Welcome to the Dietitian Boss Podcast. I'm Libby Rothschild, creator of Dietitian Boss. After almost four years of sitting in my dimly lit windowless clinical office, I had enough. I wanted to feel like my work mattered, so I did something about it. I created a program that empowers dietitians and nutritionists to create their own private practice from scratch following my proprietary.
Before I did this, I had a private practice of my own while working a full-time job, and I learned a lot about building relationships, marketing and sales, and I'm so excited to be able to share my proprietary framework with you.
In today's episode, I wanna talk about how much does the dietitian make and how can we increase pay. So you might already know by the title. And if you've followed me for any, any type of time you, you might know that dietitians are not typically paid a high amount. In fact, our baseline salary is actually.
anywhere from $40,000 a year all the way on the high end to 90,000. And on average in the United States, a registered dietitian earns around $60,000 per year. Now, I don't wanna make it sound like $60,000. Is not a good salary because it's, it actually can be a decent salary. It, it depends on a lot of factors.
What I do wanna compare is the amount of schooling that's required to become a dietitian compared to that salary amount. So considering the dietitians have to have now our master's degree, there's a 2024 master's mandate and we have to complete an unpaid dietetic internship. Not to mention, you know, being eligible to, to sit in for the exam.
There's a heck of a lot of schooling. It's very rigorous to become a dietitian. So I would expect that the pay would match all of the schooling that we have to invest in to actually become a dietitian. And there's a really big disconnect, and it's actually cited in research as the debt to income ratio.
The debt to income ratio for dietitians is very high. What that means is that our schooling costs so much money. We have to take out so much loan, so many loans, or invest so much money. Not all of us are, have the ability. To fund our own education. So we have to get a loan that we can't actually pay it off.
There's no way we can reasonably pay that off from the salary that we earn. And that causes burnout. And for me, it caused anger and frustration and burnout cuz I ended up working seven jobs. I was mainly motivated to pay off my student led I I my student loan. I couldn't afford to live in New York City cuz I was paid $55,000 a year, which is actually a little below.
That's a lower 10% of dietitians. That's what I made my first several. As a clinician, and I wouldn't wish that on you. So it's not that I'm saying $60,000 is not a lot of money in isolation. What I'm saying is it, for our education levels, $60,000 annually doesn't seem to match up with what we're required to do, to be eligible to sit in for the exam.
That's what I'm saying. Now, before I talk more about this, I wanna mention that today's episode is sponsored by Practice Better. If you are a registered d. looking to manage your practice with ease. I want you to get started with Practice Better on the plan. They've got a free 14 days that you can try and as an exclusive offer for our listeners.
That means you, you can get 20% off for your first four months for any paid plan when you use the promo code. DIETITIANBOSS20. Back to salary. So you might be wondering again, why is there such a wide range and the factors can go into many different aspects, including where you live. Are you a certified diabetes educator?
There are a lot of different factors as well is where you're employed and what are you managing? Anybody in that position now, the Academy of Nutrition and Diet. Actually has a great salary calculator that I recommend, and I've talked about the tool a lot. I've got videos on TikTok and Instagram where actually show the tool.
You do have to be a member, but you can input data about your background and they've got a lot of factors that account for what will help you know what you can negotiate for your salary at a job. Now, I will say that a lot of jobs, at least, especially if you're newer in your first five years, They're probably gonna try to low ball you.
And that's where the negotiation skills can come into play. And that's why if you look up the salary calculator, you wanna see where you match up compared to what the salary calculator says. It's a completely objective tool, which is great in terms of negotiation. So if you're low ball the position and they wanna pay you say, $50,000 a year or something like that, and you actually fact check with the seller calculator from the academy and you see that you're worth a higher rate, you can use that tool and say, this is from the academy.
this is the standard range. Would you consider paying the X amount instead of Y? And that would be a great way for you to try to really be objective about your salary. Writing a private practice requires technology. If you wanna scale and deliver a standardized experience, you will need to start using software with your private practice.
And I want you to have more time to focus on the parts of your practice that feel you like. Helping more people and spending less time on administration work. And that's why I recommend Practice Better to my clients. Inside of our Academy membership and coaching programs, Practice Better is a complete practice management software for nutrition professionals like you who wanna start and scale their private practice without the burnout.
Practice Better helps automate your bookings, charting and invoicing, but it's way more than. Creating protocols and treatment plans and tracking your client's progress is easier than ever. So your clients can be engaged in every step of their plan, and you can provide a high level of care without burning out.
Practice Better also integrates with your favorite software. So that your client data and recommendations sync securely and seamlessly. You can import data and results easily from lab orders, fitness trackers, and even integrate Practice Better with your email marketing and your marketing funnels and with their programs feature, which is my personal favorite.
You have everything you need to build and run an automated group, program, or me. So that you can earn passive income, and it's pretty streamlined in one software. If you're a registered dietitian looking to manage your practice with ease, you can get started with any Practice Better. Plan for free for 14 days as an exclusive offer For our listeners here at dietitian Boss, you can get 20% off your first four months on any paid plan when you use the promo code.
DIETITIANBOSS20 at the check. It's time to say goodbye to a patchwork of software and hello to an organized, efficient practice. So you might be wondering also, what about different types of dietitians? And that's really what I wanted to talk about today. So clinical dietitians, which make up for most dietitians, over 60% of dietitians go into a clinical job.
That's statistics from the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. They're paid if they're an entry level clinical dietitian without a certified diabetes educator. A certificate under their belt. Then they're actually paid on the lower end. The, the lower 10% are earning around 50,000, $55,000 annually. In the mid middle, meaning the average 50% is earning around 60, 62,000, and the top 10% are actually earning six figures or more.
That's a hundred thousand dollars or more. So that. To means, especially compared to other similar practitioners. I'm talking therapists, speech language, pathologists, other healthcare practitioners who might be considered, let's say, siblings to us. Right? Similar close in, in the realm of healthcare.
They're paid a lot more. So we are paid on the lower range and Obviously upsets me, and I know that this is something in the field that a lot of people are talking about. I don't know if it's the number one priority from the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. I think advocating for higher pay is important, and I think a lot of that does come from our ability to negotiate, which is why the salary tool can be helpful.
There's a lot of factors and I think it's also important that we think as dietitians, what can we do as clinicians to have another asset on the. Because even if you're working a part-time per diem or full-time job, whether it's clinical or corporate or sports, nutrition, whatever type of job you're working, building an your own revenue stream that you can control on aside, whether you're doing workshops or you're just taking consults or you're building a course, having an additional stream of revenue can be really helpful for you to stimulate yourself on a creative level as well as bringing in some extra cash.
And the cool part about doing things like groups and memberships and selling an ebook or a course or even workshops, is that those types of income that I mentioned are more leveraged or passive. Meaning that you're not, you are trading your time for money when you're speaking, but it's a much better use of your time than if you're seeing people one-on-one.
Cuz if you stack all of your time one-on-one, you are gonna get burned out really fast. But if you find revenue opportunities earning. Where you can do workshops and speaking and teaching. You are doing your best at trading time for money in the most leveraged way. So I do suggest I believe that every dietitian needs an alternative revenue stream to build wealth, to build confidence, to have something they can control and aside whether they wanna make that full-time or not.
And they're, I'm not saying what you have to do, okay? So you can choose that. Not everybody wants to run a membership. Not everybody wants to run groups. Not everybody wants to own a group private. But I think having something on the side is not only good to recognize us as the expert in food and nutrition, but it also helps you feel more confident and it helps you earn some extra cash, which can be really helpful.
And I think that, I wish this was more known in our field and that's my, my mission here at dietitian Boss is to be the number one resource and business skills so I can motivate more dietitians to build something on the side so that you can create that flexibility in your schedule as a practi. . So you might have already known today these stats.
You might have already known that $60,000 was the baseline salary in the United States. You might have known that less than 10% of dietitians earn $90,000 or more a year. You might have already known that the bottom 10% earn 50 to $55,000 a year. But what you might have not known after today's episode or during today's episode is that you can, if you want to build something on the.
and that thing on the side that you build can turn into full-time, or maybe not. Maybe you'll always have something part-time. Maybe that means that you'll be creating templates or an ebook, or maybe that means you decide to do occasional workshops or like some of our clients who do brand sponsorships.
But whatever that thing is on the side, that's your opportunity to contribute and to increase the statistics of dietitian earnings and to be able to create some freedom. And for some of you pay off student loans. Right. That's why I initially started my consulting. Was to pay off student loans. So I hope you found in today's episode interesting.
I hope you learned something new. I hope you walked away with an idea of how you can increase your pay that matches your personality and feels like something that you can actually start to apply. And I look forward to talking to you next time. If you're looking for support to start, grow, and scale your dietitian private practice, I wanna invite you to work with me and my team.
We have a few different options. Head over to Dietitianboss.com and apply to have a conversation with somebody from our sales team. To discuss your options for your budget and stage of business, head over to Dietitianboss.com and we look forward to connect.