Dietitian and Nutritionist - Federal Salaries of 2021
Pay Rates for "Dietitian and Nutritionist"How much does a Dietitian and Nutritionist in the federal government get paid? $82,323.07* *Based on the 2021 average.
Dietitian and Nutritionist was the 88th most popular job in the U.S. Government in 2021, with 2,847 employed. The most common payscale was the general schedule payscale.
In 2021, the Veterans Health Administration hired the most employees titled Dietitian And Nutritionist, with an average salary of $80,077.
Government Dietitian And Nutritionist jobs are classified under the General Schedule (GS) payscale. The minimum paygrade for a Dietitian And Nutritionist job is GS-6, and the highest paygrade that can be attained within this job series is GS-15. Remember that the starting and maximum yearly pay listed above reflect base pay only - your actual salary will be higher based on the Locality Pay Adjustment for the area in which you work.
Dietitians and nutritionists are experts in nutritional science - food, nutrition and their effects on health. These titles are often used interchangeably because of how similar their roles are. They even fall under the same pay scale. However, they refer to different professions. Depending on the state, these professions have varying qualifications and legal restrictions. Generally, dietitians are regulated more thoroughly. In this regard, they have certain professional capabilities and privileges that are not available to non-regulated nutritionists such as medical nutritional counseling.
Registered Dietitians (RDs), or Registered Dietitian Nutritionists (RDNs), need to be registered with the Commission on Dietetic Registration (CDR) for them to practice their profession. Prior to registration, dietitians are required to complete a Didactic Program in Dietetics through a baccalaureate degree from a college or university recognized by the US Department of Education. Dietitians need to complete the necessary clinical experience and often as an intern under a licensed professional. They need to pass the CDR registration exam as well as maintain their registration through continuing professional education.
Dietitians provide treatment for and prevention of health conditions by providing medical nutrition therapy. Their credentials allow them to diagnose illnesses and provide nutrition-based treatments. Dietitians are often employed by hospitals to develop meal plans suited for patients. They conduct nutritional assessments to determine the appropriate food, beverages, medications and supplements for a patient’s medical needs. They also develop nutritional programs taking into consideration other factors such as medical history, food preferences, food limitations, eating patterns and religious beliefs.
Nutritionists on the other hand focus on food behavior. They provide general advice on healthful eating to help people lead healthier lives. They often work with individuals to address health goals such as losing weight, developing healthy eating habits, improving energy and reducing tiredness. Although they do not hold the same credentials as dietitians, they can pursue advanced qualifications in specific health areas such as sports nutrition, public health nutrition, eating disorders, pediatric nutrition, veterinary nutrition and exercise science.
To be a nutritionist, one has to earn a bachelor’s degree in a related field such as Nutrition, Dietetics, Food Science, or Health Science. Nutritionists can get a certification from the Board of Certification of Nutrition Specialists (CBNS) to practice their profession as Certified Nutrition Specialists (CNS). The certification requirements include a master’s or doctoral degree in Nutrition or other field of clinical healthcare, completion of the needed coursework, practical experience, and passing the certification exam. Just like dietitians, nutritionists also need to maintain their certification through continuing professional education.
Both dietitians and nutritionists work with individuals and groups to improve their health by providing expert advice on food and nutrition. They often work in clinical settings like hospitals, nursing homes and other health care facilities. Dietitians and nutritionists also work in state health departments, professional sports organizations, and research institutes. According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, the demand for dietitians and nutritionists is expected to increase. The employment growth rate in this job category over the past decade was 21% which is faster than the average growth rate for other occupations. Dietitians and nutritionists tend to advance more quickly than individuals in other job categories. Individuals in this job category typically receive promotions of 2 grade increases at a time until they reach GS-12.
Agencies that have hired a Dietitian and Nutritionist
|Agency||Employees Hired||Average Salary|
|Veterans Health Administration||2,641||$80,076.67|
|Food and Nutrition Service||67||$116,868.27|
|Indian Health Service||53||$81,321.89|
|Agricultural Research Service||32||$129,738.75|
|Food and Drug Administration||18||$143,830.56|
|National Institutes of Health||15||$112,627.73|
|Bureau of Prisons/Federal Prison System||7||$79,661.29|
|Agricultural Marketing Service||4||$102,747.25|
|Foreign Agricultural Service||3||$137,442.33|
|Armed Forces Retirement Home||3||$102,320.33|
|U.S. Agency for International Development||2||$173,667.00|
|Administration for Community Living||1||$107,746.00|
|Economic Research Service||1||$173,565.00|
Dietitian and Nutritionist Pay Distribution
The average pay for a Dietitian and Nutritionist is $82,323.07. The highest paid Dietitian and Nutritionist made $224,277 in 2021.
Common Dietitian and Nutritionist Payscales
|Payscale||Number of Dietitian And Nutritionist Employees|
|GS - General Schedule||2,705|
|AD - Administratively Determined Rates, Not Elsewhere Specified||135|
|RA - Department Of Agriculture Positions In The Senior Scientific Research Service||1|
|ST - Scientific And Professional||1|
|EI - Advisory Committee Member (other)||1|
|EG - Consultant (other)||1|
|RG - Scientists Appointed As Fellows And Compensated Under 42 U.s.c. 209(g). Includes Non-citizens Whose Employment||1|
|VC - Canteen Service||1|
|SR - Statutory Rates Not Elsewhere Specified||1|
|Starting Paygrade:||$36,070.00 / year base pay at paygrade GS-6, Step 1|
|Maximum Paygrade:||$152,771.00 / year base pay at paygrade GS-15, Step 10|
|Category:||Professional and Scientific|
|Occupation Family:||0600 MEDICAL, HOSPITAL, DENTAL, AND PUBLIC HEALTH GROUP|
Other Jobs at the GS-6 Paygrade
GS-6 is the starting paygrade for Dietitian and Nutritionist jobs. Here are some other Federal Government jobs that can be held by employees at the GS-6 paygrade.
|Occupation||Occupation Category||Starting Paygrade||Maximum Paygrade|
|General Inspection, Investigation, Enforcement, and Compliance||Administrative and Management||GS-4||GS-15|
|Meteorology||Professional and Scientific||GS-6||GS-15|
|Mechanical Engineering||Professional and Scientific||GS-6||GS-15|
|Social Work||Professional and Scientific||GS-6||GS-15|
|Supply Clerical and Technician||Clerical and Administrative Support||GS-1||GS-9|
Average Dietitian And Nutritionist Pay Trend from 2004 to 2021
In 2004, the average pay for a Dietitian and Nutritionist was $62,844. Since then, the average pay has increased to $82,323 in 2021.
The information provided on these pages is sourced from the Office of Personnel Management (OPM) Enterprise Human Resources Integration (EHRI) dataset. Postal Service data is managed exclusively by the USPS . All information is displayed unmodified and as provided by the source agency.
Federal employee salaries are public information under open government laws (5 U.S.C. § 552). FederalPay provides this data in the interest of government transparency — employee data may not be used for commercial soliciting or vending of any kind. Learn more about the FederalPay Employees Dataset here.
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