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Dietitian

Dietitians diagnose and treat people with nutrition problems, and help people make healthy lifestyle and diet decisions.

Salary, a pound sign Salary: £22,000 to £41,500 average per year
Hours, a clock face Hours: 35 to 40 per week

1. Entry requirements

You'll need:

Courses are full time and usually take 3 to 4 years.

The British Dietetic Association and Health Careers have information on becoming a dietitian.

2. Skills required

You'll need:

  • excellent communication skills
  • motivational skills
  • organisational skills
  • business skills if you're working as a freelancer

3. What you'll do

In the NHS, you could be based at a hospital or in the community.

In a hospital, your job would involve:

  • specialising in an area like children's health, renal dietetics or cancer care
  • running clinics for people with diabetes or eating disorders, like anorexia or bulimia
  • working with catering services to create menus for patients with a range of dietary needs

In the community, you could be:

  • raising awareness of the importance of healthy eating
  • running health promotion workshops
  • advising people who lack confidence, have depression, or are on a low income
You'll work with other health professionals and nutritionists. You may also supervise the work of dietetic assistants.

4. Salary

Starter: £22,000 to £28,000

Experienced: £35,000

Highly Experienced: £41,500 (manager)

You may get extra money for working irregular hours or being on-call.

These figures are a guide.

5. Working hours, patterns and environment

You'll work 35 to 40 hours a week. You may need to work some weekends.

You'll usually work in a consulting room attached to a clinic, health centre or hospital.

6. Career path and progression

With experience you could become a team leader or department manager. 

You could also become self-employed.

You might take further training to use your skills in education, manufacturing, research, journalism, marketing, advertising or public relations.

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Last updated: 11 April 2017