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Dietary Aide: Job Description and Salary Range

Dietary Aide: Job Description and Salary Range
A dietary aide helps offer nutrition assistance to the residents in assisted-living facilities. CareerStint chooses to give a detailed job description and salary range of a dietary aide.
CareerStint Staff
Please Remember
You can take the Certified Professional Food Manager Examination or the Food Safety Manager Certification Examination to become a dietary aide.

Dietary aides assist in preparing and serving meals to patients. In fact, not necessarily patients, for they do not work only in hospitals, they also work in nursing homes and related places as well. After a certain age, a proper diet becomes very essential. And while recuperating at the hospitals, the stomach needs the right meals to help regain strength. Nutritionists and dietitians help people in this regard by prescribing the right foodstuff to be eaten in the right quantity. These meals are prepared and served to residents by a dietary aide. Through the following paragraphs, you will understand what a dietary aide does and the average pay this job offers.
Job Description

The dietary aide job description can be summarized in the following points.
  • One of the primary dietary aide duties is to understand the instructions of the dietitian clearly, and help patients maintain their nutrition standards.
  • He has to respond to patient's requests.
  • He has to cook or assist in the kitchen so that the meals are prepared as per the diet requirements.
  • He has to place meals on to the food trays, load them on to the food cart, and deliver them to the right patients.
  • He has to monitor the alcohol, cholesterol, and sugar levels in the patients.
  • He also has to assume the role of a kitchen aide when necessary, and has to clear the dishes, wash them, and clean the kitchen as well.
  • He has to keep a tab of the patient's medical history, and be alert to see to it that no harmful ingredient finds its way in the meal preparation.
  • One of his responsibilities is to oversee the atmosphere of the kitchen―it should be clean and hygienic, and free from infections and pathogens and germs.
  • He can even assist the dietitian/nutritionist with research and patient prognosis.
  • He has to see that the food that is prepared and served is in compliance with the established safety protocols of the Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Points (HACCP).
  • He has to assess the recipes according to each patient and even observe them carefully while eating.
  • He also has to serve meals in the dining area, if the patient wishes to have his food outside the room. During this period, he has to serve food, refill the plates, prepare beverages if needed, clear up the table, clean the dishes, and sweep and mop the dining area.
  • He has to see to it that the vessels are properly sanitized and his own hands are clean and devoid of filth.
  • He may also need to engage patients in small talk to distract them from their health problems.
Requirements
  • Ideally, this job does not require a mandatory college degree; for an entry-level, a high school education will suffice.
  • If you intend to get into this job with a college education, a bachelor's degree in health sciences or nutrition studies will do fine.
  • You can complete an apprenticeship or a related internship program, after which you will qualify to start working as a dietary aid.
  • You can even complete a nutrition assistant certificate program from private centers. This course mostly lasts for a year and will cover subjects, like nutrition, wellness, diet therapy, etc.
  • Having a professional certificate will help you get better jobs. Nevertheless, you will receive on-the-job training from your workplace.
  • After 450 hours of work, you can even qualify for the DTR (Dietetic Technician, Registered) certification.
Salary

The average salary of a dietary aide, according to the state, is enlisted below. It is generally between USD 15,000 to USD 30,000. The hourly wage is mostly between USD 8 to USD 14.
Alabama USD 23,000
Alaska USD 17,000
Arizona USD 19,000
Arkansas USD 23,000
California USD 24,000
Colorado USD 20,000
Connecticut USD 26,000
Delaware USD 20,000
Florida USD 21,000
Georgia USD 26,000
Hawaii USD 14,000
Idaho USD 15,000
Illinois USD 26,000
Indiana USD 22,000
Iowa USD 22,000
Kansas USD 21,000
Kentucky USD 20,000
Louisiana USD 20,000
Maine USD 20,000
Maryland USD 23,000
Massachusetts USD 27,000
Michigan USD 23,000
Minnesota USD 20,000
Mississippi USD 24,000
Missouri USD 22,000
Montana USD 19,000
Nebraska USD 17,000
Nevada USD 17,000
New Hampshire USD 22,000
New Jersey USD 25,000
New Mexico USD 20,000
New York USD 28,000
North Carolina USD 22,000
North Dakota USD 20,000
Ohio USD 22,000
Oklahoma USD 21,000
Oregon USD 22,000
Pennsylvania USD 22,000
Rhode Island USD 21,000
South Carolina USD 22,000
South Dakota USD 17,000
Tennessee USD 21,000
Texas USD 22,000
Utah USD 18,000
Vermont USD 20,000
Virginia USD 23,000
Washington USD 23,000
West Virginia USD 21,000
Wisconsin USD 20,000
Wyoming USD 19,000
Source: Indeed.com as of January 6, 2015. Figures are in US Dollars.
Job Outlook
  • Many people, however, look upon this job to foray into the medical field, without having to literally know the ins and outs of the same.
  • Many dietary aides work in nursing homes, retirement homes, and elderly care facilities; a vast majority work in hospitals as well.
  • You will be required to be very alert on the job. While cooking meals, see to it that the atmosphere is clean, while serving, ensure that no dust or dirt particles or flies settle on the food, etc.
  • You may have a regular schedule or may work in shifts.
  • The demand for good dietary aides is on a decent rise, as help is always required in order to serve the elderly as well as other patients.
  • The demand for nutritionists is also high, and consequently, there will be a steady requirement for dietary aides as well.

As a dietary aide, you need to be kind, efficient, and compassionate. Your patience and goodwill will go on the record, and this is essential for your future jobs as well. Of course, with experience, you can take up similar, high-paying jobs while freelancing as a private nutritionist aide. Good luck!