Working together with registered dietitians, dietary managers provide food service supervision and nutritional care in a variety of settings, including hospitals, long-term care facilities, correctional facilities, and schools. They oversee large-scale meal planning and preparation to meet the needs of their facility. Job responsibilities usually include hiring, training, and supervising other food service workers; budgeting for and purchasing food, equipment and supplies; enforcing sanitary and safety regulations; and preparing records and reports. Dietary managers also interview patients for diet history, instruct patients on dietary restrictions, calculate nutrient intake, and coordinate food service to patients.
- Long-term care facilities
- Physician offices
- Outpatient care centers
- Correctional facilities
Dietary managers may spend a good deal of their day on their feet. Some may work in offices, others may spend many hours in hot, congested kitchens. Most full-time dietary managers work a standard 40-hour week.
Statistics for dietitians and dietary managers are collected in one category by the Bureau of Labor Statistics, and indicate an increase of 9% from 2008 to 2018. Growth will come from the growing elderly population who will boost demand for nutritional care in hospitals, long-term care facilities, and other health-related areas.
- Ability to learn the basics of nutritional science and dietetics
- Good verbal abilities for reading, writing and communications
- Ability to keep records, visualize space and form relations, and work with scientific data
- Planning and organizing skills, resourcefulness, and ability to work under pressure
- Ability to supervise and train others
- Ability to get along with a variety of people
Training to become a dietary manager requires the completion of a formal 12-18 month program or on-the-job training in a hospital food service program.
Certification is voluntary, however, certification may command a higher rate of pay. Graduates from Dietary Managers Association (DMA) approved programs are eligible to take a certification exam offered by the Certifying Board of Dietary managers (CBDM) to become a certified dietary manager (CDM).
Programs in Nebraska
- Northeast Community College – Norfolk (Certificate)
Related / Links
Other workers who may apply the principles of dietetics include:
Career information adapted in part from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, US Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handook, 2010-2011 Edition, Dietitians and Nutritionists, on the Internet at www.bls.gov