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Career and Education Opportunities for Dietary Technicians in Columbia, Maryland

For those living in the Columbia, Maryland area, there are many career and education opportunities for dietary technicians. About 960 people are currently employed as dietary technicians in Maryland. By 2016, this is expected to grow by 34% to 1,290 people employed. 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. Dietary technicians generally assist dietitians in the provision of food service and nutritional programs.

Income for dietary technicians is about $16 hourly or $34,280 yearly on average in Maryland. Nationally, their income is about $12 hourly or $26,080 per year. Incomes for dietary technicians are not quite as good as in the overall category of Diet in Maryland, and not quite as good as the overall Diet category nationally. Jobs in this field include: dietary assistant, cook chill technician , and dietician assistant.

There are 109 schools of higher education in the Columbia area, including four within twenty-five miles of Columbia where you can get a degree to start your career as a dietary technician. The most common level of education for dietary technicians is less than a high school diploma. You can expect to spend only a short time training to become 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 Columbia 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

Howard University - Washington, DC

Howard University, 2400 Sixth St NW, Washington, DC 20059-0001. Howard University is a large university located in Washington, District of Columbia. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 10,696 students and an admission rate of 49%. Howard University has bachelor's degree, master's degree, and doctor's degree programs in Nutrition Sciences which graduated nine, two, and four students respectively in 2008.

Baltimore City Community College - Baltimore, MD

Baltimore City Community College, 2901 Liberty Hts Ave, Baltimore, MD 21215-7893. Baltimore City Community College is a medium sized college located in Baltimore, Maryland. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 6,884 students. Baltimore City Community College has a one to two year program in Dietitian Assistant.

University of Maryland-College Park - College Park, MD

University of Maryland-College Park, , College Park, MD 20742. University of Maryland-College Park is a large university located in College Park, Maryland. It is a public school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 37,000 students and an admission rate of 39%. University of Maryland-College Park has 3 areas of study related to Dietary Technician. They are:

  • Foods, Nutrition, and Wellness Studies, bachelor's degree which graduated 7 students in 2008.
  • Nutrition Sciences, master's degree and doctor's degree which graduated one and three students respectively in 2008.
  • Dietetics/Dietitian, bachelor's degree which graduated 29 students in 2008.

University of the District of Columbia - Washington, DC

University of the District of Columbia, 4200 Connecticut Ave NW, Washington, DC 20008. University of the District of Columbia is a medium sized university located in Washington, District of Columbia. It is a public school with primarily 4-year or above programs and has 5,339 students. University of the District of Columbia has a bachelor's degree program in Foods, Nutrition, and Wellness Studies which graduated five students in 2008.


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.


Columbia, Maryland
Columbia, Maryland photo by Jeff Kubina

Columbia is located in Howard County, Maryland. It has a population of over 96,421. The cost of living index in Columbia, 100, is near the national average.

The three most popular industries for women in Columbia are educational services, health care, and professional, scientific, and technical services. For men, it is professional, scientific, and technical services, public administration, and educational services. The average travel time to work is about 30 minutes. More than 59.0% of Columbia residents have a bachelor's degree, which is higher than the state average. The percentage of residents with a graduate degree, 28.7%, is higher than the state average.

The percentage of Columbia residents that are affiliated with a religious congregation, 49.3%, is less than the national average but more than the state average. Abiding Savior Lutheran Church, Atholton Seventh Day Adventist Church and Long Reach Interfaith Center are all churches located in Columbia. The most prominent religious groups are the Catholic Church, the United Methodist Church and the Southern Baptist Convention.

Columbia is home to the Symphony Woods Office Center and the Rivers Corporate Park as well as Middle Patuxent Environmental Area and Clarksville Environmental Area. Shopping centers in the area include Governor Century Plaza Shopping Center, Atholton Shopping Center and Owen Brown Village Shopping Center. Visitors to Columbia can choose from PFMG, Courtyard by Marriott and Hilton Inn Columbia for temporary stays in the area.