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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 do research and promote food safety.

Also Known As

Clinical Dietitian, Community Dietitian, Registered Dietitian, Registered Nutritionist

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: Dietitians and Nutritionists (3132) 
  • 2006 NOC-S: Dietitians and Nutritionists (D032) 
  • 2011 NOC: Dietitians and nutritionists (3132) 
  • 2016 NOC: Dietitians and nutritionists (3132) 
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

Duties
Updated Apr 10, 2017

Duties and responsibilities vary but, in general, dietitians:

  • assess the nutritional status of people and communities
  • develop, deliver and assess nutritional programs
  • manage food or nutrition services and operations
  • help individuals, families, consumer groups, communities and industry to apply nutrition principles
  • develop and deliver food services, nutrition education and health promotion programs
  • research food, nutrition, health promotion and food service systems management.

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 these settings.

  • Clinical dietitians work as part of health care teams. They provide nutrition counselling and 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 reduce the risk for chronic diseases (such as heart disease, cancer and diabetes).
  • In government settings, dietitians develop and introduce public policy (for example, nutrition labelling, food fortification, 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 co-ordinate 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 and provide nutrition training. They teach dietetic practice, nutrition, food chemistry or food service management in schools, colleges and universities (for related information, see the Secondary School Teacher, College, Technical or Vocational Instructor, 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.
  • 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 conduct lab (such as studying the effects of diet on cancer treatment) or social science research (such as investigating the impact of health policies or behaviour change). They may assess how effective programs are. In universities, they may also have a teaching role.
Working Conditions
Updated Apr 10, 2017
  • 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 evenings or weekends.

Traits & Skills
Updated Apr 10, 2017

Dietitians need to have:

  • critical thinking skills
  • an interest in science, food and health
  • communication skills

They need to be:

  • creative and flexible
  • honest, ethical and caring
  • sincere and tactful
  • self-assured
  • practical and results focused

They should enjoy:

  • creating education materials and programs
  • studying information
  • working with people
  • problem solving
Educational Requirements
Updated Apr 10, 2017
  • 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 approved by the College of Dietitians of Alberta.

In Alberta, the University of Alberta’s Dietetics Specialization program is the only approved and accredited program. Applicants compete to enter the Dietetics Specialization program following a pre-professional year. Internship is a professional placement or practicum. It takes place at approved sites across Alberta during a student’s second, third and fourth year 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 Apr 10, 2017
  • Certification Provincially Regulated

Dietitian/Registered Nutritionist

Dietitians assess nutritional status and develop, implement and evaluate food and nutrition strategies and interventions to promote health and treat illness; apply food and nutrition principles to the management of food service systems and to the development and analysis of food and food products; promote optimal health, food security and food safety through the development and delivery of food and nutrition education, programs and policies; teach, manage and conduct research in the science, techniques and practice of dietetics; and provide restricted activities authorized by the regulations.

Legislation

Under Alberta's Health Professions Act and Registered Dietitians and Registered Nutritionists Profession Regulation, registration with the College of Dietitians of Alberta (CDA) is mandatory if you meet identified competency requirements and provide professional services directly to the public, provide food and nutrition professional 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, or supervise registered members who provide services to the public. Registered members who are authorized by the College may perform restricted activities specified in the Regulation. Only registered members may use the protected titles Registered Dietitian, Registered Nutritionist or Dietitian, or the initials RD.

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

Employment & Advancement
Updated Apr 10, 2017

Dietitians work in a variety of settings, including:

  • hospitals, long-term care facilities and home care programs
  • clinics and community health units
  • social service agencies
  • correctional services
  • food processing, food service and catering companies
  • pharmaceutical companies
  • schools, colleges and universities
  • government agencies
  • the Armed Forces
  • non-profit and community organizations
  • research facilities
  • fitness centres.

Some dietitians are self-employed consultants.

Dietitians are part of the larger 2011 National Occupational Classification 3132: Dietitians and nutritionists. In Alberta, 84% of people employed in this classification work in the Health Care and Social Assistance [pdf] industry.

The employment outlook [pdf] in this occupation will be influenced by a wide variety of factors including:

  • trends and events that affect overall employment (especially in the Health Care and Social Assistance industry)
  • location in Alberta
  • employment turnover (work opportunities that come up when people leave existing positions)
  • occupational growth (work opportunities that come up when new positions are created)
  • size of the occupation.

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

In Alberta, the 3132: Dietitians and nutritionists occupational group is expected to have an above-average annual growth of 3% from 2019 to 2023. In addition to job openings created by employment turnover, 39 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: Alberta Regional Occupational Demand Outlook

Wage & Salary
Updated Apr 10, 2017

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

Public Administration
Health Care & Social Assistance
ALL INDUSTRIES

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 Apr 10, 2017

College of Dietitians of Alberta website: www.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 15, 2018. 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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