Vaccine Clinic Appointments—IMPORTANT! BTC is not responsible for scheduling any vaccine appointments. All inquiries and appointments must be made through the Whatcom County Health department. Below are the contacts to make appointments:

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. BTC's Administrative Assistant program will give you hands-on and classroom instruction to train you for top jobs for a variety of employers. Prepare for your administrative assistant career in service firms like education and health, legal and finance, insurance or real estate. Manufacturing, construction, and transportation companies also hire skilled administrative assistants, secretaries and office managers.

Employment Information

82% BTC graduate placement rate

$34,320 starting annual wage
$41,330 average annual wage
$50,627 potential annual wage
  • Employment and Wage Data Sources

    BTC graduate employment rates:
    The graduate employment rate reflects placement rates of students who graduated from BTC in 2014-15, 2015-16, and 2016-17. The Washington State Board for Community and Technical Colleges Data Linking for Outcomes Assessment database pulls from Unemployment Insurance (UI) data across Washington and Oregon. UI data do not reflect BTC graduates who (a) are employed in states beyond those listed above or outside of the United States, (b) are self-employed, (c) are active duty members of the armed forces, (d) continued on to another educational institution, and/or (e) did not provide a social security number while enrolled at BTC.

    Washington State Employment Security Department 2018 Occupational Employment and Wage Estimates ( reflect 2014-2017 employment

    Starting annual wage = 25th percentile
    Average annual wage = 50th percentile
    Potential annual wage = 75th percentile

Estimated Program Costs

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: 90

  • Quarter 1

  • BUS 188Business English5 CR
  • OR
  • ENGL& 101English Composition I5 CR
  • CAP 101Microsoft Computer Applications5 CR
  • CAP 105Computerized Touch Keyboarding2 CR
  • CAP 106Formatting with MSWord4 CR
  • Required Courses for Program

  • Required Courses credits to TOTAL 85 Credits.
  • ACCT 141Practical Accounting I5 CR
  • BUS 100Electronic Math Applications3 CR
  • BUS 123Records Management3 CR
  • BUS 150Math for Business5 CR
  • BUS 191Technical Communications5 CR
  • BUS 188Business English5 CR
  • BUS 232Office Procedures5 CR
  • BUS 276Field-Based Experience5 CR
  • OR
  • LGL 225Field-Based Experience5 CR
  • BUS& 101Introduction to Business5 CR
  • CAP 101Microsoft Computer Applications5 CR
  • CAP 105Computerized Touch Keyboarding2 CR
  • CAP 106Formatting with MSWord4 CR
  • CAP 107Computerized Keyboard Skillbuilding I3 CR
  • CAP 114Microsoft Outlook3 CR
  • CAP 138MS Word5 CR
  • CAP 142Microsoft Excel5 CR
  • CAP 146Microsoft Access5 CR
  • CAP 148MS PowerPoint3 CR
  • CAP 200Integrated Computer Applications5 CR
  • CMST& 210Interpersonal Communications5 CR
  • Electives

  • Administrative Assistant students may choose elective credits from any 100 level of higher courses with the following prefixes: ACCT, BUS, CAP, CIS, ECON, HRM, LGL, IT, or MGMT. Field-Based Experience courses may not be used as electives. Courses taken to meet the general education or program core requirements may not be used for electives.5 CR

Program Outcomes

  • Type 35 words per minute with no more than four errors on a three-minute timed writing.
  • Produce accurate business documents in a variety of file formats using computer technology and applying editing and language skills.
  • Use a spreadsheet program to solve business problems using formulas, functions, lists, and charts.
  • Apply techniques for managing time, records, and meetings in an office environment.
  • Organize records according to ARMA rules and procedures.
  • Use Microsoft Outlook to create electronic messages and contacts, manage multiple calendars, and track tasks.
  • Design and create a relational database that includes tables, multiple form types, simple and action queries, and reports.
  • Integrate Microsoft Access and Word to prepare a mail merge for form letters, mailing labels, and envelopes.
  • Apply communication and interpersonal skills while providing effective administrative support 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.*

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