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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

$44,450 starting annual wage
$55,973 average annual wage
$69,680 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?

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

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

Photo of Mike Massey
Mike Massey

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

Photo of Gregory Rehm
Gregory Rehm

  • 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