Hawaii is home to some of the most unique food in the United States, including poi, breadfruit and several varieties of fish. However, because Hawaii is so isolated, it can sometimes be difficult for its citizens to follow proper nutritional guidelines. This is what makes working as a registered dietitian in Hawaii such an enticing career choice.
Before beginning your career as a licensed Hawaiian dietitian, you will need to meet certain basic requirements, including completing an educational program and passing an exam.
How to Become a Dietitian in Hawaii
To become a licensed dietitian in Hawaii, the state requires that you become a registered dietitian with the Commission on Dietetic Registration (CDR). The basic requirements for CDR registration and Hawaiian licensure are as follows:
- Age: You must be over the majority age, which is 18.
- Education: To apply for registration and licensure, you will need at least a bachelor’s degree. The degree must be awarded by an accredited university and should have a major focus in dietetics, food management or human nutrition. These courses should match those offered by the University of Hawaii.
- Experience: Before registration with the CDR, you will need 1200 hours of practical experience as a dietitian, which must take place under the supervision of a registered dietitian. Your work experience can be in an internship or may be completed during your degree.
- Exam: The final step before registration is to sit for and pass the CDR administered certification exam.
- Citizenship: Anyone seeking to become a licensed dietitian in Hawaii should be a US citizen or a legal alien.
- Background Check: When submitting your licensure application, you will need to detail any crimes you have committed that are related to being a dietitian. You will also be required to disclose disciplinary actions taken against you by licensing organizations in other states.
- Licensure: After you have registered with the CDR, you will need to submit your licensing application with the Hawaii Department of Health. Your application should include identifying information about the candidate, as well as verification of your CDR registration. You must also include any necessary fees.
- Endorsement: Any dietitian who is already licensed in another state may be licensed in Hawaii provided they can prove their licensure and that the awarding state has requirements as stringent as Hawaii’s.
Degrees Related to Dietitians
The usual degree path that a dietitian will take is to enroll in a dietetics program. However, aspiring dietitians can also pursue degrees in food and nutrition, clinical nutrition, food management and nutritional education.
Major Cities in Hawaii
- Honolulu is on the island of Oahu, which is home to 70% of this state’s people, which is why most Hawaiian dietitians work here.
- Pearl City is a popular tourist destination as it is home to Pearl Harbor.
- Hilo is on ‘The Big Island’ and is the gateway to Hawaii National Volcanoes Park.
What Does a Nutritionist Do?
- A nutritionist seeks to improve the nutritional health of their clients. The primary method for doing so is to gauge a person’s nutritional requirements and then to develop a nutritional plan for them to follow. This plan can be adjusted as necessary and will be monitored by the nutritionist or dietitian.
- A dietitian will educate groups, individuals and entire communities about correct human nutrition and how to follow these guidelines.
- A nutritionist will keep records of their client’s progress.
- Nutritionist must continually educate themselves about nutritional information.
Food management, clinical nutrition, dietetic technician and education are all careers that are related to working as a dietitian.
Employment Numbers in Hawaii
In May of 2015, there were 340 dietitians working in Hawaii. This is according to numbers kept by the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
Salary Ranges in Hawaii
In Maui and other areas across the Hawaiian Islands, the average yearly salary is $64,580. In Honolulu, the average salary is $65,670.
Hawaii Dietitian Links