Nutritionist and Dietitian Programs in Idaho
Nutritionists and dietitians are the food experts who help individuals, organizations, and both small and large populations learn the best ways to choose, prepare and serve foods for improved health. They work to help others develop healthy eating habits, form diet and meal plans, evaluate the results of the food changes and adjust the advice as necessary to provide optimum nutrition to those under their care. They also work to educate the public on nutrition issues, healthy eating and various health problems related to food, such as eating disorders and obesity.
Those who graduate from nutritionist and dietitian programs in Idaho can find work in a variety of settings, including hospitals, schools, nursing care facilities, eating disorder clinics, rehabilitation centers, food services, cafeterias and more. Those who choose to become self-employed might take on work as personal chefs, work with private clients or move into the restaurant industry. The Bureau of Labor Statistics found that 32 percent of dietitians worked in hospitals in 2010, and another 15 percent were self-employed.
Education and Training
Those who attend Idaho nutritionist and dietitian schools can take the first step toward a career by earning a bachelor's degree or higher. Though a degree in dietetics is an obvious choice, other degrees will suffice as well, such as health sciences, health and nutrition, food service management and the like. When the degree program is complete, aspiring nutritionists and dietitians must typically complete several hundred hours of supervised practice, as well as pass an exam approved by the state.
The following are some of the licenses and certifications available to graduates of nutritionist schools in Idaho:
- Registered Dietitian (RD): A food and nutrition expert who has passed all requirements stated by the Commission on Dietetics Registration, the RD often works with public health initiatives, as well as treatment and prevention of diseases.
- Registered Dietitian Nutritionist (RDN): This is an optional title that registered dietitians can choose to use in order to enhance the public's perception of what they do. The education and licensing requirements remain the same as for the RD.
- Dietetic Technician (DTR): Has earned at least an associate degree or a bachelor's degree and engaged in 450 hours of supervised practice. Most DTRs work closely with RDs in a variety of settings, including hospitals and clinics.
- Certified Nutrition Specialist (CNS): Has earned at least a master's degree in nutrition or a related field, as well as completed a course on science-based nutrition therapy.
In addition to these designations, those who graduate from Idaho nutritionist and dietitian schools can seek out other credentials, including board certified specialties in renal nutrition (CSR), pediatric nutrition (CSP), and oncology nutrition (CSO), among others.
Salary and Employment Outlook
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, dietitians and nutritionists in Idaho made an annual median wage of $51,390 (bls.gov, 2013) in May, 2012. The highest and lowest 10 percent earned $71,670 and $33,690 Respectively during the same time period. In addition, according to the Idaho Commerce & Labor, Research & Analysis Bureau, dietitians and nutritionists may experience an employment growth of up to 20 percent from 2010 to 2020 (idaho.gov, 2012).
The following table provides nutritionist and dietitian salary information by metropolitan area within the state (bls.gov, 2013).
Those who want to obtain a license must complete the following steps as set forth by the State of Idaho Board of Medicine:
- Graduate from an approved program in nutrition or dietetics
- Complete an approved internship or pre-professional program
- Pass the Commission on Dietetic Registration exam
Those who have not yet passed the test can apply for a provisional exam that allows them to work under supervision while they complete all the requirements. After the license is earned, it must be renewed every year. Continuing education is not required for the license to stay in effect, but nutritionists and dietitians must keep an active CDR certification.
To understand all the requirements, including those for other credentials, visit the Commission on Dietetic Registration. For more information on how to become a nutritionist in Idaho, visit the Idaho Dietetic Licensure Board.
For more information:
Idaho Board of Medicine
P.O. Box 83720
Boise, ID 83720-0058
Commission on Dietetic Registration
Dietitians and Nutritionists, Bureau of Labor Statistics
Idaho Dietetic Licensure Board
The Idaho Commerce & Labor, Research & Analysis Bureau
Bureau of Labor Statistics, Occupational Employment Statistics, Idaho