How to Become a Dialysis Technician in Alabama

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A dialysis technician plays a crucial role in treating patients with kidney failure.

They not only ensure dialysis machines are working correctly before, during, and after treatment, but they also monitor the patient’s vitals while the machine works its magic – helping to calm the nerves of every patient they treat.

If you’re looking for a rewarding career in the medical industry, a dialysis technician is right for you!

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How to Become a Dialysis Technician in Alabama: Step-by-Step

Are you interested in becoming a dialysis technician in Alabama?

Don’t worry – most people expect the process to be long and grueling, but it’s not.

While it certainly takes a bit of skill, knowledge, effort, and determination, anyone with enough interest and passion can succeed as a dialysis technician.

Better yet, the process for becoming a dialysis technician is relatively straightforward – especially since you won’t need a state-issued license or certification.

All you need is a high school diploma, a certificate of completion of an approved training program, and a dialysis technician certification issued nationally.

If this sounds like something you’re interested in, follow our step-by-step guide below to get started:

Earn a High School Diploma

Aspiring dialysis technicians are required to have a high school diploma or pass the GED (General Educational Development) exam.

This ensures you have a basic understanding of medical terminology and concepts, which is essential to finding success in the medical industry.

It all starts in high school.

While not necessarily required, most dialysis technicians show a strong interest in the following subjects in high school:

  • Biology
  • Anatomy
  • Science
  • Chemistry
  • Calculus
  • Physics
  • Physiology
  • Psychology

Anyone over the age of 18 without a high school diploma can take the GED exam, which consists of four subjects – Mathematical Reasoning, Reasoning Through Language Arts, Social Studies, and Science.

In Alabama, the test costs $36 per subject ($144 total).

You don’t need to prove you’re a resident if you’re over 18.

You can find test centers throughout the state or take the test online – it’s entirely up to you!

Consider Your Postsecondary Options

Once you graduate high school (or pass the GED exam), you can start to consider your postsecondary schooling and training options.

Earning a certificate of completion through an accredited school, institute, university, or organization is required if you plan on becoming a certified dialysis technician in Alabama.

The four most prominent postsecondary options for aspiring dialysis technicians are:

Most programs/courses take between 1 and 2 years to complete and may or may not conclude in a college degree – every program is different.

The skills and knowledge gained in a postsecondary setting will give you all the tools needed to pass the national certification exam and advance in your newfound career.

Start Looking for Work

Once you obtain your certificate of completion, you can begin looking for work as a dialysis technician.

Most people in your field will work in a hospital, dialysis center, outpatient clinic, or a home healthcare agency.

As long as you’re working under a licensed and registered nurse or physician, you’ll be fine!

It’s important to understand that, while you completed your training, you technically aren’t a certified dialysis technician yet.

We recommend working in the field for at least six months (but no more than 18 months) before taking the national certification exam – giving you time to hone your skills and knowledge.

Obtain a National Certification

Alabama doesn’t require aspiring dialysis technicians to obtain a state-issued license or certification, but most employers in the state require their employees to obtain a national certification within 18 months of gaining employment in the field.

The two most prominent national certifications available today are:

Nephrology Nursing Certification Commission (NNCC)

The NNCC requires you to pass the Certified Clinical Hemodialysis Technician (CCHT) Exam, which contains 150 questions and must be completed within three hours – a score of at least 74% is needed to pass.

There’s also a CCHT-A exam for dialysis technicians with 5,000+ hours and 5+ years of experience.

Board of Nephrology Examiners Nursing and Technology (BONENT)

The BONENT requires you to pass the Certified Hemodialysis Technician (CHT) Exam, which consists of 150 questions and must be completed within three hours.

The exam covers everything from patient care to machine technology, water treatment, infection control, and Education and Professional Development.

National Workforce Career Association (NWCA)

The NWCA requires you to pass a Certified Dialysis Technician Associate (CDTA) Exam, which consists of 60 questions and must be completed within 90 minutes.

To pass the exam, aspiring dialysis technicians must achieve 70% or better on each section of the quiz and have a 70% overall score.

Dialysis Technician Schools in Alabama

Do you have a valid high school diploma?

Have you passed the GED exam?

Are you interested in pursuing a career as a dialysis technician?

If so, then you’re already well on your way to achieving your dream job – in fact, you can start your journey right now by enrolling in a postsecondary training program.

Four schools in Alabama offer a prestigious program for aspiring dialysis technicians – let’s take a closer look at each one below:

Calhoun Community CollegeCalhoun Community College

Location: Huntsville, AL

Program: Dialysis Technician Program

Course Length: 50 hours (less than six months)

Tuition: $1,299 (online) or $999 (in-person)

Calhoun Community College offers a 50-hour program for anyone interested in becoming a dialysis technician.

Students can either take an online or in-person class – whichever they prefer.

The online course is $300 more expensive, and you have six months to complete it.

In-person classes run on Monday and Wednesday nights at the Huntsville campus and will only take two months to complete.

Auburn UniversityAuburn University

Location: Remote (Online)

Program: Dialysis Technician Online

Course Length: 4-6 months

Tuition: $3,000

Auburn University offers an online certification course that costs $3,000 – aspiring dialysis technicians have six months to complete the course.

It’ll give you the necessary tools to pass the NWCA’s Certified Dialysis Technician Associate (CDTA) exam.

All you need is a high school diploma or GED to enroll.

Lawson State Community CollegeLawson State Community College

Location: Birmingham, AL

Program: Dialysis Technician Online

Course Length: 4-6 months

Tuition: $1,299

Lawson State Community College offers an online certification course that costs $1,299 – most people can finish it in four months, but you’ll have up to six months to pass the exam.

Enrolling is easy, and payment plans are available for those who need it – all you need is a high school diploma or GED!

Alabama State UniversityAlabama State University

Location: Montgomery, AL

Program: Hemodialysis Technician Online

Course Length: 12 months

Tuition: $4,190

Alabama State University offers an online training course for aspiring dialysis technicians looking to get their feet wet in the industry.

Students will be asked to complete 205 hours of in-classroom and hands-on experience within 12 months, preparing them to take and pass the national certification exam.

Top 4 Schools in Alabama

School NameAddress
Calhoun Community College6250 US-31, Tanner, AL 35671, United States
Auburn UniversityAuburn, AL 36849, United States
Lawson State Community College3060 Wilson Rd SW, Birmingham, AL 35221, United States
Alabama State University915 S Jackson St, Montgomery, AL 36104, United States

Dialysis Technician Salary in Alabama

Certified hemodialysis technicians earn an average salary of $37,500 (between $34,204 and $41,865) in the United States.

That average salary dips to $34,451 (between $31,423 and $38,462) for Alabama residents.

If you’re after a higher salary, try looking for jobs in Edwardsville, Fruithurst, Graham, Muscadine, Ranburne, and Spring Garden – where salaries are above $36,000.

Annual Salary Range:

Average Salary of Dialysis Technicians in Alabama

City NameSalary
* Salary information last updated 2024

Regional Salary in Alabama

RegionEmployedAvg. Annual SalaryAvg. Hourly PayTop 10% Annual SalaryBottom 10% Annual Salary
Anniston-Oxford-Jacksonville, AL140$40,170$19.31$63,010$24,570
Auburn-Opelika, AL110$47,860$23.01$75,470$29,070
Birmingham-Hoover, AL2,210$51,320$24.67$76,810$29,900
Daphne-Fairhope-Foley, AL100$48,050$23.1$71,280$29,870
Decatur, AL90$45,140$21.7$63,950$30,470
Dothan, AL240$43,200$20.77$61,300$24,570
Florence-Muscle Shoals, AL110$44,730$21.51$63,480$28,040
Gadsden, AL100$42,700$20.53$59,330$27,200
Huntsville, AL540$47,680$22.92$70,610$27,890
Mobile, AL470$48,250$23.2$69,230$29,460
Montgomery, AL420$48,300$23.22$72,540$29,110
Tuscaloosa, AL310$45,410$21.83$77,620$24,750
* Salary information based on the May 2022 Occupational Employment Statistics (OES) Survey for Clinical Laboratory Technologists and Technicians, OCC Code 29-2010, BLS.
* Employment conditions in your area may vary.

Frequently Asked Questions

How long does it take to become a dialysis technician in Alabama?

It can take anywhere from 1 to 2 years before you start working as a dialysis technician, and then another 6 to 18 months before you obtain your certification at the national level.

What skills are needed to become a dialysis technician?

In addition to understanding the ins and outs of dialysis machines, dialysis technicians must have a strong foundation in patient care, empathy, and communication, and be detail-oriented.

Where do dialysis technicians work?

Most hemodialysis technicians work in hospitals, health clinics, technical institutes, or dialysis centers.

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