Dietary Managers Association
What are the most rewarding aspects of a career in healthcare foodservice? What about it do you find most rewarding?
Meeting the expectations of the healthcare customers, dealing with budget parameters, and labor turnover are the most challenging aspects of running a busy foodservice department. The rewards are substantial when you receive positive feedback from the customers and respect from other facility departments. Healthcare offers the Certified Dietary Manager (CDM) a professional career in a booming market.
What are some typical jobs available to those interested in this field?
Jobs for Certified Dietary Managers include, but are not limited to, foodservice positions in long term care, assisted living, continuing care retirement communities (CCRCs) and hospitals. You can also find Certified Dietary Managers managing the foodservice departments in corrections, school foodservice and daycare facilities.
What are compensation levels like? What about benefits?
The Dietary Managers Association (DMA) surveys its membership annually to provide the most recent salary statistics to its 15,000 members. Urban healthcare facilities provide an average salary of $38, 950 and rural health-care facilities provide an average salary of $33,256. The highest average salary was found in retirement facilities, with $46,669 reported in continuing care retirement facilities and $39,120 in assisted living/retirement facilities. Regional salaries are grouped by states and can be accessed on the DMA Web site at www.dmaonline.org 
What would a culinary graduate or chef like about working in this field?
Culinary graduates or chefs who also have the Certified Dietary Manager (CDM) credential are highly sought after in the healthcare arena. Administrators value the combination of culinary management and modified diet knowledge that these individuals can offer the healthcare facility. Healthcare job opportunities offer many benefits that commercial positions do not often provide, including weekends and holidays off, an 8-5 Monday-Friday work schedule, health-care insurance and 401(k) retirement benefits.
What would someone interested in a management career find rewarding about this field?
Without a doubt, it is satisfying to work with this specific population of customers. It provides the chance to be in an develop a caring and nurturing environment for them, which contributes to job satisfaction.
Does the Dietary Manager Association have any specific programs to help students or others interested in the field learn about internships or job opportunities?
Opportunities for dietary manager training programs are as close as your computer. Training programs are also offered through correspondence and onsite classes. A list of schools that provide DMA-approved programs through post-secondary accredited schools is available at our website. Upon graduation, students are eligible to take a national credentialing exam to become a Certified Dietary Manager, Certified Food Protection Professional (CDM, CFPP). This credential is nationally recognized. It requires that the holder take part in 45 hours of continuing education every three years in order to maintain it.
How can I find out more?
Visit the Dietary Managers Association web-site or call 1-800-323-1908 to learn more about this rewarding, professional career.