Administrative Assistant

Students studying together

Administrative Assistant - AAS

Train for a career as an administrative assistant, administrative secretary, office administrator, or office manager, and work in your choice of business and office settings. Bellingham Technical College's Administrative Assistant program will prepare you for success in today’s business world as you use your math, communication, and technical reading skills—and discover your personal strengths.

This program will prepare you for a career as an administrative assistant so you can provide office support and customer service in a variety of industries including health care, education, legal, finance, insurance, manufacturing, construction, and government.

Employment Information

Data are provided on a program (not credential) level

66% BTC graduate placement rate1

$38,355 starting annual wage2
$47,424 average annual wage2
$58,718 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.

Entry Information

When Can I Start?

The program typically starts in Fall, Winter, Spring, Summer Quarters.

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: 95-97

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

  • General Education Core Courses

  • BUS 150Math for Business5 CR
  • AENGL 100Applied English5 CR
  • OR
  • BUS 188Business English5 CR
  • OR
  • ENGL& 101English Composition I5 CR
  • CMST& 210Interpersonal Communication5 CR
  • Program Core

  • ACCT 141Practical Accounting I5 CR
  • OR
  • ACCT& 201Principles of Accounting I5 CR
  • BIT 100Survey of Business and Information Technology2 CR
  • BUS& 101Introduction to Business5 CR
  • BUS 123Records Management3 CR
  • BUS 191Technical Communications5 CR
  • BUS& 201Business Law5 CR
  • BUS 276Field-Based Experience5 CR
  • CAP 101Microsoft Computer Applications5 CR
  • CAP 111Skillbuilding and Document Formatting5 CR
  • CAP 114Microsoft Outlook3 CR
  • CAP 138MS Word5 CR
  • CAP 142Microsoft Excel5 CR
  • CAP 143Adobe File Management3 CR
  • CAP 146Microsoft Access3 CR
  • CAP 148MS PowerPoint3 CR
  • IT 107Using Cloud Services3 CR
  • General Electives

  • Administrative Assistant students 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&.15 CR
  • View past class requirements for this program.

Program Outcomes

  • Demonstrate proper keyboarding technique with a minimum speed and accuracy.
  • Perform math calculations for business scenarios and analyze business financial documents.
  • Communicate verbally and in writing using standard English.
  • Prepare business documents using Microsoft Word, Excel, Access, PowerPoint, and Outlook.
  • Create and manage files in Microsoft Office, Google, and Adobe applications.
  • Analyze business organizational structure and the role of an administrative assistant in the office environment.
  • Apply techniques for managing time, organizing records, and running meetings in an office environment.

Employment Outlook

Job openings are expected to be plentiful, especially for well-qualified and experienced administrative assistants. Rapidly growing industries, such as personnel supply, computer and data processing, and management and public relations, will also generate new job opportunities.

The average annual wage in this field is $41,330, with an earning potential of about $50,627 per year.

Administrative assistants are needed in a variety of industries. Employment for administrative assistants is projected to grow 19 percent in Washington State and decline by 9 percent across the United States according to O*Net OnLine

As with other clerical employees, administrative assistants are employed in organizations of every description. Nationally, most office support staff are employed in firms providing services, ranging from education and health, to legal and business services. Banks, insurance companies, investment firms, and real estate firms are important employers, as are Federal, State, and local government agencies.

Opportunities also exist working for companies that engage in manufacturing, construction, wholesale and retail trade, transportation, and communications. Potential positions include administrative secretary, administrative assistant, office administrator, and office manager.

Faculty & Support


If you have questions about this program or want help with the admissions steps to Bellingham Technical College, please email

Current students wanting academic planning and support, can connect with the program Instructor(s) or email