Department of Nutrition

West Chester University

Dr. Jeff Harris, DrPH, MPH, RD, LDN
College of Health Sciences
West Chester University
West Chester, PA 19383

Career Opportunities

Dietetics practitioners are employed in medical facilities such as hospitals, clinics, and long term care communities providing nutrition care, as well as managing foodservice. In private practice, many provide nutrition counseling for clients concerned with better nutrition and for those who have modified dietary needs. Some work for government agencies such as the Dairy Council, Food and Drug Administration, and the United States Department of Agriculture as researchers, health inspectors, and nutrition advocates. Dietetic professionals work in education teaching dietetics, nutrition, and foodservice management in colleges, universities, medical schools, and public school systems. In community settings, they provide counseling and nutritional services for city and county health departments, elderly feeding programs, day care centers, and school foodservice programs. Dietetic practitioners also work as counselors in wellness centers; as sports nutritionists, freelance writers, food stylists; and work in sales for food, foodservice equipment, or pharmaceutical companies.

With growing public interest in nutrition and wellness, the demand for dietetic practitioners in both traditional and non-traditional areas will continue to exceed supply. Employment in hospitals is expected to show little change because of anticipated slow growth and reduced patients' lengths of hospital stay. Faster growth is anticipated in extended care facilities, physician clinics, and foodservice establishments.

What career opportunities are available to dietetic professionals and registered dietitians?
Opportunities open to a student graduating with a Bachelor's Degree in Nutrition and Dietetics are endless! Some careers may require a RD credential or additional schooling, others may not. A dietetics student may potentially become any one of the following:

Armed services dietitian

Food product developer

Menu planner

Administrative dietitian

Foods demonstrator

Grocery store nutritionist

Community nutritionist

Foodservice director

Pharmaceutical representative

Food corporation consultant

Freelance writer

Public health nutritionist

Consultant dietitian

Health inspector

Recipe developer

Consumer educator

Home economist

Research nutritionist

Diabetes educator

Information specialist

Restaurant chain manager


Kitchens and equipment editor

Sports nutritionist

Equipment demonstrator

Food product marketing specialist


Extension home economist

Nutrition educator

Wellness director

Food photographer

Medical nutrition therapy dietitian

World health care worker

Clinical trial coordinator

Community health educator

Health insurance specialist

These are a few of many opportunities available to WCU Nutrition and Dietetics graduates. Graduates of the program also may choose to continue their education in graduate, medical, or physician assistant school.

Future careers open to dietitians are limited only by a person's creativity, courage, and perseverance. Dietitians, to remain competitive, need to carve their own niches in the professional world. New opportunities are emerging everywhere!