Computer Networking

Man and woman in a computer class

Computer Networking - Certificate - Health Information Technology

Students are prepared to manage computer network systems in the healthcare field through a combination of classroom theory and practical application. They develop the knowledge and skills to troubleshoot and repair computer systems and design, install, and maintain Local Area Network (LANs).

In addition, students gain a comprehensive understanding of the healthcare environment, health information management systems, information security and trends in healthcare. This Program prepares students for obtaining industry standard certifications: Certified Associate in Healthcare Information & Management Systems, CompTIA Network+ Certification, and CompTIA A+ Certification.

Bellingham Technical College is a Microsoft IT Academy member and is a member of CompTIA.

Employment Information

Data are provided on a program (not credential) level

80% BTC graduate placement rate1

$52,257 starting annual wage2
$65,948 average annual wage2
$83,096 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 2016-17 and 2018-19. 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.

    2Wage data come from Washington State Employment Security Department (ESD) 2020 Occupational Employment and Wage Estimates (Washington State wage) and reflect 2015-2018 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?

Students should check with a general or faculty advisor to determine when the classes required for this Certificate are available.

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. 

Note: Employment in the healthcare field will require passing a national criminal history background check. For more information, contact Admissions & Advising at 360.752.8345.

What are My Next Steps?


Total Program Credits: 15

Total Program Credits: 15

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

    Program Outcomes

    • Graduates will be able to work with a wide range of healthcare employers (direct care providers, labs, vendors, insurance billing, etc.): a. Computer Support Technician/Specialist b. Help Desk Support c. Network Technician d. Health Information Technologist e. Health Information Management
    • Graduates will be able to eligible to take the certification exam for the industry credential - Certified Associate in Healthcare Information & Management Systems.
    • Graduates will be able to eligible to return to BTC for approximately one (1) year to complete an Associate in Applied Science in Computer Network Technology.

    Employment Outlook

    The demand for health services is expected to increase as the population ages. An aging population will need more medical tests, treatments, and procedures. This will also mean more claims for reimbursement from private and public insurance companies.

    Additional records, coupled with widespread use of electronic health records by all types of healthcare providers, will lead to an increased need for Health Information Technicians to organize and manage the associated information in all areas of the healthcare industry.

    As the healthcare sector continues to expand, Health Information Technicians can expect to be in high demand. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics cites Health Information Technician as one of the 20 fastest growing occupations in the US, with a growth rate of 21% anticipated through 2020.

    The average annual wage in this field is $55,973, with an earning potential of about $69,680 per year.*.

    Students completing the Health IT Certificate at BTC will be prepared to work with a wide range of healthcare employers (direct care providers, labs, vendors, insurance billing, etc.) in various roles, including Computer Support Technician/Specialist, Help Desk Support Staff, Network Technician, and Health Information Technician.

    In addition to roles in clinical settings, Health Information Technicians are in high demand among academic institutions, consulting agencies, government agencies, and healthcare software companies. According to the U.S. Department of Labor, Health IT will grow as a field to encompass new support positions, including mobile support adoption positions, public health informatics, implementation support specialists, and information management redesign specialists.

    Faculty & Support

    • Degrees and Credentials

      Microsoft Certified Professional - 1997

      B.S., Community Health Ed, Western Washington University - 1997

      WA Professional Technical Certification - 1997

      Network+ Certified Professional - 1997

      Linux+ Certified - 1997

      Certified Netware Administrator - 1997

      A+ Certified Professional - 1997

    Mike Massey graduated from Western Washington University, in 1985, with a combined Bachelor of Arts degree in Computer Science and Business Administration, and a minor in History. For the next 15 years he worked as a computer programmer (Dealer Information Systems), and as a database programmer, network administrator and IT Manager at Western Washington University (WWU). During that time he also obtained his commercial pilot license and float plane rating from Trinity Western University. Mike has been teaching Computer Networking at Bellingham Technical College since 2000. He is currently pursuing a degree in Biology at WWU.

    • Degrees and Credentials

      WA Professional Technical Certification - 2001

      CompTIA Network+ Certified - 2001

      CompTIA A+ Certified - 2001

      B.A., Business Administration/Computer Science, Western Washington University - 2001

      Microsoft Certified Systems Engineer - 2001