How to Become a Dialysis Techician: Career Advice & Information

Overview & Salaries


Dialysis is a treatment for patients suffering renal failure, which occurs when a patient’s kidneys won’t remove waste and excess water from the blood. In dialysis, a technician connects the patient to a machine, which draws out a patient’s blood, cleans it, and returns it to the body. Technicians must take care of patients, by vigilant about safety and hygiene, and give what are literally lifesaving treatments for many thousands of people.


Annual salaries for dialysis technicians will vary depending on your experience, education level, and expertise. In 2013, the average annual salary for medical technologists and technicians—a group including dialysis technicians—working in the U.S. was $44,960 per year.

For more information on what parts of the country have the most opportunity for dialysis technicians, click through to our Best Places to Work tab for information on the number of people employed and the average salary in each state.

Discover the Best Cities and States to Work as a Dialysis Technician

California leads the nation in employment for medical technologists and technicians, where 14,440 are currently working in the field, and making a yearly average salary of $47,940. Florida is second in the nation, with 5,670 positions presently filled, making an average wage of $40,740 annually. (Dialysis is a slightly easier field to enter than other medical technician jobs and so salaries are likely to be a little lower than the average.)

The metro areas employing the most medical technologists and technicians are:

  • Los Angeles-Long Beach (4,040)
  • Chicago-Joliet (3,570)
  • New York-White Plains (2,280)

The metro areas employing the highest concentration of medical technologists and technicians are:

  • Durham-Chapel Hill, NC (5.35 per 1,000 jobs)
  • Charlottesville, VA (2.67 per 1,000 jobs)

Employment and Salary Information for Dialysis Technicians

Use our interactive map below to find out which areas of the United States are currently experiencing the greatest amount of growth and job availability for graduates looking for a career as a dialysis technician. The associated information has been gathered from Bureau of Labor statistics, representing data collected in 2012.

Why Become A Dialysis Technician?

The biggest reason is that dialysis technicians help to save lives every day. Dialysis is a treatment for people with serious kidney failure who would die without medical intervention. But there are other reasons a career as a dialysis technician is rewarding:

  • The field is growing. The number of medical technologists—a field which includes dialysis technicians—is projected to increase by 14% between 2012 and 2022—about the average for all U.S. jobs.
  • Accessible way to enter the healthcare profession. Dialysis technicians need a certificate or associate’s degree (see the Degree Options page) but not as much training as many other healthcare professionals. So it’s a good job if you want to start making a difference quickly.
  • Clinical skills. You’ll learn healthcare basics such as how to draw blood, how to take patient histories and monitor vital signs, and how to practice safety in healthcare environments.

Dialysis Technician: What You Need To Know

A dialysis technician operates a hemodialysis machine and supervises treatments.  Technicians must monitor vital signs and supervise treatment carefully. Since they deal with blood on a daily basis, technicians need to know how to work safely with bodily fluids and prevent the transmission of disease. Dialysis is also difficult and stressful for patients, so technicians must be good at relating to patients.

A working knowledge of these skill sets will help to set you apart from other candidates.

  • Ability to Operate Hemodialysis Machine
  • Ability to Insert Needles
  • Clinical Skills
  • Safety and Hygiene
  • Patient Management

Feel like you’ve got a lot to learn? Get more information about dialysis technician careers, degrees, and applicable courses from one of the schools below.

Degree Options for Dialysis Technician Careers


In order to become a dialysis technician, individuals must first complete an accredited program at a community college, technical, trade or vocational school, receiving an education and diploma in the discipline.

Associate’s degree

While a certificate is usually enough, some employers may only consider those who have earned an Associate’s degree, which usually takes two years.

Regardless of the course, most schools will give their students hands-on practice during their education through internships, which allows them to work in a supervised environment. The coursework covers topics such as anatomy and physiology, medical terminology, pharmacology, renal nutrition and advanced dialysis procedures.

State Licensing

Becoming licensed to perform the work is also required in every state. Each state has its own requirements on how the license is to be obtained, but usually it is necessary to pass an exam.