What are typical dietician salaries?

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jenny in Toronto, Ontario

35 months ago

hey,
i am a dietetics student in canada...... i am wondering how likely is the hospital/health center to hire dietitian from another state/country??????
thanks.

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Steph in Guelph, Ontario

35 months ago

Hi Jenny,
I'm a Canadian who just completed a combined masters/internship program in dietetics in Buffalo. If you're interested in working in the US at a later date, you really should have no issues as both countries have a reciprocity agreement (meaning that they recognize each others schooling/training to be equal). As an example, when I completed my program in the US, I simply had to transfer my paperwork (verification statement) to the College of Dietitians of Ontario and I was all set to write the exam and be fully registered in Ontario. To help put you at ease some more, many of the Americans in my program moved out of state after graduation and they had no issues whatsoever in obtaining employment elsewhere––because as in Canada, you write a nationwide exam that is recognized by all states.
Hope this helps.

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LGG in Brookline, Massachusetts

34 months ago

This is a very interesting thread. I am a late 20s woman who will be graduating with a MS in Nutrition in a few weeks. I wouldn't recommend the dietetics field to most students because the cost of my degrees and the pain of getting an internship outweighs the compensation.Unfortunately, I was already too far down the road to turn back when I realized this so I decided to go ahead and finish.
That being said, their is something to be said about having a job that you ENJOY. Yes pharmacist get paid more, but I would be miserable doing that everyday. There are many professions where the compensation is not commensurate with the training and effect (i.e. teachers, clinical social workers, certain psychologist). If you love dietetics and want to work in dietetics the reality is IT DOESN'T PAY MUCH COMPARED TO OTHER SIMILARLY EDUCATED HEALTH PROFESSIONS. If you are ok with this reality, than go for it. If you aren't than I would go the route of physician assistant, nursing, or doctor where you can still be involved in the nutrition care of the patients (depending on the setting).
FYI, some of the dietitians here have taken issue with a nurse's claim that older nurses can do what dietitians do. The truth is, in the past, nurses where the ones involved in food and nutrition in many hospitals and LTCs. No, their training may not have been as extensive as that of a dietitian but they performed these tasks nevertheless. Now-a-days healthcare has moved into a lot of specialized allied health care fields but alot of specialist just didn't exist back in the day. Nurses certainly cannot do what dietitians do now but let us not haggle about the what happened in the past, it doesn't serve us now.

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Alice Cooper in Los Angeles, California

34 months ago

The average wages of dietitians and nutritionists are approximately $50,590. Though it varies with years in practice, education level, and geographic region. Also there might be some variation with the work profile like the salary of dietitian in consultation and business, food and nutrition management and education and research is a little higher than those in clinical nutrition/ambulatory care and community nutrition. But the thing is wages come much after the passion. If somebody has an inclination towards being a dietitian, being a pharmacist or a nurse would not satisfy him.

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RD in Richmond, Virginia

34 months ago

mari in Modesto, California said: I just applied for financial aid to begin my major in nutrition. I am concerned with the responses I'm reading here and am wondering if this is a good idea after all. I have a genuine interest in nutrition, natural health, helping people and practicing an alternative to most mainstream medicine.

I've been a stay at home mom for almost 3 yrs so this is a big step for me. I don't dare lose precious time with my daughter, pursuing something that I will later hate and not be compensated for all my schooling. Does anyone have any advice? thank you!

mari,
If your interest in nutrition is healing, natural health and alternative medicine, you might want to look into other programs besides the RD track. That is my area of interest also, and I'm glad now that I've finished my RD; however, if you don't want to work in the clinical setting, there might be better options for you. I would look into the integrative institute of nutrition (IIN), holisitic nutrition programs (specialize!), or other certificate programs. The RD is truly the nutrition expert, but if you're into holistic healing, there are more direct routes to being the expert in that arena. The RD route was a bit clinical, drug-related, and non-holistic for me. I'm thinking about doing different certificate programs to fill in the gaps in my education: Cornell U's Plant-based nutrition certificate, possibly IIN, herbal certification, etc. Maybe one day looking into traditional Chinese medicine or something like that. Good luck!

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laurennn1022 in Fort Worth, Texas

33 months ago

I am graduating in 2013 from a coordinated program and planning to get my RD right after I graduate. I know that dietitians do not get paid a whole lot, but is it worth it to start applying to grad schools for a masters degree in nutrition? Is it better to get a masters in just nutrition or is it better to specialize in something like "food management" or "wellness" or "clinical nutrition"?

Or is it better to just apply for a job after graduation and go back to get a masters?

I hear that you do get paid more with a MS...

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RD in Tulsa, Oklahoma

33 months ago

laurennn1022 in Fort Worth, Texas said: I am graduating in 2013 from a coordinated program and planning to get my RD right after I graduate. I know that dietitians do not get paid a whole lot, but is it worth it to start applying to grad schools for a masters degree in nutrition? Is it better to get a masters in just nutrition or is it better to specialize in something like "food management" or "wellness" or "clinical nutrition"?

Or is it better to just apply for a job after graduation and go back to get a masters?

I hear that you do get paid more with a MS...

Usually, you don't get paid more. get your RD, work for a bit, then get your Master's in something else.

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Tiffany in Houston, Texas

33 months ago

wow i have read all these posts and am surprised by the negative and very few positive comments about becoming a dietitian. im a senior in high school and was looking into this field. i, however, would LOVE to be a dietitian and that might just outweigh the poor pay. based on the responses i hear it's better to just get a bachelors in ??? rather than a masters since the pay is the same, is this a good idea??

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Amy in Windsor, Ontario

33 months ago

Hi all,

Thanks for sharing all of this useful information. I'm in my 2nd semester of the two year dietetic program and really dislike it so far..... My placement has been terrible - I'm in the clinical setting right now and feel like I'm being forced to do all the non-dietetic related work that my preceptor has no time for. I only have a little over a year left and it's a tough program to get into, so I'm NOT giving up, but I'm just feeling really discouraged and frustrated. Does anyone have any words of advice or encouragement?? I feel like anything would help right about now......

Thanks a lot!!!

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JM in Bronx, New York

33 months ago

I've read all of these posts and I have to admit my anxiety level went up astronomically!!! I am about to finish my DPD at the end of this year. I already have a degree in Coomunications from years ago. Being 40 and trying to get the right education to become an RD has not been easy. I wish I had known all the negatives when I started 3 years ago and that there were no internships. I feel like many who have posted here- discouraged and frustrated. It's too late for me to turn back now and I cant believe that being a pharmacist is what most posters recommend. I'm not in nutrition for the money but I really would like enough money to live on and survive. I agree that the amount of education and clinical required is really high for what RD's actually get in salary and respect. I would love to hear from anyone who did this when they were older or as a second career because right now I feel like Im up the creek without a paddle.

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Male in Austin, Texas

32 months ago

1) You were dumb to go into the field if you wanted to make money. I knew RDs don't make money, but I value success in life as helping make positive change in the world. I grew up with money and know it DOES NOT buy happiness. Your parents work all the time and neglect you and aren't educated on making healthy kids like an RD will. Who cares if your folks make $300k a year ++ and feed you hamburger helper at night if they remember while they give no care about their body composition and long term health or social life. I learned about achievement from my parents. That said, I am lucky to not have to pay for school at all because my parents love me financially at least. I am the one teaching them to lead healthy lifestyles so they can actually enjoy some of their retirement not in chronic disease after making all that cash (which is all they know how to do). Plus they may not be educated on properly raising a gay kid that now uses their money in therapy to stop having social anxiety from our "loving" Christian home...

2) As a gay male, I realize if I live frugally, I don't have to support a family (a perk of liking men without a uterus). I can survive on an RD salary. However, I really don't have any plans to enroll in a hospital because I am an entrepreneur in a sedentary society. All I see are business opportunities...If you can't sell your services, then don't complain that you settled to work at a hospital where you are looked down upon. A dietitian will shine in wellness but not in medicine. If you want to be a cog in the machine, then you'll be dissatisfied with this profession. If you don't shove it in the other healthcare providers' faces that they fix broken people and that you prevent them from getting broken in the first place, of course you'll lack self-esteem to request a higher salary. Women make 0.75 to the $1 a male makes, so I at least have the sex advantage in making more money and bringing esteem to this profession.

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Male in Austin, Texas

32 months ago

3) The Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics supposedly will require a masters degree in the near future (I was told 5 years). This is a GOOD thing for the profession. This means that you will have more respect since other health professions also require higher ed. It also means you will have hands-down the best nutrition credential out there (the CNS is often argued as better due to their requirement of a masters or PHD in spite of lack of any dietetics core class requirements and the fact it is a fraction of the size of the Academy).
4) Get a masters degree in something other than nutrition that is related. For example: physiology, psychology, kinesiology, public health. Your credential will be much more competitive after that. MS in nutrition is pointless unless you plan to continue onto PhD and research/teaching lifestyle.
5) Learn to market yourself as the best nutrition professional and to be able to make whatever changes you specialize in others' lives. Learn to make cost-benefit analyses (you learned these in food service management). You will save your client thousands in medical expenses if they pay you now in preventative care. You will let your client live a functional life till death rather than being a drain on the medical system in chronic disease management till they die slowly in a hospital or long-term care setting. It's not fun for the society or for them.
6) Get out of the profession if you don't feel this strongly about it. Good riddance and stop making those of us who went into it for a reason look bad.

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Male in Austin, Texas

32 months ago

Yea, if they don't require a masters, then it just devalues the RDs without a masters as inferior.

That said, if they require it IN NUTRITION, that would be absurd because the point is to become well-rounded to be able to apply nutrition in various settings. By the time you finish the didactic program in dietetics, you know enough about nutrition and how to learn more esteemed information about it, you just need knowledge of how to apply it in other settings (such as counseling [psych degree], exercise [kinesiology], health promotion/prevention [public health], business [MBA]). The value of the masters is much greater if completed in another discipline, and I think those in power at the Academy are aware of this. Did you see the credentials of those who are running for office (if you are an AND member and voted)? I had to look a lot of them up...but they were things like "doctorate in management," which would be an excellent credential for managing a society of professionals.

The field is exciting to be in right now...

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RD in Tulsa, Oklahoma

32 months ago

Yes, I agree with you.... Go out and get it! And if you want to collaborate, give me your email. I hold a TX license as well

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RD in Portland, Oregon

32 months ago

Mel in Lebanon, Pennsylvania said: To the comment of nurses feel they can do what a dietitian does, the older nurses can for sure. I am one of those retired nurses who had to do all of that before dietitians came to be. We got the same training and also we did all our respiratory treatments as well.

You obviously do not value a coordinated care approach. I'm glad you are retired.

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apple in Vail, Colorado

32 months ago

Women don't bring "esteem" to the profession?

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go for dietetics in Grayson, Kentucky

32 months ago

I have been a dietitian for 12 years and have worked with the WIC program, hospital setting, worked for a consulting company in long term care, and independent consulting. My advice for any dietitian looking to make $$$$ is to aim for independent consulting. Are you going to see triple digits in this profession? No. But, you can still make some decent money if you market yourself, especially in long term care. Not all nursing homes are bad. You have to be selective, and steer clear of the places that expect the impossible (piles and piles of unnecessary forms, paperwork.) There are good nursing homes out there where you can get your paperwork done and still have enough time for patient interaction. Try to stay away from consulting companies. They are making a ton of $$$$ off of you. You are the one doing the work, so shouldn't the $$$$ be in your pocket, not theirs???? The consulting companies will also make you sign a non-compete agreement, meaning you can't work or be hired by those nursing homes directly for 1-3 years (depending on the company.) The field of dietetics is awesome. I love it. I'd love it more if the salary was a little better, but you should never base your decision on money alone. What good is any profession if you hate it?? Also, with our nation being as overweight as it is, the market and demand for dietitians is only going to to up (think nutrition education at weight loss clinics.) Great opportunities are out there if you're willing to go after them. :)

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Bailey in Buffalo, New York

32 months ago

I gave up my job in NYC in the finance and marketing world. Many people have told me that I was crazy, but as someone else said in this forum money doesn't buy happiness. I worked between 100 - 120 hours a week and completely underpaid when I working in marketing. I think now a days everyone is underpaid. No one makes as much as they were told they were going to make. And no one is really "happy" in their jobs, there will always be negatives. It's not perfect.
Now I'm back in school for my BS/MS in dietetics. I'm struggling in my classes because gosh knows I haven't seen a science class in a REALLY long time. But I don't doubt this isn't the right thing to do. I've been discouraged many times by professors, friends, and family. But honestly, its a great feeling knowing that if I can pull through and do this, I can hold degrees in two completely different fields. And I can use my marketing and finance skills in correlation with my dietetic skills in the future.
If I manage to survive and do decently well I will take the MCATs and possibly go straight into med school (if I do well and get into a good school). My advice to anyone thinking about dietetics is don't be discouraged to go into a field that "makes no money". If you want to make money then I don't think any health field is appropriate for you. The health field shouldn't be about making the most money in the world. That what the business mindset is. Be in the health field because YOU want to make a difference and help others. It's much more rewarding knowing you've helped someone live a little longer. You can put a price on materialistic things but can't put a price on life.

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Bailey in Buffalo, New York

32 months ago

As for comments about how a nurse or a PA can do a dietitians job, well I looked at the nurse criteria and guess what, they only have about 1 to 2 classes of nutrition. So if with those 1 - 2 classes a nurse can be a dietitian does it mean they can be a chiropractor too? There's a reason why people specialize in these fields, there's too much to learn.

Even in the business world, a marketing persons job can't always be done by an accountant. And there's no saying that a marketing person can't do an accountants job. But we specialize in fields for a reason. This is also the reason by people deal with patients in the medical world holistically. You need everyones help to solve all the problems it isn't just done with 1 doctor. A neurologist can't cure everything and a oncologist can't cure everything either.

So to all those "haters" hating on us dietitians/future dietitians stop hating. We each do our own jobs well and at our own accord. No reason to devalue others. You're in the medical field, you're all valuable in your own way. If you enjoy your job good for you.

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LDA in Los Alamitos, California

31 months ago

Hi, i read you were from the AV form the thread about dietitians. I saw that you make $40/hr and have made more than $90k/yr. How is your salary so high after 5 years experience? As a clinical dietitian, are you specialized in a certain domain?

I'm asking this because i graduated in spring 2011 with a BS in nutrition and I am about to start an internship. I'm not so sure I want to pursue it if the pay is so slow. I read that 10% of RDs make more than $60k a year. I don't want to work my whole life to possibly reach that level.

Should i even invest my time in the internship, or should i quit while i'm ahead and pursue a job i can really enjoy that has an agreeable salary?

Thank you for your time.

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RD in Fort Worth, TX in Mechanicsburg, Pennsylvania

31 months ago

LDA in Los Alamitos, California said: Hi, i read you were from the AV form the thread about dietitians. I saw that you make $40/hr and have made more than $90k/yr. How is your salary so high after 5 years experience? As a clinical dietitian, are you specialized in a certain domain?

I'm asking this because i graduated in spring 2011 with a BS in nutrition and I am about to start an internship. I'm not so sure I want to pursue it if the pay is so slow. I read that 10% of RDs make more than $60k a year. I don't want to work my whole life to possibly reach that level.

Should i even invest my time in the internship, or should i quit while i'm ahead and pursue a job i can really enjoy that has an agreeable salary?

Thank you for your time.

Quit now if you will not be satisfied with the poor pay...but stick with it if you are passionate about nutrition, and are willing to look past the money.

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RD in Fort Worth, TX in Mechanicsburg, Pennsylvania

31 months ago

I couldn't disagree with you more...I am an RD in a hospital, and am an advocate for implementation of new research in our field. I have presented much of this research to our physician's and have, as a result, changed P&Ps. I am not "looked down upon." The doctor's have come to rely on me for all aspects of nutrition support, both enteral and parenteral. Why would you dismiss this entire realm of dietetics, when there is so many opportunities to not only educated and help patients, but other health practitioners?

I am passionate about clinical nutrition, and would not be happy in consulting/business (even though the pay is better). Good for you for finding your niche, but don't knock others who have found a way to succeed and be a pioneer in the field of nutrition support/clinical nutrition.

I also disagree that requiring a Master's Degree would help our field. I think if you CHOOSE to do it, that's great. However, to require it, without the incentive of a guaranteed better salary in your chosen area, I think is ridiculous. I can think of a few areas in dietitics where a Master's might get you more money, but in clinical it won't, and I'm thankful I wasn't required to get one. (I completed a Coordinated Program.) As for your argument as how other professionals perceive your credentials based on your amount of education. Why not prove them wrong? I can provide amazing services and valuable clinical skills with my Bachelor's degree, and my colleagues have come to recognize that. I am constantly educating nursing, pharmacists, therapists, and doctors about current nutrition recommendations and literature that form our practices at our facility.

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RD in Fort Worth, TX in Mechanicsburg, Pennsylvania

31 months ago

I couldn't disagree with you more...I am an RD in a hospital, and am an advocate for implementation of new research in our field. I have presented much of this research to our physician's and have, as a result, changed P&Ps. I am not "looked down upon." The doctor's have come to rely on me for all aspects of nutrition support, both enteral and parenteral. Why would you dismiss this entire realm of dietetics, when there is so many opportunities to not only educated and help patients, but other health practitioners?

I am passionate about clinical nutrition, and would not be happy in consulting/business (even though the pay is better). Good for you for finding your niche, but don't knock others who have found a way to succeed and be a pioneer in the field of nutrition support/clinical nutrition.

I also disagree that requiring a Master's Degree would help our field. I think if you CHOOSE to do it, that's great. However, to require it, without the incentive of a guaranteed better salary in your chosen area, I think is ridiculous. I can think of a few areas in dietitics where a Master's might get you more money, but in clinical it won't, and I'm thankful I wasn't required to get one. (I completed a Coordinated Program.) As for your argument as how other professionals perceive your credentials based on your amount of education. Why not prove them wrong? I can provide amazing services and valuable clinical skills with my Bachelor's degree, and my colleagues have come to recognize that. I am constantly educating nursing, pharmacists, therapists, and doctors about current nutrition recommendations and literature that form our practices at our facility.

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RD in Fort Worth, TX in Mechanicsburg, Pennsylvania

31 months ago

@ Male in Austin, TX (tried to reply to your post a couple of times, but it wouldn't let me):

I couldn't disagree with you more...I am an RD in a hospital, and am an advocate for implementation of new research in our field. I have presented much of this research to our physician's and have, as a result, changed P&Ps. I am not "looked down upon." The doctor's have come to rely on me for all aspects of nutrition support, both enteral and parenteral. Why would you dismiss this entire realm of dietetics, when there is so many opportunities to not only educated and help patients, but other health practitioners?

I am passionate about clinical nutrition, and would not be happy in consulting/business (even though the pay is better). Good for you for finding your niche, but don't knock others who have found a way to succeed and be a pioneer in the field of nutrition support/clinical nutrition.

I also disagree that requiring a Master's Degree would help our field. I think if you CHOOSE to do it, that's great. However, to require it, without the incentive of a guaranteed better salary in your chosen area, I think is ridiculous. I can think of a few areas in dietitics where a Master's might get you more money, but in clinical it won't, and I'm thankful I wasn't required to get one. (I completed a Coordinated Program.) As for your argument as how other professionals perceive your credentials based on your amount of education. Why not prove them wrong? I can provide amazing services and valuable clinical skills with my Bachelor's degree, and my colleagues have come to recognize that. I am constantly educating nursing, pharmacists, therapists, and doctors about current nutrition recommendations and literature that form our practices at our facility.

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Shannon in Smyrna, Georgia

30 months ago

Bailey in Buffalo, New York said: I gave up my job in NYC in the finance and marketing world. Many people have told me that I was crazy, but as someone else said in this forum money doesn't buy happiness. I worked between 100 - 120 hours a week and completely underpaid when I working in marketing. I think now a days everyone is underpaid. No one makes as much as they were told they were going to make. And no one is really "happy" in their jobs, there will always be negatives. It's not perfect.
Now I'm back in school for my BS/MS in dietetics. I'm struggling in my classes because gosh knows I haven't seen a science class in a REALLY long time. But I don't doubt this isn't the right thing to do. I've been discouraged many times by professors, friends, and family. But honestly, its a great feeling knowing that if I can pull through and do this, I can hold degrees in two completely different fields. And I can use my marketing and finance skills in correlation with my dietetic skills in the future.
If I manage to survive and do decently well I will take the MCATs and possibly go straight into med school (if I do well and get into a good school). My advice to anyone thinking about dietetics is don't be discouraged to go into a field that "makes no money". If you want to make money then I don't think any health field is appropriate for you. The health field shouldn't be about making the most money in the world. That what the business mindset is. Be in the health field because YOU want to make a difference and help others. It's much more rewarding knowing you've helped someone live a little longer. You can put a price on materialistic things but can't put a price on life.

How are you able to fund your passion in dietetics? That is my only concern for when I go back to school

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RD in Fort Worth, TX in Mechanicsburg, Pennsylvania

30 months ago

Shannon in Smyrna, Georgia said: How are you able to fund your passion in dietetics? That is my only concern for when I go back to school

Everyone wants "to make money"...making money is how we live.

There's a difference between wanting millions of dollars and being money hungry and wanting to fight for what you're worth. God knows no one in dietetics will ever make that much.

We work too hard for what little we make, and there's nothing wrong with being upset about that and fighting for it to change.

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RD in Fort Worth, TX in Mechanicsburg, Pennsylvania

30 months ago

RD in Fort Worth, TX in Mechanicsburg, Pennsylvania said: Everyone wants "to make money"...making money is how we live.

There's a difference between wanting millions of dollars and being money hungry and wanting to fight for what you're worth. God knows no one in dietetics will ever make that much.

We work too hard for what little we make, and there's nothing wrong with being upset about that and fighting for it to change.

** This was a reply to Bailey in Buffalo, not Shannon in Smyma**

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dominator in Chicopee, Massachusetts

30 months ago

I work at a hospital right now and am thinking of going to school for dietitican because I love it but I want to make good money too since my husband has M.S. However, looking at all of these comments, I have to stop and ask myself why people are saying each one since I have wanted to do each one at one point of my life. Physical therapist should make good money, you need a 6 year degree and its a hard position (lifting patients etc.) Can you do that when your old? As a massage therapist I have P.T.'s always coming in for therapeutic massages. R.N's do get paid well 60-80k depending on your position however, their physically demanding, walking constently on hard floors creating planter facistist that is very hard to get rid of and you need a strong stomach. Yes they dont always deal with poop but theres alot of other disgusting smelly things. O.R.'s you tend to deal with mentally ill or people that druel, can you deal with that? So you see everything can be bad or good. There are a lot of nurses that complain about their jobs or about something its human nature. So think about what you like to do and a little about the money 60k is not bad to live on. It depends on what life style you want to have. People are living on a lot less and thats 30+ years your going to be working. SO you might as well love what your doing and not just for the money.

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RD in Fort Worth, TX in Mechanicsburg, Pennsylvania

30 months ago

dominator in Chicopee, Massachusetts said: I work at a hospital right now and am thinking of going to school for dietitican because I love it but I want to make good money too since my husband has M.S. However, looking at all of these comments, I have to stop and ask myself why people are saying each one since I have wanted to do each one at one point of my life. Physical therapist should make good money, you need a 6 year degree and its a hard position (lifting patients etc.) Can you do that when your old? As a massage therapist I have P.T.'s always coming in for therapeutic massages. R.N's do get paid well 60-80k depending on your position however, their physically demanding, walking constently on hard floors creating planter facistist that is very hard to get rid of and you need a strong stomach. Yes they dont always deal with poop but theres alot of other disgusting smelly things. O.R.'s you tend to deal with mentally ill or people that druel, can you deal with that? So you see everything can be bad or good. There are a lot of nurses that complain about their jobs or about something its human nature. So think about what you like to do and a little about the money 60k is not bad to live on. It depends on what life style you want to have. People are living on a lot less and thats 30+ years your going to be working. SO you might as well love what your doing and not just for the money.

Very good points. RD jobs are not very stressful. However, I don't know about where you live, but I've talked to HR heads at hospitals in my area and based on my and my colleagues experiences with wages here, for 10-20 years experience, the going rate is $45,000-50,000 annually in the North Texas area. That's for over a decade of experience. For new grads, try $18-$20/hr which can be made as a pharmacy tech, monitor tech, etc, which are also fairly non-stressful positions that don't require lifting patients or cleaning poop. They also don't require degrees.

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RD01 in Minnesota

30 months ago

I work in a fairly large hospital owned by a large healthcare company. I love what I do and am very passionate about nutrition. However, I really don't care for my job because of the company I work for, the fact that I am not valued by higher-ups, there is no room for growth, and I can hardly make rent + student loan payments, let alone put something in savings. I have a great relationship with many of the doctors, PAs, and nurses, but they aren't the ones who dictate where the money goes. I have my master's degree, which makes absolutely no difference in income and set me back $75,000. There are cheaper programs than the one I went through, but I was stubborn and prideful and wanted to be among the best. I am proud of my accomplishments, but have little to show for them. It's a really frustrating field to be in, but we need more passionate people who are outspoken and into politics to make things change. I hope down the road I can truly say I love everything about my job, but lately there have been a lot of tears. I am a 3rd year dietitian, so I think after I get more clinical experience, I might explore other options as an RD. Unfortunately, nutrition support is what I am most passionate about, but it doesn't pay. Maybe I'll meet a rich man someday and will be able to work just for my love of the job! Fingers crossed! Why, hello doctor! ;) Ugh! Thanks for reading my vent! Anyone have any stories of hope and encouragement?

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RD01 in Minnesota

30 months ago

I work in a fairly large hospital owned by a large healthcare company. I love what I do and am very passionate about nutrition. However, I really don't care for my job because of the company I work for, the fact that I am not valued by higher-ups, there is no room for growth, and I can hardly make rent + student loan payments, let alone put something in savings. I have a great relationship with many of the doctors, PAs, and nurses, but they aren't the ones who dictate where the money goes. I have my master's degree, which makes absolutely no difference in income and set me back $75,000. There are cheaper programs than the one I went through, but I was stubborn and prideful and wanted to be among the best. I am proud of my accomplishments, but have little to show for them. It's a really frustrating field to be in, but we need more passionate people who are outspoken and into politics to make things change. I hope down the road I can truly say I love everything about my job, but lately there have been a lot of tears. I am a 3rd year dietitian, so I think after I get more clinical experience, I might explore other options as an RD (home infusion, grocery store RD????). Unfortunately, nutrition support is what I am most passionate about, but it doesn't pay. Maybe I'll meet a rich man someday and will be able to work just for my love of the job! Fingers crossed! Why, hello doctor! ;) Ugh! Thanks for reading my vent! Anyone have any stories of hope and encouragement?

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Samantha in Visalia, California

29 months ago

I love being a dietitian! I work in a community clinic, get to help people make better lifestyle choices, and I make 59k in California and I'm in my 2nd year on the job. I'm 25 years old, not married, and loving making my own money. If you want to be an RD- go for it!

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Kelsey in Dallas, Texas

29 months ago

Samantha in Visalia, California said: I love being a dietitian! I work in a community clinic, get to help people make better lifestyle choices, and I make 59k in California and I'm in my 2nd year on the job. I'm 25 years old, not married, and loving making my own money. If you want to be an RD- go for it!

that's awesome!! You live in one of the few states that pay RDs better. Probably due to the increases cost of living? Plus I think community typically pays more than clinical, at least here in tx it does. I'm thinking of moving to CA too!! But if we all do, then the rates will decrease. (supply and demand)

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bubuca in Los Angeles, California

29 months ago

Samantha in Visalia, California..

Curious, where did you study?

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bubuca in Los Angeles, California

29 months ago

Samantha in Visalia, California said: I love being a dietitian ! I work in a community clinic, get to help people make better lifestyle choices, and I make 59k in California and I'm in my 2nd year on the job. I'm 25 years old, not married, and loving making my own money. If you want to be an RD- go for it!

..

Curious, where did you study?

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hg in Stamford, Connecticut

29 months ago

I was deciding what to major in public health or nurtrition. since my prof said the pay is low in public health, i dont want to do it and i dont think there is any scope for it. now i was think nurtrition but after reading the comments im stuck what to do!!! please help!!!!

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sbondel in Minneapolis, Minnesota

29 months ago

I am a nutrition student at the U of M Twin Cities and when I realized that nutrition was my passion I went for it. Now, I haven't worked as a Dietitian and won't for another 2 years, but everyone that is complaining... I understand that maybe you aren't making as much as a pharmacist does but why did you decide to become a Dietitian in the first place? Because you love nutrition and helping others! How does being a pharmacist compare to that? Dispensing medication to people just because you want to make 91k or whatever it is. Accept that maybe you won't make as much many as you want, but if that is a sacrifice you are willing to make to follow your passion and are happy because you love what you do then you will be happy. Not everything should be driven by money.

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Michael in Gainesville, Georgia

27 months ago

i was thinking about getting my bachelor's in nutrition and then pursuing a masters in public health or physiology? any thoughts? initially, i've factored income into which career i wanted to choose... but in the end I'm feeling like money isn't everything and I believe i could still be somewhat successful as a nutritionist. thoughts and suggestions would be greatly appreciated!

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hi every body! in Viterbo, Italy

27 months ago

don't know how i get here, but there is a very important question i would like to ask... is it 40k per year a low salary? i red comments about "i can't live my life with just the dietitian salary" so maybe i'm missing something about life costs in usa!! or am i wrong?

one sure thing is there is no country in the entire world where there is shortage of dietitian... starting from my country italy where there is a remarkable eccess of graduate dietitian since decades... the same in uk in the last 5 years... and in autralia too...and from what i read here no job in USA too for dietitian! am i wrong?

well back to my question... 40k it's a low salary who can't give you the chance to live a "normal" life? home, car, food, holiday ext??? jesus!!! a dietitian here keep 15-18k euros and can get a "normal life" the same in uk with 22-25k pounds.... so in usa with almost double in dollars it wouldn't be the same?

very courios to see the answer!

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RD01 in Cloquet, Minnesota

27 months ago

hi every body! in Viterbo, Italy said: don't know how i get here, but there is a very important question i would like to ask... is it 40k per year a low salary? i red comments about "i can't live my life with just the dietitian salary" so maybe i'm missing something about life costs in usa!! or am i wrong?

one sure thing is there is no country in the entire world where there is shortage of dietitian... starting from my country italy where there is a remarkable eccess of graduate dietitian since decades... the same in uk in the last 5 years... and in autralia too...and from what i read here no job in USA too for dietitian! am i wrong?

well back to my question... 40k it's a low salary who can't give you the chance to live a "normal" life? home, car, food, holiday ext??? jesus!!! a dietitian here keep 15-18k euros and can get a "normal life" the same in uk with 22-25k pounds.... so in usa with almost double in dollars it wouldn't be the same?

very courios to see the answer!

Maybe it's the cost of education that's the difference. If I didn't have my student loan debt I'd be living very comfortably with my salary. But my student loan debt after undergrad + grad school was almost $100 k. When you are trying to pay off those loans and have the regular expenses of life but only make 40K it can be difficult. Especially for those who have a family to take care of. We aren't all money-hungry and greedy over here....

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Girly in Seattle, Washington

27 months ago

I'm about to start studying dietetics. i love it way too much. and i dont really care if i dont make a lot. my dad supported 4 people earning less than 40k a year, and we had a pretty good life. so making like 50k or 60k as a young woman without kids sounds wonderful to me!! :)

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giuliano in Viterbo, Italy

27 months ago

RD01 in Cloquet, Minnesota said: Maybe it's the cost of education that's the difference. If I didn't have my student loan debt I'd be living very comfortably with my salary. But my student loan debt after undergrad + grad school was almost $100 k. When you are trying to pay off those loans and have the regular expenses of life but only make 40K it can be difficult. Especially for those who have a family to take care of. We aren't all money-hungry and greedy over here....

Well i didn't think about the cost of education... Ineed is well known the usa education is massively expensive...
I spent 10k for the dietetic degree here..and a Msc in uk 7k.. plus ofcourse life cost.

In Uk the dietetic degree its free, paid by NHS.. Crazy... ;-);-);-)

i think 40k with no loan and no child its ok ;-) with all that yes you are right...

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giuliano in Viterbo, Italy

27 months ago

RD01 in Cloquet, Minnesota said: Maybe it's the cost of education that's the difference. If I didn't have my student loan debt I'd be living very comfortably with my salary. But my student loan debt after undergrad + grad school was almost $100 k. When you are trying to pay off those loans and have the regular expenses of life but only make 40K it can be difficult. Especially for those who have a family to take care of. We aren't all money-hungry and greedy over here....

Well i didn't think about the cost of education... Ineed is well known the usa education is massively expensive...
I spent 10k for the dietetic degree here..and a Msc in uk 7k.. plus ofcourse life cost.

In Uk the dietetic degree its free, paid by NHS.. Crazy... ;-);-);-)

i think 40k with no loan and no child its ok ;-) with all that yes you are right...

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Saranicole24 in Havelock, North Carolina

27 months ago

I am going to be starting a didactic dietetic program in Buffalo soon. I have been going to school for 2 years now and I have not had to take out any loans or anything. I am married to a Marine and he is going to be getting out in a few years. He wants to become a police officer. With both of our salaries at around maybe 40k each, we will be just fine. We are living right now on less than 20k total!! I don't understand why so many people on here would discourage someone from a profession because of money?! Not everyone can just be a pharmacist. I mean come one lets get real here... And I thought about nursing, but it is so hard to get into nursing programs right now. I got into one that is 23K a year. So I chose a profession that would not leave me with any loans and one that I am actually interested in. My father made about 50k and my mom made less than 10. My father was awful with money though, but he still was able to support my mother and I and own 3 properties. So 80-90k a year with a couple kids and no loans...yeah not gonna change my mind.

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ambitions20 in Hartland, Wisconsin

27 months ago

Hi! I have been following this thread for awhile now, and now that I'm a senior in high school, it's time for me to decide what path I want to take in university. My dream is to work in eating disorder treatment, but I would like to make more than a dietitian salary. I am interested in psychology, but that will require a degree beyond a BA or BS. I was thinking of double majoring in psychology and dietetics for undergrad, and completing my supervised practice and certification as an RD. I would then like to work as a dietitian for awhile while pursuing an advanced degree in psychology/psychiatry, so I can work in therapy after. Any thoughts?

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Giuliano in Pula, Croatia

27 months ago

Good point, 24k for a year! now i perfectly understand why european health profession cant convert our qualification to american standard, We pay an average of 700,2000 per year of course, depending if its public or private, ofcourse would not be fair if somebody from europe will come in america to work after spent few box for european education..

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Giuliano in Pula, Croatia

27 months ago

Good point, 24k for a year! now i perfectly understand why european health profession cant convert our qualification to american standard, We pay an average of 700,2000 per year of course, depending if its public or private, ofcourse would not be fair if somebody from europe will come in america to work after spent few box for european education..

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bluesky in West Jordan, Utah

27 months ago

That's a nice thought not to worry about the salary if you are "following your passion," but the reason that I am an RN instead of a dietitian, even though I have a BS in dietetics, is because I have a family to support. It's wonderful to "follow your passion," but sometimes that is not practical if it does not pay the bills. I'm not talking about supporting an extravagant lifestyle, I'm talking about supporting a family of 4 children and 2 adults. I don't think the desire to live comfortably (not necessarily extravagantly) is so bad. I can go much farther in the nursing field.

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kyra amber in Statesboro, Georgia

26 months ago

ambitions20 in Hartland, Wisconsin said: Hi! I have been following this thread for awhile now, and now that I'm a senior in high school, it's time for me to decide what path I want to take in university. My dream is to work in eating disorder treatment, but I would like to make more than a dietitian salary. I am interested in psychology, but that will require a degree beyond a BA or BS. I was thinking of double majoring in psychology and dietetics for undergrad, and completing my supervised practice and certification as an RD. I would then like to work as a dietitian for awhile while pursuing an advanced degree in psychology/psychiatry, so I can work in therapy after. Any thoughts?

It's very strange I stumbled upon this forum today. I was in the exact position as you were a couple years ago. I have a passion for Dietetics and helping those with eating disorders also, but I took a Psychology class and fell in love with it too. My final decision was to Major in Bachelors of Science in Psychology, then dual enroll in Grad school for Psychology and Nutrition. Ultimately I plan to continue my education and get my PhD in Nutrition. In order to qualify for the Masters Nutrition program you will have to take a test and score within a certain percentage (this may depend on which school you choose). If you choose this path, I would encourage you to do as much research as you can in your spare time. There are also nutrition programs such as Precision Nutrition where you can earn a certificate online, this will help you when you finally begin your nutrition program in school and could potentially help you earn some extra money working for a gym while you're still in classes. Good luck!!

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Ann in Troutman, North Carolina

26 months ago

NutritionWorks in Canby, Oregon said: I am sorry to see so many negative posts in this forum. I am 50 years old and have been in the clinical field for 20 years. I would say that I like my job 90% of the time. My pay started out at $18.00 an hour and I now make about $32.oo/hour. I work part-time so have very flexible hours which I really like. I get good benefits; retirement, med/den/vision. I decided against getting my master's as it wouldn't increase my pay, but I would now if I was just starting out. I love the people I work with and I have a lot of variability with my job; best of all, I have a great group to work with. I am one happy dietitian who is ready to take the next step in my career; international mission work!:)

I am currently in nursing school and I absolutely hate it...I have never been so stressed out in my life! I know that every job is going to be stressful in some way...but I'm stressed beyond what I can handle. I have recently decided to pursue a degree to get my RD...but I have heard so many negative comments...I wouldn't care if I received less money to work as a dietician...I just want to be happy..and right now I'm definitely not happy....would you suggest me to get a Registered Dietician degree?

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