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
Outpatient care centers
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 certified dietary manager (CDM).
Programs in Nebraska
Northeast Community College – Norfolk (Certificate)
Related / Links
Other workers who may apply the principles of dietetics include:
Community health educators (Health promotion specialists)
Dietary Managers Association
Nebraska Dietary Managers Association
Career information adapted in part from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, US Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook, 2010-2011 Edition, Dietitians and Nutritionists, on the Internet at www.bls.gov