Dietitian job market ‘the fastest growing sector’ in Australia
The Australian Dietitians Association says its annual survey of dietitians shows a strong job market in Australia and the world.
In fact, its job market has grown by 23 per cent over the past 12 months, according to the latest data from the Australian Bureau of Statistics.
The association’s survey of more than 6,000 dietitarians shows a “strong job market”, according to Alan Sami, the association’s president.
He said it is not just the dietitics that are getting the benefit of the boom in the sector.
“There are people who are really passionate about what they do and the jobs they are providing, but they are also seeing that they are part of a much bigger community,” Mr Sami said.
This year, there were more than 4,000 new positions available for dietitals.
The association says the increase was driven by the increased number of jobs in the Australian capital, Sydney, and the ACT.
However, the Australian dietitical industry is facing its own challenges.
The Australian Bureau for Statistics reports that in 2016, the sector employed fewer than 2,000 people, and that many of them were in the health, dental and beauty fields.
According to the Association’s survey, there was a significant shortage of people to meet the growing demand for health, dietities and personal care.
Dietitians were asked if they thought their role in the community was changing.
Just over half of those who responded that they had no opinion said their role was changing, and just over a quarter said it was changing less.
But Ms Sami believes the role of dieticians is changing too.
“[Dieticians] are not only making health-related decisions but are also supporting individuals to get the best care possible,” she said.
“This is the fastest growing section of the Australian economy.”
“Dietetic professionals are often recognised as the leaders of our health industry and are also important members of community health programs and community partnerships.”
Mr Sami says that has been particularly true in Sydney where there has been a “massive influx of new residents from other cities”.
“As a new person comes to Sydney, they are often the first to find a dietitic.
They will be welcomed by the whole community and will feel welcomed by people who they will be able to work with.”
But the association has also seen the number of Australians who want to become a dietician decrease.
Despite a steady increase in job opportunities, it says the job market is not necessarily growing fast.
Only two per cent of people aged 16 to 24 said they were interested in dietitists, compared to 25 per cent in 2015.
Of those aged 55 and over, only 10 per cent said they wanted to become dietitaries.
Dr Sami hopes the next two to three years will see the industry grow as the industry adapts to the challenges the Australian Government has put in place for the sector to deal with.