Skip to main content
4 answers
5
Asked 218 views

Dietitian Questions

Hello!
I really want to do something in the medical field, and one of my options is to become a dietitian. My questions are:
1. Can I get a PhD for it?
2. If so, what are the differences between a regular dietitian and a dietitian with a PhD (e.g., difference in salary, difference in what they do, etc.)?

Thank you!

+25 Karma if successful
From: You
To: Friend
Subject: Career question for you

5

4 answers


1
Updated
Share a link to this answer
Share a link to this answer

Michelle’s Answer

Hello, Amwaj !

It's wonderful that you have a career interest and want to take it as far as you can. You most certainly can obtain a PhD in Nutrition/Nutrition Science and I have left a link below for you to explore the PhD Program at the University of Washington School of Public Health. I've also left a link to PhDs website so you can explore the different types of structures offered in your state for studying for a PhD.

I am not sure how much difference there would be in having a Masters or PhD in Nutrition. There probably are some major positive benefits to having a PhD, such as opening your own service, doing research, etc. but I am not doubtful that you'd still be able to do the same thing with a Masters Degree. The best way to get an idea of that would be to go to Linked In, Indeed, Nutrition Jobs, Simply Hired, and Upwork. Read the job notices and see where nutritionists are being hired and sometimes they mention the salary.

Your salary will totally depend on what the employer is offering. You can't get an idea now of what you'd ever make because it depends on many factors that are not in place for you right now, so there's no way to tell. You will know your salary once you go on interviews and employers make an offer to you. Whether you have a full time job, a few part time jobs, have your own service and freelance, both freelance and work for a company, write articles for journals, give presentations or trainings, what state, city or town you work in, the going salary in the years you work as a nutritionist, teach at a university level, and whether or not you publish books that you write or collaborate on or write e-books. It would be impossible to say how much income you'd have but it is a great field with lots of opportunity.

It will be important for you to read all the Nutritionist employment notices that you can and keep a notebook of the information so you can compare it all at a glance. I've also provided a link below to a very short video of PhD vs. Masters Degree and you can do a search for more videos on You Tube about the subject.

I hope that this has been helpful for a start and I wish you all the best !

Michelle recommends the following next steps:

PhD PROGRAM AT UNIVERSITY OF WASHINGTON SCHOOL OF PUBLIC HEALTH https://sph.washington.edu/program/phd-nutritional-sciences
PhD PROGRAMS IN WASHINGTON STATE ON SITE AND REMOTE/ONLINE OPTIONS https://www.phds.me/online-programs/washington-state/
NUTRITION JOBS AND INFORMATION https://www.nutritionjobs.com/
PhD IN NUTRITION VS. MASTERS DEGREE (SHORT VIDEO) https://youtu.be/Vx5Jh29HrLM?si=Egs_XgxY3O5x8nYj
Thank you comment icon Thank you so much for all this information, Ms. M! I appreciate your help :) Amwaj
Thank you comment icon You are very welcome, Amwaj ! Michelle M.
1
1
Updated
Share a link to this answer
Share a link to this answer

Ayşe Hümeyra’s Answer

Hello Amwaj!
If you have sustainable goals related to nutrition science, you must first obtain a bachelor's degree in nutrition and dietetics. If you are interested in medical sciences (anatomy, biochemistry, genetics, etc.), you need to do a master's degree in this field. Of course, clinical studies/experiences in these fields will put you on the front step. During undergraduate education, it is very important to follow the literature as much as you can and to follow the developments in the field of public health. After choosing and completing your master's degree subject, you can apply for a PhD program. Within the scope of master's and doctoral programs (which you can choose), I have given examples of a few fields that carry the importance of nutrition in diseases.
-pediatric metabolic diseases
-obesity, diabetes, hypertension, cardiovascular diseases

After completing the necessary studies on these subjects (during the master's degree process), you can get the title of doctor dietitian by doing your doctorate. After graduating from the department, my suggestion is to do a master's degree. You can work as a clinical dietitian in a hospital or a private clinic according to the field that interests you. If you want to continue from academia, you can give lectures at the university in the field you specialize in thanks to the titles you receive after your doctorate, that is, you become an academician.
Thank you comment icon That's great! Thank you so much, Ms. Gül! Amwaj
1
1
Updated
Share a link to this answer
Share a link to this answer

Danielle’s Answer

In order to become a dietitian, a masters degree is required in dietetics through an accredited program. Some programs might have a PhD track (Purdue did when I was there). There is no difference in salary which ever degree you obtain. Most people that go and get a PhD have an interest in teaching or research. However, if you plan to do research for a large company, your salary would be greater than if you were working for university or as a dietitian seeing patients. Companies like Nestle, Abbott, Baxter have PhD level researchers working for their company or might have a dietitian with a PhD working on their medical affairs team. Industry jobs pay way more for dietitians ($100,000-$200,000/yr vs working for a University or Hospital $60,000-$95,000), but you are likely not going to be working directly with patients. Thinking of your salary is very important when considering being a dietitian as it does not pay well for the amount of schooling required and level of responsibility when working with patients. I love dietetics and I’ve been a dietitian for 14 years, but have recently switched to working in industry, specifically medical sales and my salary has doubled. If I were to go back and do it all over again, I would major in dietetics with a premed focus and either go to medical school or become a physician assistant. Not enough healthcare practitioners have the level of knowledge that a registered dietitian does when it comes to nutrition and nutrition truly is the foundation for everyone’s health.
Thank you comment icon Thank you so much, Ms. Toepfer! I love to hear people's experiences and advice, so thanks again for that :) Amwaj
1
1
Updated
Share a link to this answer
Share a link to this answer

Karen’s Answer

Good question!
There are PhD programs in dietetics available. Generally, the dietitian that goes on to get a PhD would be looking to work in education, research, governmental agencies or industries. The salary would be higher than a clinical dietitian working in a hospital or clinical area. Hospital dietitians are usually paid for the position and not the level of education they have. An exception might be a dietitian in private practice, this would require private payment as insurance currently does not cover our services unless the patient has diabetes or kidney disease. There are also programs for a doctorate in clinical nutrition (DCN). With a DCN you are leaning more towards advanced clinical practice, practice-based research, leadership roles in healthcare or industries related to healthcare and education. I have seen nutrition related medical companies that have upper-level dietitians with either PhD or DCN. I think you can take your dietetics career beyond the norm with and advanced degree if you have the motivation.

Good luck!
Thank you comment icon Thank you so much Ms. Glover for the new information! :) Amwaj
1