How to become a Dietary Aide

Dietary aides assist dietitians to maintain high standards of nutritional care for patients in hospital settings.

Personal requirements of a Dietary Aide

  • Good communication skills
  • Enjoy working with people
  • Good organisational skills

Education & Training for a Dietary Aide

You can work as a dietary aide without formal qualifications. You will probably get some informal training on the job. Entry to this occupation may be improved if you have qualifications. You may like to consider a VET qualification. As subjects and prerequisites can vary between institutions, you should contact your chosen institution for further information. You can also become a dietary aide through an apprenticeship or traineeship in Catering Operations or Allied Health Assistance. Entry requirements may vary, but employers generally require Year 10.

Additional Information

Students must be 18 years of age or older if undertaking modules that involve the service of alcohol.

Duties & Tasks of a Dietary Aide

Dietary aides:

  • discuss the dietary needs of patients with healthcare professionals
  • interview patients to discuss food preferences
  • assist with the planning of menus for patients
  • ensure food is hygienically and correctly prepared and well presented
  • maintain diet records
  • assist with the implementation of a nutrition care plan in consultation with dietitians
  • assist with training staff to prepare and serve meals for patients with particular diets
  • use computers for data entry and retrieval.

Working conditions for a Dietary Aide

Dietary aides may be required to undertake rostered weekend work and shiftwork.

Employment Opportunities for a Dietary Aide

Dietary aides are employed in public and private hospitals, as well as in larger nursing homes. Demand depends on the general level of funding within the health system.

Avg. weekly wage:


Future growth:


Employment by state:

ACT 1.1%

NSW 31%

NT 0.9%

QLD 20.8%

SA 5.2%

TAS 1.6%

VIC 27%

WA 12.6%

Hours worked:



Lower unemployment

Gender split:

Male 19%

Female 81%

Education level:

Highest qualification is secondary school: 21%

Highest qualification is a Certificate 3 or 4: 9.5%

Highest qualification is a Diploma or Advanced Diploma: 29%

Highest qualification is a Bachelor degree: 22.8%

Highest qualification is a Postgraduate Diploma or Graduate Certificate: 4.9%

Age brackets:

15-19 - 0.1%

20-24 - 6.1%

25-34 - 26.8%

35-44 - 22.6%

45-54 - 19.5%

55-59 - 8.2%

60-64 - 7.1%

65 and Over - 9.5%

*The data above is sourced from the Department of Employment’s Job Outlook website.

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