What is a DTR? All you need to know!

What is it?

A Dietary Technician, Registered (DTR) assists Registered Dietitian Nutritionists (RDN) to plan meals and menus for patients that meet the dietary guidelines. For graduating seniors, becoming a DTR is an excellent way to gain experience in the field of nutrition and to work directly with a registered dietitian. Internship directors love to see experience in the field, especially in clinical settings. They also like to see that you can study for a pass a standardized test, which will help with the preparation for the RD examination.

How TO Become a DTR

  • Earn an associates or bachelor’s degree in nutrition and dietetics (or related field)
  • Successfully complete the Dietetic Technician examination administered by the Commission on Dietetic Registration
  • The exam costs $125

How to study for the exam

  • Pay attention and study your nutrition classes! This will be half the battle for you when studying for the exam
  • Study at least a month prior to the exam
  • It may be best for graduating seniors to study for and take the exam as soons as possible while class material is still fresh in your head

Helpful resources

Quotes from WCU Grads

I didn't get matched the first time and the most logical next step was to take (and pass) the DTR exam, which definitely strengthened my overall DI application. It also made me more prepared for the internship, because it reinforced everything that we learned in the DPD program.
I took the DTR exam because I wasn't quite sure if a dietetic internship was what I wanted to do right away. It was great practice for if I decide to go for the RD for the future and has helped me in my current job at Campbell Soup Company. I had interned with them in the summer, was hired back, and they told me if they did not know me and I was up against another candidate without a credential, I would have been chosen for the job because of my credential. So the exam is great practice for standardized testing from the Academy and may put you ahead of non-credentialed nutrition professionals.

Employment Opportunities

Keep in mind that there will be job openings for DTR at the end of the summer when current DTRs will be leaving to start their dietetic internship

Written by Allison Kolankiewicz
Created By
Nutrition Newsletter


Created with images by PublicDomainPictures - "raspberries berry fruits" • Pezibear - "salad lettuce green" • Pexels - "berries blueberries bowl" • lipefontes0 - "cheese breakfast food" • Hans - "glasses read learn"

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