Hi there,

I am newer to this forum but have read post from this site over the past few years. I was wondering why I haven't seen anymore posting regarding Dietitian Salary? I feel dietitians have stopped talking/worrying about this issue. Is this because more dietitians feel satisfied with their pay or if the base pay has increased?

I work in the Seattle area, currently getting paid $59,300.80/annually after working as an RD for over 3 years. From what I have seen, these hasn't been a big increase in overall dietitian's salaries for the past 10 years despite the increase in cost of living in this region. My first job paid me 52K for a long term care job which I feel was significantly lower than most long term care positions.

Why is it that we are accepting such low pay especially now that we are changing the requirments to a masters degree? Some of the nurses I work with only have an associates degree and make $35 an hour starting. That was $10 more an hour than I was started at, and my education was far more extensive/expensive than nurses.

If you wouldnt mind sharing if you are an RD what you make, where you work, what region, and if you have negociated for more pay?

I feel as a profession, all dietitians need to work harder to demand increase in pay and not accept jobs that arent willing to compensate. What does everyone else think?

Hi there, I am newer to this forum but have read post from this site over the past few years. I was wondering why I haven't seen anymore posting regarding Dietitian Salary? I feel dietitians have stopped talking/worrying about this issue. Is this because more dietitians feel satisfied with their pay or if the base pay has increased? I work in the Seattle area, currently getting paid $59,300.80/annually after working as an RD for over 3 years. From what I have seen, these hasn't been a big increase in overall dietitian's salaries for the past 10 years despite the increase in cost of living in this region. My first job paid me 52K for a long term care job which I feel was significantly lower than most long term care positions. Why is it that we are accepting such low pay especially now that we are changing the requirments to a masters degree? Some of the nurses I work with only have an associates degree and make $35 an hour starting. That was $10 more an hour than I was started at, and my education was far more extensive/expensive than nurses. If you wouldnt mind sharing if you are an RD what you make, where you work, what region, and if you have negociated for more pay? I feel as a profession, all dietitians need to work harder to demand increase in pay and not accept jobs that arent willing to compensate. What does everyone else think?

Hello, thank you for bringing this up. I actually wondered too as to why salary discussions have disappeared.
I worked as an RD for 2.5 years, my starting salary at a LTC was 52k and currently I work as outpatient renal RD making 30.50/hr part time. I live and work near Philadelphia, PA. Our cost of living is crazy here
I actually wonder how my salary compares to those in WA as I have been thinking for a while to move there

Hello, thank you for bringing this up. I actually wondered too as to why salary discussions have disappeared. I worked as an RD for 2.5 years, my starting salary at a LTC was 52k and currently I work as outpatient renal RD making 30.50/hr part time. I live and work near Philadelphia, PA. Our cost of living is crazy here I actually wonder how my salary compares to those in WA as I have been thinking for a while to move there

Here in this area, it's almost impossible to get an RD job and if you by some miracle get it, they pay you lower and of course, you don't open your mouth and negotiate. Kinda like "be thankful yo even got a job".
I've been to a couple interviews where they offered me 40k starting salary! This is pathetic! I have masters degree too!

Here in this area, it's almost impossible to get an RD job and if you by some miracle get it, they pay you lower and of course, you don't open your mouth and negotiate. Kinda like "be thankful yo even got a job". I've been to a couple interviews where they offered me 40k starting salary! This is pathetic! I have masters degree too!

Soon2brd-

I currently work as a renal RD as well! I am full time with benefits but make $28.51 (obtained my license Dec 2014). I am hourly so I do get 1.5X extra for overtime which has been amazing. Especially when some months are busy I am able to rack up a lot of extra $$. What company do you work at if you don't mind me asking?

Long term care facilities in Washington don't pay as well as other states. I am unclear why that is. Some of the educational hospitals around here pay fairly well, around 65,000 K starting but those jobs are hard to come by.

Since there are many dietitian programs in WA state, they are pumping out more dietitians than there are jobs, we have lost some leverage for demand d/t this where as we have a massive nursing shortage and nurses have been able to demand more. For example I heard nurses in Alabama start at $15 an hours versus our $35 or more an hour here. Its all about supply and demand and I think there are way to many people who want to become a dietitian and not enough job opportunities unfortunately. We aren't utilized the way we should be.

Soon2brd- I currently work as a renal RD as well! I am full time with benefits but make $28.51 (obtained my license Dec 2014). I am hourly so I do get 1.5X extra for overtime which has been amazing. Especially when some months are busy I am able to rack up a lot of extra $$. What company do you work at if you don't mind me asking? Long term care facilities in Washington don't pay as well as other states. I am unclear why that is. Some of the educational hospitals around here pay fairly well, around 65,000 K starting but those jobs are hard to come by. Since there are many dietitian programs in WA state, they are pumping out more dietitians than there are jobs, we have lost some leverage for demand d/t this where as we have a massive nursing shortage and nurses have been able to demand more. For example I heard nurses in Alabama start at $15 an hours versus our $35 or more an hour here. Its all about supply and demand and I think there are way to many people who want to become a dietitian and not enough job opportunities unfortunately. We aren't utilized the way we should be.

Exactly! Not enough RD jobs we are basically told to accept the first job we can get and take whatever pay the are offing. Its money are we are desperate to pay off our massive debit. I know so many RD's who are still in their first job they ever had most of their careers because there are no other opportunities to move on to.

And from what I know, the best time to negotiate a higher salary is when you move jobs... I really just think as a profession we shouldn't accept this. But what can we do? I am wondering what the academy is doing to help us.

Exactly! Not enough RD jobs we are basically told to accept the first job we can get and take whatever pay the are offing. Its money are we are desperate to pay off our massive debit. I know so many RD's who are still in their first job they ever had most of their careers because there are no other opportunities to move on to. And from what I know, the best time to negotiate a higher salary is when you move jobs... I really just think as a profession we shouldn't accept this. But what can we do? I am wondering what the academy is doing to help us.

As a profession I think the board ADA has not done much advocating for its members. yes its pushing for more education but not the pay. the sad thing is like most have said you agree on a job with low pay due to desperation and we do not ask for higher pay. I did at my last job but I should have pushed some more but it was a starting point and I got what I asked for. so be your own advocate. Good luck

As a profession I think the board ADA has not done much advocating for its members. yes its pushing for more education but not the pay. the sad thing is like most have said you agree on a job with low pay due to desperation and we do not ask for higher pay. I did at my last job but I should have pushed some more but it was a starting point and I got what I asked for. so be your own advocate. Good luck

This has been the problem since I became a dietitian back in the 80's. The Academy, back then it was the ADA, has never advocated for their members. It has always been about policy, which is why many RDs are not AND members. Through the course of my career I have been in and out of more times than I can count. I agree with raising the education standards, as most health care professions have done through the years. RDs and nurses are I believe where the minimum education is a Bachelors and in a few years, nursing is looking at a Masters degree. We need to push AND to be better advocates for us even while they continue with nutrition policy.

This has been the problem since I became a dietitian back in the 80's. The Academy, back then it was the ADA, has never advocated for their members. It has always been about policy, which is why many RDs are not AND members. Through the course of my career I have been in and out of more times than I can count. I agree with raising the education standards, as most health care professions have done through the years. RDs and nurses are I believe where the minimum education is a Bachelors and in a few years, nursing is looking at a Masters degree. We need to push AND to be better advocates for us even while they continue with nutrition policy.

The Academy can only do so much to advocate...The Academy is not an independent entity, its work is done by its membership.

Hospitals and other employers are going to pay their employees, dietitians included, what they are worth to them, based on what value they add.

Right now, we don't add a tremendous amount of value because we can't bill payors for the services we provide to patients. Do we add actual value? Of course! We identify, diagnose, and document malnutrition, which can be reimbursed. We educate patients and can help keep them out of the hospital. We feed patients early and well, when we're good at our jobs, which can get them out of the hospital faster. But we don't do things at the bedside which we can code onto the patient's hospital bill and say, "charge $xx.xx" for. So right now, we can't make a very compelling argument to hospital administration that we're bringing in a lot of revenue and they should pay us more. Right now, we're not much more than a necessary operating expense, so they're not going to be real keen on making that more expensive. Until we do the real work to show how we're helping the hospital save money or increase revenue, winning the argument that we deserve more pay is a losing battle. And saying, "but we're well educated!" isn't strong enough. Hospital administration expects all its staff to be educated and credentialed...they care about revenue if you're asking them to increase salaries.

If we want the Academy to advocate for higher pay for us, we ALL have to work with them as members of the Academy to advocate for legislation which reimburses patients for more than just MNT for diabetes and renal failure. Want RD's to get paid? Get Medicare to take our work seriously, and private payors will follow suit.

The Academy can only do so much to advocate...The Academy is not an independent entity, its work is done by its membership. Hospitals and other employers are going to pay their employees, dietitians included, what they are worth to them, based on what value they add. Right now, we don't add a tremendous amount of value because we can't bill payors for the services we provide to patients. Do we add actual value? Of course! We identify, diagnose, and document malnutrition, which can be reimbursed. We educate patients and can help keep them out of the hospital. We feed patients early and well, when we're good at our jobs, which can get them out of the hospital faster. But we don't do things at the bedside which we can code onto the patient's hospital bill and say, "charge $xx.xx" for. So right now, we can't make a very compelling argument to hospital administration that we're bringing in a lot of revenue and they should pay us more. Right now, we're not much more than a necessary operating expense, so they're not going to be real keen on making that more expensive. Until we do the real work to show how we're helping the hospital save money or increase revenue, winning the argument that we deserve more pay is a losing battle. And saying, "but we're well educated!" isn't strong enough. Hospital administration expects all its staff to be educated and credentialed...they care about revenue if you're asking them to increase salaries. If we want the Academy to advocate for higher pay for us, we ALL have to work with them as members of the Academy to advocate for legislation which reimburses patients for more than just MNT for diabetes and renal failure. Want RD's to get paid? Get Medicare to take our work seriously, and private payors will follow suit.
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