Becoming a Registered Dietitian in Maryland

The COVID-19 pandemic, whichMaryland began in 2020, changed the way health care professionals conducted business. Now, professionals who were once only able to see patients in person can see them via video call and telehealth. Registered dietitians are no exception. It can be much easier for a patient to see and receive assessment and counseling from a licensed nutritionist or registered, licensed dietitian in the comfort of their own home. 

If you want to be a registered dietitian in the state of Maryland, you need a license. The Maryland Board of Dietetic Practice follows the Commission on Dietetic Registration (CDR)’s example in mandating education, experience and examination qualifications that prospective registered dietitians must meet in Maryland. 

Schooling and Supervised Practice for Registered Dietitians in Maryland

Following the rules of the CDR and the Maryland Board of Dietetic Practice, if you want to be a registered dietitian in Maryland, you must graduate from an ACEND-approved educational program (ACEND stands for the Accreditation Council for Education in Nutrition and Dietetics). Programs in Maryland are available in different categories and formats, as stated below:

  • Didactic Program in Dietetics: Otherwise known as a DPD, this program consists of just courses, and culminates in an undergraduate or graduate degree. There are three DPDs in Maryland in August 2022. 
  • Dietetic Internship: Also called a DI. If you choose a DPD, it is imperative that you complete a DI afterwards, in order to gain the required hours of supervised dietetic practice (1000). In Maryland, there are six DIs in August 2022. 
  • Coordinated Program in Dietetics: Also known as a CP, this program combines courses and supervised practice. There is just one CP in Maryland in August 2022. 
  • Graduate Program: Sometimes referred to as a GP, this program is like a coordinated program, including courses and supervised practice, and culminates in a graduate degree. It was initiated due to the CDR’s regulation that, as of January 1, 2024, all registered dietitians must have a minimum of a master’s degree. As of August 2022, there are two GPs in Maryland.

These programs may be available on-campus, online or in a hybrid format. Also, you may choose any ACEND-accredited program from any state – you need not limit yourself to Maryland–if desired. 

Examination Requirement for Registered Dietitians in Maryland

No matter which type of educational program you choose, all would-be registered dietitians must pass the CDR’s Registration Examination for Dietitians. Consult the Registration Examination for Dietitians Handbook for Candidates  for the most recent detailed knowledge about the examination procedures and process. The examination center company that administers the exam, Pearson VUE, will contact you and instruct you how to register for the test online and pay the testing fee of $200. In Maryland, centers may be found in Columbia, Baltimore, and Bethesda, as well as nearby DC, Virginia, Pennsylvania, and Delaware. With the many locations available, it should be easy to find one most convenient to you.

Your score will flash on the screen as soon as you finish the exam. Passing the examination means that the CDR will send your registration card by mail some weeks after. 

Applying for Licensure as a Registered Dietitian in Maryland 

The Maryland Board of Dietetic Practice requires that you apply for dietitian licensure once you have passed the CDR exam, before you may legally work in the state, if, and only if, you meet the following additional qualifications:

  • You are of good moral character
  • You are at least 18 years old

If you meet these requirements, you may either apply online or through the paper form Application for Licensure as a Dietitian-Nutritionist. Pay the $300 application fee online and send any required documents either via online link (if you apply online) or by mail to Maryland State Board of Dietetic Practice, 4201 Patterson Ave, Rm. 312, Baltimore, Maryland 21215-4733.

Your license must be renewed every two years, and during that time, you must achieve continuing education totaling 30 hours. As of 2022, the renewal fee is $250.

Wages for Registered Dietitians in Maryland

As of May 2021, the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) says that Maryland registered dietitian-nutritionists make an hourly median wage of $33.27, and an annual median wage of $69,210. Dietitians employed across the state may make higher or lower salaries than the state average, as you can see from the figures below:

  • Hagerstown/Martinsburg MD/WV: $34.97/hour $72,740/year
  • Salisbury MD/DE: $33.44/hour $69,550/year
  • Baltimore/Columbia/Towson: $29.91/hour $62,220/year

Positions for Registered Dietitians in Maryland

There are many types of employment opportunities for registered dietitians across Maryland. As of August 2022, for example, these are just a few of the many jobs posted as available:

  • Renal Dietitian – Dialyze Direct, Chestertown, MD
    • Salary: $35 to $45/hour
    • Need associate or bachelor degree in nutrition 
    • RD required
    • Licensure in Maryland required
    • 12 months of experience as an RD required
  • Registered Dietitian – CoreLife Adventist Healthcare, Frederick, MD
  • Registered Dietitian – The Renfrew Center, Bethesda, MD
    • Salary: $70,210 to $117,197/year
    • Need bachelor degree in nutrition; graduate degree preferred
    • RD required
    • Licensure in Maryland required 
    • Two to three years of nutrition counseling experience required
    • Experience working with eating disorders preferred
  • Inpatient Adult Dietitian – University of Maryland Medical Center, Baltimore, MD
    • Salary: $60,700 to $76,900/year
    • Need bachelor degree in nutrition 
    • RD required
    • Licensure in Maryland required
    • Four years of RD hospital experience required
    • Completion of one of the following specialty certifications or achievement of graduate degree required: CSNC, CDE, CSR, CSP, CSO, IBCLC, etc. 
  • Dietitian – Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, MD
    • Salary: $53,020 to $72,930/year
    • Need bachelor degree or higher in nutrition 
    • RD required
    • Licensure in Maryland required
    • Experience in delivery of health care to a diverse student and trainee population required
    • Experience working with clients with eating disorders preferred