Coronavirus (COVID-19) Updates →

Please click here for the latest information regarding Benedictine University's response to the Coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak.

Careers in Nutrition

The 2014 Occupational Outlook Handbook reports that employment of Dietitians is expected to increase by 21% from 2012 to 2022, faster than other occupations.  The 2014 Occupational Outlook Handbook reports that Dietitians who are "Health Diagnosing and Treating" practitioners earn about $73,000.  As with other professions, income will vary by region of the country, type of employment setting, scope of responsibility, and supply of qualified dietitians and nutritionists. According to the 2011 Compensation & Benefits Survey of the Dietetics Profession, income increases with years of experience, with the top 10 percent earning more than $77,590.  According to the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, the median wage for RDs was $60,000 in 2013.

According to the 2011 Commission on Dietetic Registration (CDR) Workforce Demand Study, Dietetics Supply and Demand: 2010-2020: "if supply factors and limitations persist, there will be a shortfall between demand for services and the capacity of the dietetics workforce. By 2020, a projected shortfall of about 18,000 full time workers (or more) may exist."

The 2014 Occupational Outlook Handbook reports that employment of Health Educators and Community Health Workers is expected to increase by 21% from 2012 to 2022, much faster than other occupations. The mean income for Health Educators in 2012 was approximately $49,000, with hospitals being the highest at $60,000. Some employers may require the Certified Health Education Specialist (CHES) credential.

Career Opportunities

The field of nutrition is one of the most dynamic, diverse professions. Thus, career opportunities are quite varied. For example, a solid background in the science of nutrition helps prepare you to:

  • Become a Registered Dietitian (RD) after the completion of a DPD (i.e., Nutrition Major and Dietetics concentration) and an accredited Dietetic Internship practice experience. The RD is the nutrition expert in food and nutrition, challenged to translate the interdisciplinary knowledge into practical applications. Some RDs work as clinical dietitians or community dietitians, providing consultation and therapeutic counseling for optimum nutrition to individuals and groups in clinics, health care facilities, medical offices, school systems, corporations, fitness centers, and in private practice. Other RDs work with professional athletes, in spas, on cruise ships, and in other entrepreneurial careers. Read more about this in the Nutrition Major Handbook.
  • Work in policy planning in public health agencies and health associations.
  • Develop and implement educational programs and events to improve the nutritional and health status of the community.
  • Work as a nutritionist health educator, health coach, fitness coach, or health promotion consultant in schools, health care facilities, corporations, wellness facilities or fitness setting.
  • Explore a career in food service as a manager of food services, food broker, or sales representative in restaurants, health care facilities, schools, or industry. Other related choices include quality control supervision and culinary education.
  • Supervise those delivering health promotion or education.
  • Develop a career as an author or editor of food and nutrition-related print media.
  • Use the bachelor degree in Nutrition as the knowledge foundation to a enter Medical, Chiropractic, or Nursing school.
  • With completion of the Health Education concentration of the Nutrition major (Mesa campus) or advanced study in health and nutrition education, design and evaluate wellness education programming for groups, communities, or corporations.
  • With further study in chemistry, work in food science research for ingredient and product development.
  • Further study nutrition or other health-related fields, such as biochemistry, physiology, exercise physiology, and public health. Or, elect to pursue an education, marketing, or management advanced degree to complement your career interests. Approximately 45% of Registered Dietitians hold master degrees while 3% hold doctoral degrees.
  • Serve to educate nutrition and allied health professionals in an academic setting, after earning an appropriate graduate-level degree.

Some of the food and nutrition career positions held by our Benedictine University graduates include: clinical dietitian, neonatal and pediatric clinical nutrition specialist, public health case management dietitian, dietitians working in gerontology, nurse, dietetic technician, social worker, exercise physiologist, clinical services manager, internal nutrition support sales representative, quality assurance manager, food and nutrition services director, consumer affairs specialist for a major grocery store chain, product buyer, director of client services, manager of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics Practice Teams, community and university educator, corporate health promotion and wellness specialist, public relations specialist for a food association, owner of a bakery, nutritionist in public health programs and on reservations, weight loss counselor, author, researcher, and consultant in private practice.

For more details, refer to the Career Opportunity section of the Nutrition Major Handbook.

Pathway to RD

The Registered Dietitian (RD) is an expert in nutrition and nutrition. The process to become a RD is outlined below:

Did You Know?

After successful completion of the accredited Didactic Program in Nutrition and Dietetics (i.e., Dietetics Concentration of the Nutrition Major at BenU) you are eligible to take the Dietetic Technician, Registered (DTR) exam.

The undergraduate nutrition major provides a solid knowledge base for those who plan to enter Medical, Nursing, or Chiropractic School.

Department of Nutrition
Benedictine University

Catherine Arnold, MS, EdD, RD.
Department Chair


Hours: 9:00 a.m. - 4:30 p.m.

By Mail:
Benedictine University
5700 College Road
Kindlon Hall, Room 224
Lisle, IL 60532

Fax: (630) 829-6595