Through a career in dietetics, you can help people apply the principles of nutrition to their everyday lives so they can live a better, healthier life.
Dietitians who work in clinical dietetics assess, education and counsel individuals to help manage or prevent medical conditions. They can also manage large food service departments or provide nutrition services to the community. The median annual salary for dietitians is about $53,250, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.
To become a dietitian you must earn a bachelor’s degree in dietetics and pass the Registration Examination for Dietitians. As a dietitian, you may counsel people to help them manage obesity, diabetes, heart disease, eating disorders or other conditions requiring a modified diet, manage a large food service operation, or provide nutrition services to the community. You could work for organizations such as:
- food product corporations
- food service companies
- government agencies
- grocery stores
- nonprofit or social service agencies
- nursing homes
You also could be self-employed with a private practice. If you’re interested in private practice, you may want to consider a business or entrepreneurship minor at Mount Mary.
Mount Mary’s undergraduate Coordinated Program in Dietetics includes the 1,200 hours of supervised practice you need to be eligible to take the Registration Examination for Dietitians upon graduation. The supervised practice is performed during your junior and senior year. Documentation of a physical examination, immunizations, drug testing and a background check are required during your junior and senior years to participate in supervised practice experiences.
In your first three semesters of supervised practice, Mount Mary faculty accompany you to your practice sites. During the final semester of your senior year, you will complete 20 weeks of supervised practice under the direction of dietitians at a Milwaukee area organization. The 20 weeks are divided into practicums in three main areas of dietetic practice:
- Clinical nutrition (8-10 weeks)
- Community/consumer nutrition (4 weeks)
- Food service management (6-8 weeks)
Practicum site locations include hospitals, outpatient clinics, school districts, nursing homes, businesses, public health departments, food service companies and social service agencies.