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Diet Technician Job Description

Diet technicians, or dietetic technicians, typically work under registered dietitians in institutional food service, in community organizations and in food companies. You can qualify for this career by completing accredited post-secondary training and passing national certification exams.

Requirements for a Diet Technician

Complete an associate degree program in dietetics accredited by the Commission on Accreditation for Dietetics Education. Accredited programs include coursework on applied food science, nutrition and food service management plus a dietetics internship of 450 hours or more. An accredited program qualifies you to take the credentialing exam for Dietetic Technician, Registered, or DTR, from the Commission on Dietetic Registration. Alternate credentialing pathways are available for bachelor's degree graduates, and some states also require licensing.

Job Duties of a Diet Technician

Diet techs in large institutions, such as hospitals or prisons, help dietitians plan the meals. Other typical duties include observing patient eating habits, analyzing recipes, determining food quantities and tracking expenses. In a care facility or hospital, DTRs may take patients' nutritional histories and assess their needs. In cafeteria jobs, they manage cooks and food servers and help with food preparation. Diet techs for community health organizations teach people about proper eating habits, while technicians for food companies help dietitians oversee safety, sanitation and labeling.

Working Conditions and Skills

Depending on the particular job, the work environment of a diet tech may be a comfortable office or a hot kitchen. In food service jobs, part-time hours and irregular shifts are typical. Diet techs need good communication skills and the ability to interact well with patients, dietitians and kitchen staff. A keen sense of taste and smell and strict attention to sanitation and safety rules are essential.



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