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Accounting Technician - AAS

Choose Bellingham Technical College’s Accounting program to prepare to get top accounting jobs. Employment choices are extensive in the high-demand field of accounting and financial jobs with this associate degree; you could work in a variety of office and business settings doing full-service bookkeeping, accounts receivable/payable, general ledgers, or payroll.

If you’re good with numbers and have a high attention to detail, BTC’s associate degree Accounting Program will provide you a wide range of skills to use with top employers. Our graduates find bookkeeper and accountant jobs at wholesale firms and retail businesses; in local, state, and federal government; with service providers; and with health and education organizations. 

Employment Information

Data are provided on a program (not credential) level

82% BTC graduate placement rate1

$41,976 starting annual wage2
$48,415 average annual wage2
$57,351 potential annual wage2

  • Employment and Wage Data Sources

    1Employment data come from the Washington State Board for Community and Technical Colleges (SBCTC) and reflect WA/OR employment for students enrolled at BTC between 2017-18 and 2019-20. Students are included in the employment rate if they left with a credential. Rates are not shown for programs with fewer than 10 students meeting the above criteria.

    2Whatcom County and WA State wage data come from Washington State Employment Security Department (ESD) 2021 Occupational Employment and Wage Estimates and reflect 2018-21 employment. Wage data represent occupations that BTC faculty have identified as the most relevant career paths for program graduates. Note that these wages reflect employees with varying educational levels/credentials. For cases in which multiple occupations have been identified by faculty, a weighted percentile is calculated using each occupation’s percentile wage and employment size estimate. Wages are not shown for programs for which occupations do not meet the ESD’s minimum thresholds for publishing. If the program has wage data from the Washington SBCTC that involves shift work, these ESD wages reflect the same number of hours used in the annual wage calculation. Starting wage = 25th percentile, median wage = 50th percentile, wage potential = 75th percentile.

Estimated Program Costs

Entry Information

When Can I Start?

The program typically starts in Fall, Winter, Spring, Summer Quarters on a space available basis.

What are the Minimum Entry Requirements?

Admissions application and assessment testing in Reading, Math and Writing is required. Your score on the test and/or your previous transcripts will determine where you begin your course sequence. Contact Admissions at 360.752.8345 or at for assistance with academic planning.

What are My Next Steps?


Total Program Credits: 90

  • Current Students: Learn how to use this page to register for classes

  • Quarter 1

  • ACCT& 201Principles of Accounting I5 CR
  • BIT 100Survey of Business and Information Technology2 CR
  • CAP 101Microsoft Computer Applications5 CR
  • CMST& 210Interpersonal Communication5 CR
  • Required Courses for Program

  • ACCT& 201Principles of Accounting I5 CR
  • ACCT& 202Principles of Accounting II5 CR
  • ACCT& 203Principles of Accounting III5 CR
  • ACCT 205Taxation - Individuals5 CR
  • ACCT 210Taxation Business Entities5 CR
  • ACCT 245Payroll Procedures5 CR
  • ACCT 246Quickbooks5 CR
  • ACCT 275Field Based Experience5 CR
  • AENGL 100Applied English5 CR
  • OR
  • BUS 188Business English5 CR
  • OR
  • ENGL& 101English Composition I5 CR
  • BUS& 101Introduction to Business5 CR
  • BIT 100Survey of Business and Information Technology2 CR
  • BUS 150Math for Business5 CR
  • OR
  • MATH& 107Math In Society5 CR
  • Or higher
  • BUS 191Technical Communications5 CR
  • BUS& 201Business Law5 CR
  • CAP 101Microsoft Computer Applications5 CR
  • CAP 142Microsoft Excel5 CR
  • CMST& 210Interpersonal Communications5 CR
  • General Electives

  • Accounting Technician students are required to complete 6-8 elective credits and are encouraged to choose elective credits from any 100 level or higher courses with the following prefixes: ACCT, ACCT&, BIOL&, CHEM&, BUS, BUS&, CAP, CMST&, CS&, ECON&, ENGL&, HIST&, HT, HUM&, IT, MATH&, PHYS&, POLS&, PSYC&, SOC&, and SPAN&.

Program Outcomes

  • Analyze and record business transactions; prepare and evaluate financial statements using Generally Accepted Accounting Principles.
  • Use an integrated accounting software program (QuickBooks) to record transactions and create financial reports and statements.
  • Demonstrate the ability to apply payroll laws, compute payroll, record payroll entries and prepare federal and state forms that pertain to payroll.
  • Interpret and apply managerial accounting information in various business decision-making roles.
  • Solve business problems in Excel using formulas, functions, lists, and charts.
  • Demonstrate the ability to apply Internal Revenue Code and prepare individual income tax returns.
  • Demonstrate the ability to apply Internal Revenue Code, Washington State tax code to prepare federal and WA State B&O Tax returns.
  • Apply communication and interpersonal skills in a business environment while providing effective accounting support to an employer.

Employment Outlook

The large size of accounting field ensures plentiful job openings, including many opportunities for temporary and part-time accountant and bookkeeper work. With an associate degree in accounting from Bellingham Technical College, you are trained to get top jobs in accounting, bookkeeping, accounts payable, payroll, and more.

Nationally, about 25 percent of bookkeeping, accounting, and auditing clerks are employed in wholesale or retail trade, and 34 percent find jobs in organizations providing business, health, educational, and social services. The average annual wage in the accounting field is $43,638, with a wage potential of $52,291 annually.

Potential positions include accounts receivable/accounts payable clerk, general ledger clerk and payroll clerk. Nationally, about 25%of bookkeeping, accounting, and auditing clerks are employed in wholesale or retail trade and 34% are employed in organizations providing business, health, educational, and social services.

Faculty & Support

  • Degrees and Credentials

    License, Certified Public Accountant, Washington State Board of Accounting

    BA, Business Administration, University of Washington

    Certificate, Professional Technical Education, Washington State

    MBA, Healthcare Management, Western Governors University