Dietitian

Healthcare
Care

Career outlook for

Figures and forecasts for roles at the same level, which require similar skills and qualifications.

Average UK salary

Currently employed in Scotland

Jobs forecast

This information is supplied by LMI For All, where data is currently available for Scotland.

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

Hours

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

Environment

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

UK employment status

Full-time

Part-time

Self employed

Here are some of the skills that people in this job would be most likely to have:

  • Communicating with people
  • Explaining things
  • Working as part of a team
  • Persuading people
  • Being tactful

Build your skills

Your skills can help you choose the career that’s right for you. You can build your skills through work, study or activities you do in your spare time.

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Getting in

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.

Interested? Find out what's on offer at your school on Apprenticeships.scot.

Qualifications

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 Dietrics (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.