Dialysis Technician Schools & Certification Programs (2023)

Of all the reasons to pursue a career in healthcare, the most noble is wanting to help others live a happier, healthier life. Dialysis technicians, also referred to as hemodialysis technicians or dialysis techs, make a difference in the lives of those with chronic kidney failure and end-stage renal disease. Patients experiencing kidney failure have two options: organ transplant or kidney dialysis.

To stay alive, the National Kidney Foundation states that kidney dialysis patients must undergo regular clinical dialysis treatments to remove waste, balance chemicals, and control blood pressure. Risk factors for kidney disease include advanced age and the incidence of type 2 diabetes, which are on the rise in the United States.

To start strong in this career, finding a reputable dialysis tech school that prepares graduates for entry-level careers is necessary. Dialysis training programs may offer classroom instruction or online courses. Clinical practicums allow students to work directly with patients under supervision to prepare for their new careers. Dialysis tech programs prepare graduates to take national or state-approved certification exams to be ready to work in a hospital, home care setting, or dialysis center. Because dialysis training can take as little as a semester, it is easy to choose a program and start working and earning quickly.

Careers in dialysis technician training have a long history of professional support from the Board of Nephrology Examiners Nursing Technology or BONENT. For the past 45 years, BONENT’s mission has been to “promote excellence in nursing and technology globally through credentialing exams that enhance the care of patients with kidney disease.” More than 7,500 nurses and dialysis technicians are certified by BONET worldwide, and members of this organization must recertify every four years by earning continuing education credits.

Keep reading to learn more about the growing career opportunities for dialysis technicians.

Dialysis Technician Fast Facts
Projected Jobs Created36,500
Projected Job Growth11 percent
Average Salary$57,800
Low Salary$30,280
High Salary$79,340
Entry-Level EDU Certificate, associate’s or bachelor’s degree
Sourced from BLS 2022
(Video) Hemodialysis Technician | OTC Dual Enrollment

Dialysis Technician Degree & Certification Programs

To apply for proper certification as a dialysis technician, either through the Board of Nephrology Examiners Nursing and Technology (BONENT) or the Nephrology Nursing Certification Commission (NNCC), students must have either a requisite amount of experience or must complete an approved training program. Dialysis technician programs typically have very few admissions prerequisites. It is common to find a school that requires only a high school diploma or GED to enroll.

An approved program may take as little as one semester to complete. BONENT has approved the following dialysis technician schools to prepare students for work as dialysis technicians. A complete list of BONENT-approved dialysis tech schools is available on their website.

Read on to learn more about on-campus, on-the-job, and hybrid and online dialysis tech programs.

On-Campus Dialysis Technician Training Programs

American College Health & Sciences (ACHS): At ACHS, students can earn a hemodialysis technician diploma which prepares them for entry-level positions in kidney dialysis healthcare facilities. Upon completing this program, students are ready to sit for national certification exams and work as integral parts of renal healthcare teams.

This program can be completed in seven months and covers topics such as identifying treatment options for renal failure, knowledge of principles of hemodialysis and operation of hemodialysis machinery, and other professional protocols. After earning this diploma, students must pass the BONET certified hemodialysis technician (CHT) exam to be eligible for employment.

  • Location: Margate, FL
  • Duration: Seven months
  • Accreditation: Board of Nephrology Examiners Nursing and Technology (BONENT)
  • Tuition: N/A

Central Georgia Technical College (CGTC): At CGTC, students interested in pursuing a career as a dialysis technician can enroll in the hemodialysis patient care specialist technical certificate, hemodialysis reuse/reprocessing technical certificate, or the hemodialysis technology diploma program.

Each program was explicitly designed with local dialysis centers to train students to enter the workforce. The diploma program requires 37 total credits, including general education courses, while the technical certificate programs require 16 or 17 credits, depending on which one is chosen.

  • Location: Warner Robins, GA
  • Duration: Six to 12 months
  • Accreditation: Board of Nephrology Examiners Nursing and Technology (BONENT)
  • Tuition: $100 per credit (in-state); $200 per credit (out-of-state)

St. Bernadette of Lourdes Center: This dialysis and education center in Houston, Texas, offers a hybrid certificate and practical training program. The theory portion of the hemodialysis training program can be completed online, while clinical experience is gained in an on-site setting.

Experienced instructors teach courses with profound dialysis setting professional expertise. In conjunction with these theory courses, students must complete a Related Learning Experience (RLE) in a dialysis setting. Students can complete the program in four to five months, during which time students will learn basic knowledge of end-stage renal disease. Prerequisite courses in basic first aid and CPR are offered in addition to BONET-approved continuing education courses.

  • Location: Houston, TX
  • Duration: Four to five months
  • Accreditation: Board of Nephrology Examiners Nursing and Technology (BONENT)
  • Tuition: $300 total

On-the-Job Dialysis Technician Training Programs

In addition to formal classroom training, there are also dialysis centers that offer prospective dialysis technicians the opportunity to learn on the job. These types of programs may hire someone with little or no dialysis experience and allow them to earn hours working as a dialysis technician to qualify for the certification exam. Here are two examples of on-the-job dialysis technician training programs.

Centers for Dialysis Care: Located in Shaker Heights, Ohio, the CDC offers dialysis technician training and dialysis care. Because there is often a higher demand for dialysis technicians than properly trained technicians available, the CDC will hire technicians with little to no experience and teach them while employed. Additionally, those who are already certified dialysis technicians may qualify for hiring bonuses.

  • Location: Shaker Heights, OH
  • Duration: Varies
  • Accreditation: Board of Nephrology Examiners Nursing and Technology (BONENT)
  • Tuition: N/A

DaVita Healthcare Partners: DaVita is a national brand of dialysis centers dedicated to treating patients with chronic kidney failure and end-stage renal disease. DaVita offers incoming employees the opportunity to train as dialysis technicians while working in the dialysis setting, which can be an affordable solution for many prospective technicians. DaVita is an international company with several dialysis centers located throughout the United States.

  • Location: Locations throughout the U.S.
  • Duration: Varies
  • Accreditation: N/A
  • Tuition: N/A

Fresenius Medical Care North America: With clinics located throughout the U.S., Fresenius Medical Care trains dialysis clinic patient care technicians on the job. Professionals in these positions learn essential dialysis tech skills while earning salaries and benefits such as healthcare, paid time-off, and continuing education. The main responsibilities of dialysis techs in this program are to learn how to care for patients in the clinic and basic procedures and policies under the supervision of dialysis RNs.

  • Location: Locations throughout the U.S.
  • Duration: Varies
  • Accreditation: N/A
  • Tuition: N/A

List of Dialysis Technician Training Schools

Filter by state :

(Video) Certified Hemodialysis Technician Exam Practice Questions cht
School City State Website grads (2018)
Central Georgia Technical College Warner Robins Georgia www.centralgatech.edu 72
Platt College-Los Angeles Alhambra California www.plattcollege.edu 37
Blue Cliff College-Metairie Metairie Louisiana www.bluecliffcollege.edu 30
Atlantic Technical College Coconut Creek Florida www.atlantictechnicalcollege.edu 27
National Polytechnic College Lakewood California www.npcollege.edu 27
Midwestern Career College Chicago Illinois www.mccollege.edu 22
Clover Park Technical College Lakewood Washington www.cptc.edu 20
Dorsey Business Schools-Wayne Wayne Michigan www.dorsey.edu 16
Orange Technical College-Winter Park Campus Winter Park Florida www.orangetechcollege.net/campuses/winter_park 15
Blue Cliff College-Lafayette Lafayette Louisiana bluecliffcollege.edu 13
Atlanta Technical College Atlanta Georgia atlantatech.edu 12
Florida Panhandle Technical College Chipley Florida fptc.edu 12
Delgado Community College New Orleans Louisiana www.dcc.edu 11
Richmond Community College Hamlet North Carolina www.richmondcc.edu 11
Palm Beach Academy of Health & Beauty-Distinct Health Educational Center Lauderhill Florida pbacademy.net 10
Southern Crescent Technical College Griffin Georgia www.sctech.edu 10
Southern University at Shreveport Shreveport Louisiana www.susla.edu 10
Blue Cliff College-Gulfport Gulfport Mississippi bluecliffcollege.edu 9
Blue Cliff College-Shreveport Shreveport Louisiana bluecliffcollege.edu 8
Chemeketa Community College Salem Oregon www.chemeketa.edu 6
Community College of Rhode Island Warwick Rhode Island www.ccri.edu 5
Milwaukee Area Technical College Milwaukee Wisconsin matc.edu 5
Healthcare Training Institute Kenner Louisiana healthcaretraininginstitutenola.net 4
Pittsburgh Career Institute Pittsburgh Pennsylvania www.pci.edu 4
Brookline College-Tempe Tempe Arizona brooklinecollege.edu 3
Robert Morgan Educational Center and Technical College Miami Florida rmec.dadeschools.net 3
Northcentral Technical College Wausau Wisconsin www.ntc.edu 2
Blue Cliff College-Houma Houma Louisiana bluecliffcollege.edu 1

2017-2018 School Data from IPEDS (Sourced in November, 2019)

Hybrid & Online Dialysis Technician Training Programs

There are many courses required for a dialysis certification that can be feasibly transferred to an online format. For this reason, many schools have begun to introduce online training programs as a precursor to practical clinical experiences.

The following dialysis tech schools offer courses that can be completed entirely online.

Blue Cliff College (BCC): Students looking for training that prepares them for entry-level positions as dialysis technicians can enroll in the diploma program at Blue Cliff College. This 72-credit program is based on the quarter system and is offered at campuses throughout Louisiana, Mississippi, and Arkansas. Students can complete this program in 12 months and choose from on-campus, hybrid, or online course formats. The Accrediting Commission of Career Schools and Colleges. The U.S. Department of Education recognizes this organization.

  • Location: Gulfport, MS
  • Duration: One year
  • Accreditation: Accrediting Commission of Career Schools and Colleges (ACCSC)
  • Tuition: $21,808 total

North Shore Community College: Located in Danvers, Massachusetts, North Shore Community College offers a dialysis technician certificate of completion. This non-credit program is available online and prepares graduates for entry-level dialysis tech positions. Skills taught include monitoring vital signs, administering local anesthetics, CPR, and training patients for at-home dialysis treatment. Applicants must take a reading comprehension and mathematics assessment to qualify for admission.

  • Location: Danvers, MA
  • Duration: Six months or less
  • Accreditation: New England Commission of Higher Education (NECHE)
  • Tuition: $1,299 total

University of Tennessee – Martin: At UTM, students can complete an online, self-paced program in the dialysis technician specialty. There are no prerequisites for enrolling in the program, although students should either have or be in the process of obtaining a high school diploma or GED. This online program provides six months of access to a self-paced eLearning course, and the curriculum objectives are aligned with leading certification exams.

This course covers introductory body chemistry, acute renal failure and dialysis, and handling of hazardous materials. Students learn in an interactive online environment and have access to student services that support online learning. Some courses include externships or hands-on training offered as part of this program.

  • Location: Martin, TN
  • Duration: One year
  • Accreditation: Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC)
  • Tuition: $1,299 total

Utopia Health Career Center: Based in Kissimmee, Florida, Utopia Health Career Center offers BONET-approved hemodialysis courses online: certified hemodialysis technologist/technician (CHT), certified hemodialysis nurse (CHN), and dialysis continuing education for technicians and nurses. Renal and dialysis seminars are offered as continuing education credits for community members who already hold hemodialysis certification. Continuing education courses include renal diet, understanding home hemodialysis, understanding kidney transplant, and vascular access for hemodialysis.

  • Location: Kissimmee, FL
  • Duration: One year
  • Accreditation: Board of Nephrology Examiners Nursing and Technology (BONENT)
  • Tuition: $147 per course
School City State Website grads (2018)
Lake Superior College Duluth Minnesota www.lsc.edu 3

2017-2018 School Data from IPEDS (Sourced in November, 2019)

Dialysis Technician Training - Core & Elective Courses

Although the fundamentals of dialysis technician training are the same, the curriculum for any single program will depend primarily on whether the program leads to a degree or a non-credit certificate. At a minimum, dialysis technician programs cover the basics of kidney function and the progression of kidney disease and end-stage renal failure. More in-depth programs may take the time to cover overall anatomy as well.

In addition, dialysis technicians must learn how to operate dialysis equipment and keep that equipment well maintained. Basic hemodialysis technician curricula also include phlebotomy since accessing a vein to use the dialysis equipment is a necessary part of the job. Of course, as with any healthcare profession, dialysis technicians need to be sensitive to the needs of their patients. While a proper bedside manner can not always be taught, most curricula include some semblance of adequate patient care and communication.

In programs that lead to a degree, students may be required to take core educational classes in communications, composition, and mathematics. These programs are also where electives may come into play. Dialysis technician students can choose to take electives in the allied health field to further their expertise, but that is not a requirement for most electives.

(Video) PCT Dialysis 1 1 of 2

Dialysis Technician Training Accreditation

Although many dialysis technician schools or programs are not accredited, it can be essential to look at institutional accreditation that addresses the school as a whole. Community colleges may be accredited by their local higher learning accreditation agency. For instance, schools located in midwestern states might have earned accreditation from the Higher Learning Commission.

Institutional AccreditationThe Council for Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA), an organization affiliated with the U.S. Department of Education, is the organization that oversees regional accrediting organizations. Although each institution’s accreditation process may vary, most rely on a self-study from the school and a site visit from an accreditation board member. This process usually covers faculty, facilities, and general practices of the school, ensuring that specific standards are met so that students have a practical learning experience.

Programmatic AccreditationDialysis programs may also have healthcare-specific accreditation, known as programmatic accreditation, from a source such as the Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs (CAAHEP). Because the members of this accreditation agency have expertise in healthcare, they can better accredit specific programs, rather than entire schools. Prospective students may visit the CAAHEP website for more information on that organization's exact accreditation process and find accredited schools and programs.

Additionally, the Board of Nephrology Examiners Nursing Technology (BONENT) has approved several dialysis technician programs. The programs approved by BONENT may not necessarily meet the requirements of official CAAHEP accreditation since not all of them are offered by institutions of higher learning.

Still, the BONENT seal of approval does mean that these programs are designed to prepare students for the CHT exam upon graduation. A list of approved training programs is available on the BONENT website and includes dialysis tech schools in 11 states: Arizona, California, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, New York, Ohio, Texas, and Utah

Career Outlook

Because the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) does not track numbers that are unique to dialysis technicians, data sourced from that organization does not necessarily offer a complete picture of the career. Instead, the numbers available from the BLS track all clinical laboratory technologists and technicians as one group, which includes dialysis technicians and a wide range of other medical occupations.

The career outlook for all medical and clinical laboratory technicians is quite good, with a growth rate of 11 percent expected through 2030 (BLS 2021). There are many reasons for this faster-than-average growth, chief among them being the aging U.S. population, who will continue to need more medical attention as time goes on. For dialysis technicians specifically, the rising rate of type 2 diabetes is expected to contribute to increased demand since that disease is a significant risk factor for kidney disease, according to the National Kidney Foundation.

Indeed, according to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), more than 37 million Americans have diabetes, approximately 96 million Americans have prediabetes, and more than 80 percent are unaware that they have it (CDC 2022).

As with other healthcare professions, the demand for hemodialysis technicians does not decrease or fluctuate with the economy, making it an attractive choice for those who do not want to take that type of career risk.

Career Facts Dialysis Technician
Related CareersClinical Laboratory Technologists and Technicians
Common Job TitlesDialysis Technician, Certified Hemodialysis Technologist, Certified Clinical Hemodialysis Technician (CCHT), Certified Hemodialysis Technician
Technology & EquipmentDialysis Machine, Computers, Medical and Productivity Software
Sourced from BLS 2022

Salaries for Dialysis Technicians

Salaries for dialysis techs vary based on education, experience, and cost of living. According to the BLS (May 2021), clinical laboratory technologists and technicians earned average annual salaries of $56,910, with the lowest 10th percentile earning $30,280 and the top 90th percentile earning $79,340.

The BLS shows the top-paying states for clinical laboratory technologists and technicians are:

  • New York $72,500 average annual salary
  • Rhode Island: $70,580
  • Connecticut: $70,220
  • Oregon: $69,330
  • California: $68,450

As previously stated, the BLS does not keep career-specific data for dialysis technicians. However, PayScale.com (2022), a self-reported aggregator of salaries, shows in May 2022, the average hemodialysis tech earns $30,000 per year based on 160 salaries. Entry-level dialysis techs earned $31,242, and the most experienced earned $43,077 annually on average.

As for cost of living, the Missouri Economic Research and Information Center (MERIC) provides a cost of living index which reveals the least and most expensive states in the nation to live. This data is critical to consider when weighing job offers in different locations. To this point, the top-paying states in the list above for clinical laboratory technologists and technicians are also in MERIC’s top ten most expensive places to live.

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Licensing & Certification for Dialysis Technicians

Hemodialysis technicians must be licensed in order to work unsupervised. Even those programs that accept trainees without prior experience generally require those individuals to obtain certification as soon as they are qualified. There are two nationally recognized certification agencies as well as state licensing procedures in some states.

The Nephrology Nursing Certification Commission (NNCC) offers exams for a Certification for Clinical Hemodialysis Technician (CCHT) and for Certified Clinical Hemodialysis Technician Advanced (CCHT-A). The NNCC recommends that applicants have at least six months of work as a dialysis technician before sitting for the CCHT exam, and five years of clinical experience for the CCHT-A exam.

BONENT offers an exam for Certified Hemodialysis Technologist/Technician (CHT), which requires either 12 months of clinical experience or the satisfactory completion of an approved educational program before sitting for the exam. BONENT offers three certifications for technicians which can be taken in paper and pencil or computer-based formats.

The National Association of Nephrology Technicians/Technologists (NANT) is “dedicated to the education of dialysis professionals”. NANT offers continuing education resources needed to maintain credentials with BONENT and NNCC. NANT refers to dialysis techs by two titles: nephrology clinical technicians (NCT) for professionals who work directly with patients and nephrology biomedical technologists (NBT) for those who operate dialysis equipment.

Keep in mind that certifications are not necessarily required at a state level. For instance, in California, a dialysis technician must have earned his or her certification from either a national exam such as those mentioned above or from the California Dialysis Council exam. In addition, all technicians must be certified by the California Department of Public Health. Keep in mind this is only for the state of California.

Any prospective dialysis technician should be sure to check with their local department of health, board of nursing, or other certifying agency to determine the licensing requirements in their state.

Dialysis Technician Schools & Certification Programs (2)

Rachel Drummond Writer

Rachel Drummond is a freelance writer, educator, and yogini from Oregon. She’s taught English to international university students in the United States and Japan for more than a decade and has a master’s degree in education from the University of Oregon. A dedicated Ashtanga yoga practitioner, Rachel is interested in exploring the nuanced philosophical aspects of contemplative physical practices and how they apply in daily life. She writes about this topic among others on her blog (Instagram: @racheldrummondyoga).

(Video) Hemodialysis Technician Program Overview

FAQs

What is the top pay for dialysis technician? ›

$104,000

Where do dialysis technicians make the most money? ›

Highest paying cities for Dialysis Technicians in United States
  • Phoenix, AZ. $33.69 per hour. 5 salaries reported.
  • Chicago, IL. $33.47 per hour. 16 salaries reported.
  • Brooklyn, NY. $32.65 per hour. 6 salaries reported.
  • Cleveland, OH. $29.76 per hour. 23 salaries reported.
  • Cincinnati, OH. $29.58 per hour. ...
  • Show more nearby cities.
6 days ago

What is the most important quality for a dialysis technician? ›

REQUIRED KNOWLEDGE, SKILLS, ABILITIES AND ATTRIBUTES: Good knowledge of the standards of accepted patient care; good knowledge of the principles and practice of aseptic techniques; good knowledge of equipment, instruments, procedures and supplies used in hemodialysis; demonstrate skill in nursing techniques; ability to ...

How much does a dialysis tech make in Illinois? ›

Average base salary

The average salary for a dialysis technician is $26.70 per hour in Illinois. 21 salaries reported, updated at August 17, 2022.

Is it worth becoming a dialysis tech? ›

Is a Dialysis Tech a Good Career? For many people, working as a dialysis tech is a great career. It gives them a stable job in the medical field, providing valuable life-sustaining services to people in need.

How long does it take to be a dialysis tech? ›

How long does it take to become a dialysis technician? Dialysis technicians earn a certificate or associate degree, which can take between 12-24 months. It may take students additional time to complete the clinical experience requirements for certification and employment.

What is the largest dialysis company? ›

Fresenius Medical Care is the world's largest dialysis company, based on reported revenue and the number of patients served, with a global headquarters in Bad Homburg vor der Höhe, Germany and a North American headquarters in Waltham, Massachusetts.

How much does a dialysis machine cost? ›

APD machine average cost: $84000. A nocturnal haemodialysis machine can be rented at $3000 per month.

What does a dialysis tech do? ›

Dialysis technicians are medical specialists trained in the operation of a dialysis machine. Their primary duties include monitoring patients undergoing dialysis treatment, ensuring usage of the machine is safe and secure, and adjusting patient fluid removal rates as required.

What do I need to know for a dialysis interview? ›

General interview questions for dialysis nurses
  • Can you tell me a little bit about yourself?
  • How would you relate your experience to our core values?
  • Why should we hire you?
  • What is your greatest weakness?
  • What is your greatest strength?
  • Do you work better independently or with a team?
  • Why do you want to work here?

Why do you want to work as a dialysis technician? ›

"Being a Dialysis Technician means so much to me than just putting a person on a machine. It gives me a good feeling that I'm in some way giving that person a chance to live and go on with their life. When you see that person 3 times a week they grow on you and become like family.

What is the job outlook for a dialysis technician? ›

What Can I Expect from this Career? Dialysis technician job opportunities are expected to grow as the population ages and more people require dialysis. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) predicted an 11% increase in medical and clinical laboratory technician occupations between 2020 and 2030 (www.bls.gov).

How much does a dialysis technician make in Chicago? ›

How much does a Dialysis Patient Care Technician make in Chicago, IL? The average Dialysis Patient Care Technician salary in Chicago, IL is $44,857 as of July 26, 2022, but the range typically falls between $40,215 and $50,251.

How much does a dialysis technician make in New Jersey? ›

How much does a Dialysis Technician make in New Jersey? As of Aug 21, 2022, the average annual pay for a Dialysis Technician in New Jersey is $50,061 a year. Just in case you need a simple salary calculator, that works out to be approximately $24.07 an hour. This is the equivalent of $962/week or $4,171/month.

What is the largest dialysis company? ›

Fresenius Medical Care is the world's largest dialysis company, based on reported revenue and the number of patients served, with a global headquarters in Bad Homburg vor der Höhe, Germany and a North American headquarters in Waltham, Massachusetts.

How much does a dialysis tech make in NY? ›

How much does a Certified Dialysis Technician make in New York? The average Certified Dialysis Technician salary in New York is $45,500 as of August 29, 2022, but the range typically falls between $40,800 and $51,000.

How much does a dialysis tech make an hour in Georgia? ›

Our comprehensive salary research shows that, on average, a dialysis technician in atlanta, ga makes an estimated $19 hourly. This can range from $18 to $36 hourly, and is based on a variety of factors, including education, experience, certifications and additional skills.

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