Dietitians apply the art and science of human nutrition to help people understand the relationship between food and health, make healthy dietary choices, and prevent and treat illness and disease.
To become a dietitian you usually have to study a degree in dietetics accredited by the Dietitians Association of Australia. To get into these courses you usually need to gain your Senior Secondary Certificate of Education. Prerequisite subjects, or assumed knowledge, in one or more of English, mathematics, chemistry and biology are normally required. A number of universities in Australia offer degrees in dietetics. Universities have different prerequisites and some have flexible entry requirements. Contact the institutions you are interested in for more information. For full details, refer to the entries on the website at www.goodcareersguide.com.au or university handbooks.
Dietitians may perform the following tasks:
Dietitians generally have a high level of contact with the public.
Graduates find employment in a wide variety of roles and settings, such as patient care and education in hospitals, nutrition and health education in community health centres, public health nutrition and food and nutrition policy in government departments, private practice and consultancy, education and training, food industries, health promotion and nutrition research. Opportunities are also available in sports nutrition, publishing and the media. Some dietitians work on a part-time basis. Opportunities for dietitians are affected by a range of factors, including government funding and the recognition of nutrition by the community as a means of preventing and treating diet-related diseases, such as heart disease, cancer and diabetes. Demand for dietitians depends on the level of public and professional awareness, as well as private health rebate schemes.