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How do I Become a Dietary Manager?

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  • Written By: Elva K.
  • Edited By: Heather Bailey
  • Last Modified Date: 26 October 2018
  • Copyright Protected:
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Dietary management involves the assessment of nutrition, client interviews pertaining to diet, diet planning, giving dietary or food planning advice, and nutritional management in cases of illness. Dietary management work might also entail planning sports diets for athletes, planning diets for children, diet planning in nursing homes, or even making sure an employer is in compliance with food and sanitation laws. If you aspire to become a dietary manager, it will generally be necessary to get a college degree.

Initial training to become a dietary manager involves completion of a Dietary Managers Association (DMA) approved dietary manager training program, which will include classroom learning and practical experience in diet management. Granted, if you want to maximize your potential for promotion into jobs with more responsibility and higher pay, getting a bachelor's degree in a food-related area such as nutrition or food science might also be helpful.

Typically, you will seek a job during the last semester of college. There are various career options within dietary management. Thus, before you seek a job, it is important for you to have a sense of which career path you wish to pursue.

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There is clinical dietary management, which involves working in medical settings such as a hospital, nursing home, or doctors' office while also considering special patient diet needs that are there as a result of the patient's illness. There is community dietary management, which might involve working in a community clinic while educating or advising the community on dietary issues. There are also dietary management positions, which involve consultation done in a private practice context where clients are referred by their physicians for dietary advice.

If you aspire to become a dietary manager, it is typically recommended that you pursue post-graduate study after two years of work. In fact, it is usually helpful to pursue the Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) degree in food science if you hope to become a dietary manager, because the doctoral degree will increase the number of career options you have. For instance, with a doctorate, you would not be limited to working with clients. Instead, you would also have the option of doing dietary research in a lab setting or teaching dietary science in a college.

Although not always necessary, certification is typically recommended. For instance, there is certification you can attain through the Dietary Managers Association. In addition to certification, it is typically required that you take continuing education coursework so you can stay up to date on the latest information relevant to the profession.

If you successfully complete the necessary schooling and training to become a dietary manager, you have a choice of several work settings. For instance, you could work in a hospital, a secondary school, or a college. You could also work in settings as diverse as a restaurant, a prison, or a catering service.

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