Career Development

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Career Development

On this page: Career Counseling | Growing RDNs | RDN Requirements | NDTR Requirements


Learn how WIC supports employees to become RDNs

Grow Your Career with WICCareer Counseling

California WIC is working to provide employees with the latest information on educational programs and resources to help them advance their career to become a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist (RDN).  Qualified California WIC employees receive selection priority admission for WIC dietetic internships (DIs) and they receive assistance and resources to pass the national Registration Examination for Dietitians.  WIC employees throughout the state have received career development assistance and qualified and entered WIC dietetic internships.  WIC employees that are interested in becoming a RDN are encouraged to contact a WIC Dietetic Internship Director/Coordinator and request a review of qualifications and assistance to complete the requirements to receive the RDN credential.  If your agency has a WIC dietetic internship for employees, contact them for information.  If not, and you are a California WIC employee, contact the Central Valley WIC Dietetic Internship or the San Diego and CA Regional WIC Dietetic Internship for assistance.  Go to the WIC Dietetic Internship page for links to all the programs and contact information. 

Important changes in the educational requirements for RDNs that you need to know. 

  • January 1, 2024, a master’s degree will be required to take the RD exam to receive the Registered Dietitian Nutritionist (RDN) credential.
  • December 31, 2023, last day you can complete a dietetic internship and be eligible to take the RD exam before the master’s degree requirement.
  • 2021-2022, WIC dietetic internships will be selecting interns for the last classes that will graduate prior to the master’s degree requirement.  In 2023, applicants will be required to have a master’s degree or in the process of completing the graduate program.

Growing Registered Dietitian Nutritionists

For over two decades the California WIC program has been helping employees grow their career through WIC dietetic internships (DIs.) The goal of the “Grow Our Own”  program was to improve access to accredited dietetic internships for WIC employees to become Registered Dietitian Nutritionists (RDN.)  As the need for culturally competent nutrition professionals that have bilingual skills continues to increase, WIC continues to grow RDNs who are well-prepared for the future.  Today, nearly 400  graduates throughout the state have completed the requirements to receive the RDN credential.  Working for WIC provides employees with the opportunity to work with diverse populations in the field of community nutrition and equips them with the right experiences needed to take the next step to become a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist (RDN). WIC employees often face educational and financial barriers found in traditional dietetic internships. WIC programs were designed to address common barriers by including the following benefits for employees:

  • Selection priority:  Employees receive priority for a WIC dietetic internship (DI) and added consideration is given for WIC work experience and culture and language skills-not just grades.
  • Career counseling:  Assistance is provided to help employees improve qualifications and apply for a DI and identify barriers that may prevent them from successfully completing requirements to become a RDN.
  • Reduced cost:  Lower or minimal cost for employees to complete the DI and continuation of WIC employment on a part-time basis throughout the program.
  • WIC scholarship:  The California Nutrition Corps scholarship through CWA helps support California WIC employees who are advancing their professional careers.
  • WIC agencies:  Strong commitment and support from the local agency, the WIC dietetic internship and the entire WIC organization to ensure success of every WIC DI graduate.
  • The RD exam:  WIC DI graduates have access to the very successful e-RD-2b Study Program to prepare them to pass the Registration Examination for Dietitians (RD exam).

RDN and NDTR Requirements

The titles Registered Dietitian Nutritionist (RDN) or Registered Dietitian(RD) and Dietetic Technician, Registered (DTR) or Nutrition & Dietetic Technician, Registered (NDTR) have been authorized by the Commission on Dietetic Registration (CDR) of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics (AND). Individuals with these credentials have completed specific academic and supervised practice requirements, successfully completed a registration examination and maintained requirements for recertification. For more information on eligibility for RDNs and NDTRs, click to visit the CDR: https://www.cdrnet.org/certifications

RDN Requirements

  • Complete the minimum of a Baccalaureate degree granted by a U.S. regionally accredited college or university, or foreign equivalent.
  • Nutrition ProfessionalMeet current minimum academic requirements Didactic Program in Dietetics as approved by the Accreditation Council for Education in Nutrition and Dietetics (ACEND) of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics.
  • Complete a supervised practice program accredited by the Accreditation Council for Education in Nutrition and Dietetics (ACEND) of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics.
  • Successfully complete the Registration Examination for Dietitians.


NEW Education Requirement

Beginning January 1, 2024 CDR will require that all candidates have a master’s degree to take the Registration Examination for Dietitians.  This action will change the entry-level registration eligibility education requirements for dietitians from a baccalaureate degree to a minimum of a graduate degree in 2024. All other entry-level dietitian registration eligibility requirements remain the same. Click here for CDR  FAQ.



NDTR Requirements

Path I: Does not meet qualifications for a WIC Degreed Nutritionist (bachelor’s or master’s degree.)

  • Complete a minimum of an Associate Degree granted by a U.S. accredited college or university, or foreign equivalent.
  • Complete a minimum number of supervised practice hours through a Dietetic Technician Program as accredited by the Accreditation Council for Education in Nutrition and Dietetics (ACEND) of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics.
  • Successfully complete the Registration Examination for Dietetic Technicians.

Path II: Meets qualifications to apply for a dietetic internship.

  • Complete a Baccalaureate degree granted by a US regionally accredited college/university, or foreign equivalent, and complete an ACEND Didactic Program in Dietetics (DPD).
  • Successfully complete the Registration Examination for Dietetic Technicians.

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