Career outlook for dietitian

UK Salary Ranges





Currently employed in Scotland


Salary information is provided by the "National Careers Service". "Oxford Economics" supplies job forecasts and employment figures. Due to COVID-19 the jobs market is constantly changing. Some of the information may not reflect the current situation.

What's it like?

You would explain to people which foods are better for their physical and mental health. You’d motivate them to change their eating habits and lifestyles. You’d assess and treat people with a wide range of medical problems.

You could work for the National Health Service (NHS), based at a hospital or in the community.

In a hospital, you could:

  • Specialise in an area such as children's health, renal dietetics or cancer care
  • Run clinics for people with diabetes or eating disorders, such as anorexia or bulimia
  • Work with catering staff to create menus for patients with a range of dietary needs

In the community, you’d work together with doctors (GPs) and health visitors.

You would:

  • Lead activities to raise awareness of the importance of healthy eating for physical and mental health
  • Run health promotion workshops for healthcare professionals
  • Hold one-to-one consultations with people
  • Give dietary advice to people whose health problems may be linked to lack of confidence, depression or low income

You could also work in:

  • Education
  • Manufacturing
  • Research
  • Journalism
  • Marketing
  • Advertising
  • Public relations

Your role could be to develop new products and calculate their nutritional value. You might create scientifically accurate promotional literature about a food product or represent a manufacturer's point of view in the media.

If you work for the NHS the salary for this role is covered by the NHS Agenda for Change pay rates. You can see information about the pay and conditions on the Dietitian page on the NHS Careers website.

Working conditions


In the NHS you would typically work 37.5 hours a week, which could include weekends. Part-time work may also be available.


You would usually be based in a consulting room attached to a clinic, health centre or hospital.

UK employment status





Self employed


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  • Supporting
  • Verbal communication
  • Creative
  • Researching
  • Empathising
  • Developing a plan
  • Taking initiative
  • Time management
  • Coaching
  • Motivating others

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Entry requirements for courses can change. Always contact the college, university or training provider to check exactly what you'll need.

Foundation Apprenticeships

Choosing a Foundation Apprenticeship as one of your subjects in S5 and S6 can help you get a head start with this type of job.

You'll get an SCQF level 6 qualification (the same level as a Higher) plus valuable work placement experience and skills you can't learn in a classroom.

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You would need an honours degree in dietetics or human nutrition and dietetics (SCQF level 10) which is approved by the Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC).

Or a degree in a biological subject, such as biochemistry and human physiology, (SCQF 9/10) and then a postgraduate qualification in dietetics (SCQF level 11).

Entry to a degree (SCQF level 9/10) usually requires National 5 qualifications and a minimum of three Highers including two science subjects, or a relevant HNC/HND.

To enter a postgraduate MSc in dietetics (SCQF level 11) you will require a relevant honours degree.

Useful subjects

Many courses require:

  • Biology
  • Chemistry
  • English
  • Maths

Food technologies subjects may also be of relevance.  

You will also need

Once qualified you must register with the Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC).

You will need to be approved for membership of the Protecting Vulnerable Groups (PVG) Scheme run by Disclosure Scotland.