Illinois Academy members work in a wide variety of employment settings, including health care, business and industry, food service management, public health, wellness, sports, education, school food service, research, and private practice.

Registered Dietitians (RD) and Registered Dietitian Nutritionists (RDN) are individuals who have:

  • Completed a minimum of a bachelor’s degree program approved by the Accreditation Council for Education in Nutrition and Dietetics (ACEND)
  • Completed pre-professional experience approved by ACEND (1,200 hours or more)
  • Passed a national examination administered by the Commission on Dietetic Registration (CDR)
  • Completed continuing professional education requirements (75 credit hours)

Nutrition and Dietetic Technician, Registered (NDTR) are individuals who have:

  • Completed at least a two-year associate’s degree approved by ACEND including supervised practice experience
  • Passed a national examination administered by CDR
  • Completed continuing professional education requirements (50 credit hours)

Fellow of The Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics (FAND) are dietitians who have:

  • Exhibited characteristics of advanced-level practice
  • Earned a master’s or doctoral degree
  • Accumulated at least eight years of work experience

Board Certified Specialists are dietitians who have:

  • At least 4,000 hours of practice experience as an RD in the last five years in the specialty
  • Successfully completed a specialty certification examination that emphasizes applying dietetics principles to the solution of clinical problems

Dietitian vs. Nutritionist: What's the Difference?

  • Dietitians are considered nutritionists, but not all nutritionists are considered dietitians
  • The largest difference lies in the length, scope, and mode of formal education and training that dietitians go through, making them qualified to work in various settings and provide a wide range of services
  • The bottom line is seek nutrition advice from a professional with letters after their name—and know that registered dietitians have the skill and education to help you reach your goals safely and efficiently


Registered Dietitian Nutritionist Fact Sheet