How to Become a Nutritionist and Registered Dietitian in Washington

Farming is one of the largest industries in Washington state, meaning its people are very committed to the state’s food. For instance, over 300 distinct crops are grown in Washington, including the state’s well-known apples. Washington is also known for producing high-quality seafood, including salmon and shellfish.

Washington citizens care about maintaining their health through proper nutrition, making this state the ideal location for anyone seeking to become a registered dietitian. However, before you can begin dietetic practice, you must become licensed in this state by following the requirements laid out by the Washington State Department of Health.

Requirements to Become a Dietitian in Washington?

Basic Requirements

  • Age: Applicants should be over the age of 18.
  • Education: You must have at least a bachelor’s degree from an accredited university.
  • Licensure: You must be licensed by the state of Washington to practice as a dietitian.
  • Degree: Acceptable degrees will have a major focus in dietetics, food and nutrition, food management services or human nutrition.
  • Experience: 900 hours of practical dietetic experience under the direction of a qualified supervisor.
  • Exam: A passing grade in the certification exam given by the Commission on Dietetic Registration is required for licensure.
  • Citizenship: US citizens and legal aliens who live in Washington can apply for a license.

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Washington Nutritionist Degree

Additional Requirements

  • Background Check: All Washington applicants will need to undergo a criminal background check before a license will be granted.

Application Process

  • Licensure: Applications should be submitted to the Washington State Department of Health. In addition to your completed application, you must include proof of registration with the CDR, official academic transcripts and an $81 license fee. If you are licensed already in another state, you can be licensed in Washington through reciprocity, which costs $30. License renewals cost $61.

Degrees Related to Dietitians

Those pursuing a career as a registered dietitian have many degrees to choose from. The most common degrees for an aspiring dietitian include dietetics, clinical nutrition, nutritional science, nutritional education and food and nutrition.

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Major Cities in Washington

  • Seattle is the largest city in Washington with a population of 684,451.
  • 213,272 Washingtonians live in Spokane, making it the state’s second largest city.
  • Tacoma is third in terms of Washington cities. 207,948 people live in Tacoma.

What Does a Nutritionist Do?

  • A nutritionist develops meal plans to help individuals and groups fulfill their nutritional needs. While most nutritionists work with individual clients, others may work in large institutions like hospitals and schools.
  • After a meal plan is developed, a nutritionist will track their client’s progress. If problems arise, the meal plan can be adjusted.
  • Some nutritionists provide nutritional education to the communities where they work. In addition, nutritionists will engage in continuing education related to current nutritional guidelines.
  • Nutritionists will write reports that are related to the profession.

Related Careers

If you’re interested in becoming a registered dietitian there are several careers that are closely related. For example, dietetic technicians are very similar to dietitians, and often work in the exact same setting. Nutritionists will advise clients about their nutritional needs and will help them develop meal plans, just as a dietitian would. Certain sectors of food management, particularly meal plan development, are similar to dietetic work.

Employment Numbers in Washington

1,170 dietitians were employed in Washington in 2015 as documented by the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Salary Ranges in Washington

The annual mean wage for dietitians working in Washington is $63,970.

Washington Dietitian Links

Nutritionist and Dietitian Programs in Washington

Nutritionist and Dietitian Programs in Washington

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Choose your area of study and receive free information about programs you are interested in. Qualified nutritionists and dietitians often pursue a bachelor’s degree before attempting certification. Though both deal exclusively with nutrition, food, and dietary choices, nutrionists and dietitians do have different roles. Request information from multiple schools to find the best program and educational opportunity for you!