Food for Thought - Become a Dietary Manager Through Online Certification
written by: Laurie Patsalides•edited by: Sarah Malburg•updated: 7/27/2011
Ever thought about obtaining a dietary manager certification, but never thought you had time? There are actually several accredited colleges, registered with the DMA that you can enroll in to receive your dietary manager certification online.
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What is a Dietary Manager?
A dietary manager, sometimes called a food service manager, oversees the food operation in different types of settings; most commonly hospitals or hospice settings. The responsibilities of dietary managers include making sure that food has been prepared and stored safely, ordering supplies, and making sure dietary needs are being fulfilled by the menu. According to the DMA's 2010 Salary Survey: A Year of Promise, "The average annual salary in 2010 was calculated to be $45,423—a 6 percent increase over 2008’s average annual salary of $42,786."1 The occupational outlook lists the mean average salary for the food service manager at $52,220.2 As with most occupations, pay positively correlates with education and years of employment. Basically, the more you know and the longer you have been in the business, the more money you will earn. So, if you are interested in nutritive studies, beginning with dietary manager certification online is a great start to a satisfying career.
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Where to Get This Certification Online
If you live in the state of Arizona, you are in good placement for an education as a dietary manager for a minimal price. Central Arizona College has a Dietary Manager Certification4, but of it is part online and part traditional, so do contact the school for more details. All of the information needed for each school is in the resources section below.
Barton Community College, located in Great Bend, Kansas, also offers dietary manager certification online that is approved by the Dietary Managers Association and the Kansas Board of Regents. Tuition at Barton Community College for the dietary manager certification classes are a flat fee of $130 per credit hour.5
The Community College of Allegheny offers a Dietary Manager degree fully online6. The school is accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education. Graduates are eligible for membership in the Dietary Managers Association (DMA) and to take the exam to become a Certified Dietary Manager (CDM).
The DMA lists several colleges that one can attend to prepare and obtain this type of certification online, and most of these classes only amount to 15-16 credit hours of coursework. If a student plans to take two classes per standard Fall/Spring semester, this would take three semesters to complete. These courses prepare you for the dietary manager examination, and no other college degrees are necessary to have eligibility for the exam -information about credentialing exams and times are found on the Dietary Managers Association website found below.
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Why Take Online Classes?
Online education, in my opinion, is becoming the new standard. Few people have the time to attend traditional classes. There are obvious benefits to on-campus education; one-on-one in-person instruction is easiest for most, and online instruction requires a certain level of self-discipline. However, for many, the benefits of taking college coursework online, such as that for dietary manager certification online, outweigh the cons. It makes sense to engage in college courses that can be adapted to your own schedule.
A distance education in nutrition or dietary management may be difficult, but not impossible, to find. A look at associate, bachelor, master and doctorate degrees in nutrition online, along with a certification in Dietary Management.