Health Career Center

Dietetic Technicians

Dietetic technicians assist dietitians preparing food for clients with unique nutritional needs.

To successfully fulfill their duties, dietetic technicians must possess in-depth knowledge about health and nutrition. Since many people have been diagnosed with food intolerances and allergies, dietetic technicians must prepare safe food for clients.

Dietary modifications can improve health and reduce the risk of metabolic disease. Dietetic technicians assist people improving their diets by teaching them about good nutrition.

Working Conditions
Dietetic technicians typically work for organizations and companies that prepare mass quantities of food, including companies preparing food for people with dietary restrictions. These organizations include correctional facilities, schools, company cafeterias, retirement communities, assisted living facilities, and hospitals.

Dietetic technicians occasionally setup and manage private practices. Some specialize in educating different groups, including children, new mothers, and the elderly. Some dietetic technicians work for food manufacturers and suppliers.

Some dietetic technicians work in noisy, large, and hot institutional kitchens. They're on their feet for hours a day and run the risk of getting cut or burned. They may also be required to work early morning, late evening, weekend, and holiday hours.

Career Training and Education
Dietetic technicians usually hold associate's degrees in foodservice management, nutrition, or other scientific majors. Many community and vocational colleges offer associate's degrees in nutrition.

Holding an associate's degree will qualify you for specialized training. There are numerous programs nationwide recognized by the Commission on Accreditation for Dietetics Education (CADE). Students in these programs are required to complete 450 hours of supervised work experience.

Students in these training programs will learn how to cook food, plan menus, and manage portion sizes. They'll also learn about food preparation safety and dietary restrictions. If you want to be certified as a dietetic technician, you will need to pass a test administered and developed by the Commission on Dietetic Registration (CDR). To remain certified, you'll have to complete continuing education.
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