The Best Unconventional Jobs for Dietitians: Think Outside the Clinical Box!

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Dietitians are true heroes of the health world. But what if clinical, food service or long-term nutrition jobs aren’t for you – are there unconventional jobs for dietitians out there that could satisfy your career curiosity? You bet there are! 

If you are ready to do work that truly lights you up while helping others, check out these unique dietitian jobs that will help you break free from the traditional 9-to-5.

a picturesque view down an alleyway looking at whitewashed buildings under a clear blue sky

In each unconventional dietitian career spotlight, discover different ways that you can leverage your dietitian training into unique dietitian jobs. And when available, you’ll get to see links to read on for examples of fellow dietitians who are actually doing it! They are loving their unconventional jobs!

Unconventional jobs for dietitians might be your next full-time role, a side hustle, or even a way to hit your financial goals more quickly. Just like there are many unique dietitian jobs, there are many unique ways to weave them together to achieve your dream dietetics career. 

As you’re reading this post, if one (or more than one!) of these unconventional jobs excites you, be sure to check out the RD2RD resources that you can use to take that next step forward. Cue the action!

You deserve to have a career that lights your fire…this list might have a few unique dietitian jobs that surprise you on it! The question for you is: what’s your next step?

Create nutrition materials for other RDs (and sell them here!)

RD2RD is your place to put your hard work creating amazing products for your own clients to work and generate extra income 

Some of our most successful shop owners are earning thousands of dollars each year! Read our vendor spotlight featuring an RD team that made $10k in one year!

You can open your store today in three easy steps and then market your own DIY handouts, presentations and treatment protocols. Save other dietitians time while boosting your bank account: win, win!

Food blogger

Food blogging, when done strategically and consistently, can provide you with a robust income stream. From sponsored posts to paid ads and affiliate links, building more and more traffic by providing strong content adds up to more sales. 

Learn more about SEO and how this can help you grow your blog traffic and visibility, check out these two SEO educational resources on RD2RD (psst: one is free!):

Private practice RD

More and more dietitians are diving into private practice. There are so many ways in which dietitians can provide value for their clients who aim to improve their nutrition and relationships with food. The field is wide open for niches; we can think beyond weight loss, diabetes care and heart disease if your calling is something unique! Two unique private practice dietitians are below. 

Ready to take the leap and set up your own nutrition private practice? Your next stop is to read our article, 10 Essentials for Starting Your Booming Nutrition Private Practice. Launch your practice with confidence!

three dietitians reflecting on their nutrition business so far and making new goals

Culinary dietitian

It’s one thing to be able to provide a client with menu plans, recipes and a toolbox of ideas for your clients to improve their nutrition. But what if your clients are not confident in the kitchen or truly don’t have time to cook?

Being a culinary dietitian might entail being a private chef to your dream clients, teaching cooking lessons and even having your own cooking show and cookbooks. Many people need help with the basics: you can provide the tools of what the nutrition goals are and concrete guidance of how to put them into place. That’s powerful!

The following are two examples of dietitians who are also chefs!

We’ve got resources and tools to help you master recipe development, teach cooking skills with done-for-you lesson plans and delight clients with a kitchen organization toolkit.

Meal planning for clients

“Can you make a meal plan for me?” With the right tools (and maybe some slick software), you can! Deliver a valuable service for clients and create healthy recurring income for yourself.

For our complete roundup of meal planning software options available, so that you can pick the best fit for your business goals, check out our article: Choosing a Meal Planning Tool for Your Private Practice.

Meal planning can be an unconventional side job or you can translate this work into a full-time company, as Jeanne Petrucci did. 

Jeanne Petrucci is a dietitian who created her own company to provide meal planning software for private practice dietitians to use. Living Plate saves private practice dietitians hours and hours of time by providing menu plans, lesson plans and other content that they can personalize and use. 

If traditional meal plans aren’t for you or your clients, you’re not alone. We’ve got templates that equip clients with tools without holding down to specific ingredients or recipes.

page preview of canva template for meal planning

Cycle menu development

Long-term care facilities, pre-schools, daycares and prisons all need  menus for their food service productions. If you’re great at planning menus and sticking to a budget, this can be a great side-gig or even full-time job as your client list grows!

We have tools to support you on your journey to becoming a menu developer:

Protect yourself and your business with a strong consulting agreement. This contract template offers a shortcut to starting from scratch and covers essential elements.

Brand representative

When you find the very perfect product, are you ready to shout its virtues from the rooftop to all of your friends, family and neighbors?

As a dietitian, you can harness your enthusiasm for your preferred brands by promoting those that you believe in. Whether receiving commissions for sponsored posts on your social media channels or being hired directly by the company or food board, you’ll love the chance to promote healthy, delicious products that improve the lives of your favorite clients. 

Jenny Heap is a brand RDN, working for the California Almond board to promote the delicious, health boosting nut!

Be sure to grab the free guide to working with brands. It’s not necessary to be an influencer or even use social media – learn how from Jenna Gorham, creator of The RD Link, a website that connects brands and dietitians.

page preview images of working with brands idea list

Virtual assistant for other RDs

Do you love watching the home organizing show The Home Edit? Is your office neatly organized? Do you love helping clients to create compelling social media content? Maybe your zone of genius is the ability to help other RDs to run their businesses more smoothly and efficiently. 

Being a virtual assistant to other RDs could be a flexible side hustle for students and interns or a full-time career as Ashley Stewart created in her business. Ashley needed a career that was flexible and being a virtual assistant was the perfect fit. You’ll want to check out her website below: 

Curious to learn more about the role of a virtual assistant? Watch our Q&A with Ashley to learn how dietitians us VAs in their business and how she’ll built her business.

Nutrition therapist for addiction recovery

Recovery from addiction requires the right combination of planning and execution. Without a healthy body, recovery is impossible. That means that recovering addicts need to take care of their physical needs by making sure they have enough nutrients in their diet.

A healthy body provides the foundation for recovery from substance abuse by making it easier to maintain personal goals, resist temptations, and avoid cravings. Poor health makes drug or alcohol use tempting and causes cravings.

This comprehensive guide outlines the role of dietitian in addiction recovery covering food service oversight, clinical care, counseling and a wholistic understanding of sobriety. The templates, forms and references will get you up and running with confidence.

Working in an addiction recovery clinic is not a common role for dietitians, but one with immense potential to optimize a patient’s chances of recovery.

Exam tutor

Are you a great test taker? Maybe your unconventional dietitian job can be helping dietitian interns to prepare to conquer the RD exam. Or to pass O-chem. Tutoring can be flexible and you can select from courses that you most enjoy teaching.

Don’t overlook the opportunity to offer tutoring and prep for the Registration Examination for Dietitians. Creating passive income study tools like this vitamin and mineral memorization guide can help you further monetize this unconventional role.

Professional sports dietitian

Were you an athlete in high-school or college? Do you love the pressure of competition and delight in planning fueling and hydration strategies to work towards your next PR? Then a career as a sports dietitian might be the perfect fit for you!

Sports dietitians can work directly for a professional team, have their own practice, have an office in a gym setting or even work in performance nutrition research and academia. In this unconventional job there are many options to help athletes achieve their best performance and reduce risk of injury. 

To learn more and to take the next steps necessary to become a sports RD, read our blog post Everything You Need to Know About Becoming a Certified Specialist in Sports Dietetics (CSSD) .

sports nutrition word cloud on a tablet screen and exercise clothes placed alongside

Professor

Do you love to teach and have your master’s degree? Then you likely have the minimum requirement to be hired by most colleges and universities. You can make an impact by inspiring the next generation of dietitians. Teaching is a flexible role, with the ability to and teach either adjunct, with a class or two per semester or teach full-time. 

You may begin with an introduction to nutrition course to get comfortable with the rhythm of teaching throughout a semester and expand to food science, lifecycle nutrition or even create your own course!

Lactation consultant

Do you think that babies are the coolest folks to hang out with? Are you able to remain cool as a cucumber, even with overly tired moms and fussy babies? 

Working as a lactation consultant could be a rewarding, unconventional dietitian job for you! You can consider working for a health clinic, such as WIC, or starting your own specialty practice, as Marina, a registered dietitian and certified lactation consultant did. Learn about her practice using the link below. 

Creating resource that makes your job easier can also be a source of income and generate referrals. This clinical quick reference for breastfeeding nutrition is just one example.

School nutrition manager

Do you love menu planning on a massive scale, ready to conquer budgetary and dietary restrictions? School breakfast and lunch help students to feel and perform better in school. As a school nutrition director or manager, you have the opportunity to expose children to new fruits and vegetables as well as new styles of cooking from around the world. You also help to ensure that lower-income children have access to healthy, nourishing meals. 

If you wish to work with preschoolers, be sure to check out our 12 Healthy Food Activities for Preschoolers That Everyone Will Enjoy. Nutrition education can be fun with the right games and activities. You might also enjoy getting to know Kid Food Explorers by Dani Lebovitz, MS, RDN, CSSD, CDE, who offers books, posters and activities for kids to explore and have fun with new fruits and vegetables. 

Make a quick impact with this School Wellness Library featuring policies, guidelines and resources for topics such as healthy celebrations, school gardens and grants. 

Yoga teacher

Thinking further outside the unconventional jobs for dietitians box: consider a role that isn’t nutrition-based. There are many skills that are complimentary to being a dietitian. You may find that pursuing your yoga teacher training helps to empower your clients to reduce stress, have better sleep and to prevent or recover from injury. Use the link below to meet Kara, a registered dietitian and registered yoga teacher (RYT). 

a wooden swing hanging on a frame made from driftwood, on a beach

Retail dietitian

As a grocery store tour dietitian, you can support healthy eating through individual consultations with grocery store shoppers, providing cooking demonstrations or food samples, and by offering food tours, tailored to the health and wellness goals of your clients. 

At RD2RD we have several retail dietitians who have crafted tools and resources for you to use if you wish to begin your unconventional job in this realm. 

Marketing expert

Do you have a passion for design, digital marketing and improving sales? Your unconventional job might revolve around helping other RDs to learn to market their amazing businesses, as Whitney Bateson has – see her website below. 

Most dietetics programs do not include much business or marketing training, so your expertise will really help your fellow RDs to grow and scale their businesses! 

T-shirt and clothing creator

While not her full-time gig, clothing creator and dietitian Lisa loves making food pun t-shirts to make the wearers laugh and feel lighter. She works with designers to make t-shirts, reusable shopping bags and baby onesies to delight lovers of all food puns. Plus, a portion of the proceeds goes towards eliminating hunger. 

Farmer

Do you love flipping through seed catalogs all winter long? Would you rather be outside than in front of a computer screen, rain or shine? Maybe the unconventional job for you to consider is being a farmer dietitian! 

Farmer dietitians raise fresh, local foods from meat to vegetables, eggs to herbs. They might sell directly to their customers at farmer’s markets and they might also host a CSA buying program, where their customers purchase their produce for the summer in advance and receive weekly shares. 

To learn more about farming, consider volunteering at a local farm, shopping at your local farmer’s markets and enrolling in a CSA in the Spring. 

For two examples of dietitians who are also farmers, check out these two links below. 

Digital course creator

Did you like to play school when you were a child? This make-believe game can translate to a fun and profitable role as a dietitian! 

Combine your love of teaching and expertise in your niche into a user-friendly course for other dietitians to learn from you. Below are examples of RDs teaching their peers how to conquer SEO strategy and how to gain more leads through online quizzes. RDs are using online teaching platforms to create helpful courses. Plus, once these courses are created, they continue to generate revenue for the creator: earning money while you sleep sounds pretty great!

Dietitian mentor or coach

Do you thrive by coaching, leading and lifting others up? Maybe the best unconventional dietitian job for you is to work directly with other dietitians as a mentor or coach! 

Whether you’re a business coach, helping dietitians to work through their mindset or effective billing for MNT services, you can be the fuel that launches your dietitian clients to their next level up! Here are a few examples of dietitians mentors and coaches who are helping their RD clients to grow their income and confidence. 

a seaside view from a balcony looking at many small sailboats below

Sales representative dietitian

Do you love working towards goals, talking to other people and traveling from one location to the next regularly? You might love being a dietitian in sales!

Dietitians can be hired by formula companies, diabetes equipment companies and more! If you would enjoy speaking to doctors and other healthcare providers about the benefits and features of your dream products, being a dietitian in sales might just be the ticket for you.

Food truck owner

Do you love cooking delicious food and seeing a new view outside of your “office” window each day? You may thrive as a food truck owner! 

Combine your nutrition expertise, your business savvy and social media skills to cultivate a thriving consumer base. Have fun catering weddings, joining festivals and even hosting cooking demos. 

Writer for nutrition publications

Would you rather be translating the latest research into snappy, easy to understand content for brands to use on their blogs and newsletters? You might love working as a nutrition writer! 

Writing is a flexible role for dietitians to have that can be lucrative with the right clients and mindset. Whether ghostwriting for other RDs, healthy brands and companies or using your own name under your writing, dietitians are well equipped to write content that is evidence based and easy to understand. 

A great way to get started with writing and building your online presence is to provide expert quotes. Our Email Template – HARO (Help A Reporter Out guide shows you exactly how to do that!

To see one dietitian leader in the field of freelance writing, check out Ana Reisdorf, a dietitian and successful nutrition writer. 

If you love the idea of writing, but don’t know where to start, Ana’s Guide to Freelance Writing as an RDN will help you explore this career path and chart a course for success.

page preview of freelance writing for dietitian guide

Health coach

What’s the difference between working with clients as a dietitian vs. a health coach? A dietitian who is also a health coach might broaden their nutrition guidance and goals beyond food and nutrition to also include lifestyle changes. And while some dietitians may do this anyway, there are specific training programs for dietitians wishing for more formal training in this area. 

For an inside look at popular coaching software tools, bookmark our Best Nutrition Coaching Software and Apps post. 

Corporate wellness dietitian

Do you love empowering clients who work in an office setting? Corporate wellness work might just be the unconventional dietitian job for you!

Our post The Ultimate Guide to Workplace Wellness Challenges is chock full of ideas for you to pitch to your next corporate wellness client and land the gig! For even more ideas, bookmark this post: Best Workplace Wellness Activities the Whole Office Will Love. Not only will you have a wide range of ideas, both virtual and in-person, you’ll have the tools to launch the program right away. Here are a few of our favorites:

Best unconventional jobs for dietitians? The sky’s the limit!

It is truly amazing how many unconventional jobs for dietitians exist, and how even more unique dietitian jobs will unfold. A dietetics degree opens many doors for fulfilling careers, side hustles and hobbies. Many of these roles are not tied to a specific location. This means working from the beach, your airstream camper or an international hotel is possible! 

If you’re inspired by any of the trailblazing dietitians featured in this post, be sure to reach out to them with your top questions! Dietitians are ready to help the next generation of entrepreneurs get started: don’t be shy!

Do you currently have a unique dietitian job? Or are you dreaming of your future unconventional job? We want to hear from you: comment below.

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