Dietitians and Nutritionists

(NOC 3132)

in All Health

Dietitians and nutritionists plan, implement and oversee nutrition and food service programs. They work in a variety of settings including hospitals, home health-care agencies and extended care facilities, community health centres, the food and beverage industry, educational institutions, and government and sports organizations, or they may work as private consultants. Dietitians and nutritionists may specialize in areas like administrative dietetics, clinical dietetics, community dietetics, public health nutrition or research dietetics.

Job Outlook

Average

Read more

  • Estimate Moderate growth employment change, 2019-2021
  • Estimate 25 openings due to growth and retirements, 2018-2020
  • Estimate Low rate of unemployment in 2019

Compared to: All Health

  • Estimate 705 employment change, 2019-2021
  • Estimate 3180 openings due to growth and retirements, 2018-2020
  • Estimate rate of unemployment not available for these occupation.

The employment outlook over the next few years for this occupational group is “average”, which indicates the chances of a qualified individual finding work is comparable to the average for all occupations in Nova Scotia. This is a moderate sized occupation in Nova Scotia so some job opportunities may occur through turnover. The number employed in this occupation is expected to grow moderately over the next few years, which will likely provide some additional opportunities for employment. With a small percent of workers being 55 years of age and older, retirements are not expected to be a major contributor to employment opportunities over the coming years. Dietitians and Nutritionists most commonly work full-time hours.

The median employment income for 56% of Dietitians and Nutritionists who worked full-time, year-round in 2015 was $68,187. Across all occupations in Nova Scotia, 59% of those who worked full-time year round had a median employment income of $43,600.
(Source: 2016 Census)

Hourly Pay

$22.56

Minimum

$33.00

Median

$38.00

Maximum

Annual Pay

$16,932

Minimum

$55,463

Median

$76,874

Maximum

Compared to: All Health

Hourly Pay

$16.38

Minimum

$30.45

Median

$41.35

Maximum

Annual Pay

$10,740

Minimum

$43,853

Median

$88,944

Maximum

About the job

Nature of work

Dietitians and nutritionists plan, implement and oversee nutrition and food service programs. They work in a variety of settings including hospitals, home health-care agencies and extended care facilities, community health centres, the food and beverage industry, educational institutions, and government and sports organizations, or they may work as private consultants. Dietitians and nutritionists may specialize in areas like administrative dietetics, clinical dietetics, community dietetics, public health nutrition or research dietetics.

Job duties

Dietitians and nutritionists:

  • Develop, administer, and supervise nutrition and food preparation and service programs in hospitals, nursing homes, schools, company cafeterias or similar settings.
  • Evaluate nutritional status of individuals and provide nutrition guidance and consulting to health professionals, individuals, dietetic interns, community groups, government, and the media.
  • Aid in the prevention and/or treatment of inadequate nutrition.
  • Plan, evaluate and conduct nutrition education programs and develop educational materials for various audiences.
  • Practice on an individual basis or as a member of an interdisciplinary team to determine nutritional needs of patients and to plan, implement, and evaluate normal and therapeutic menus to maintain and enhance general health.
  • Analyze current scientific nutritional studies, conduct research, and evaluate program effectiveness to improve the nutritional value, taste, appearance, and preparation of food.
  • Work within industry in the development, testing and evaluation, and marketing of food and nutrition products or as a company representative supplying product related information to health professionals.
  • Consult with other health professionals, community groups, government, and the media to provide advice in areas of nutrition interpretation, intervention, and policy.
  • Supervise training of dietetic interns.

Sample job titles

  • clinical dietitian
  • clinical nutritionist
  • dietitian
  • nutrition consultant
  • nutritionist
  • professional dietitian (P.Dt.)
  • registered dietitian (RD)
  • registered dietitian-nutritionist (RDN)
  • research dietitian
  • research nutritionist

Skills

You should be interested in helping people, working in partnership with others, and promoting healthy lifestyles. You should have an aptitude for science. Good judgement, organizational skills, and leadership skills are important. You must be creative, tactful, and tolerant of others.

Job requirements

  • Dietitians require a bachelor's or master's degree in dietetics, nutrition or a related field like food and nutritional science or biochemistry and a period of supervised practical training.
  • Registration with a regulatory body is required in Nova Scotia for dietitians.
  • Membership in the national association, Dietitians of Canada, may be required for dietitians to practice.
  • Nutritionists usually require similar education and training as dietitians.
  • Registration with a regulatory body is required for nutritionists in Nova Scotia, (as a registered dietitian-nutritionist).
  • Membership with the national association, Dietitians of Canada, and/or a provincial regulatory body is available for nutritionists who have the same education and practical training as dietitians.

Other considerations

Most dietitians and nutritionists work regular hours, however, those in hospitals may work evenings, weekends, or holidays. Dietitians and nutritionists may progress to management positions through additional experience.

By the numbers

Quick look

505

employed in 2016

73.5%

employed full-time

13.7%

self employed

96.1%
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3.9%
Icons/male Created with Sketch.
38.7

median age

Compared to: All Health

36,515

employed in 2016

75.7%

employed full-time

9.6%

self employed

83.6%
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16.4%
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43.5

median age

Where will I likely work?

63.4%

Halifax

10.9%

North Shore

10.9%

Southern

7.9%

Cape Breton

6.9%

Annapolis Valley

Compared to: All NS Occupations

47.0%

Halifax

15.6%

North Shore

12.9%

Annapolis Valley

12.7%

Cape Breton

11.8%

Southern

Top Industries of Employment

76.6%

Health care and social assistance

6.4%

Retail trade

5.3%

Public administration

4.3%

Professional, scientific and technical services

3.2%

Other services (except public administration)

What is the age of Employment?

35.0%

25-34

25.0%

35-44

23.0%

45-54

13.0%

55-64

3.0%

15-24

2.0%

65+

Compared to: All Health

24.0%

25-34

23.9%

45-54

21.9%

35-44

18.4%

55-64

7.7%

15-24

Top levels of education

61.4%

Bachelor

$56,167 median annual income
18.8%

Master

$66,631 median annual income
10.9%

Diploma Above Bachelor

$61,564 median annual income
5.0%

College Diploma

N/A
3.0%

Diploma Below Bachelor

N/A

Compared to: All Health

38.4%

College Diploma

$40,033 median annual income
27.1%

Bachelor

$61,668 median annual income
8.7%

Medicine, Dentistry, Veterinary, Optometry

$81,191 median annual income
6.8%

High school

$24,829 median annual income
5.1%

Master

$69,296 median annual income

Education & training

Dietetics/Dietitian (RD)

College or University Program

These programs prepare students to integrate and apply the principles of the food and nutrition sciences, human behaviour, and the biomedical sciences to design and manage effective nutrition programs in a variety of settings. They include courses in human nutrition, nutrient metabolism, the role of foods and nutrition in health promotion and disease prevention, planning and directing food service activities, diet and nutrition analysis and planning, supervision of food storage and preparation, client education, and professional standards and regulations.

Institutions providing this program

Mount Saint Vincent University

Halifax, NS

Human Nutrition

College, Trades, or University Program

These programs focus on the relationships between food consumption and human development and health. They include courses in the cellular and molecular processes of food processing in the human body, related metabolic processes, the relationship of food and nutrition to disease, and nutritional needs across the lifespan.

Institutions providing this program

St. Francis Xavier University

Antigonish, NS

Cape Breton University

Sydney, NS

Nutrition Sciences

College or University Program

These programs focus on using food for human growth and metabolism, in both normal and dysfunctional states, from the interdisciplinary perspective of the agricultural, human, biological, and biomedical sciences. They include courses in food science, biochemistry, physiology, dietetics, food and nutrition studies, biotechnology, biophysics, and the clinical sciences.

Institutions providing this program

Acadia University

Wolfville, NS

Employment requirements & contacts

Regulations

Dietitian or Nutritionist

Right to Title: This job is regulated in Nova Scotia. The job title is protected, and you may not use it without a professional designation. Professional designation shows that the holder has met provincial standards for the job. Employers may require professional designation, but professional designation is not necessary to do this work.

Regulating body:
Nova Scotia Dietetic Association
380 Bedford Highway, Suite 301
Halifax, NS B3M 2L4
(902) 493-3034

Contacts

Health Care Human Resource Sector Council
Bedford, NS
Dietitians of Canada
Toronto, ON

Additional resources

There are no additional resources for this occupation.