American Dietetic Association
What are the most challenging aspects of a career in foodservice and what about it do you find most rewarding?
Helping managers achieve and exceed their career goals through motivation and development opportunities.
What are some typical jobs available to those interested in this field?
While many RD's completing dietetics education programs initially start out in a clinicalrelated job they can also move on to a number of career paths that require management and business skills. Today, dietitians have many options that did not exist in the past. Here are some of the many possibilities:
- school nutrition-sponsored internships can help you explore school foodservice, which is a great career choice;
- there are acute care and long term care foodservice opportunities that are traditional options for RDs;
- new options include health spas, food banks, personal trainers and chefs.
- many dietitians go on to work for for manufacturers and distributors of foodservice products and equipment. In some cases they serve as in-house consultants and service providers; in others, they can move into sales and marketing positions.
- correctional foodservice is another field that can prove rewarding; so are supermarkets, which have moved steadily to offer more foodservice via their popular ready-made meal sections.
What are compensation and benefit levels like? How about benefits?
A 2005 survey conducted by the American Dietetic Association identified the following salary ranges, with actual salaries also affected by the number of years of practice and experience an RD brings to a setting.
The annual cash compensation earned by individuals who direct food and nutrition service departments runs between $53,100 - $75,000; assistant foodservice directors earn $48,700 --$77,300 and school foodservice directors earn $46,500 - $65,000.
Those working hospital, school, or government agencies tend to enjoy a rich array of benefits such as paid vacation, holidays, and sick days and medical coverage. Much more
detailed information on compensation as it is influenced by a variety of factors is available in Compensation and Benefits Survey of the Dietetics Profession 2005, a publication that can be purchased from the ADA publication catalog on the Web site.
What would a culinary graduate or chef like about working in this field?
There are wonderful opportunities for chefs or culinary graduates to meld their knowledge of food and ingredients with the science of nutrition. In doing so, they can help develop products that meet special dietary needs and assist the growing population of obese children and adults to find tasty, lower-calorie alternatives that assist with weight control.
What would someone interested in a management career find rewarding about this field?
This career allows you to use the all the skills needed to be an successful entrepreneur. As a manager you are provided with information to assist you in making wise business decisions. These decisions can directly affect profitability. In addition, there are unlimited opportunities for teamwork, reward and recognition.
Does the American Dietetic Association have any programs available to help those interested in the field learn about internships or job opportunities?
Students interested in a career in foodservice management are encouraged to seek work experience in food-related settings such as children's summer camps, restaurants, long term care facilities and hospitals, food catering companies or spas. The Association does not have a formal job board for those considering a career in dietetics.
How can I find out more?
High school students and career changers can find information and a list of dietetics education programs that prepare graduates to become registered dietitians or dietetic technicians on our Web site. You can register at http://www.eatright.org or by contacting the Manager of Student Operations at 800/877-1600 ext. 5400.