Becoming a Registered Dietitian in Massachusetts

Although a promising headlineMassachusetts emerged in 2017, noting that Massachusetts boasted the third-lowest obesity rate in the United States, that positivity is not expected to continue. A study published in 2019 in the New England Journal of Medicine predicts that by 2030, 42.3 percent of Massachusetts adults will be obese, and 20 percent will be severely obese. This follows the projected trend for the country, predicting that by that same year, 48.9 percent of American adults will classify as obese, and 24.2 percent as severely obese. 

Of course, these figures are just projections, and do not necessarily represent what will really happen. The future can be changed, and registered dietitians in Massachusetts are just one of the classes of healthcare practitioners who are striving to improve the future for residents. Learning about what you should eat and how much is just one way to combat the growing obesity crisis in the state. If you have an interest in being a registered dietitian in Massachusetts, read on to discover how you can bring that dream to fruition. 

Registered Dietitians in Massachusetts: Training and Experience Necessary

Massachusetts follows the mandates of the Commission on Dietetic Registration (CDR) when it comes to the training and experience that is essential for its registered dietitians. All prospective registered dietitians must graduate from a program that has received accreditation from the Accreditation Council for Education in Nutrition and Dietetics (ACEND). You may choose from Didactic Programs in Dietetics (DPDs), which offer just the coursework you need to become a registered dietitian, and not the experience; then follow that up with a Dietetic Internship (DI), which will consist of a minimum of 1000 hours of supervised dietetic practice experience. As of August 2022, there are five approved DPDs and 12 DIs.

Or, you might opt to take a Coordinated Program (CP) in Dietetics, which integrates the coursework and the dietetic practice experience. There are two CPs in Massachusetts as of August 2022. Maybe you will choose the one Graduate Program (GP) in the state, an integrated program like the CP but one which results in a Master of Science in Nutrition and Human Performance. This program goes along with the new CDR regulation in effect as of January 1, 2024, stating that all registered dietitians need a master’s degree, at minimum. 

Registered Dietitians in Massachusetts: Examination

Whichever type of educational program you decide upon, once you have completed its requirements, you are ready to sit for the CDR’s Registration Examination for Dietitians. Passing this test is the next step towards becoming a registered dietitian in Massachusetts. Make sure to study the Registration Examination for Dietitians Handbook for Candidates in its entirety to learn how to register and what to study. 

The testing company, Pearson VUE, will issue an Authorization to Test, valid for a year. You must pay the $200 exam fee online when you register to take the test. Centers in the state of Massachusetts may be found in Lexington, Wellesley, Cambridge, Springfield, Worcester and Boston. 

You will receive your score as soon as you complete the exam, so you will immediately know if you have passed or failed. If you do pass, the CDR will mail your registration card to you a few weeks later. 

Registered Dietitians in Massachusetts: Applying for Licensure 

Now, it is time to apply for dietitian licensure in Massachusetts. The Board of Registration of Dietitians and Nutritionists requires all dietitian-nutritionist candidates for licensure to apply online. All requested fees must also be paid online. You must upload documentation, such as a copy of your signed work experience form, one copy of your CDR registration card, and the Criminal Offender Record Information (CORI) acknowledgement form. You must also have your dietetic school send an official, sealed transcript directly to the Board to the following address:

Board of Dietitians and Nutritionists

1000 Washington Street, Suite 710

Boston, MA 02118

Should you find that you have additional questions while completing the application, contact the Board at (617) 701-8670 or [email protected]

After you have been licensed in Massachusetts, your license is renewable on your birthday every other year. You will be asked to renew online, pay a renewal fee, and finish 30 continuing education hours during each licensure period. 

Registered Dietitians in Massachusetts: Wages

The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reports that, as of May 2021, Massachusetts is the state with the highest concentration of jobs and location quotients for dietitians and nutritionists. Approximately 2300 dietitians and nutritionists are employed in the state, making an hourly mean wage of $33.15 and an annual mean wage of $68,940. Those working around the state may earn wages that are higher or lower than the state average, as noted below:

Metropolitan Area Hourly Mean Wage Annual Mean Wage
Barnstable Town $35.82 $74,500
Mass. Nonmetropolitan area $34.04 $70,800
Worcester $33.28 $69,230
Boston/Cambridge/Nashua $33.11 $68,880
New Bedford $30.96 $64,390
Springfield $30.64 $63,720
Leominster/Gardner $29.52 $61,390

Registered Dietitians in Massachusetts: Jobs

Examining the online classifieds is another great way to see what registered dietitians in Massachusetts are actually making. As of August 2022, these jobs were posted as available for registered dietitians in Massachusetts:

  • Registered Dietitian Nutritionist- RD Nutrition Consultants, LLC, Brockton, MA
    • Salary: $36 to $42/hour
    • Bachelor’s degree required
    • RD required
    • LD in Mass. required
    • One year of clinical experience preferred
  • Nutritionist – US Food and Nutrition Service, Boston, MA
    • Salary: $88,850 to $115,510/year
    • Bachelor’s or higher degree required
    • RD required
    • LD in Mass. required
  • Pediatric Dietitian – UMass Memorial Medical Center, Worcester, MA
    • Salary: $62,500 to $79,100/year
    • Bachelor’s degree required
    • RD required
    • LD in Mass. required
    • One year of experience as an RD required
  • Registered Dietitian – Newton Wellesley Center for Alzheimer’s Care, Wellesley, MA
    • Salary: $68,000 to $86,000/year
    • Bachelor’s degree required
    • RD required
    • LD in Mass. required 
  • Dietitian – Boston College, Chestnut Hill, MA
    • Salary: $59,550 to $74,450/year
    • Bachelor’s degree required
    • RD required
    • LD in Mass. required
    • Experience counseling clients with medically restricted diets, and with a variety of medical diagnoses, required