Becoming a Registered Dietitian

Registered Dietitian Nutritionists (RDNs) or Registered Dietitians (RDs) are food and nutrition experts. They work in many areas including clinical, community, food service, sports nutrition, corporate wellness, public health, nutrition education, research, government, private practice, consultation, and others. Their training also allows them to meet today's challenges of an aging population and prevention and treatment of chronic disease. As public interest and nutrition awareness continues to grow, new opportunities will emerge for dietitians and nutritionists. Registered dietitians are in demand, as the field of nutrition expands and changes. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor & Statistics, employment of dietitians is expected to grow 11% on average from 2018-2028.

According to the Academy's 2019 Compensation and Benefits Survey of the Dietetics Profession, the median salary for RDNs with a bachelor's degree at registration and employed <5 years was $53,600. Salary level is dependent upon geographical location, education level, years of experience, employment setting, and responsibilities of the RDNs. 

Steps to become a Registered Dietitian

  1. Complete a Bachelor's degree in Dietetics at a program accredited by the Accreditation Council for Education in Nutrition and Dietetics (ACEND) such as UMD DPD

  2. Successfully complete a Dietetic Internship (DI) program or ISPP (Individualized supervised practice pathway), which are accredited by ACEND. 

  3. Pass the National Examination for Registration administrated by the Commission on Dietetic Registration (CDR). ALL U.S. states and territories with licensure and certification laws accept the RDN credential for state licensure and certification purposes.

  4. To maintain their credentials, RD or RDN must complete continuing professional educational requirements.

Note: effective January 1, 2024, a graduate degree will be required to be eligible to take the Commission on Dietetic Registration.