, Suite 2000,
Chicago, Illinois 60606-6995; 800/877-1600. (http://www.eatright.org,
firstname.lastname@example.org) An organization of food and nutrition
professionals, with nearly 65,000 members. The membership includes dietitians,
dietetic technicians, students and others. Web site has listing by state of
accredited education programs, listing of state associations, and link to
HealtheCareers web site for job listings. Student membership $43/yr gives access
to information about dietetic internships and financial aid
opportunitiesâ€”including scholar-ships offered only to ADA members.
School Nutrition Association (SNA) - 700 South Washington St., Suite 300,
Alexandria, VA 22314; 703/739-3900. (email@example.com,
www.schoolnutrition.org). Association of school food service professionals
has a voluntary certification program for its members. Has a Credentialing Exam
Study Guide to help members study for the credentialing exam, and online
education courses. Provides regulatory information, scholarship assistance for
professional development and to pass the GED. Job bank allows job search by job
California Dietetic Association (CDA) - 7740 Manchester Ave., Suite 102, Playa
del Rey, CA 90293-8499; or call 310/822-0177. Visit their web site at (www.dietitian.org,
firstname.lastname@example.org). Open job ad
listings, scholarship program, and mentoring program for members.
Careers In Nutrition - by Linda Bickerstaff, Rosen Publishing Group, 2005. ISBN:
1404202498 Most recent book on jobs in the field. Discusses job qualifications,
possibilities, and education.
Food and Nutrition Information Center of the USDA - Click on their site at (http://www.nalusda.gov/fnic) for
"Topics A-Z". This section of the web site has links to associations and
colleges, directories, and electronic publications.
Opportunities in Nutrition Careers - by Carol Coles Caldwell, McGraw-Hill,
1999. ISBN: 0844232408. Describes the career and gives aids in finding a job.
Society for Nutrition Education (SNE) - 7150 Winton Drive, Suite 300,
Indianapolis, Indiana 46268; 317/328-4627 or 800/235-6690. (http://www.sne.org/)
Association of nutrition educators. Jobs are posted on the web site and members
can receive job notices by email. The web site has information on careers in
Back Pain Site - http://www.1backpain.com
Information about Conditions, Therapies, Exercises, and Doctors who Treat Back
Tendonitis.net - http://www.Tendonitis.net
- Your Source for Tendonitis Information and Treatment Options. If you are
suffering from Tendonitis this site offers information and
treatment options about tendonitis, tendonitis treatment, tendonitis symptoms,
tendonitis relief, tendonitis pain and more.
The following dietetics, pharmacy and therapy occupations are featured in the
all new 4th edition of Health Care Job Explosion!. Each
of the following occupations are featured exactly like the
Dietitians and Nutritionists
occupational description on this page and includes resources for each listing.
Your local library may have this book in their reference section or you can
purchase a copy for $19.95 plus $5.75 shipping with all major credit cards from
our toll free service at 1-800-782-7424 (Orders
Only). Also available at all major bookstores.