What Type of Education Is Required for Most Dialysis Tech Jobs?

Dialysis technicians are health professionals who operate kidney dialysis equipment and care for dialysis patients. The skills needed to become a dialysis tech can be learned on the job or in postsecondary education programs. Each state has its own education requirements for this profession. Read on to learn more about common education requirements for dialysis tech jobs. Schools offering Dialysis Technology degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

Education and Job Requirements for Dialysis Techs

Education requirements for dialysis tech jobs are based on certification requirements in the employer's state. In addition, most employers require basic life support certification. Dialysis techs with phlebotomy (blood drawing) experience or nursing certifications may be preferred by employers. Sometimes, individuals in this field may be hired with trainee status until certified. Trainees typically need only a high school diploma or GED.

Important Facts About This Occupation

Median Salary (2015) $15.00 per hour (for certified dialysis technicians)
Work Settings Out-patient facilities, hospitals, home dialysis programs
Similar Occupations Electroneurodiagnostic technologist, polysomnograph technician, EEG technologist
Job Outlook (2012-2022) 26.7% (health technologists and technicians, all other)

Sources: PayScale.com, U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

Dialysis Tech Education Programs

State-approved dialysis tech education and training programs can be found in vocational schools, community colleges and some 4-year colleges. Most programs can be completed in one year. Some take three semesters or longer. Required courses in these programs may include the following:

  • Anatomy and physiology
  • Therapeutic techniques for renal failure
  • Renal dialysis principles
  • Patient care techniques

Dialysis Tech Certification and Training

U.S. law requires all dialysis techs to be certified either by the state or by a national dialysis technician credentialing board, such as the Board of Nephrology Examiners Nursing and Technology (BONENT). Entry-level techs must have a high school diploma or GED, and they must complete an education and training program in order to receive BONENT certification. Certification must occur within 18 months of employment.

In addition, each state has its own education and training curriculum requirements. For example, to be certified in Kentucky, dialysis techs must complete 400 hours of dialysis training along with 200 hours of classroom instruction. Other states, such as Maryland, do not specify the training and education hours, requiring only that prospective technicians complete a state-approved training program. Continuing education courses are required to maintain certification.

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