Registered dietitian nutritionists work in a wide variety of employment settings, including health care, business and industry, community/public health, education, research, government agencies and private practice.
Many work environments, particularly those in medical and health-care settings, require that an individual be credentialed as an RDN. RDNs work in:
- Hospitals, HMO's or other health-care facilities, educating patients about nutrition and administering medical nutrition therapy as part of the health-care team. They may also manage the foodservice operations in these settings, as well as in schools, day-care centers and correctional facilities, over-seeing everything from food purchasing and preparation to managing staff.
- Sports nutrition and corporate wellness programs, educating clients about the connection between food, fitness and health.
- Food and nutrition-related business and industries, working in communications, consumer affairs, public relations, marketing, product development or consulting with chefs in restaurants and culinary schools.
- Private practice, working under contract with health-care or food companies, or in their own business. RDNs may provide services to foodservice or restaurant managers, food vendors and distributors or athletes, nursing home residents or company employees.
- Community and public health settings, teaching, monitoring and advising the public and helping improve their quality of life through healthy eating habits.
- Universities and medical centers, teaching physician’s assistants, nurses, dietetics students, dentists and others the sophisticated science of foods and nutrition.
- Research areas in food and pharmaceutical companies, universities and hospitals directing or conducting experiments to answer critical nutrition questions and find alternative foods or nutrition recommendations for the public.