Dietitians diagnose and treat people with nutrition problems, and help people make healthy lifestyle and dietary decisions.
Salary range: £24,214 to £37,267
How to become a dietitian
You can get into this job through:
- a university course
- an apprenticeship
- working towards this role
You’ll need a degree or postgraduate qualification in dietetics or human nutrition, accredited by the British Dietetic Association.
You may be able to take a postgraduate course if you already have a degree with an acceptable level of human physiology and biochemistry.
You’ll usually need:
- 5 GCSEs at grades 9 to 4 (A* to C), or equivalent, including English, maths and science
- 2 or 3 A levels, or equivalent, including biology or chemistry
- a degree in a relevant subject for postgraduate study
- equivalent entry requirements
- student finance for fees and living costs
- university courses and entry requirements
You may be able to do a dietitian degree apprenticeship.
You’ll usually need:
- 2 to 3 A levels, or equivalent, preferably including biology, for a degree apprenticeship
You could work as a dietetic assistant and study part time for a degree to qualify as a dietitian.
Volunteering and experience
You’ll find it helpful to get some paid or voluntary experience in the health or care sector before you apply for a course.
You could contact the voluntary services co-ordinator at your local NHS trust for further advice.
- you’ll need to register with the Health and Care Professions Council
Professional and industry bodies
You may find it useful to join organisations like the British Dietetic Association for training opportunities and to make industry contacts.
What it takes
Skills and knowledge
- knowledge of teaching and the ability to design courses
- customer service skills
- sensitivity and understanding
- to be thorough and pay attention to detail
- the ability to read English
- the ability to work well with others
- patience and the ability to remain calm in stressful situations
- excellent verbal communication skills
- to be able to carry out basic tasks on a computer or hand-held device
Restrictions and requirements
You’ll need to:
- pass enhanced background checks, as you may be working with children and vulnerable adults
What you’ll do
In a hospital, your job would involve:
- specialising in an area like children’s health, renal dietetics or cancer care
- running clinics for people with diabetes or eating disorders, like anorexia or bulimia
- working with catering services to create menus for patients with a range of dietary needs
In the community, you could be:
- raising awareness of the importance of healthy eating
- running health promotion workshops
- advising people who lack confidence, have depression, or are on a low income
You could work in an NHS or private hospital, in the community, at a research facility or at a health centre.
Career path and progression
With experience you could become a team leader or department manager.
You could also become self-employed.
You might take further training to use your skills in education, manufacturing, research, journalism, marketing, advertising or public relations.
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