How to Become a Dietitian

Becoming a Dietitian

If you enjoy the science of food and nutrition and how it relates to human health, then dietetics is for you. The growing field of dietetics provides challenging opportunities in clinical/hospital, community, management, research, education, private practice and business settings.

Salary and Employment Expectations

Annual salaries for dietitians vary based on work experience, area of practice and employer. The average annual income range for a dietitian in Michigan is approximately $37,000 – $41,000 for entry-level.

With their strong background in science, practical experience, bachelor’s degree, completion of a registration exam and maintenance of continuing education credits, Registered Dietitians are the nutrition experts. Specialized credentials may be obtained in certain areas like diabetes education, renal nutrition, metabolic support, pediatrics, and enteral and parenteral nutrition support based on experience and years of practice.


How can you become a Registered Dietitian?

  • Earn a bachelor’s degree in dietetics, nutrition or related science from a program accredited by the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics.
  • Obtain practical experience through an Academy approved dietetic internship or coordinated program (which combines both academic and performance requirements). Graduate credit and graduate degrees may be incorporated in any of the above programs.
  • Pass a national qualifying examination administered by the Commission on Dietetic Registration. After passing the exam, the dietitian may use the credentials – R.D. (registered dietitian) or R.D.N. (registered dietitian nutritionist) after his/her name.
  • Complete mandatory continuing education credits every five years to maintain R.D. credentials.

Southeastern Michigan has approved programs for dietitians available at the following locations:

  • Eastern Michigan University-Coordinated Program
  • Madonna University-Didactic Program (requires internship upon┬ácompletion)
  • Wayne State University-Coordinated Program

To find out more about these programs and other dietetic programs in Michigan, see our Michigan Dietetic Programs listing and/or contact the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics.