Dietitians educate the public on the role of healthy eating habits and promote wellness. They design nutrition programs based on the individual needs of patients to improve health, prevent disease and avoid allergic reactions. They plan and supervise the preparation of meals for both individuals and large groups such as schools, hospitals and restaurants.
Dietitians can work in hospitals, schools, government agencies, community health centers and food-related industries. They typically work 40 hours a week, splitting time between an office and a kitchen.
There are two ways to become a registered dietitian. Some colleges offer coordinated programs that combine classroom and at least 900 hours of clinical experience while others have didactic programs with only the classroom aspect, followed by a one-year internship. Both options result in a bachelor’s degree.
Iowa State University is the only college in the state with a dietitic program. They offer a didactic bachelor's program with a supervised internship after graduation. Iowa State also has a master's degree in diet and exercise.
Licensure and Certification
Dieticians must pass a national exam from the Commission on Dietetic Registration to become registered. An Iowa license is required to practice in the state.
Career Outlook Map of Iowa
Dietitians are expected to grow at a rate that is just below average, but the long-term outlook is good as the state's population ages and nutrition becomes a bigger health issue. The outlook in central Iowa is much better, as jobs will grow by 17% in the region.