The middle 50% of employed dietitians are making between $50,000 and $61,000 every year. This is an hourly pay range between $24 and $29. Therefore, the median annual salary of a dietitian is about $56,000, or $27 per hour. The top 10th percentile of dietitians makes an annual income of about $66,000 ($32 per hour). At the other end of the spectrum, dietitians working in the lowest 10th percentile make about $22 or less per hour. This adds up to a maximum of $45,500 every year.
There are factors that affect the annual income of dietitians. As with every work force, education and experience are important to determining the salary of a dietitian. Typically, dietitians with a master’s degree will be paid more than one with only a bachelor’s. Furthermore, salaries may waiver depending on the type of employment one holds. Dietitians working in a hospital setting should expect a higher salary than one working in a school system. The same goes for high-end health spas vs. community health centers.
On average, the total compensation package for a dietitian after benefits is $79,000. Paid benefits offered by an employer may include social security and pension, health care insurance, and paid time off, among others.
Job Description of a Dietitian
Dietitians will take their knowledge and translate it into advice to clients about the health prospects of various food plans. Dietitians also assess, diagnose, and treat diet-related problems in patients.
Other tasks performed by dietitians include raising awareness about diet-related disorders, calculating patients’ nutritional requirements, and analyzing the nutritional content of food (if employed in the food industry). Some dietitians include fitness in their overall repertoire of nutrition knowledge, allowing them to work with athletes and personal trainers.
There are many fields for a dietitian to work in, including schools and hospitals. There are also various specialties a dietitian could study, including children’s health and diabetes.
How to Become a Dietitian
- Experience world-class education online: Purdue Global offers 180 programs at associate's, bachelor's, master's and doctoral levels
- Courses taught by highly respected faculty members who are experts in their fields
- Competency-based ExcelTrack™ Programs may allow you to earn your degree faster and for less money
- Full range of student services: individual educational advising, hands-on learning through interactive online classroom, no-cost tutoring in math, science and writing
- BS in Nutrition
To begin with, aspiring dietitians must obtain at least a bachelor’s degree at an accredited college or university. While only a bachelor’s degree is required, a master’s degree opens the doors to higher income and better job opportunities. An ACEND-accredited practice program for dietitians must then be completed. These programs will run in hospitals, community centers, or food corporations. Typically, the program will run anywhere from six months to a year.
Finally, after all this training, an aspiring dietitian must pass the national examination administered by the Commission on Dietetic Registration. Thus, the student will now be a certified dietitian. There are many other certifications that can be obtained throughout a dietitian’s career, and many of them deal with specialties in dietetics. They are not required, but a higher salary may be forthcoming from obtaining these certificates.
A dietitian must also attend continuing education throughout his or her career to maintain the registration and certification. This is common with many health care professionals, however.
Dietitian Salary in Other Countries (UK, Canada and Australia)
Dietitians working in Australia, Canada, and the United Kingdom should expect salaries that are close to those obtained in the United States. Australia offers dietitians an average income of about AU$55,000. The average annual income for Canadian dietitians is about C$47,500.
Registered dietitians are some of the only health care professionals that receive roughly the same salary in both the U.S. and the U.K. The average annual income in the United Kingdom for dietitians is about £26,500. This is equivalent to about $42,000 in America.
Verdict on Dietitian Salary
While dietitians are certainly not the highest paid individuals in the health care industry, they receive a comfortable annual income that is indicative to the amount of schooling they have performed. Dietitians with a master’s degree should expect even higher salaries than those listed at the beginning of the article. It would seem to be a rewarding career move.