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Dietitian

Dietitians assess, develop, deliver, and evaluate strategies and programs related to food and nutrition. They develop and study food and food products. They manage food service systems. They perform research and promote food safety.

Also Known As

Clinical Dietitian, Community Dietitian, Food Service Dietitian, Registered Dietitian, Registered Dietitian-Nutritionist, Registered Nutritionist, Research Dietitian

NOC Codes

In Canada, the federal government groups and organizes occupations based on a National Occupational Classification (NOC) system. This alis occupation may not reflect the entire NOC group it is part of. Data for the NOC group can apply across multiple occupations.

The NOC system is updated every 5 years to reflect changes in the labour market. Government forms and labour market data may group and refer to an occupation differently, depending on the system used.

Here is how this occupation has been classified over time.

2006 NOC

  • 3132: Dietitians and Nutritionists

2006 NOC-S

  • D032: Dietitians and Nutritionists

2011 NOC

  • 3132: Dietitians and nutritionists

2016 NOC

  • 3132: Dietitians and nutritionists

2021 NOC

  • 31121: Dietitians and nutritionists

2023 OaSIS

  • 31121.00: Dietitians and nutritionists
Duties
Updated Mar 31, 2024

Duties and responsibilities vary. In general, dietitians:

  • Assess the nutritional status of people and communities
  • Provide custom recommendations to address identified nutritional needs
  • Develop, deliver, and evaluate nutritional interventions and programs
  • Work with other health-care professionals to provide complete patient care
  • Manage food or nutrition services and operations
  • Help individuals, families, consumer groups, communities, government, and industry in applying nutrition principles
  • Develop and deliver food services, education, and health-promotion programs
  • Conduct clinical or community-based research into the impact of diet on health outcomes
  • Research food, nutrition, and health promotion, and management of food service systems
  • Play a role in policy development, advocacy, and means of influencing health strategies and food regulations

Many dietitians work in health-care and health-promotion settings. Others manage food services or work in education, business, private practice, or research. Some combine work in a variety of settings.

  • Clinical dietitians work as part of health-care teams. They provide nutrition counselling and they plan and direct nutritional care.
  • Community or public health dietitians assess the nutritional needs of communities. They create programs and services to improve nutritional well-being, support access to healthy foods, and use diet to reduce the risk for chronic diseases such as heart disease, cancer, and diabetes. Community dietitians coordinate education programs at post-secondary institutions, hospitals, and the community at large. They educate the public about nutrition to promote health and prevent disease. They promote workplace health and wellness.
  • In government settings, dietitians develop and introduce public policy (for example, nutrition labelling, food fortification, and nutrition standards for school programs) to improve the nutritional health of the population.
  • Administrative or food-service management dietitians manage nutrition and food services in hospitals, industrial organizations, and businesses (for related information, see the Food and Nutrition Manager profile).
  • In education settings, dietitians teach dietetic practice and provide nutrition training, nutrition, food chemistry, or food service management in colleges and universities (for related information, see the College, Technical or Vocational Instructor, and University Professor profiles).
  • In business settings, dietitians offer food and nutrition expertise in product research and creation. They may also work with sales and marketing departments in food and pharmaceutical companies, marketing associations, and food service providers. They may also work on regulatory affairs and quality assurance in food and pharmaceutical companies.
  • Private practice dietitians work directly with clients on a variety of nutrition-related issues, from weight management to digestive disorders.
  • Research dietitians work in labs at universities and food and pharmaceutical companies. They might also support practice-based research in clinical, community, or food-service settings. They may also research health issues such as studying the effects of diet on cancer treatment. They may explore social science issues such as the impact of health policies on behaviour change. Or they may assess the effectiveness of nutrition programs. In universities, they may also have a teaching role.
Working Conditions
Updated Mar 31, 2024
  • Strength Required Lift up to 5 kg

Working conditions vary depending on the type of workplace. Dietitians generally work weekdays but may be on call outside of these hours. They may deliver programs on evenings or weekends. In inpatient settings, dietitians may be on their feet for most of the day. In outpatient and community roles, they often spend more time in an office or at a computer.

Interests & Abilities

In Alberta, this occupation is part of 1 or more 2006 National Occupational Classification (NOC) groups. If there are multiple related NOC groups, select a NOC heading to learn about each one.

Dietitians and Nutritionists

2006 NOC: 3132

Interest Codes

Interest Codes for This NOC Group
DIRECTIVE

Interest in co-ordinating and developing educational materials for various audiences; and in planning, evaluating and conducting nutrition education programs

INNOVATIVE

Interest in studying and analyzing current scientific nutritional studies, in conducting research to improve the nutritional value, taste, appearance and preparation of food and in aiding in the prevention and/or treatment of inadequate nutrition

SOCIAL

Interest in consulting to provide nutrition counselling and consulting to health professionals, dietetic interns, community groups, competitive sports teams, government, the media and individuals

Your Interest Codes

To identify or change your interest codes, complete the Interests Exercise in CAREERinsite.

Reading Interest Codes
A Quick Guide

The interest code helps you figure out if you’d like to work in a particular occupation. 

It’s based on the Canadian Work Preference Inventory (CWPI), which measures 5 occupational interests: Directive, Innovative, Methodical, Objective, and Social.

Each set of 3 interest codes for this NOC group is listed in order of importance.

A code in capital letters means it’s a strong fit for the occupation.

A code in all lowercase letters means the fit is weaker.

Learn About Interests

Abilities

Typical ability expectations for this NOC group
Your abilities

To fill in or change the values for your abilities, complete the Abilities Exercise in CAREERinsite.

Mental Abilities

General Learning Ability

Verbal Ability

Numerical Ability

Visual Abilities

Spatial Perception

Form Perception

Clerical Perception

Physical Abilities

Motor Coordination

Finger Dexterity

Manual Dexterity

Understanding Abilities

A Quick Guide

You are born with abilities that help you process certain types of information and turn it into action. These abilities influence which skills you can learn more easily.

The abilities or aptitudes shown for this NOC group come from the General Aptitude Test Battery (GATB). The GATB measures 9 aptitudes. It groups them into 3 categories: mental, visual, and physical.

The abilities scores range from 1 to 5, with 5 being stronger.

Learn About Abilities

Traits & Skills
Updated Mar 31, 2024

Dietitians need:

  • Critical-thinking skills
  • An interest in science, food, and health
  • Verbal and written communication skills
  • Creativity and flexibility
  • To be honest, ethical, and caring
  • To be sincere and tactful
  • Attention to detail
  • Self-assuredness
  • To work well with others
  • Practicality
  • A focus on results

They should enjoy:

  • Working with people
  • Developing programs or education materials
  • Analyzing and interpreting data
  • Making recommendations for continuous learning
  • Solving problems

In Alberta, this occupation is part of 1 or more 2016 National Occupational Classification (NOC) groups. If there are multiple related NOC groups, select a NOC heading to learn about each one.

Top 10 Skills Employers Are Looking For

Dietitians and nutritionists

2016 NOC: 3132

This chart shows which job skills are currently in highest demand for this occupational group. It was created using this occupation's 12 most recent Alberta job postings, collected between Jan 26, 2022 and May 21, 2024.

Review these skills to learn:

  • Whether or not this occupation matches your skill set
  • What training you may need to get these skills
  • What skills to highlight in your resumé, cover letter, and interview.
Health benefits: Health care plan
Tasks: Develop, administer and supervise nutrition and food preparation and service programs
Develop, administer and supervise nutrition and food preparation and service programs
Plan, evaluate and conduct nutrition education programs and develop educational materials for various audiences
Analyze current scientific nutritional studies, conduct research and evaluate program effectiveness to improve the nutritional value, taste, appearance and preparation of food
Determine nutritional needs of patients and plan, implement and evaluate normal and therapeutic menus to maintain and enhance general health
Aid in the prevention and/or treatment of inadequate nutrition
Evaluate nutritional status of individuals and provide nutrition guidance and consulting to health professionals, individuals, dietetic interns, community groups, government and the media
Health benefits: Dental plan
Tasks: Determine nutritional needs of patients and plan, implement and evaluate normal and therapeutic menus to maintain and enhance general health
Educational Requirements
Updated Mar 31, 2024
  • Minimum Education 5 years post-secondary

The minimum education requirement to practice as a registered dietitian is a 4-year bachelor of science degree in foods and nutrition followed by a 1-year internship. Both programs must be approved by the College of Dietitians of Alberta.

In Alberta, the University of Alberta’s Dietetics Specialization program is the only program approved and accredited to train dietitians. Applicants compete to enter the program following a pre-professional year. Internship is a professional placement or practicum where students are mentored by registered dietitians. Internships take place at approved sites across Alberta during a student’s third and fourth years of specialization.


Required Education

The following schools offer programs and courses that meet this occupation’s educational requirements. Other eligible programs and courses may be available.


Related Education

The following schools offer programs or courses that are related to this occupation but are not required to enter the field.

To expand or narrow your search for programs related to this occupation, visit Post-Secondary Programs.

Completing a program does not guarantee entrance into an occupation. Before enrolling in an education program, prospective students should look into various sources for education options and employment possibilities. For example, contact associations and employers in this field.

Certification Requirements
Updated Mar 31, 2024
  • Certification Provincially Regulated

Certain professional titles or duties within this occupation are protected by provincial legislation. Requirements vary if you use these titles or perform these duties.

The related legislation is shown below. If there are multiple related legislations, select a certification heading to learn about each one.

Dietitian/Registered Nutritionist

Dietitians or nutritionists assess, develop, deliver, and evaluate strategies and programs related to food and nutrition. They develop and study food and food products. They manage food service systems. They do research and promote food safety.

Legislation

Under Alberta’s Health Professions Act [pdf] and Registered Dietitians and Registered Nutritionists Profession Regulation [pdf], registration with the College of Dietitians of Alberta (CDA) is mandatory. Only registered members may provide restricted activities specified in the regulation. This includes those who:

  • Meet identified competency requirements and provide professional services directly to the public
  • Provide professional food and nutrition services that are used by other regulated members and individuals to provide services directly to the public
  • Teach the practice of the profession to members or students of the profession
  • Supervise registered members who provide services to the public
  • Use the protected titles and initials: Registered Dietitian, Registered Nutritionist, Dietitian, Nutritionist, or RD

For information on what you need and other details, visit the certification profile Dietitian/Registered Nutritionist.

Employment & Advancement
Updated Mar 31, 2024

Dietitians work in a variety of settings, including:

  • Hospitals, long-term care facilities, and home care programs
  • Clinics and community health units
  • Private practices
  • Social service agencies
  • Correctional services
  • Food processing, food service, and catering companies
  • Pharmaceutical companies
  • Schools, colleges, and universities
  • Government agencies
  • The armed forces
  • Not-for-profit and community-based organizations
  • Research facilities
  • Fitness centres

Some dietitians are self-employed consultants.

Industry Concentration

This section shows the industries where the majority of people in this occupation work. The data is based on the 2016 Census.

In Alberta, this occupation is part of 1 or more 2016 National Occupational Classification (NOC) groups.

In the 3132: Dietitians and nutritionists occupational group, 81.2% of people work in:

Employment Outlook

Employment outlook is influenced by a wide variety of factors including:

  • Time of year (for seasonal jobs)
  • Location in Alberta
  • Employment turnover (when people leave existing positions)
  • Occupational growth (when new positions are created)
  • Size of the occupation
  • Trends and events that affect overall employment, especially in the industry or industries from the previous list

In Alberta, the 3132: Dietitians and nutritionists occupational group is expected to have a below-average annual growth of 1.9% from 2021 to 2025. In addition to job openings created by employment turnover, 24 new positions are forecasted to be created within this occupational group each year.

Note
NOC groups often include several related occupations. Although there is labour market data for the larger NOC group, this occupation makes up only a part of that group. It means data for this occupation may be different than the data shown. For example, only some of the new positions to be created will be for this occupation. It also applies to other data for the NOC group such as number of people employed.

Source: 2021-2025 Alberta Regional Occupational Demand Outlook

Employment turnover is expected to increase as members of the baby boom generation retire over the next few years.

Related Alberta Job Postings
Wage & Salary
Updated Mar 31, 2024

For information about current collective agreements in the public and not-for-profit sectors, see the Health Sciences Association of Alberta (HSAA) website.

In Alberta, this occupation is part of 1 or more 2016 National Occupational Classification (NOC) groups. If there are multiple related NOC groups, select a NOC heading to learn about each one.

Dietitians and nutritionists

2016 NOC: 3132
Average Wage
$46.41
Per Hour
Average Salary
$76,285.00
Per Year
Average Hours
31.4
Per Week
Average Months on Payroll
12
Survey Methodology Survey Analysis

Source
2021 Alberta Wage and Salary Survey

NOC 3132 Wage Profile

Unless otherwise noted, the data shown here is for all industries and all regions in Alberta.

All wage estimates are hourly except where otherwise indicated. Wages and salaries do not include overtime hours, tips, benefits, profit shares, bonuses (unrelated to production), and other forms of compensation.

To see the full survey data for this NOC group, visit the wage profile.

Other wage sources
To make an informed wage and salary decision, research other wage sources [pdf] to supplement this data.

B: Good Reliability
Data Reliability Code Definition

Good Reliability, represents a CV of between 6.01% and 15.00% and/or fewer than 30 survey observations and/or if survey observations represent less than 50% of all estimated employment for the occupation.


Hourly Wage

For full-time and part-time employees
  • Low
  • High
  • Average
  • Median
Starting
Overall
Top

Hourly Wage

For full-time and part-time employees
Wages* Low (5th percentile) High (95th percentile) Average Median
Starting $35.31 $39.42 $36.79 $37.85
Overall $38.82 $51.87 $46.41 $47.49
Top $47.53 $52.36 $49.54 $50.33

Swipe left and right to view all data. Scroll left and right to view all data.

* All wage estimates are hourly except where otherwise indicated. Wages and salaries do not include overtime hours, tips, benefits, profit shares, bonuses (unrelated to production) and other forms of compensation.

Pay brackets for hourly wages

  • Starting pay: average pay offered for entry-level positions
  • Overall pay: average pay across all employees in this occupation
  • Top pay: average pay offered to top-paid employees

Industry Information

ALL INDUSTRIES
Health Care & Social Assistance
Public Administration

Skills Shortage

Employers that Recruited in the Last 2 Years
36%
36%)
Recruiting Employers that Experienced Hiring Difficulties
N/A
Employers with Unfilled Vacancies of over 4 Months
0%
0%
Vacancy Rate
N/A
Related Post-Secondary Field of Study
  • Health Care and Medical Sciences
  • Human Ecology, Fashion and Food Sciences
Other Sources of Information
Updated Mar 31, 2024

College of Dietitians of Alberta website: collegeofdietitians.ab.ca

Canadian Healthcare Association website: www.healthcarecan.ca

Dietitians of Canada website: www.dietitians.ca

Health Sciences Association of Alberta website: www.hsaa.ca

Get information and referrals about career, education, and employment options from Alberta Supports.

Updated Mar 31, 2024. The information contained in this profile is current as of the dates shown. Salary, employment outlook, and educational program information may change without notice. It is advised that you confirm this information before making any career decisions.

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