/How to become a nutrition assistant

How to become a nutrition assistant

Job prospects for careers in the nutrition industry are quite good. This sector is expected to grow faster than other jobs as the population continues to focus on health as we age. If you’re thinking of going into this field, becoming a nutrition assistant might be a good place to start.

As there may be entry level nutrition assistant jobs near you that offer on the job trainingyou may be able to dip your toes in the pool before you make a big commitment to becoming a nutrition professional.

What does a nutrition assistant do?

A nutrition assistant typically works with a registered dietitian or nutritionist. In many cases, they are the ones who help the patient understand the new dietary guidance and how to implement those changes on a daily basis.

A nutrition assistant can help with patient meal planning, make healthy grocery selections, answer questions about dietary advice, and can even arrange for food delivery service. In a hospital or nursing home setting, a nutrition assistant may also be involved in food preparation.

When exploring job opportunities in this field, you may want to include these additional titles in your search:

As you delve into the job description and job functions, you will be able to better understand the requirements and expectations of available positions.

nutrition assistants help patients understand dietary guidance

Nutrition Assistant Salary

In many cases, nutrition assistant jobs are entry-level positions in a hospital or nursing home. The paper is usually under the direction of a registered dietitian. As such, they are often entry-level, and the payout reflects that. Most jobs only pay in the range of $24,000 to $30,000 per year.

Nutrition Assistant Training Options

While some jobs require only a high school diploma and experience in a hospital or food service setting, others prefer a nutrition degree. The most sought-after certifications for this role include Dietetic Technician, Registered (DTR) or Nutrition and Dietetic Technician, Registered (NDTR). The Dietetic Registration Commission (CDR) of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics (AND) regulates both certifications.

A DTR or NDTR certification requires much less training than becoming a registered dietitian (RD). A registered dietitian certification requires a bachelor’s degree, while a DTR or NDTR requires only an associate’s degree and passing the DTR exam.

However, all of these certifications require courses in a few key areas:

  • Nutrition and diet therapy
  • medical nutrition therapy
  • Food Sanitation and Safety Practices
  • Food Management Systems
  • Meal management and food preparation.

Beyond the health education requirements, each state has its own licensing requirements. Some states may not require any licenses at the DTR level.

Nutrition Assistant Job Opportunities

The vast majority of nutrition assistant jobs are on-site, as they require the direct supervision of a registered dietitian. That being said, if after working in this role for a while you feel like it’s your calling, you have many career avenues you could take with additional nutrition education. You can opt for food addiction rehab, corporate wellness consulting, child nutrition, holistic coaching, and more.