What Do Dietetic Technicians Do?
Dietetic technicians help further healthy eating and living goals by assisting with the administration of programs regarding food and nutrition education. They work under the supervision of more advanced dietitians to help educate or counsel people on proper nutrition. This might include planning and preparing meals that adhere to dietary guidelines and collecting patient information for dietitians. The number of dietetic technicians is expected to grow by about 18%. About 700 dietetic technician positions will open up every year nationwide. Many dietetic technicians work for hospitals or schools and may work with individual who have special dietary needs.
Dietetic Technicians Skills and Abilities
It is important for people entering a role as a dietetic technician to possess a good understanding of food production and public safety. Having a strong grasp on the English language, understanding business processes and possessing good customer service skills may also come in handy. Skills and abilities that may be useful in this role include deductive reasoning and problem solving, as well as the ability to effectively communicate through speaking and advanced listening. If your interests lean toward finding new ways to help people, this might also be a good job for you.
Dietetic Technicians Duties
Many of your job duties will center on promoting healthy behavior, whether through one-on-one counseling with patients or through giving speeches and hosting events. Dietetic technicians also do a lot of work to assist dietitians, including planning healthy meals, doing research and gathering information on an individual’s health status.
Dietetic Technicians Tools and Technology
To aid in the preparation of nutritionally sound meals, dietetic technicians should be able to use some types of commercial cooking equipment. Tools and devices made for commercial use may include knives and implements for cutting, food slicers, microwaves, mixing equipment and ovens.Additionally, this job may require individuals to use various nutritional or scientific software programs, such as:
- Axxya Systems Nutritionist Pro
- NutriGenie Optimal Nutrition
- CyberSoft NutriBase software
- DietMaster Systems Clinical Nutrition.
The exact programs you will use will depend on where you are employed, who your patients are and the specific duties of your position.
Education and Training for Dietetic Technicians
Generally, you will need an Associate’s degree to attain a position as a dietetic technician, but about a third of dietetic technicians in the Unites States do not have a degree and have only completed some college, compared to 20% who have an Associate’s degree and about 25% who have a high school diploma or the equivalent. Your schooling for this position may be gained through programs that cover nutrition sciences; the general study of food, nutrition and wellness; or programs specific for dietetic technicians or dietitian assistants.
Dietetic Technicians Salary
Hourly wages for positions range from $8.63 for the lowest 10% and may go up to $19.25 for the top 10%. Annual salaries range from $18,000 to $44,200. The median compensation for this job is $12.39 per hour and $25,800 per year. Since these are national numbers, wages may vary depending on the state you are in.
Dietetic Technicians Jobs by Geography
Dietetic technician jobs are most plentiful in California. Illinois and Michigan have the second and third highest concentrations of medical technicians, but the total numbers in those states still fall behind California by over 1,000 jobs. California, though the most common place to find these jobs, does not offer the highest salaries. California’s median hourly wage is about $5 per hour below the highest median hourly wages in the country, which can be found in New York, Nevada and Ohio. The median hourly wages in those states, respectively, are $19.34, $18.67 and $18.56; the median annual salaries in the same states are $40,200, $38,800 and $38,600.