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Career and Education Opportunities for Dietary Technicians in Cedar Rapids, Iowa

If you want to be a dietary technician, the Cedar Rapids, Iowa area offers many opportunities both for education and employment. Currently, 200 people work as dietary technicians in Iowa. This is expected to grow 15% to 230 people by 2016. This is better than the national trend for dietary technicians, which sees this job pool growing by about 13.9% over the next eight years. In general, dietary technicians assist dietitians in the provision of food service and nutritional programs.

The income of a dietary technician is about $11 hourly or $23,040 yearly on average in Iowa. In the U.S. as a whole, their income is about $12 per hour or $26,080 per year on average. Dietary technicians earn less than people working in the category of Diet generally in Iowa and less than people in the Diet category nationally. Dietary technicians work in a variety of jobs, including: dietary manager, diet clerk, and dietary supervisor.

There are thirteen schools of higher education in the Cedar Rapids area, including one within twenty-five miles of Cedar Rapids where you can get a degree to start your career as a dietary technician. Dietary technicians usually hold less than a high school diploma, so it will take only a short time to learn to be a dietary technician if you already have a high school diploma.

CAREER DESCRIPTION: Dietary Technician

Dietary Technician video from the State of New Jersey Dept. of Labor and Workforce Development

In general, dietary technicians assist dietitians in the provision of food service and nutritional programs. They also under the supervision of dietitians, may plan and produce meals based on established guidelines, teach principles of food and nutrition, or counsel individuals.

Dietary technicians analyze menus and recipes, standardize recipes and test new products. Finally, dietary technicians observe food intake of patients and report progress and dietary problems to dieticians.

Every day, dietary technicians are expected to be able to listen to and understand others in meetings. They need to articulate ideas and problems. It is also important that they organize information in a variety of ways.

It is important for dietary technicians to obtain and evaluate dietary histories of individuals to develop nutritional programs. They are often called upon to ready a major meal, following recipes and determining group food quantities. They also formulate menus and diets or guide individuals and families in food selection and menu planning, based upon nutritional needs and established guidelines. They are sometimes expected to supervise food production and service, or assist dietitians and nutritionists in food service supervision and planning. Somewhat less frequently, dietary technicians are also expected to decide on and conduct orientation and in-service education programs.

They also have to be able to design job specifications and work schedules and deliver speeches on diet, nutrition and health to promote healthy eating habits and illness prevention and treatment. And finally, they sometimes have to furnish dietitians with assistance researching food, nutrition and food service systems.

Like many other jobs, dietary technicians must be reliable and be thorough and dependable.

Similar jobs with educational opportunities in Cedar Rapids include:

  • Dietician. Plan and conduct food service or nutritional programs to assist in the promotion of health and control of disease. May supervise activities of a department providing quantity food services, counsel individuals, or conduct nutritional research.

EDUCATIONAL OPPORTUNITIES: Dietary Technician Training

University of Iowa - Iowa City, IA

University of Iowa, 101 Jessup Hall, Iowa City, IA 52242-1316. University of Iowa is a large university located in Iowa City, Iowa. It is a public school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 29,475 students and an admission rate of 82%. University of Iowa has a postbaccalaureate certificate program in Nutrition Sciences.


Certified Correctional Foodservice Professional: A key purpose of the Certified Correctional Foodservice Professional certification is to develop the highest standards in.

For more information, see the American Correctional Food Service Association website.


Cedar Rapids, Iowa
Cedar Rapids, Iowa photo by Davumaya

Cedar Rapids is located in Linn County, Iowa. It has a population of over 128,056, which has grown by 6.0% over the last ten years. The cost of living index in Cedar Rapids, 78, is well below the national average. New single-family homes in Cedar Rapids are valued at $103,900 on average, which is far less than the state average. In 2008, two hundred ninety-nine new homes were built in Cedar Rapids, up from two hundred ninety-eight the previous year.

The three big industries for women in Cedar Rapids are health care, educational services, and finance and insurance. For men, it is construction, professional, scientific, and technical services, and accommodation and food services. The average commute to work is about 17 minutes. More than 28.4% of Cedar Rapids residents have a bachelor's degree, which is higher than the state average. The percentage of residents with a graduate degree, 7.4%, is lower than the state average.

The unemployment rate in Cedar Rapids is 6.0%, which is less than Iowa's average of 6.1%.

The percentage of Cedar Rapids residents that are affiliated with a religious congregation, 57.0%, is more than the national average but less than the state average. Seventh Day Church of God, Sevanth-Day Adventist Church and Hope Lutheran Church are some of the churches located in Cedar Rapids. The largest religious groups are the Catholic Church, the United Methodist Church and the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America.

Cedar Rapids is home to the Brucemore and the Admissions Office as well as Tomahawk Park and Noelridge Park. Shopping centers in the area include Mays Shopping Center, Lindale Plaza Shopping Center and Town and Country Shopping Center. Visitors to Cedar Rapids can choose from Howard Johnson, Marriott Cedar Rapids and Clarion Hotel & Convention Center for temporary stays in the area.