Dietician

Salary/Compensation

The salary for a Dietician at the entry level ranges from P10,000 to P16,000 per month. Aside from the basic pay, he/she also gets allowances and other incentives. In the U.S., dieticians may receive between $3,000 - $4,200 a month.

Basic Educational Requirement

A Dietician requires a bachelor’s degree in nutrition or a related field such as food and nutritional science or biochemistry, and one to two years of supervised practical training. To be a full-pledged Dietician, one must also pass the licensure exam given by the Professional Regulation Commission (PRC).

Cost of Education*

The cost of a 4-year course in nutrition or a related field such as food and nutritional science or biochemistry normally ranges from as low as P8,000 to as much as P290,000 depending on the educational institution enrolled in.

Employment Opportunities

Employment of Dieticians is expected to grow due to increased emphasis on disease prevention, a growing and aging population, and public interest in nutrition. 
The number of Dietician positions in some hospitals is expected to grow at a gradual pace as hospitals continue to contract out food service operations. Also, employment is expected to grow fast in contract providers of food services, social services agencies, and physicians’ offices and clinics. Dieticians may likewise be employed in th following industries: Hotels and Restaurants; and Health and Social Work Industry.

Prospects for Career Advancement

A Dietician may specialize in areas such as administrative dietetics, clinical dietetics, community dietetics, public health dietetics or research dietetics. Dieticians may progress to management positions through additional experience.

Nature of Work

A Dietician plans, organizes, conducts and supervises programs in nutrition, diet and food service. He/She is employed in a variety of settings including hospitals, extended care facilities, public health centers, the food and beverage industry, educational institutions, sports organizations and government, or they may be self-employed.

A Dietician should not be confused with a Nutritionist. A Dietician is health care professional who has received specialized and formal accredited tertiary education and training, undertook internship in hospitals, and is required to adhere to their regulatory body’s code of conduct. He/She is also the only non-medically trained healthcare professional permitted to practice clinically in hospitals or healthcare facilities. On the other hand, a Nutritionist is a person who advises people on dietary matters relating to health, well-being and optimal nutrition. It should be noted that anyone (whether with or without formal specialized education) can refer to themselves as a nutritionist.

Tasks

  • Develops, administers and supervises nutrition and food preparation and service programs in hospitals, nursing homes, schools, company cafeterias or similar settings;
  • Evaluates nutritional status of individuals and provides nutrition counseling and consulting to health professionals, dietetic interns, community groups, government, media and individuals;
  • Aids in the prevention and/or treatment of inadequate nutrition;
  • Plans, evaluates and conducts nutrition education programs and develops educational materials for various audiences;
  • Practices on an individual basis or as a member of an interdisciplinary team to determine nutritional needs of patients and to plan normal and therapeutic menus.

Skills and Competencies

  • A dietician is often involved in identifying and treating health ailments. Therefore, knowledge of prevention at every stage of growth and development and a background in metabolism and biochemistry of nutrients and food components are critical.
  • He/She should be able to plan nutrition programs and supervise the preparation and serving of meals.
  • Must have an interest in nutrition and the welfare of people. He/she must be non-judgmental and understanding about alternative lifestyles and must have tact and patience when persuading people to change eating habits.

Physical Attributes and Characteristics

  • Should be patient, respectful and responsive to the client’s needs;
  • Flexibility and ability to work on his/her own and as part of a team
  • Good organizational skills and an aptitude for and an interest in science; and
  • Good verbal and written communication skills.

* Based on tuition fee rates for school year 2010-2011.