How to Become a Dialysis Technician in California

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A dialysis technician plays a vital role in the dialysis process.

They’re responsible for monitoring the patient’s vitals, monitoring the dialysis machine, and having a good bedside manner.

It’s one of the most stable careers in the patient care technician field, especially with the baby boomer generation growing older.

The demand for quality dialysis technicians is only going to increase over the next 10 years or so.

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

Anyone interested in becoming a dialysis technician in California will need to follow the regulations established and enforced by the California Department of Public Health.

Don’t worry – all you need is a high school diploma, complete a postsecondary training program, and apply for certification.

Aspiring dialysis technicians will also need to meet the requirements established and enforced by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS).

The only difference here is that the CMS requires a national or state-issued certification within 18 months of gaining employment as a dialysis technician.

If you’re interested in learning how to become a dialysis technician in California, then you have come to the right place.

Our step-by-step guide will teach you everything you need to know!

Earn a High School or High School-Equivalent Diploma

Before anyone can enter the medical field as a dialysis technician, they must be over the age of 18 and have a high school diploma.

It proves that the individual has a basic understanding of medical concepts and terminology, which is necessary if they plan on considering their post-secondary options in the field.

Most aspiring dialysis technicians show an interest in the following high school subjects:

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

For those who never went to or graduated from high school, don’t panic – all you need to do is take and pass the GED exam.

It consists of four subjects (Math, Science, Social Studies, and Language Arts), and it costs $41 per subject ($164 total) to take the test, which can be done online or at a local test center.

Complete a Postsecondary Training Program

The next step in the process is the fun part – it’s where you get your first taste of what it’s like to be a dialysis technician.

A postsecondary training program is designed to give students the knowledge and skills needed to succeed in the industry through the use of in-class learning and hands-on experience.

Programs are available through most colleges, vocational schools, universities, institutes, dialysis centers, and health clinics:

With hundreds of training programs available across the state, aspiring dialysis technicians have plenty of options when pursuing a career in the field.

For a complete list of approved postsecondary training programs, click here.

Most training programs take 6-12 months, but every training program differs.

Apply for a State-Issued or National Certification

If you live in California and plan on working as a dialysis technician, you’ll need to become certified first.

Don’t worry, there are two different ways to go about this – a state-issued certification through the California Kidney Care Alliance or one of the three nationally recognized certification options:

  • Nephrology Nursing Certification Commission (NNCC) – aspiring technicians must take and pass the Certified Clinical Hemodialysis Technician (CCHT) Exam within three hours.
  • Board of Nephrology Examiners Nursing and Technology (BONENT) – aspiring technicians must take and pass the Certified Hemodialysis Technician (CHT) Exam within three hours.
  • National Workforce Career Association (NWCA) – aspiring technicians must take and pass a 60-question exam in 90 minutes and score at least 70% to pass.

If you want to go through the state, you’ll need to pass the California Kidney Care Alliance (California Dialysis Council) State-Approved Exam – keep in mind that this won’t grant you access to work in any other state.

The exam costs $240, and you can choose a testing time and location through PSI Testing.

Start Looking for Work as a Dialysis Technician

Now that you’ve obtained your state-issued or national certification, you’re officially ready to start looking for work as a dialysis technician in California – congratulations!

The best place to start looking for jobs is through your network – the one you’ve built and maintained while you went through training.

Outside of that, places like Indeed, LinkedIn, and ZipRecruiter are great resources to see what’s available in your local area.

Of course, you can also go the traditional route and start applying in person – dialysis centers, health clinics, hospitals, and medical institutes are always looking for quality dialysis technicians.

Dialysis Technician Schools in California

Have you earned your high school diploma or passed your GED exam?

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

If so, then you’re ready to enroll in a postsecondary training program – where aspiring dialysis technicians go to learn the skills and knowledge needed to succeed.

While there are hundreds of options across the state of California, we’ve put together five of the most prominent training programs to consider:


Location: dozens of locations

Program: Patient Care Technician

Course Length: n/a

Tuition: Paid training

If you’re interested in getting paid while learning the ins and outs of the industry, then you’ll be delighted to know there are dozens of Davita locations across the state of California.

Wages range from $19.50 to $30.50 per hour, and students will undergo a combination of in-class learning and hands-on experience.

Platt CollegePlatt College

Location: Los Angeles, CA

Program: Hemodialysis Technician Certificate

Course Length: 3-6 months

Tuition: n/a

Platt College offers a hemodialysis technician certificate program that allows students the opportunity to learn everything they need to know to succeed as dialysis technicians.

You’ll earn a certificate of completion upon finishing the course and will be ready to take and pass the national certification exam.

Fresenius Kidney CareFresenius Kidney Care

Location: multiple locations

Program: Patient Care Technician

Course Length: n/a

Tuition: n/a

Fresenius Kidney Care is one of the leading kidney treatment providers in the country.

They have dozens of locations throughout the California area and have training programs available for those who are just getting started in the career field.

They’re partnered with the American Nephrology Nurses Association.

Satellite HealthcareSatellite Healthcare

Location: multiple locations

Program: In-Center Dialysis Patient Care Technician (PCT) Training Program

Course Length: 12 weeks

Tuition: n/a

Satellite Healthcare has dozens of locations in California, making it one of the best options to get your career started as a dialysis technician.

They have an introductory program for those who aren’t already certified and a 4-week training program for those already certified – a form of continuing education.

U.S. Renal CareU.S. Renal Care

Location: multiple locations

Program: Dialysis Patient Care Technician

Course Length: 8 weeks

Tuition: n/a

U.S. Renal Care is one of the most popular kidney disease treatment centers in the US and they have dozens of locations in California alone.

They require you to pass their training course within eight weeks (two months) of hire and require you to obtain a state-issued or national certification within 18 months.

Top 5 Schools in California

School NameAddress
DaVita39355 California St #101, Fremont, CA 94538, United States
Platt College 3700 Inland Empire Blvd, Ontario, CA 91764, United States
Fresenius Kidney Care5220 Telford St Los Angeles, CA 90022, United States
Satellite Healthcare1700 California St # 260, CA 94109, United States
U.S. Renal Care2511 W 3rd St, Los Angeles, CA 90057, United States

Dialysis Technician Salary in California

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

If you plan on working in California, then you’re in luck – the average salary increases to $41,362 (between $37,727 and $46,177).

If you’d like to maximize your earning potential, try finding a job in a hospital and take advantage of continuing education in the field.

Annual Salary Range:

Average Salary of Dialysis Technicians in California

City NameSalary
Los Angeles$42,101
San Diego$40,468
San Jose$47,062
San Francisco$46,874
Long Beach$41,812
Santa Ana$41,849
* Salary information last updated 2024

Regional Salary in California

RegionEmployedAvg. Annual SalaryAvg. Hourly PayTop 10% Annual SalaryBottom 10% Annual Salary
Bakersfield, CA380$63,380$30.47$106,060$39,300
Chico, CA120$59,020$28.38$101,700$41,040
El Centro, CA40$56,750$27.28$83,280$36,860
Fresno, CA460$64,830$31.17$106,100$35,800
Los Angeles-Long Beach-Anaheim, CA11,170$65,780$31.63$107,780$38,560
Madera, CA90$59,170$28.45$100,770$39,230
Merced, CA40$96,400$46.35$136,630$41,490
Modesto, CA270$72,780$34.99$123,800$37,020
Napa, CA60$86,960$41.81$146,070$48,420
Oxnard-Thousand Oaks-Ventura, CA380$67,810$32.6$104,730$37,320
Redding, CA100$86,470$41.57$134,140$44,300
Riverside-San Bernardino-Ontario, CA1,690$61,370$29.51$103,960$36,680
Sacramento--Roseville--Arden-Arcade, CA1,910$73,830$35.49$126,220$38,150
Salinas, CA210$64,910$31.21$111,070$46,110
San Diego-Carlsbad, CA3,170$62,400$30$98,010$37,780
San Francisco-Oakland-Hayward, CA5,100$78,490$37.74$121,700$45,550
San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara, CA1,460$78,150$37.57$126,110$48,340
San Luis Obispo-Paso Robles-Arroyo Grande, CA90$79,030$38$133,360$45,760
Santa Cruz-Watsonville, CA210$70,810$34.05$136,200$39,050
Santa Maria-Santa Barbara, CA330$66,890$32.16$125,250$34,930
Santa Rosa, CA360$75,630$36.36$116,560$44,310
Stockton-Lodi, CA340$74,390$35.77$132,800$40,390
Vallejo-Fairfield, CA280$72,670$34.94$85,500$40,810
Visalia-Porterville, CA120$57,680$27.73$104,060$37,020
Yuba City, CA80$59,450$28.58$85,040$40,260
* 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

I’m a nationally certified dialysis technician working in another state – can I work in California if I want to?

While the national certification is valid in California, you’ll be required to complete a state-approved postsecondary training program before you can start working in California.

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

Most aspiring dialysis technicians spend 6-12 months in postsecondary training and another couple of months before getting certified in the field.

Do I need a state-issued certification to work as a dialysis technician in California?

You can get a state-issued certification or national certification to work in California.

Where do dialysis technicians work in California?

Dialysis technicians generally work in hospitals, dialysis centers, nursing homes, medical institutes, and health clinics.

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