Dietary technicians career prospects and educational requirements
Dietary Technicians: Career Prospects and
Dietary technicians are responsible for planning menus and preparing
food for people with special nutritional needs under the supervision of
dietitians. They apply the knowledge of normal and special nutrition and
supervise food preparation and distribution, following standard recipes,
production procedures and established standards.
In addition to this, they are also expected to practice in accordance with
the code of ethics of the appropriate professional association and
supervise operational procedures to meet established standards for
safety and sanitation. However, their job responsibilities may vary
depending upon their employment, job title and individual qualification
and work experience.
Employers including hospitals, nursing homes, long term care facilities,
seniors’ residences, industrial cafeterias, food manufacturers, catering
services, extended care facilities, airline food services and community
agencies hire food service coordinators or diet technicians, in order to
ensure that the food prepared at their facilities meets the quality,
nutritional and hygiene standards.
The employment prospects for food and nutrition managers are bright
because healthcare facilities and food manufacturing companies are
geared up towards providing improvised services and products to their
clients. Adhering to quality and safety standards has become an essential
prerequisite to sustain and grow in today’s fiercely competitive world.
The food and nutrition professionals can pursue rewarding careers as
food and nutrition managers, dietary managers, food service
coordinators, quality control technicians and diet technicians in nutrition
department of hospitals and other healthcare facilities, and/or other food
or nutrition-related industry.
Prerequisites for Becoming a Dietary Technician
Although there has been a significant rise in job opportunities for diet
technicians but the careers in this industry are very challenging. The
professionals need to be equipped to operate in the dynamic and growing
healthcare and food service industry. With the knowledge of nutrition and
food preparation, they must also possess excellent business and human
relations skills to be employable.
In order to gain knowledge and skills required to seek jobs in this field,
individuals need to undergo a formal education and training in food and
nutrition management. A two-year post-secondary course in food
service and nutrition management may be right choice for those who are
looking to build careers in this field.
The program equips them with knowledge in food property analysis,
kitchen production, nutrition management and principles of safety,
hygiene and sanitation as well as skills for menu planning, conduct
medical nutrition therapies, and supervise food preparation.
The food service program also includes other subjects, such as
purchasing for food services industry, interpersonal approaches in
healthcare and food services, food service accounting, marketing and
merchandising for food services operations, labour cost control, and
healthcare menu planning.
Enrolling in a Food Service Program
There are a number of colleges in Canada offering food service and
nutrition management programs. Unfortunately, not all are accredited.
Centennial College’s post-secondary program in food service and
nutrition management is accredited by the Canadian Society of Nutrition
Management. It has also received the President’s Academic Program
Recognition Award for preparation of job market, student satisfaction,
graduate satisfaction, employer satisfaction and quality of the learning
The program combines classroom learning, practice seminars, and field
placement to equip students with both theoretical knowledge and
practical skills. In order to apply for this program, students need:
Secondary school diploma or equivalent
English Grade 12 C or University or equivalent
Mathematics 11 M or 12 C or University or equivalent
Annual police check with vulnerable sector cleaning
Successful completion and annual renewal of a recognized course in
Successful completion of a recognized course in Standard First Aid
Mask fit testing
Completion of pre-clearance health form by a registered medical