Nutritionists and dietitians health professionals who create diets for people. Teaching patients about healthy eating is a primary duty, as well as staying aware of developments in medicine and nutrition. However, there is a difference between dietetics and nutrition: dietetics focuses on food management, whereas nutrition focuses on the promotion of health through healthy food.
They assist people in planning their diet depending upon their age, medical condition and work routine. They also counsel and educate them about healthy eating and the preparation of food items according to the principles of nutrition.
The courses in Nutrition and Dietetics are offered at diploma, undergraduate and post-graduate level. To be eligible for joining Three years B.Sc. Nutrition course or Four Years Food Technology course one should be 10+2 Class pass with Physics, Chemistry and Biology (PCB) as main subjects and for some institutions of repute with at least 60% marks.
Interested candidates have to appear in the entrance test conducted by various state and independent bodies to admit candidates in various affiliated institutions. The exam is objective type and it tests candidates rigorously in subjects like physics, chemistry and biology, some containing home science also.
These exams are generally held in the month of May-June. The results of these exams are generally out by June/July. However, some institutions also provide admission on the basis of marks in the qualifying examination.
Once through with the admission process one can pursue any of the following given courses:
In the above-mentioned courses, one has to study (subjects which include biochemistry, nutrition, applied physiology, food, microbiology, administration, therapeutic nutrition, and public health nutrition).
Note: Any candidate, who has not taken any of the above food science degrees and still wants to become a Dietician, can pursue a Master's in Nutrition course provided by some of the renowned Indian Universities like University of Mumbai and Delhi University.
Armed with undergraduate degree prospective Dieticians can get a provisional registration certificate from the Medical Council of India by remitting a nominal fee of Rs.1000 along with a pass certificate from a recognized Indian University.
Note: In case you are a foreigner you are required to submit a copy of your degree certificate along with your passport and mark sheets with a fee of Rs.1000 in the form of a bank draft for getting this certificate from Medical Council of India.
After getting the provisional registration certificate you can do a one-year dietetic internship – usually unpaid - required to become a practicing dietician in India. You can apply for this internship in some of the best hospitals in India like Sagar Hospitals in Bangalore, Christian Medical College Hospital in Ludhiana, and Ramchandra Medical College and Hospital in Chennai.
Becoming the life member of IDA and taking up the Registered Dietetics Exam (after 6 months of membership) conducted every year by the Indian Dietetics Association is the final step towards becoming a Registered Dietician.
Registration for IDA membership and application forms for the RD exam can be downloaded from the IDA website. Exams forms should be submitted by 31st August with Rs.500 in the year you are applying for the exam.
There is a lot of scope for prospective Dieticians, it is evident from the fact that a large number of youngsters are joining Dietetics as a career. Apart from joining a private or government hospital as an Assistant Dietetics, younger Dietetics can find lucrative placements with huge salaries in corporate hospitals.
An entry-level Dietitian or Nutritionist with less than 1 year of experience can expect to earn an average total compensation (includes tips, bonus, and overtime pay) of ₹300,000 based on 11 salaries. An early career Dietitian or Nutritionist with 1-4 years of experience earns an average total compensation of ₹375,000 based on 13 salaries. A mid-career Dietitian or Nutritionist with 5-9 years of experience earns an average total compensation of ₹360,000 based on 6 salaries. An experienced Dietitian or Nutritionist with 10-19 years of experience earns an average total compensation of ₹360,000 based on 5 salaries.