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How to Become a Dialysis Technician

What Does a Dialysis Technician Do?

dialysis technician with equipment

Kidney dialysis means the difference between life and death for those who suffer from renal failure. Dialysis technicians are the medical personnel who administer this life-sustaining procedure. These technicians, also known as hemodialysis or nephrology technicians, maintain and operate the equipment used for dialysis, a process that cleanses the blood of metabolic waste products. Patients generally receive dialysis at a hospital or clinic, with an attending healthcare professional present while the technician operates the medical equipment.

Dialysis technicians also prep patients, give local anesthesia, monitor patients’ progress and create written reports for the doctor. Without dialysis, patients with renal failure would have few options; dialysis technicians help these patients reclaim life, one dialysis at a time.

Workplace Details

Dialysis technicians work primarily in hospitals or clinics, and sometimes in patients’ private homes. They usually work 40-hour weeks, although they may also work part time with more flexible hours. Dialysis technicians must work under the supervision of a registered nurse or physician. Those who work in 24-hour hospitals and clinics may have to work some evenings and weekends.

Salary and Job Outlook

State
Average Wage
California
$48970
Florida
$40340
Texas
$42430
Illinois
$43660
North Carolina
$38030

Hover over any state to explore local income and job growth data.

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ALABAMA

Median Salary: 
$36,600
Bottom 10% (Entry Level): $23,200
Top 10% (Lots of Experience): $60,800

2014-2024 Job Growth: 35%
Projected Annual Job Openings: 30

SALARY BY METRO AREA:

CityEntry LevelMedianLots of Experience
Birmingham$25,820$46,580$61,580

ALASKA

Median Salary: 
$47,600
Bottom 10% (Entry Level): $34,400
Top 10% (Lots of Experience): $79,500

2014-2024 Job Growth: 14%
Projected Annual Job Openings: 10

ARIZONA

Median Salary: 
$37,900
Bottom 10% (Entry Level): $27,600
Top 10% (Lots of Experience): $64,000

2014-2024 Job Growth: 29%
Projected Annual Job Openings: 130

SALARY BY METRO AREA:

CityEntry LevelMedianLots of Experience
Phoenix$28,670$38,540$64,410
Tuscon$26,650$36,020$57,760

ARKANSAS

Median Salary: 
$36,800
Bottom 10% (Entry Level): $22,500
Top 10% (Lots of Experience): $73,000

2014-2024 Job Growth: 22%
Projected Annual Job Openings: 20

SALARY BY METRO AREA:

CityEntry LevelMedianLots of Experience
Little Rock$23,640$49,430$78,540
Fort Smith$28,080$40,840$50,880

CALIFORNIA

Median Salary: 
$46,500
Bottom 10% (Entry Level): $31,400
Top 10% (Lots of Experience): $80,300

2014-2024 Job Growth: 26%
Projected Annual Job Openings: 470

SALARY BY METRO AREA:

CityEntry LevelMedianLots of Experience
Los Angeles$31,820$44,750$73,620
San Francisco Bay$37,880$58,270$109,180
San Diego$29,190$45,000$83,360
Sacramento$35,180$56,440$101,790

COLORADO

Median Salary: 
$39,500
Bottom 10% (Entry Level): $26,600
Top 10% (Lots of Experience): $73,600

2014-2024 Job Growth: 37%
Projected Annual Job Openings: 110

SALARY BY METRO AREA:

CityEntry LevelMedianLots of Experience
Denver$27,870$40,590$77,540
Colorado Springs$24,610$36,380$60,410

CONNECTICUT

Median Salary: 
$47,500
Bottom 10% (Entry Level): $33,000
Top 10% (Lots of Experience): $78,700

2014-2024 Job Growth: 13%
Projected Annual Job Openings: 20

SALARY BY METRO AREA:

CityEntry LevelMedianLots of Experience
Hartford$33,250$51,500$77,340
Bridgeport$32,590$38,890$88,730
New Haven$33,610$52,670$75,290

DELAWARE

Median Salary: 
$39,800
Bottom 10% (Entry Level): $28,800
Top 10% (Lots of Experience): $67,100

2014-2024 Job Growth: 28%
Projected Annual Job Openings: 10

SALARY BY METRO AREA:

CityEntry LevelMedianLots of Experience
Wilmington$28,690$41,350$67,340
Dover$29,570$47,660$75,460

DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA

Median Salary: 
$41,900
Bottom 10% (Entry Level): $25,100
Top 10% (Lots of Experience): $89,600

2014-2024 Job Growth: 21%
Projected Annual Job Openings: 10

SALARY BY METRO AREA:

CityEntry LevelMedianLots of Experience
Washington DC$27,110$41,620$75,380

FLORIDA

Median Salary: 
$34,700
Bottom 10% (Entry Level): $24,100
Top 10% (Lots of Experience): $58,300

2014-2024 Job Growth: 29%
Projected Annual Job Openings: 340

SALARY BY METRO AREA:

CityEntry LevelMedianLots of Experience
Miami$24,940$35,100$58,410
Orlando$23,080$32,200$48,840
Tampa$24,000$34,930$56,970
Jacksonville$25,350$39,730$62,030

GEORGIA

Median Salary: 
$36,400
Bottom 10% (Entry Level): $23,100
Top 10% (Lots of Experience): $61,500

2014-2024 Job Growth: 25%
Projected Annual Job Openings: 110

SALARY BY METRO AREA:

CityEntry LevelMedianLots of Experience
Atlanta$24,790$38,640$62,620
Augusta$25,050$35,930$57,900

HAWAII

Median Salary: 
$47,700
Bottom 10% (Entry Level): $40,000
Top 10% (Lots of Experience): $81,800

2014-2024 Job Growth: 18%
Projected Annual Job Openings: 10

SALARY BY METRO AREA:

CityEntry LevelMedianLots of Experience
Honolulu$40,500$48,080$82,010

IDAHO

Median Salary: 
$42,000
Bottom 10% (Entry Level): $27,400
Top 10% (Lots of Experience): $63,700

2014-2024 Job Growth: 30%
Projected Annual Job Openings: 150

SALARY BY METRO AREA:

CityEntry LevelMedianLots of Experience
Boise$29,230$44,880$63,120
Idaho Falls$26,590$37,260$61,290

ILLINOIS

Median Salary: 
$42,200
Bottom 10% (Entry Level): $27,200
Top 10% (Lots of Experience): $73,400

2014-2024 Job Growth: 8%
Projected Annual Job Openings: 110

SALARY BY METRO AREA:

CityEntry LevelMedianLots of Experience
Chicago$27,660$41,750$71,410
Rockford$26,950$37,210$68,930

INDIANA

Median Salary: 
$43,200
Bottom 10% (Entry Level): $27,000
Top 10% (Lots of Experience): $77,800

2014-2024 Job Growth: 27%
Projected Annual Job Openings: 70

SALARY BY METRO AREA:

CityEntry LevelMedianLots of Experience
Indianapolis$33,970$57,240$90,580
South Bend$24,440$35,940$63,070
Fort Wayne$25,680$39,020$66,130

IOWA

Median Salary: 
$38,000
Bottom 10% (Entry Level): $26,700
Top 10% (Lots of Experience): $59,000

2014-2024 Job Growth: 20%
Projected Annual Job Openings: 40

SALARY BY METRO AREA:

CityEntry LevelMedianLots of Experience
Des Moines$29,380$40,640$57,960
Cedar Rapids$28,950$37,840$57,820

KANSAS

Median Salary: 
$49,600
Bottom 10% (Entry Level): $28,600
Top 10% (Lots of Experience): $67,200

2014-2024 Job Growth: 16%
Projected Annual Job Openings: 10

SALARY BY METRO AREA:

CityEntry LevelMedianLots of Experience
Wichita$27,530$39,250$87,380
Kansas City$27,700$47,540$63,960

KENTUCKY

Median Salary: 
$45,400
Bottom 10% (Entry Level): $27,600
Top 10% (Lots of Experience): $80,600

2014-2024 Job Growth: 37%
Projected Annual Job Openings: 90

SALARY BY METRO AREA:

CityEntry LevelMedianLots of Experience
Louisville$29,850$46,040$84,890
Lexington$28,480$45,290$81,090

LOUISIANA

Median Salary: 
$29,500
Bottom 10% (Entry Level): $21,400
Top 10% (Lots of Experience): $56,500

2014-2024 Job Growth: 17%
Projected Annual Job Openings: 50

SALARY BY METRO AREA:

CityEntry LevelMedianLots of Experience
New Orleans$21,220$28,660$57,740
Baton Rouge$21,600$30,290$47,230
Lafayette$25,720$35,880$81,680

MAINE

Median Salary: 
$45,200
Bottom 10% (Entry Level): $27,200
Top 10% (Lots of Experience): $106,000

2014-2024 Job Growth: 13%
Projected Annual Job Openings: 10

SALARY BY METRO AREA:

CityEntry LevelMedianLots of Experience
Portland$25,790$42,030$69,540

MARYLAND

Median Salary: 
$39,000
Bottom 10% (Entry Level): $26,800
Top 10% (Lots of Experience): $66,900

2014-2024 Job Growth: 24%
Projected Annual Job Openings: 130

SALARY BY METRO AREA:

CityEntry LevelMedianLots of Experience
Baltimore$27,270$40,140$67,650
Frederick$26,850$43,890$73,460

MASSACHUSETTS

Median Salary: 
$50,500
Bottom 10% (Entry Level): $33,400
Top 10% (Lots of Experience): $79,500

2014-2024 Job Growth: 7%
Projected Annual Job Openings: 40

SALARY BY METRO AREA:

CityEntry LevelMedianLots of Experience
Boston$33,860$51,090$79,610
Worcester$32,690$46,920$80,180
Springfield$33,650$47,850$76,990

MICHIGAN

Median Salary: 
$37,000
Bottom 10% (Entry Level): $25,900
Top 10% (Lots of Experience): $66,200

2014-2024 Job Growth: 13%
Projected Annual Job Openings: 70

SALARY BY METRO AREA:

CityEntry LevelMedianLots of Experience
Detroit$25,960$34,970$61,730
Grand Rapids$26,520$38,110$76,660

MINNESOTA

Median Salary: 
$54,100
Bottom 10% (Entry Level): $32,800
Top 10% (Lots of Experience): $77,400

2014-2024 Job Growth: 16%
Projected Annual Job Openings: 50

SALARY BY METRO AREA:

CityEntry LevelMedianLots of Experience
Minneapolis - St. Paul$32,060$55,080$77,960
Rochester$36,900$56,540$77,810

MISSISSIPPI

Median Salary: 
$38,400
Bottom 10% (Entry Level): $22,000
Top 10% (Lots of Experience): $109,200

2014-2024 Job Growth: 19%
Projected Annual Job Openings: 10

SALARY BY METRO AREA:

CityEntry LevelMedianLots of Experience
Jackson$21,690$34,260$59,860
Gulfport$22,810$49,660$123,070

MISSOURI

Median Salary: 
$41,000
Bottom 10% (Entry Level): $25,400
Top 10% (Lots of Experience): $62,500

2014-2024 Job Growth: 15%
Projected Annual Job Openings: 60

SALARY BY METRO AREA:

CityEntry LevelMedianLots of Experience
St. Louis$25,950$40,920$65,020
Kansas City$27,700$47,540$63,960

MONTANA

Median Salary: 
$33,200
Bottom 10% (Entry Level): $22,700
Top 10% (Lots of Experience): $61,700

Job Growth Data Not Available

SALARY BY METRO AREA:

CityEntry LevelMedianLots of Experience
Billings$21,710$36,960$73,470
Missoula$21,640$29,840$58,730

NEBRASKA

Median Salary: 
$48,200
Bottom 10% (Entry Level): $30,800
Top 10% (Lots of Experience): $67,800

2014-2024 Job Growth: 21%
Projected Annual Job Openings: 10

SALARY BY METRO AREA:

CityEntry LevelMedianLots of Experience
Omaha$29,620$47,160$66,380

NEVADA

Median Salary: 
$44,400
Bottom 10% (Entry Level): $32,400
Top 10% (Lots of Experience): $70,100

2014-2024 Job Growth: 33%
Projected Annual Job Openings: 40

SALARY BY METRO AREA:

CityEntry LevelMedianLots of Experience
Las Vegas$32,890$44,440$68,620
Reno$27,340$44,820$77,130

NEW HAMPSHIRE

Median Salary: 
$44,700
Bottom 10% (Entry Level): $28,400
Top 10% (Lots of Experience): $76,400

2014-2024 Job Growth: 19%
Projected Annual Job Openings: 20

SALARY BY METRO AREA:

CityEntry LevelMedianLots of Experience
Nashua$26,870$36,740$66,600

NEW JERSEY

Median Salary: 
$46,800
Bottom 10% (Entry Level): $32,600
Top 10% (Lots of Experience): $74,100

2014-2024 Job Growth: 22%
Projected Annual Job Openings: 90

SALARY BY METRO AREA:

CityEntry LevelMedianLots of Experience
Newark$30,730$45,740$74,410
Trenton$34,580$56,500$79,710

NEW MEXICO

Median Salary: 
$34,800
Bottom 10% (Entry Level): $26,700
Top 10% (Lots of Experience): $63,100

2014-2024 Job Growth: 26%
Projected Annual Job Openings: 20

SALARY BY METRO AREA:

CityEntry LevelMedianLots of Experience
Las Cruces$26,240$32,020$57,010

NEW YORK

Median Salary: 
$45,900
Bottom 10% (Entry Level): $29,400
Top 10% (Lots of Experience): $74,000

2014-2024 Job Growth: 20%
Projected Annual Job Openings: 140

SALARY BY METRO AREA:

CityEntry LevelMedianLots of Experience
New York City$32,560$47,070$76,660
Buffalo$32,950$48,720$75,640
Rochester$26,760$37,550$60,780
Albany$26,600$39,080$60,350

NORTH CAROLINA

Median Salary: 
$34,500
Bottom 10% (Entry Level): $24,800
Top 10% (Lots of Experience): $56,400

2014-2024 Job Growth: 28%
Projected Annual Job Openings: 210

SALARY BY METRO AREA:

CityEntry LevelMedianLots of Experience
Charlotte$25,860$32,730$51,130
Raleigh$26,260$34,270$49,970
Greensboro$24,330$33,380$51,480
Winston - Salem$21,790$31,190$56,040

NORTH DAKOTA

Median Salary: 
$45,600
Bottom 10% (Entry Level): $26,900
Top 10% (Lots of Experience): $64,800

2014-2024 Job Growth: 24%
Projected Annual Job Openings: 10

SALARY BY METRO AREA:

CityEntry LevelMedianLots of Experience
Fargo$22,300$52,550$75,090

OHIO

Median Salary: 
$39,900
Bottom 10% (Entry Level): $27,100
Top 10% (Lots of Experience): $60,400

2014-2024 Job Growth: 23%
Projected Annual Job Openings: 150

SALARY BY METRO AREA:

CityEntry LevelMedianLots of Experience
Cleveland$28,290$41,290$59,830
Columbus$27,150$41,050$59,600
Cincinnati$28,010$42,300$66,510
Dayton$28,020$44,310$63,730

OKLAHOMA

Median Salary: 
$40,600
Bottom 10% (Entry Level): $24,800
Top 10% (Lots of Experience): $71,000

2014-2024 Job Growth: 20%
Projected Annual Job Openings: 30

SALARY BY METRO AREA:

CityEntry LevelMedianLots of Experience
Oklahoma City$25,220$38,770$62,630
Tulsa$34,130$51,020$117,860

OREGON

Median Salary: 
$44,500
Bottom 10% (Entry Level): $29,900
Top 10% (Lots of Experience): $63,700

2014-2024 Job Growth: 22%
Projected Annual Job Openings: 60

SALARY BY METRO AREA:

CityEntry LevelMedianLots of Experience
Portland$31,110$44,590$64,140
Salem$31,840$47,840$61,830

PENNSYLVANIA

Median Salary: 
$39,800
Bottom 10% (Entry Level): $27,300
Top 10% (Lots of Experience): $64,400

2014-2024 Job Growth: 19%
Projected Annual Job Openings: 70

SALARY BY METRO AREA:

CityEntry LevelMedianLots of Experience
Philadelphia$31,330$43,380$70,090
Pittsburgh$26,990$37,490$60,570
Allentown$30,660$50,050$86,020

RHODE ISLAND

Median Salary: 
$46,600
Bottom 10% (Entry Level): $33,400
Top 10% (Lots of Experience): $77,300

2014-2024 Job Growth: 11%
Projected Annual Job Openings: 10

SALARY BY METRO AREA:

CityEntry LevelMedianLots of Experience
Providence$33,290$48,490$79,270

SOUTH CAROLINA

Median Salary: 
$35,200
Bottom 10% (Entry Level): $23,200
Top 10% (Lots of Experience): $65,100

2014-2024 Job Growth: 27%
Projected Annual Job Openings: 20

SALARY BY METRO AREA:

CityEntry LevelMedianLots of Experience
Greenville$40,730$65,370$82,220
Columbia$22,510$35,950$61,300

SOUTH DAKOTA

Median Salary: 
$50,100
Bottom 10% (Entry Level): $29,300
Top 10% (Lots of Experience): $85,200

2014-2024 Job Growth: 14%
Projected Annual Job Openings: Fewer than 10

SALARY BY METRO AREA:

CityEntry LevelMedianLots of Experience
Sioux Falls$29,560$53,380$80,980

TENNESSEE

Median Salary: 
$51,100
Bottom 10% (Entry Level): $31,100
Top 10% (Lots of Experience): $134,200

2014-2024 Job Growth: 24%
Projected Annual Job Openings: 20

SALARY BY METRO AREA:

CityEntry LevelMedianLots of Experience
Nashville$37,950$56,370$149,470
Memphis$32,590$48,370$86,960
Knoxville$29,050$53,860$138,310

TEXAS

Median Salary: 
$37,200
Bottom 10% (Entry Level): $23,800
Top 10% (Lots of Experience): $63,600

2014-2024 Job Growth: 35%
Projected Annual Job Openings: 300

SALARY BY METRO AREA:

CityEntry LevelMedianLots of Experience
Dallas - Ft. Worth$25,300$37,200$64,850
Houston$27,800$46,190$77,620
San Antonio$23,270$37,280$58,690
Austin$21,520$31,140$56,950

UTAH

Median Salary: 
$36,200
Bottom 10% (Entry Level): $25,500
Top 10% (Lots of Experience): $59,900

2014-2024 Job Growth: 39%
Projected Annual Job Openings: 30

SALARY BY METRO AREA:

CityEntry LevelMedianLots of Experience
Salt Lake City$24,840$35,850$62,710
Ogden$26,310$42,860$61,240

VERMONT

Median Salary: 
$53,000
Bottom 10% (Entry Level): $32,100
Top 10% (Lots of Experience): $68,400

2014-2024 Job Growth: 18%
Projected Annual Job Openings: Fewer than 10

SALARY BY METRO AREA:

CityEntry LevelMedianLots of Experience
Burlington$31,870$47,270$130,340

VIRGINIA

Median Salary: 
$42,800
Bottom 10% (Entry Level): $26,600
Top 10% (Lots of Experience): $69,800

2014-2024 Job Growth: 16%
Projected Annual Job Openings: 50

SALARY BY METRO AREA:

CityEntry LevelMedianLots of Experience
Virginia Beach$25,200$37,110$63,300
Richmond$26,930$47,320$72,590

WASHINGTON

Median Salary: 
$45,400
Bottom 10% (Entry Level): $31,800
Top 10% (Lots of Experience): $76,300

2014-2024 Job Growth: 20%
Projected Annual Job Openings: 100

SALARY BY METRO AREA:

CityEntry LevelMedianLots of Experience
Seattle$32,590$46,890$76,620
Spokane$33,970$47,720$76,400

WEST VIRGINIA

Median Salary: 
$35,900
Bottom 10% (Entry Level): $25,200
Top 10% (Lots of Experience): $66,300

2014-2024 Job Growth: 10%
Projected Annual Job Openings: 10

SALARY BY METRO AREA:

CityEntry LevelMedianLots of Experience
Huntington$32,440$49,650$74,520
Charleston$25,430$33,630$95,920

WISCONSIN

Median Salary: 
$56,900
Bottom 10% (Entry Level): $32,100
Top 10% (Lots of Experience): $77,800

2014-2024 Job Growth: 7%
Projected Annual Job Openings: 60

SALARY BY METRO AREA:

CityEntry LevelMedianLots of Experience
Milwaukee$32,770$57,510$81,100
Madison$28,340$49,670$74,180

WYOMING

Median Salary: 
$36,800
Bottom 10% (Entry Level): $26,400
Top 10% (Lots of Experience): $70,900

2014-2024 Job Growth: 27%
Projected Annual Job Openings: Fewer than 10

SALARY BY METRO AREA:

CityEntry LevelMedianLots of Experience
Cheyenne$27,310$36,230$60,010

In its report, the Bureau of Labor Statistics states that the median annual salary for all health technicians and technologists, including dialysis technicians, is $41,260. Pay varies by geographic location due to differences in cost of living. Salary.com reports that dialysis technicians, specifically, earn a median annual salary of $37,418 as of January 2017.

There are currently more than 460,000 people receiving dialysis in the United States. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, jobs for health technicians and technologists are expected to increase by 16% from 2014 to 2024, which is very substantial growth. Hospitals and large clinics will have the most jobs available.

Compare Salaries by City

Chicago IL Median Pay

$41750 Per Year

$20.007 Per Hour

New York City NY Median Pay

$47070 Per Year

$22.62 Per Hour

Steps to Become a Dialysis Technician

1

Earn a high school diploma or equivalent.

Work as a dialysis tech requires a high school degree or GED as well as additional training in the operation of dialysis equipment.

2

Enroll in an educational program.

Vocational and technical schools, community colleges and online programs offer dialysis certificate programs, as well as background courses to help the student understand renal disease, body chemistry and hemodialysis procedures. Typically, coursework is completed in 12 to 18 months. Dialysis technicians should also know emergency procedures such as cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR).

Show Me Schools »

3

Gain clinical experience.

Dialysis technicians are required to work in a clinical setting under the supervision of a licensed doctor or nurse to gain experience with the dialysis machine and procedures. Internships and job-training programs provide these opportunities.

4

Become certified in your state.

Every state has specific regulations regarding certification for dialysis technicians, so technicians should check the necessary requirements of the state where they want to work. Professional nephrology organizations set guidelines in this field and offer four types of credentials. Each of these certifications requires completion of a training program (along with some clinical experience, in some cases, depending on the program length) in addition to passing their exam.

  • CCHT. The Nephrology Nursing Certification Commission (NNCC) offers a Certification for Clinical Hemodialysis Technicians (CCHT). CCHT must be renewed every three years; candidates must demonstrate that they have worked at least 3,000 hours as a dialysis technician and completed at least 30 hours of relevant continuing education and professional activity.
  • CHT. The Board of Nephrology Examiners Nursing and Technology (BONENT) offers a Hemodialysis Technician Certification (CHT). CHT recertification is necessary every four years. There are three options for renewing the CHT: (1) Complete 40 hours of relevant continuing education and professional activity, (2) apply for a one-time waiver if 40 hours have not been completed, and (3) retake the BONENT exam.
  • CCNT and CBNT. The National Nephrology Certification Organization (NNCO) offers certifications in Clinical Nephrology Technology (CCNT). Recertification is necessary every four years, and candidates must have 30 hours of continuing education.

5

Consider opportunities for advancement.

A dialysis technician with many years of experience, as well as additional education and training, can advance to a position as head technician in a large hospital or clinic. Technicians who work in small clinics will have less opportunity for advancement. Dialysis technicians who continue their education might advance into more specialized careers such as nursing.

Explore Educational Paths

Some states allow dialysis technicians to train on the job on a provisional basis. Once you meet the experience requirements, you would sit for the national certification exam, which is mandatory. (This usually occurs after one year.)

CERTIFICATE PROGRAM

5 months-1.5 years

In some states, dialysis technicians must complete a certificate program before applying for jobs or practicing.

You’ll find certificate programs in hemodialysis technology at hospitals, health systems, dialysis centers, and career and technical colleges. Some longer programs prepare students for dual certification in hemodialysis technology and phlebotomy, which can be quite attractive to employers.

Show Me Schools »

Unfortunately, education in the dialysis technology field is not well regulated. Here are a few resources you can use to choose a quality training program:

  • The Board of Nephrology Examiners Nursing and Technology (BONENT) maintains a list of approved training programs on its website
  • States that license dialysis techs usually provide a list of approved training programs (check the website of the state nursing board or department of public health)
  • Ask employers in your area which training programs have a good reputation

Certificate programs in dialysis aren’t necessarily broken down into distinct courses. But expect to cover the following topics:

Renal anatomy and physiology

Learn how the kidneys control fluid and electrolyte balance within the body.

Dialysis equipment

Practice setting up, operating, and maintaining hemodialysis machinery.

Renal diet and nutrition

Understand how diet can be used to help manage kidney disease.

Hemodialysis principles

Learn how renal replacement therapy is delivered and how it helps patients with kidney disease.

In addition to their coursework, students complete a practicum at a local dialysis center, where they practice their skills under supervision.

Keys to Success as a Dialysis Technician

Necessary Skills and Qualities

Compassionate

Because dialysis technicians work closely with patients who are ill, they should have compassion and empathy.

Physically strong

The job’s physical demands require good manual dexterity to operate the equipment properly; the stamina to work long hours standing; and the physical strength to help move patients.

Detail-oriented

Dialysis technicians must be able to follow directions and perform procedures correctly.

Communicates well

Dialysis technicians should have good communication skills in order to work with other medical staff and patients.

Additional Credentials

According to federal regulations, all dialysis technicians must be nationally certified within 18 months of hire.

The government recognizes the following three credentialing agencies, each with slightly different eligibility requirements. All three agencies require a high school diploma or equivalent for certification. Qualifying national certification tests are in bold. Advanced certifications are also listed.

National Nephrology Certification Organization (NNCO)

  • Certification Examination in Clinical Nephrology Technology (CCNT) – to qualify, complete a 1-year certificate program (or a shorter program with additional work experience) and pass an exam
  • Certification Examination in Biomedical Nephrology Technology (CBNT) – for technicians who repair and maintain dialysis machines and water treatment equipment
  • Certification Examination for Dialysis Water Specialists (CDWS) – for technicians with expertise in dialysis water treatment

Nephrology Nursing Certification Commission (NNCC)

  • Certified Clinical Hemodialysis Technician (CCHT) – requires completion of a training program with clinical practicum component, plus passage of an exam
  • Certified Clinical Hemodialysis Technician - Advanced (CCHT-A) – for technicians with at least five years of experience

Board of Nephrology Examiners Nursing and Technology (BONENT)

  • Certified Hemodialysis Technician/Technologist (CHT) – requires graduation from a BONENT-approved certificate program OR 12 months of work experience, plus an exam
  • Certified Hemodialysis Biomedical Technician (CHBT) – for technicians who primarily repair and maintain dialysis equipment
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