Nutritionist and Dietitian Programs in Utah
Dietitians and nutritionists are experts on food. They study the effects of food on the body, advise individuals and the public on good nutrition, create meal plans, help patients or clients implement the plans, evaluate the results and make adjustments if necessary to ensure the optimum level of health. They can help clients understand the best ways to diet, how to choose healthy meals and how to best prepare foods for maximum nutritional benefit. Nutritionists and dietitians might work with specific populations, such as students in a school cafeteria or patients in a hospital, or with individual clients who need help with understanding and implementing proper nutrition.
Those who earn a degree from Utah nutritionist and dietitian schools could expect good job prospects in the coming years. The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) projects 20 percent job growth nationally from 2010 to 2020, mostly driven by an increased interest in healthy eating, especially in preventative care. Employment can be found in food services, clinics, cafeterias, nursing homes, rehabilitation centers and more. The BLS reported that 32 percent of nutritionists and dietitians worked in hospitals nationally in 2010, while another 15 percent were self-employed, working with private clients. Others might wind up in the restaurant or catering business or working as personal chefs.
Education and Training
Those who want to pursue a nutritionist or dietetic certificate in Utah must graduate with a bachelor's degree or higher from an accredited university. Programs in human nutrition, food and nutrition, dietetics or food systems management are all acceptable, as are related programs. Courses integral to these programs include physiology, chemistry, biology and nutrition.
Training must also include at least 1,200 supervised practice hours, which can be earned through employment, internships or preplanned programs.
The following credentials might be available to graduates of nutritionist schools in Utah:
- Registered Dietitian (RD): A registered dietitian has completed all coursework for registration with the Commission on Dietetic Registration (CDR), including the bachelor's degree, 1,200 hours of supervised work and the registration examination successfully.
- Registered Dietitian Nutritionist (RDN): This alternate designation is available to registered dietitians. Many choose to use this title to fully encompass the scope of their work.
- Dietetic Technician (DTR): Technicians usually work closely with registered dietitians. They must earn at least an associate degree and 450 hours of supervised practice.
- Certified Nutrition Specialist (CNS): This advanced designation requires a master's degree or greater in nutrition or related fields, as well as a course in science-based nutrition therapy.
Those seeking specializations might move into one of five board certified specialties offered by the CDR, including oncology nutrition (CSO), sports nutrition, (CSSD), renal nutrition (CSR), pediatric nutrition (CSP) or gerontological nutrition (CSG).
Salary and Employment Outlook
According to recent data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, dietitians and nutritionists in Utah made an annual median wage of $46,800 (bls.gov, 2013) with the highest and lowest 10 percent of professionals earning $70,460 and $22,140 respectively. In addition, according to the Utah Department of Workforce Services, dietitians and nutritionists in Utah may experience an employment opportunity growth of up to 25 percent from 2010 to 2020 (utah.gov, 2012).
The following table provides nutritionist and dietitian salary information by metropolitan area within the state.
Graduates of nutritionist and dietitian programs in Utah must adhere to the requirements for CDR registration, including:
- A minimum of a bachelor's degree from an institution accredited by the Accreditation Council for Education in Nutrition and Dietetics
- Completion of at least 1,200 hours of supervised practice
- Passing the CDR examination
Certification must be renewed every two years. Utah does not currently require continuing education to hold a certificate. For more information on how to become a nutritionist in Utah, read the information on Utah's Certified Dietitian site.
For more information:
Utah Division of Occupational and Professional Licensing
Utah Dietitian Licensing Board
P.O. Box 146741
Salt Lake City, UT 84114-6741
Accreditation Council for Education in Nutrition and Dietetics
Commission on Dietetic Registration
Dietitians and Nutritionists, Bureau of Labor Statistics
Division of Occupational and Professional Licensing
Utah Department of Workforce Services
Bureau of Labor Statistics, Occupational Employment Statistics