Registered Dietitian Nutritionists (RDNs) work in a wide variety of settings, including health care, business and industry, community/public health, education, research, government agencies and private practice. Many work environments, particularly those in medical and health-care settings, require that an individual be credentialed as a RDN.
Additionally, some RDNs hold additional certifications in specialized areas of practice. These are awarded through CDR, the credentialing agency for the Academy, and/or through other medical and nutrition organizations. These certifications are recognized within the profession, but not required. Some of the certifications include pediatric or renal nutrition, sports dietetics, oncology, gerontological, nutrition support and diabetes education.
RDNs work in areas such as:
- Hospitals, clinics or other health-care facilities, educating patients about nutrition and administering medical nutrition therapy as part of the health-care team. They may also manage the food service operations in these settings, or schools, daycare centers or correctional facilities, overseeing everything from food purchasing and preparation to managing staff.
- Sports nutrition and corporate wellness programs, educating clients about the connection between food, fitness and health.
- Food and nutrition-related business and industries, working in communications, consumer affairs, public relations, marketing, product development or consulting with chefs in restaurants and culinary schools.
- Private practice, working under contract with healthcare or food companies, or in their own business. RDNs work with food service or restaurant managers, food vendors and distributors, athletes, nursing home residents or company employees.
- Community and public health settings, teaching, monitoring and advising the public and helping improve quality of life through healthy eating habits.
- Universities and medical centers, teaching physician’s assistants, nurses, dietetics students, dentists and others about the sophisticated science of food and nutrition.
- Research areas in food and pharmaceutical companies, universities and hospitals directing or conducting experiments to answer critical nutrition questions and find alternative foods or nutrition recommendations for the public
A complete list is available here. More career information is available from the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics.