Usually under the direction of a registered dietitian, a dietetic technician assists in managing food service and providing nutritional care. Duties vary depending upon the work environment. Dietetic technicians may screen patients to identify nutritional problems. These patients often need help in planning meals within their budgets and diets. Dietetic technicians educate and train patients, develop menus, supervise food service personnel, and purchase and control inventory. They are often responsible for ensuring sanitation and safety standards.
To become a dietetic technician, you can enroll in an ADA-approved program (two year, associate degree) that combines classroom and 450 hours of practical experience. After you complete the program, you are eligible to take the registration examination for dietetic technicians. When you pass, you become a Registered Dietetic Technician, and can use the initials “DTR” after your name.
After completing a bachelor’s or master’s degree program you can become a Registered Dietitian and continue into management, research, consulting, business, education and other exciting areas.