Dietitians use their knowledge of food to give advice on healthy eating. They help people make lifestyle choices, plan better food and health decisions and help to treat illness.
Where dietitians are employed
Nutrition is a rapidly expanding field and graduates find employment in a wide variety of roles and settings such as patient care and education in hospitals, nutrition and health education in community health centres, public health nutrition and food and nutrition policy in government departments. They also work in private practice and consultancy, education and training, food industries, health promotion and nutrition research. Relatively new areas include the fields of sports nutrition, publishing and the media.
Full-time dietitians in South Australia generally earn between $1,250 and $1,599 per week.
Opportunities for nutritionists depend upon the recognition of nutrition by the community as a health strategy in preventing and treating diet-related disorders and medical conditions, such as heart disease, cancer and diabetes. The level of public and professional awareness and acceptance of nutrition services have an effect on the demand for nutritionists.
In 2011, 135 people were employed full-time as dietitians in South Australia compared with 93 in 2006.
How to become one
Usually you need to study dietetics at a university accredited by the Dietitians Association of Australia. At school consider doing English, mathematics, chemistry and biology.
For information on course admission requirements and how to apply to the universities and TAFE in South Australia visit the South Australian Tertiary Admissions Centre (SATAC).
Check South Australian universities at The University of Adelaide, Flinders University and University of South Australia.
For information about Australian universities visit Quality Indicators for Learning and Teaching (QILT).
Licensing or registration requirements
There are no legal registrations or licensing requirements for dietitians in Australia.
Most employers expect candidates to be eligible to become members of the Dietitians Association of Australia (DDA) and join the Accredited Practising Dietitian (APD) Program.
Recognition of qualifications and skills obtained outside Australia
If you have overseas gained qualifications as a dietitian and want to become a member of the Dietitians Association of Australia, you will need to undertake the DDA recognition process. You must first meet the eligibility requirements to access the program, and then undertake the relevant assessment and examinations to gain full recognition and membership.
For information about assessment of overseas qualifications, and looking for work in Australia visit Recognition of overseas qualifications or contact Specialist Migrant Services on 08 8303 2450 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
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