A dietetic technician, registered is a food and nutrition practitioner, often working in conjunction with a Registered Dietitian, who has met the minimum academic and professional requirements to qualify for the credential "DTR." In addition to DTR credentialing, some states have regulatory laws for dietetic technicians, registered. Like RDs, DTRs must complete professional educational requirements to maintain their registration.
Educational and Professional Requirements
Dietetic Technicians, Registered must meet the following criteria to earn the DTR credential:
- Complete at least a two-year associate's degree at a US regionally accredited university or college and course work approved by the Accreditation Council for Education in Nutrition and Dietetics of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, which must include 450 hours of supervised practice experience in various community programs, health care and foodservice facilities
- Pass a national examination administered by the Commission on Dietetic Registration
- Complete continuing professional educational requirements to maintain registration.
Students wishing to become dietetic technicians, registered study subjects including food and nutrition, foodservice systems management and a range of general science courses.
The majority of dietetic technicians work with registered dietitians in a variety of employment settings including health care (assisting dietitians in providing medical nutrition therapy), in hospitals, HMOs, clinics or other health-care facilities. In addition, a large number of dietetic technicians work in community and public health settings such as school or day care centers, correctional facilities, weight management clinics and WIC programs as nutrition counselors. A growing number of dietetic technicians work in the food and nutrition industry, as contract employees for food management companies or food vending and distributing companies, developing menus and overseeing foodservice sanitation and food safety or providing food labeling information and nutrient analysis.
As with any profession, salaries and fees vary by region of the country, employment settings, scope of responsibility and supply of DTRs. According to the Academy's 2007 Compensation and Benefits Survey, half of all registered dietetic technicians employed full-time in their primary position for five years or less earn annual incomes of between $30,000 and $40,000.