Invasion and metastasis are the main causes of poor prognosis in patients with clear cell renal cell carcinoma (ccRCC). The homeodomain interacting protein kinases (HIPKs) can regulate cell proliferation and apoptosis. Little is known about the prognostic role of HIPKs in ccRCC. Here we use Kaplan-Meier survival analysis and multivariate analysis to analyze the correlation of overall survival (OS) and disease–free survival (DFS). ROC curves analyzed the relationship between clinicopathological parameters and HIPK3 expression in ccRCC. Univariate analysis and multivariate analysis confirmed that the expression of HIPK3 was associated with OS (HR, 0.701; P=0.041) and DFS (HR, 0.630; P=0.012). Low HIPK3 expression was a poor prognostic factor and HIPK3 expression was significantly down-regulated in ccRCC cancer tissues when compared with normal renal tissues. In vitro cell results also confirmed that HIPK3 over-expression could inhibit tumor growth and malignant characteristics. The results indicate that low expression of HIPK3 in ccRCC tissues is significantly associated with poor survival rates in tumor patients, and HIPK3 may be used as a valuable biomarker and inhibitor of ccRCC.