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Qualifications for a Dietary Aide

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A dietary aide's work is caring for their clients' dietary needs; aides may be found in a variety of locations, such as schools, hospitals or long-term care centers. Those interested in becoming a dietary aide should be organized, communicate well with others, and have a outgoing personality.

Physical Qualifications

A dietary aide is often on her feet all day, visiting patients and going to the kitchen or office. An aide must be able to carry food, boxes of supplies and equipment, and be able to stoop, bend, reach, and lift when necessary. Many job qualifications suggest that an aide be able to lift at least 50 to 75 pounds, as the job may require you move boxes or food shipments. Since a dietary aide spends most of her time in the kitchen area, she must be able to deal with the heat coming from the ovens, frigid temperatures when going into the refrigerator storage compartments, and steam from kitchen equipment like dishwashers.

Education

While you may become a dietary aide with only a high school diploma, you can advance to a cook or dietician position if you undergo further training. Each state has their own guidelines to meet before advancing; however, you may also move up in the field if you have experience. For many states, the basic qualification is that you at least be a high school graduate but some health care establishments recommend having some experience before applying. According to SimplyHired, the average salary of a dietary aide in 2010 is $14,000; that may vary based on experience, location of the job, and the specifc company.

Working Routine Qualifications

The average day of a dietary aide involves working under the dietary manager and providing assistance to patients as needed. Additional work tasks include passing out food trays at designated times, following federal and state regulations regarding food safety, cleaning up dining areas and returning used dishes to the kitchen for washing, receiving and storing food or supplies, adhering to safety guidelines while working in the company, and preventing any contamination of the food by storing food properly.