Nutritionist Certification and License in South Dakota

Nutritionists and dietitians are professional counselors or advisors who could recommend appropriate diet plans to individuals on the basis of their lifestyle and health conditions. Nutritionists have knowledge of many nutrients found in each food group and how these nutrients provide support to human physical and mental well being. One could not simply assume that  nutritionists or dietitians are limited to only assisting individuals lose weight because there are various individuals suffering from illnesses as diabetes, heart disease or other health conditions that need diet plans designed to aid their living by nutritionists.

The South Dakota legislature defines the functions of a nutritionist or dietitian as:

  • Assessing the nutritional needs of individuals, groups and communities.
  • Establishing goals in the form of plans to be able to reach nutritional needs of people.
  •  Counseling those who have health issues or diseases.
  • Developing, applying and managing nutritional care provision.
  • Evaluating and reformulating the nutritional care implementation.

Licensure for Dietitians and Nutritionists in South Dakota

Students willing to work as nutritionists must have current status as registered dietitian from the Commission of Dietetic Registration which is the only way they could use the title of registered dietitian.

Students have to complete at least a baccalaureate or postgraduate degree from an accredited college or university with major subjects in:

  • Dietetics
  • Food and nutrition
  • Food service management
  • Nutrition education
  • Human nutrition


  • Students must complete supervised practical experience through internship for the time period of not less than 900 hours. The supervisor of pre-professional practical training must be a registered dietitian or a nutrition or dietetic professional with licensure from the state with the required educational training.
  • Students   have to comprehensively pass registration examination by the CDR.
  • Students have to file a complete application with the required application fee and qualification.


If the standards for licensure that are of equal stringency as South Dakota State are met by a student in another state then he/she can be allowed to receive licensure through correspondence.


The South Dakota Board of Medical and Osteopathic Examiners take the responsibility of issuing licensure and nutritionist certification in South Dakota. As of November 2012, the board members are:

  • Bernie W. Christenson
  • David K.Erickson, MD
  • Robert L. Ferrell, MD; President
  • Brent J.Lindbloom, DO
  • Jeffrey A. Murray, MD
  • James R. Reynolds, MD

Education Programs in Nutrition and Dietetics in South Dakota

The South Dakota State University offers various programs that train students in dietetics and nutrition. The university has degrees in Dietetics which are accredited by Accreditation Council for Education in Nutrition and Dietetics. It is among the universities that offers an online Master’s degree in Dietetics. It also has comprehensive degree programs of M.S. and Ph.D. in Nutrition, Exercise, and Food Sciences.

Subjects taught in these programs include:

  • Foodservice Sanitation
  • Lifecycle Nutrition
  • Food Principles
  • Human Nutrition
  • Medical Nutrition Therapy
  • Advanced Human Nutrition
  • Vitamin & Minerals in Human Nutrition
  • Nutrition of the Aged

Students might also study through online programs as there might be many schools in South Dakota offering online degrees in food sciences or nutrition.

Employment Facts about Nutritionists in South Dakota

In 2011, the hourly wage rate for nutritionists and dietitians was $23.92. On an annual basis the mean income of nutritionists was $49,760 during the same year. There were 170 jobs for practicing nutritionists and dietitians in South Dakota in 2011 (BLS).

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