Becoming a Registered Dietitian in Michigan

For those who are seeking toMichigan become a registered dietitian, also known as a registered dietitian nutritionist, in the state of Michigan, there is no state licensure or certification process. Although Michigan is one of the two states requiring no licensure and offering no title protection for registered dietitians, all registered dietitians practicing anywhere in the United States must be registered through the Commission on Dietetic Registration (CDR), which is the regulation arm of the American Dietetic Association (ADA). Meeting the CDR’s mandates is a process in itself. We will talk about what you must do if you wish to work as a registered dietitian nutritionist in Michigan in this article.

Registered Dietitians in Michigan: Education and Experience

Michigan students, like students in all states who wish to become registered dietitians, must first select an educational program that is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Education in Nutrition and Dietetics (ACEND).  This program may be in Michigan or any state, and you can see a complete list of approved Registered Dietitian schools here. here (link to Registered Dietitian Schools page). In choosing a program, it is important to know that the CDR will require all registered dietitians/registered dietitian nutritionists in the U.S. to have a graduate degree (the current requirement is a bachelor’s degree) as of Jan. 1, 2024.   

ACEND-accredited dietetic programs come in the format of online, in-person, and hybrid (mixed), and are flexible to fit the diverse lifestyles of most students. In the state of Michigan, these dietetic programs include:

  • Didactic Programs in Dietetics (DPD): These types of dietetic programs provide students just with coursework in nutrition and dietetics, not the experience portion of the mandated requirements. If you choose a DPD, you must follow that up with a Dietetic Internship (DI), a supervised dietetic experience program consisting of a minimum of 1000 hours. As of August 2022, there are 8 DPDs and 8 DIs in Michigan.
  • Coordinated Program (CP): These types of dietetic programs integrate coursework with supervised dietetic experience, so that the entire CDR mandate is fulfilled. As of August 2022, there are three such programs in the state of Michigan. 

Registered Dietitians in Michigan: Commission on Dietetic Registration Examination

Upon finishing your educational program, a school representative will provide you with details on registering to take the next step, which is passing the Commission on Dietetic Registration Examination. You will be given the Registration Examination for Dietitians Handbook for Candidates to peruse as well.  

Choose a Pearson VUE examination center in Michigan where you will take the exam. They are located in Grand Rapids, East Lansing, Detroit, Southfield, Troy, and Ann Arbor. The exam costs $200 and the fee is payable online. Passing the CDR exam will confer Registered Dietitian status upon you, and you may begin practicing in Michigan immediately, as the state has no licensure or certification requirements for dietitians.   

Registered Dietitians in Michigan: Specialty Groups 

Despite the fact that Michigan currently (as of August 2022) does not require registered dietitians to be licensed, the Michigan Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics is working with lobbyists and the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics to remedy this oversight. They are striving to create a bill (Senate Bill 0614, introduced by Senator Michael MacDonald) that would license the practice of Medical Nutrition Therapy for registered dietitian nutritionists and certified nutrition specialists. They feel that licensure is important to protect consumers as well as professionals who provide nutrition services. 

The following district groups may be found in Michigan, and you might consider joining the one closest to you:

  • Southwest Michigan District Dietetic Association- contact [email protected] for more information.
  • Southeastern Michigan Dietetic Association- includes the counties of Macomb, Oakland, Wayne, Monroe and St. Clair, and is the largest district dietetic association in Michigan. Contact [email protected] for more information.
  • Northern Michigan Dietetic Association- consists of 21 counties in Northern Michigan. Contact [email protected] for information.
  • Dietitians of West Michigan- consists of over 100 registered dietitians in the areas of Grand Rapids, Muskegon, Holland, Allegan and more. Contact them at [email protected]

Other dietetic groups in Michigan that may be of interest to you are:

  • Michigan Nutrition and Dietetic Educators and Practitioners (MiNDEP) – contact Kit Werner to join ([email protected])
  • Dietitians in Healthcare Communities (DHCC) – group of dietitians that serve post-acute care and corrections nationwide. Visit for more information and to join. 

Registered Dietitians in Michigan: Salaries

Per the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), as of May 2021, there are 2150 dietitians and nutritionists practicing in the state of Michigan. Their hourly mean wage is $28.52 per hour, and their annual mean wage is $59,310 per year.  Those practicing in various areas across the state may make higher or lower wages than the state average, as is visible in the table below:

Metropolitan Area Employment Level Hourly Mean Wage Annual Mean Wage
Battle Creek 50 $32.21 $66,990
Ann Arbor 200 $30.91 $64,290
Lansing/East Lansing 100 $30.64 $63,740
Flint 50 $29.24 $60,820
Jackson 30 $28.85 $60,010
Saginaw 50 $28.81 $59,920
Grand Rapids/Wyoming 310 $28.36 $58,980
Detroit/Warren/Dearborn 840 $28.25 $58,750
Kalamazoo/Portage 90 $28.06 $58,370
Upper Peninsula 70 $28.03 $58,290
NW Lower Peninsula 70 $27.46 $57,130
Balance of Lower Peninsula 90 $26.70 $55,540
Niles/Benton Harbor 30 $26.65 $55,440

Registered Dietitians in Michigan: Jobs

If you want to examine what actual registered dietitians in Michigan are making, take a look at some of the following examples of job postings pulled from online classified ads, circa August 2022:

  • Diabetes Nutrition Educator – Hurley Medical Center, Flint
    • Salary: $28.80 -$43.19/hour
    • Bachelor’s degree necessary, master’s degree preferred
    • RD credential necessary
    • Certified Diabetes Educator credential necessary
  • Nutritionist II – Berrien County Health Department, Benton Harbor
    • Salary: $46,751-$52,590/year
    • Bachelor’s degree necessary
    • RD credential necessary
    • Nine months of work experience in nutrition and dietetics necessary
  • Registered Dietitian/Nutrition Specialist – Calhoun County, Battle Creek
    • Salary: $25.12/hour
    • Bachelor’s degree necessary
    • RD credential necessary
    • One to two years of experience working in nutrition and dietetics preferred
  • Clinical Program Specialist 2, Remote – Spectrum Health, Grand Rapids
    • Salary: $62,000-$78,600/year
    • Bachelor’s degree necessary, master’s degree preferred
    • RD credential necessary
    • Two years of relevant work experience necessary 
  • Registered Dietitian, Outpatient Neurodevelopmental Pediatrics – Spectrum Health, Grand Rapids
    • Salary: $51,500-$65,100/year
    • Bachelor’s degree necessary, master’s degree preferred
    • RD credential necessary