What is a Registered Dietitian?
Dietitians are healthcare professionals who understand the science of food and nutrition and use this knowledge to promote health, prevent disease, and treat acute and chronic conditions.
Dietitians help their clients understand the role of nutrition in their health, access nutritious food, and create functional and relevant meal-plans.
From supporting clients with diabetes, to assisting breastfeeding mothers with their nutritional needs, dietitians support a wide range of clients.
Unlike nutritionists, dieticians are a regulated profession with specific education requirements.
They work in a variety of settings, including but not limited to:
- Community health centres
- Family medicine clinics
- Long-term care homes
- Diabetes education centres
- Public health departments
- Sports and recreation facilities
- Food industry
- Academic and research settings
- Private practice
Indigenous dietitians may choose to incorporate culture into their practice to enhance their work and better serve their clients in a culturally-relevant way. To learn more about the Dietitians of Canada’s Aboriginal Nutrition Network, visit www.dietitians.ca/aboriginalnutrition
- The average Registered Dietitian salary in Canada is $62,205 per year or $31.90 per hour.
- Entry level positions start at $32,654 per year
- Most experienced workers make up to $101,888 per year.
Schooling Entry Requirements
Requirements vary by school, but generally require a high school diploma with:
- Grade 12 English
- At least one grade 12 math (specific math course requirements may vary)
- Grade 12 Biology
- Grade 12 Chemistry
Minimum averages vary by program, but can range as high as 85%.
A degree in nutrition studies is typically a bachelor of science program. Courses vary by program, but all involve many pure science as well as applied nutrition science courses. Other courses you will likely encounter include: public health, food security, research methods, and social sciences classes.
Depending on the environment you would like to work in, employers may seek additional certifications that are relevant to their clients’ needs. For example, if you work in a public health setting doing health promotion, an employer may want a candidate who has a certification in adult education.
In Ontario, the following universities offer accredited undergraduate degrees:
- University of Ottawa (French)
- Brescia University College
- Ryerson University
- University of Guelph
Many positions require applicants to complete a successful police check.
In order to maintain your registration with the College of Dietitians of Ontario, you must meet several requirements, including: minimum practice hours, self-assessments, peer assessments and a variety of others that are designed to help you stay current in your knowledge.
To practice using the title of dietitian, you must be registered with the College of Dietitians of Ontario. In order to obtain your registration, you must:
- Have an accredited 4-year or equivalent degree with appropriate courses in sciences and human nutrition, administration and humanities;
- An accredited dietetic internship or equivalent supervised practical training; and,
- Successful completion of the Canadian Dietetic Registration Examination.