Dietetic Professionals are Registered Dietitians (RD)
& Dietetic Technicians Registered (DTR)

Who Is a Registered Dietitian (RD)?

A food and nutrition professional uniquely qualified to recommend and implement appropriate nutritional care of individuals and groups. The Registered Dietitian promotes health, prevents disease and improves outcomes with recovery from illness. Education in nutrition science (knowledge of food, nutrition, biochemistry, physiology, food service systems, culinary arts, business, communications, computer science or exercise physiology) enables the RD to tailor nutrition therapy and recommendations to the needs of the individual patient, client or group.

Qualifications of a Registered Dietitian

  • Baccalaureate or higher degree in nutrition and its applied sciences, food service systems management, or dietetics
  • Dietetic Internship or other supervised pre-professional experience approved by the Commission on Accreditation of Dietetics Education (CADE) or the American Dietetic Association (ADA)
  • Registered through a national examination
  • Mandatory continuing professional education

In Ohio the DIETETIC LICENSURE LAW mandates that anyone who practices dietetics must also be licensed. The following nutrition care practices are defined in the law as the "practice of dietetics":

  • Nutritional assessment to determine nutritional needs and to recommend appropriate nutritional intake, including enteral and parenteral nutrition
  • Nutritional counseling or education as components of preventive, curative and restorative health care
  • Development, administration, evaluation and consultation regarding nutritional care standards

Employment Roles of a Registered Dietitian

Registered dietitians work in a wide variety of employment settings, including health care, complementary medicine, business and industry, sales, marketing, public relations, public health, education, research, government, food companies, wellness centers, fitness facilities and private practice.

Responsibilities of a Registered Dietitian

  • Medical Nutrition Therapy and Preventive Nutritional Care
    Provides nutritional care for infants, children, adolescents, adults and seniors to meet normal nutrition needs and as part of the health care team. Medical Nutrition Therapy improves outcomes in pregnancy, heart disease, cancer, hypertension, diabetes, gastro-intestinal diseases, kidney disease, allergies, anemia, weight management
  • Nutrition Education
    Teaches and advises health professionals, consumers groups, employees in industry and government and individuals about the sophisticated science of foods and nutrition to improve quality of life through healthy eating habits. Individuals learn the connection between food, health, fitness, and sports nutrition for added value from health and wellness programs, fitness regimens and athletic programs.

    Develops nutrition messages for communications, consumer affairs, public relations, marketing, or product development for food and nutrition-related businesses, industries and government. Food industry companies employ RDs to consult in areas involving new product development, marketing, food labeling information and nutrient analysis.
  • Food Service Management
    Plans, organizes, directs, and evaluates food service operations by overseeing operations including food purchasing, sanitation and food safety, preparation and managing staff in health care facilities, schools, day care facilities, business, industry, restaurants, food vendors and government.
  • Nutrition Research
    Conducts independent research or collaborates in research areas with food and pharmaceutical companies, universities, and hospitals by directing or conducting experiments to answer critical nutrition and food science questions and develop nutrition recommendations for the public.

Who Is a Dietetic Technician, Registered (DTR)?

A Food and Nutrition Practitioner trained in food and nutrition as an integral part of health care and food service management teams. The DTR's education includes knowledge of food and nutrition sciences and food service systems management.

Qualifications of a Dietetic Technician, Registered

  • Two-year associate degree at a regionally accredited college or university
  • Dietetic technician program approved by the Commission on Accreditation for Dietetics Education (CADE) or the American Dietetic Association
  • Registered through a national examination

Employment Roles of a Dietetic Technician, Registered

Dietetic technicians, registered work independently* or in teams with registered dietitians in a variety of employment settings, including hospitals, clinics, extended care facilities, business and industry, public health and foodservice.

* In Ohio the DIETETIC LICENSURE LAW mandates dietetic technicians must work under the supervision of a licensed dietitian when "practicing dietetics" as defined in the law. The dietetic technician may work independently in food service systems.

Responsibilities of a Dietetic Technician, Registered

  • Medical Nutrition Therapy and Preventive Nutritional Care
    Administer medical nutrition therapy, under the guidance of a Licensed Dietitians as an important part of the health care team.
  • Nutrition Education
    Educate the public about the connection between food, fitness, and health.
  • Food Service Management
    Manage employees, purchase and oversee food preparation, and prepare budgets within food service operations, assist with the menu development, and oversee food service sanitation and food safety.