Detailed Guide forDietetic Technicians in San Diego County
May also be called: Clinical Dietetic Technicians; Diet Technicians Registered (DTR); Dietary Aides; Dietary Assistants; Dietary Managers; Nutrition Technicians
What Would I Do?
Dietetic Technicians are trained food and nutrition practitioners who work closely with dietitians. In hospitals, nursing homes, and other health care facilities, they may collect nutrition-related information from patients, plan specialized menus, calculate nutrient intake, teach nutrition classes, or supervise food production. Their main task is to assist the dietitian as they cannot independently perform nutrition assessment or care planning.
Under the supervision of dietitians, Dietetic Technicians plan and prepare meals based on established guidelines, evaluate dietary histories of clients to plan nutritional programs, teach principles of food and nutrition, or counsel individuals.
Dietetic Technicians use commercial kitchen appliances, computers, calculators, skinfold calipers, patient floor scales, and medical tape measures.
Important Tasks and Related Skills
Each task below is matched to a sample skill required to carry out the task.
|View the skill definitions|
|Task||Skill Used in this Task|
|Provide dietitians with assistance researching food, nutrition and food service systems.||Written Comprehension|
|Select, schedule, and conduct orientation and in-service education programs.||Education and Training|
|Determine food and beverage costs and assist in implementing cost control procedures.||Judgment and Decision Making|
|Obtain and evaluate dietary histories of individuals to plan nutritional programs.||Active Listening|
|Analyze menus and recipes, standardize recipes and test new products.||Critical Thinking|
|Plan menus and diets or guide individuals and families in food selection, preparation, and menu planning, based upon nutritional needs and established guidelines.||Oral Expression|
|Prepare a major meal, following recipes and determining group food quantities.||Information Ordering|
|Supervise food production and service, or assist dietitians and nutritionists in food service supervision and planning.||Monitoring|
|Observe patient food intake and report progress and dietary problems to dietician.||Problem Sensitivity|
Below is a definition for each skill.
|View the tasks to skills list|
|Written Comprehension||The ability to read and understand information and ideas presented in writing.|
|Education and Training||Knowledge of principles and methods for curriculum and training design, teaching and instruction for individuals and groups, and the measurement of training effects.|
|Judgment and Decision Making||Considering the relative costs and benefits of potential actions to choose the most appropriate one.|
|Active Listening||Giving full attention to what other people are saying, taking time to understand the points being made, asking questions as appropriate, and not interrupting at inappropriate times.|
|Critical Thinking||Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions or approaches to problems.|
|Oral Expression||The ability to communicate information and ideas in speaking so others will understand.|
|Information Ordering||The ability to arrange things or actions in a certain order or pattern according to a specific rule or set of rules (e.g., patterns of numbers, letters, words, pictures, mathematical operations).|
|Monitoring||Monitoring/Assessing performance of yourself, other individuals, or organizations to make improvements or take corrective action.|
|Problem Sensitivity||The ability to tell when something is wrong or is likely to go wrong. It does not involve solving the problem, only recognizing there is a problem.|
Dietetic Technicians work in a wide variety of settings such as medical centers, nursing homes, colleges and universities, public health centers, schools, prisons, and food companies. They usually work in clean, well-lighted, and well-ventilated areas. However, sometimes they must work in hot, congested kitchens. Many are on their feet for much of the workday.
Most full-time Dietetic Technicians work a regular 40-hour week. However, in hospitals Dietetic Technicians must expect to work some weekends. Those employed in commercial food service often have irregular hours.
So far, there has been little unionization for Dietetic Technicians. Many Dietetic Technicians join the American Dietetic Association.
Will This Job Fit Me?
The job of Dietetic Technician may appeal to those who enjoy activities that involve assisting others and promoting learning and personal development. This occupation satisfies those who enjoy teaching, offering advice, helping, and being of service to people.
What Wages and Benefits Can I Expect?
The median wage in 2016 for Dietetic Technicians in California is $35,700 annually, or $17.17 hourly. The median wage for Dietetic Technicians in San Diego County is $33,499 annually, or $16.11 hourly. The median is the point at which half of the workers earn more and half earn less.
Benefits generally include medical, dental, life, and vision insurance as well as vacation, sick leave, and retirement plans.
What is the Job Outlook?
A growing and aging population will increase demand for nutritional services in medical and health care facilities, schools, prisons, and community health programs. However, growth of this occupation will slow in hospitals and nursing care facilities as these facilities continue to contract with outside agencies for food service or move medical therapy to outpatient care facilities. As a result, employment in outsourced food services and outpatient care centers will continue to grow.
Projections of Employment
In California, the number of Dietetic Technicians is expected to grow much faster than average growth rate for all occupations. Jobs for Dietetic Technicians are expected to increase by 23.5 percent, or 800 jobs between 2012 and 2022.
In San Diego County, the number of Dietetic Technicians is expected to grow faster than average growth rate for all occupations. Jobs for Dietetic Technicians are expected to increase by 23.8 percent, or 50 jobs between 2012 and 2022.
|Estimated Employment and Projected Growth|
(Estimated Year-Projected Year)
Due to Net
|San Diego County|
|View Projected Growth for All Areas|
Annual Job Openings
In California, an average of 80 new job openings per year is expected for Dietetic Technicians, plus an additional 30 job openings due to net replacement needs, resulting in a total of 120 job openings.
In San Diego County, an average of 6 new job openings per year is expected for Dietetic Technicians, plus an additional 2 job openings due to net replacement needs, resulting in a total of 8 job openings.
|Estimated Average Annual Job Openings|
|Jobs From Growth||Jobs Due to|
|San Diego County|
|View Data for All Areas|
How Do I Qualify?
Education, Training, and Other Requirements
Becoming a Dietetic Technician usually requires an associate degree and practical experience. The minimum requirement to become a Registered Dietetic Technician is an associate degree received from a program accredited by the Commission on Accreditation for Dietetics Education. College studies should include courses in writing, mathematics, chemistry, economics, statistics, bacteriology, physiology, home economics, management theory, business administration, sociology, and data processing.
Many employers prefer candidates with at least one year of related dietary experience.
Early Career Planning
Those interested in a career in dietetics should have a scientific aptitude as well as organizational and administrative abilities. High school courses should include English, biology, mathematics, chemistry, economics, physiology, and home economics.
Work Study Programs
A few Regional Occupational Programs offer courses related to dietetics or nutrition. In addition, several offer introductory health care courses that many high school students may take to learn such subjects as basic medical terminology, anatomy, and physiology. To find an ROP program near you, go to the California Association of Regional Occupational Centers and Programs Web site.
Registered Dietetic Technicians must complete 50 hours of continuing professional education units every 5 years to maintain registered status.
Although not required, the Commission on Dietetic Registration of the American Dietetic Association awards the Registered Dietetic Technician credential to those who pass an exam after completing academic coursework and a supervised internship. Many employers require new applicants be Registered Dietetic Technicians. For more information, go to the U.S. Department of Labor's Career InfoNet Web site and scroll down to "Career Tools." Click on "Certification Finder" and follow the instructions to locate certification programs.
Where Can I Find Training?
There are two ways to search for training information:
Contact the schools you are interested in to learn about the classes available, tuition and fees, and any prerequisite course work.
Where Would I Work?
The largest industries employing Dietetic Technicians are as follows:
|Industry Title||Percent of Total Employment for Occupation in California|
|Nursing Care Facilities ||41.8%|
|General Medical and Surgical Hospitals ||24.4%|
|Community Care Facility for the Elderly ||6.3%|
|Local Government ||5.8%|
|Outpatient Care Centers ||5.1%|
Finding a Job
Direct application to employers remains one of the most effective job search methods. Applicants can also find employment opportunities through placement offices at colleges and universities. Networking with workers in the industry is important because sometimes they will recommend an interested candidate for jobs. Newspaper classified ads, the Internet, and professional associations provide additional sources for job listings. Online job opening systems include JobCentral at www.jobcentral.com and CalJOBSSM at www.caljobs.ca.gov.
To find your nearest One-Stop Career Center, go to Service Locator. View the helpful job search tips for more resources. (requires Adobe Reader).
Yellow Page Headings
You can focus your local job search by checking employers listed online or in your local telephone directory. Below are some suggested headings where you might find employers of Dietetic Technicians.
- Food Management Companies
- Health Clubs
- Nursing Homes
- Retirement Centers
- State Department of Corrections
Find Possible Employers
To locate a list of employers in your area, go to "Find Employers" on the Labor Market Information Web site:
- Select one of the top industries that employ the occupation. This will give you a list of employers in that industry in your area.
- Click on "View Filter Selections" to limit your list to specific cities or employer size.
- Click on an employer for the street address, telephone number, size of business, Web site, etc.
- Contact the employer for possible employment.
Where Could This Job Lead?
Some Dietetic Technicians advance by completing the qualifications required to become Dietitians. Others may advance to supervisory positions.
Below is a list of occupations related to Dietetic Technicians with links to more information.
|Dietitians and Nutritionists||Guide|
|Farm and Home Management Advisors||Profile|
|Hosts and Hostesses, Restaurant, Lounge, and Coffee Shop||Profile|
These links are provided for your convenience and do not constitute an endorsement by EDD.
For the Career Professional
The following codes are provided to assist counselors, job placement workers, or other career professionals.