Learn all the facts around the RD credential with our RD FAQ.
What is an Registered Dietitian?
A Registered Dietitian is a food and nutrition professional who has met the academic and professional requirements to qualify for the credential. A registered dietitian, or RD, has a bachelor’s degree in a nutrition-related field, completed a certified and accredited internship in a health-care facility, food service company, or community agency for six months to a year, and passed a state examination to receive the final credential.
As nutrition experts, registered dietitians often go into fields where they are able to treat or prevent disease through nutritional care, working in private practice, clinical or hospital settings, or other related healthcare facilities.
In the nutritional care field, RDs hold the highest degree of certification, having gone through extensive years of education and training to receive their credential. Many RDs will often continue on to receive even more advanced certifications in specialized fields.
What are the benefits of working with a dietitian?
When you go to see a dietitian, it isn’t like hopping on board with the latest fad diet. A dietitian knows that with nutritional care, there is no one-size-fits-all diet. A dietitian takes your medical history into account, learns what kinds of foods you like, and what your lifestyle is like to recommend strategies to work towards good health in a way that you’ll enjoy and benefit from. A dietitian will even help with issues such as food intolerances and sensitivities to help fill any nutrition deficiencies.
In your first session, you’ll start with a plan and begin setting goals and then, as you continue to go to follow up sessions, you are maintaining and reporting progress and developing new strategies to combat eating dilemmas as they arise to make for long-lasting results.
What job options are there for a Registered Dietitian?
If you are a new RD, or currently working towards your RD credential, you might be interested in some of the career options available to RDs. We have seen RDs in all kinds of fields, exploring a wide variety of career opportunities. Many dietitians we have met have gone into private practice. Without a doubt, private practice is our favorite option. It allows you to be your own boss and grow your own business, working with the clients that make you excited to go to work. Inside and outside of private practice, we have additionally seen dietitians go into fields such as corporate wellness and work with small clinics alongside other specialists such as chiropractors, physicians, and counselors.
Another option we see often is that RDs will go into clinical nutrition, working in hospitals to provide nutritional care or to work for a food service company. There are many opportunities that exist even just beyond the healthcare industry for dietitians. We’ve seen RDs go on to become public speakers, sharing advice for wellness and giving talks on nutrition-related topics, and also entering into nutrition journalism, writing for news, magazines, and web-based publications on health-related topics. If you are not sure of what you want to do, never let this list make you feel limited, we have seen RDs who do a little bit of everything and much more!
What are some specializations are available to RDs?
- Bariatric Nutrition
- Sports Nutrition (CSSD)*
- Corporate Wellness
- Pediatric Nutrition (CSP)*
- General Wellness
- Oncology Nutrition (CSO)*
- Diabetes Education
- Eating Disorder Counseling *
- Gerontological Nutrition (CSG)*
- Renal Nutrition(CSR)*
- Behavior-change therapy
- Weight Management**
* CDR Specialization