Changing Fields

You have a bachelor's degree and you want to become a counselor in nutrition. You should think about becoming a Registered Dietitian.

To become a Registered Dietitian you need to do four things:

  • Complete a baccalaureate degree from an accredited college or university
  • Meet the current academic requirements set by the Accreditation Council for Education in Nutrition and Dietetics (ACEND) at an accredited dietetics program
  • Complete an ACEND accredited supervised field experience
  • Successfully write the Registration Examination for Dietitians

You completed the first of the four requirements by earning a bachelor’s degree. At this point the next thing to do is to find an accredited dietetics program to complete your academic requirements. There are two kinds of programs available: four-year undergraduate programs (didactic programs) and coordinated undergraduate programs. Coordinated programs include the supervised field experience.

Unfortunately, we do not have an accredited didactic program at IUPUI, although some of the required courses are available on this campus. IUPUI offers many of the required science courses. Before enrolling in courses at IUPUI, decide which dietetic education program you will attend. Talk with the advisors at this program and find out which IUPUI courses their program will accept as transfer courses. There is no point in taking a class that will not transfer!!

A complete listing of both four- year programs and coordinated programs in the United States is available at the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics (AND) website   http://www.eatrightacend.org/ACEND/   Click on the tab labeled “students” on the left side of the page.  The ACEND website includes a listing of online dietetic education programs.  A list of dietetic education programs available in Indiana is attached.  Please contact these programs directly.

There are several websites that provide information on current opportunities in dietetics:   The U.S. Department of Labor at http://www.bls.gov/ooh/healthcare/dietitians-and-nutritionists.htm#tab-1, the American Medical Association Allied Health site at http://www.ama-assn.org/ama/pub/education-careers/careers-health-care.page and  the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics at www.eatright.org.

According to AND's most recent data, 2013 Dietetics Compensation and Benefits Survey,  Registered Dietitians in the U.S. with five years or less working experience in the field earn between $46,197 and $65,000 per year – with a median salary of $53,893.  As with any profession, salaries and fees vary by region of the country, employment settings, scope of responsibility, and supply of RDs. Salaries increase with years of experience and many RDs, particularly those in management and business, earn incomes ranging from $92,000- $105,000