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Career and Education Opportunities for Dietary Technicians in Columbia, Missouri

Columbia, Missouri provides a wide variety of opportunities, both career and educational, for dietary technicians. There are currently 650 working dietary technicians in Missouri; this should grow 6% to 690 working dietary technicians in the state by 2016. This is not quite as good as the nation as a whole, where employment opportunities for dietary technicians are expected to grow by about 13.9%. In general, dietary technicians assist dietitians in the provision of food service and nutritional programs.

A person working as a dietary technician can expect to earn about $13 hourly or $27,900 per year on average in Missouri and about $12 hourly or $26,080 per year on average in the U.S. as a whole. Compared with people working in the overall category of Diet, people working as dietary technicians in Missouri earn less. They earn less than people working in the overall category of Diet nationally. People working as dietary technicians can fill a number of jobs, such as: food service technician, diet assistant, and dietary aide.

There are thirteen schools of higher education in the Columbia area, including two within twenty-five miles of Columbia 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 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

Lincoln University - Jefferson City, MO

Lincoln University, 820 Chestnut, Jefferson City, MO 65102-0029. Lincoln University is a small university located in Jefferson City, Missouri. It is a public school with primarily 4-year or above programs and has 3,109 students. Lincoln University has a bachelor's degree program in Foods, Nutrition, and Wellness Studies which graduated two students in 2008.

University of Missouri-Columbia - Columbia, MO

University of Missouri-Columbia, 105 Jesse Hall, Columbia, MO 65211. University of Missouri-Columbia is a large university located in Columbia, Missouri. It is a public school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 30,130 students and an admission rate of 85%. University of Missouri-Columbia has 2 areas of study related to Dietary Technician. They are:

  • Foods, Nutrition, and Wellness Studies, bachelor's degree which graduated 62 students in 2008.
  • Nutrition Sciences, master's degree and doctor's degree which graduated two and one students respectively 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, Missouri
Columbia, Missouri photo by Grey_Wanderer

Columbia is situated in Boone County, Missouri. It has a population of over 100,733, which has grown by 19.2% over the last ten years. The cost of living index in Columbia, 85, is well below the national average. New single-family homes in Columbia are valued at $171,800 on average, which is below the state average. In 2008, three hundred thirty-five new homes were constructed in Columbia, down from six hundred fifty-three the previous year.

The top three industries for women in Columbia are educational services, health care, and accommodation and food services. For men, it is educational services, accommodation and food services, and health care. The average travel time to work is about 15 minutes. More than 50.5% of Columbia residents have a bachelor's degree, which is higher than the state average. The percentage of residents with a graduate degree, 24.0%, is higher than the state average.

The unemployment rate in Columbia is 6.8%, which is less than Missouri's average of 8.9%.

The percentage of Columbia residents that are affiliated with a religious congregation, 40.9%, is less than both the national and state average. Sugar Grove Church, Fairview Church and Emmanuel Church are among the churches located in Columbia. The most common religious groups are the Southern Baptist Convention, the Catholic Church and the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ).

Columbia is home to the Columbia Country Club and the Columbia Plaza as well as Nickell Park and Stephens Park. Shopping centers in the area include Whitegate Shopping Center, North County Shopping Center and Biscayne Mall. Visitors to Columbia can choose from Churchill's, Columbia Super 8 Motel and Arrow Head Motel LLC for temporary stays in the area.