Nutritionist and Dietitian Programs in Iowa
Dietitians and nutritionists are experts on the relationship between food and the body. They might work with individuals, small businesses or large corporations to provide advice on diet, healthy eating and specific lifestyle changes that can make a particular diet more effective. Graduates of Iowa nutritionist and dietitian schools can explain issues with nutrition, evaluate diets in order to find areas of change, develop meal plans, study the results of the diet changes, counsel individuals or groups on the importance of good nutrition, work closely with those who have eating disorders, and evaluate and advise on the nutritional intake of certain populations, such as schools, hospitals or prisons.
Those who earn a degree from nutritionist and dietitian programs in Iowa can find many positions in which to use their new skills and knowledge. About one-third of dietitians and nutritionists worked in hospitals in 2010, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. However, those with nutrition expertise are also needed in school systems, prisons, food services, nursing care facilities, physician offices and cafeterias. About 15 percent of nutritionists or dietitians were self-employed and working out of their own offices in 2010.
Education and Training
Earning a bachelor's degree is the first step in how to become a nutritionist in Iowa. Suitable degrees include those in food and nutrition, dietetics, food service management, nutrition or a related area. Courses included in these degree programs can include nutrition, physiology, biology and chemistry, among other courses that focus on the body. Many nutritionists or dietitians choose to pursue advanced degrees. Programs are accredited by the Accreditation Council for Education in Nutrition and Dietetics (ACEND).
In addition to the education requirement, several hundred hours of supervised training are also required in order to qualify for a license. This training usually occurs during an internship, whether during or after college. Some colleges and universities incorporate the supervised work requirement as part of the program.
There are several different types of certifications available to nutritionists and dietitians, including the following:
- Registered Dietitian Nutritionist (RDN)
- Dietetic Technician (DT)
- Registered Dietitian (RD)
Other credentials include board certified specialists in oncology nutrition, pediatric nutrition, sports nutrition and more.
Salary and Employment Outlook
According to recent data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, dietitians and nutritionists in Iowa made an annual median wage of $49,660 (bls.gov, 2013) with the highest and lowest 10 percent earning $66,070 and $39,390 respectively. In addition, according to the Labor Market and Workforce Information Division of Iowa Workforce Development, dietitians and nutritionists in Iowa may experience an employment growth of up to 16.77 percent from 2010 to 2020 (ia.us, 2012).
The following table provides nutritionist and dietitian salary information by metropolitan area within the state (bls.gov, 2013).
Licensing is required for graduates of nutritionist schools in Iowa. In order to obtain licensure as a dietitian, applicants must meet the following, as required by the Commission on Dietetic Registration (CDR):
- At least a bachelor's degree from an accredited institution
- Pass the registration examination through the CDR
- Complete a minimum of 1,200 hours of supervised practice
Continuing education is required in order to renew the license every two years. For more information, visit the Iowa Board of Dietetics.
Accreditation Council for Education in Nutrition and Dietetics
Commission on Dietetic Registration
Dietitians and Nutritionists, Bureau of Labor Statistics
Dietetic Internships, Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics
Iowa Board of Dietetics
Bureau of Labor Statistics, Occupational Employment Statistics, Iowa
The Labor Market and Workforce Information Division of Iowa Workforce Development