How to Become a Registered Dietitian in Alabama

Like most states, Alabama has a close relationship with food, especially when it comes to farming. In fact, almost 30% of Alabama’s land is dedicated to farming. However, despite this access to fresh food, Alabama’s nearly five million citizens still need help eating right, which is what many people consider working as a registered dietitian in this state.

To work as dietitian in Alabama, you must first be granted a dietitian license by the Alabama Board of Examiners for Dietetics & Nutritionists. Before you gain your licensure and are allowed to work as a dietitian, there are a few qualifications you must meet and steps you must follow.

How to Become a Dietitian in Alabama

Basic Requirements

  • Age: Licensed Dietiians in Alabama must be at least 19 years of age.
  • Education: You need to have earned a bachelor’s degree or higher from a Southern Association of Schools and Colleges accredited university. The university your degree is from must offer majors in foods and nutrition, dietetics, human nutrition and other related fields.
  • Licensure: If you are already licensed to work as a dietitian in another state, you have to become licensed in Alabama as well. You will need to send the Board verification of your previous license to receive an Alabama license.
  • Experience: It is required that prospective dietitians complete at least 900 hours of work experience in dietetics and human nutrition under the supervision of a registered dietitian.
  • Exam: Pass the exam to become a registered dietitian outlined by the Commission on Dietetic Registration (CDR).
  • Immediate Licensure: If you’ve are already a CDR Registered Dietitian, you can send proof of registration to the Board of Examiners and skip the previous requirements.
  • Citizenship: You must be a US citizen or are legally allowed to work in the US.

Additional Requirements

  • Moral Character: Applicants to become a licensed dietitian in Alabama need to submit information that they possess high moral character.
  • ID: A copy of an official photographic ID should be included in your application.

Application Process

  • Licensure: Once you have met the requirements for licensure, you will send an application to the Board of Examiners. This must include proof of your education, work experience and passing grade in the CDR exam. You also must pay a $100 application fee and a $150 license fee. If your application is approved, you will receive your license.
  • Temporary License: Alabama allows for temporary dietitian licenses. To receive a temporary license, you must provide proof you have completed your education and experience requirements. This license expires after a year.
  • Renewal: Dietitian licenses expire every twenty-four months. Renewal requires 30 hours of continuing education.

Degrees Related to Dietitians

There are many degrees related to dietetics. For example, degrees in food service management, clinical nutrition, human nutrition and biology all share similarities with a dietitian degree.

Major Cities in Alabama

  • Birmingham is the largest city in Alabama, serving home to over 200,00 people.
  • Mobile is Alabama’s state capital and is in close proximity to the Gulf of Mexico, a large source of the state’s fish.
  • Dotan grows over half of the country’s peanuts.

What Does a Nutritionist Do?

  • Nutritionists can advise people on health eating habits. This can happen in clinical settings, like hospitals, or in schools or private operations.
  • Nutritionists can work as educators, informing people about proper nutrition.
  • Help to develop meal plans.

Related Careers

Careers related to dietitians will all be focused on proper human health. This can include being a health educator, a nurse or working in food service management.

Employment Numbers in Alabama

The Bureau of Labor Statistics estimates that there were 890 dietitians and nutritionists working in Alabama as of 2015. Most of these professionals work in the state’s larger cities.

Salary Ranges in Alabama

The annual mean wage for a Alabama dietitian is $50,610. However, this varies from city to city. For example, dietitians in Birmingham can expect to make $46,880 and Montgomery dietitians can make $53,570.

Alabama Dietitian Links