Clinical Dietitian Salary
Job Description for Clinical Dietitian
Clinical dietitians are responsible for all aspects of patient diet and nutrition therapy in a clinical setting. This involves first assessing patient status to determine nutritional and dietary needs. They then identify medical goals and develop a nutritional plan that helps patients improve their health. Once a plan has been implemented, clinical dietitians monitor patients and make adjustments to their dietary recommendations as needed. They work with both patients and their families to teach healthy eating habits, encourage program adherence, and develop customized diets for cultural, religious, and/or income-restricted individuals. At the conclusion of their assistance, clinical dietitians provide exit counseling or long-term planning and advice to ensure healthy living for the patient once they are no longer under the dietitian’s care.Read More...
Clinical dietitians generally work full time in a clinical or hospital setting. They have direct patient contact on a regular basis, working closely with patients and family to develop and monitor diet plans. Clinical dietitians also work closely with other medical personnel to assess patients’ nutritional needs and to give and receive feedback on their progress. They may travel, seek additional training, and attend conferences, as they must keep current with developments in nutritional research to provide the best patient care.
Generally, clinical dietitians are required to hold a bachelor’s degree in food and nutrition, dietetics, or a related field. They must then complete a training program or internship under the supervision of a registered dietitian. Certification as a registered dietitian (RD) and state certification as a licensed dietitian/nutritionist (LDN) is required upon completion of their training programs. Most clinical dietitians must have experience in a patient care environment, typically a year or more.
Clinical Dietitian Tasks
- Advise patients and their families on nutritional principles, diet modifications, food selection and preparation.
- Consult with physicians and health care staff to determine nutritional needs and diet restrictions of patient.
- May monitor food service operations to ensure conformance to nutritional, safety, sanitation and quality standards.
- Counsel individuals and groups on basic rules of good nutrition, healthy eating habits and nutrition monitoring.
- Screen, assess and evaluate nutritional needs, diet restrictions and current health plans to develop and implement dietary-care plans and provide nutritional counseling.
Common Career Paths for Clinical Dietitian
Clinical Dietitians may experience a large salary bump if they progress into a role such as Clinical Nutrition Manager. The latter position pays an average of $62K annually. Becoming a Registered Dietitian or a Dietitian or Nutritionist is a common transition from a Clinical Dietitian role.
Dietitian Job Listings
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Popular Employer Salaries for Clinical Dietitian
Clinical Dietitians in search of the best pay head to Sodexo, Inc., where the median salary rolls in at $49K. Although pay is top-notch overall, it does seem to be curbed at $62K, which isn't dramatically higher than the lower-end figure of $40K.
The lowest salaries can be found at Morrison Healthcare — median pay is $42K — and there is little variation in compensation, with paychecks starting at $36K and only reaching $56K.
Popular Skills for Clinical Dietitian
Overall, survey participants reported applying a fair number of skills to their work. Most notably, facility with Weight Loss/Weight Management, Critical Care, and Patient Counseling are correlated to pay that is significantly above average, leading to increases of 26 percent, 20 percent, and 7 percent, respectively. Skills that pay less than market rate include Diabetes Education and Dietetics. It is often found that people who know Clinical Education are also skilled in Nutrition Support.
Pay by Experience Level for Clinical Dietitian
Median of all compensation (including tips, bonus, and overtime) by years of experience.
For Clinical Dietitians, more experience in the field does not usually mean bigger paychecks. The average worker who claims fewer than five years of experience earns around $46K. In contrast, however, individuals who report five to 10 years in this occupation see a much larger median of $52K. Clinical Dietitians claiming one to two decades of experience make an estimated median of $57K. People who have worked for more than 20 years report a median income of $62K, which is barely higher than the median for folks with 10 to 20 years of experience.
Pay Difference by Location
For those looking to make money, Clinical Dietitians in Seattle enjoy an exceptional pay rate, 23 percent above the national average. Clinical Dietitians will also find cushy salaries in San Diego (+19 percent), New York (+17 percent), Los Angeles (+15 percent), and Philadelphia (+12 percent). Miami ranks last in the field for pay, reporting salaries 12 percent below the national average. Below-median salaries also turn up in Atlanta and Dallas (8 percent lower and 7 percent lower, respectively).