After becoming a dietitian, you have the opportunity to further specialize in a specific niche of dietetics and earn specialized credentials. Specialized is not a necessary task, but it does offer a way to distinguish yourself in the field of nutrition and dietetics and increase your earning potential. There are currently 6 specialties offered by the Academy.
Commission of Dietetic Registration (CDR) specialties
Basic requirements for sitting for the exam
- Be a dietitian for a minimum of 2 years
- Documentation of 2,000 hours of specialty practice experience
- Costs around $350-$400 depending on registration date
- Exam is usually 150 multiple choice questions
Certified Specialist in Pediatric Nutrition (CSP)
Dietitians who work directly with sick or healthy children from newborn to 18 years of age. Work settings include hospitals, daycares, health fairs, or WIC and Planned Parenthood clinics.
Certified Specialist in Pediatric Critical Care Nutrition (CSPCC)
Pediatric dietitians who provide medical nutrition therapy to critically ill infants, children, and adolescents. Usually spend most of their time working in the pediatric intensive care units (ICU) of hospitals.
Certified Specialist in Renal Nutrition (CSR)
Dietitians who work with children and/or adults with chronic or acute kidney disease, end stage kidney disease, or kidney transplantation. Work settings can consist of hospitals, dialysis clinics, or a patient’s home.
Certified Specialist in Gerontological Nutrition (CSG)
Dietitians who work with older adults to design and implement nutritional strategies to improve health and quality of life. These dietitians work directly with older adults in various setting such as hospitals, assistant living facilities, nursing homes, home health care, hospice, community based programs, or correctional facilities.
Certified Specialist in Oncology Nutrition (CSO)
Dietitians who work directly with individuals that are at risk for or have developed any type of cancer. Work setting includes hospitals, cancer centers, and hospices.
Certified Specialist in Sports Dietetics (CSSD)
Dietitians who work directly with amateur or elite professional athletes. They create customized meal plans and educate athletes on healthy eating to improve athletic performance during training regimens and competitions. Possible work environments can include high schools, colleges, gyms, or professional sports teams.
Certified Specialist in Obesity and Weight Management (new) (CSOWM)
A health professional who’s an expert in weight management and obesity. These professional’s support, empower, and educate patients on the management and risk associated with being overweight or obese. This credential is considered interdisciplinary since nurse practitioners, exercise physiologists, clinical psychologist, social workers, pharmacists, physical therapists, and physician assistants are eligible to become certified.
National Certification Board for Diabetes Educators (NCBDE)
Certified Diabetes Educator (CDE)
- A health professional who possesses comprehensive knowledge and experience in prediabetes, diabetes prevention and management
- Must complete 1,000 hours of diabetes self-management education experience and obtain 15 continuing education hours.
- The exam cost $350 and contains175 questions
- Dietitian must recertify every 5 years
- Renewal can be obtained either by obtain 75 continuing education credits or by retaking the exam
The National Board of Nutrition Support Certification (NBNSC)
Certified Nutrition Support Clinician (CNSC)
- This certification is also available to nurses/nurse practitioners, pharmacists, physicians, physician assistants, and dietitians
- No required hours of work or experience to sit for the exam
- Certification is valid for five years
The Academy of Lactation Policy and Practice (ALPP)
Certified Lactation Counselor (CLC)
- At least 45 hours of breastfeeding-related education in the past 1 year
- Usually work in WIC clinics
- $20 application fee + $100 exam fee
- Certification is valid for 3 years
- Must obtain a minimum of 18 continuing education hours to remain certified.