Computer Support Specialist

Student working in server room

Computer Support Specialist - Certificate

Here’s a program to consider if you enjoy combining technical and customer service skills in a variety of business and office settings. Our Computer Support Specialist program will train you for a rewarding career as a computer support specialist, software specialist, help desk specialist, training and support coordinator, or PC support specialist. You’ll learn valuable skills needed by companies ranging from hospitals to financial institutions, large corporations, school districts, and universities. Hardware and software manufacturers also hire program graduates to work as customer service representatives and help desk personnel.

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

68% BTC graduate placement rate

$48,277 starting annual wage
$61,090 average annual wage
$76,918 potential annual wage


  • 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

Tuition Fees and Rates overview page

Entry Information

When Can I Start?

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

What are the Minimum Entry Requirements?

A cumulative GPA of 2.0 or greater and a grade of C will be the minimum passing grade for all courses.

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: 41

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

  • Quarter 1

  • AMATH 100Applied Occupational Math5 CR
  • BIT 100Survey of Business and Information Technology2 CR
  • OR
  • BUS 150Math for Business5 CR
  • OR
  • MATH& 107Math In Society5 CR
  • Or higher
  • IT 101Using Network Computer Systems5 CR
  • IT 141A+ Operating Systems5 CR
  • Quarter 2

  • CAP 138MS Word5 CR
  • CAP 142Microsoft Excel5 CR
  • IT 112A+ Hardware5 CR
  • Quarter 3

  • AENGL 100Applied English5 CR
  • OR
  • BUS 191Technical Communications5 CR
  • OR
  • ENGL& 101English Composition I5 CR
  • OR
  • ENGL& 102English Composition II5 CR
  • BUS& 101Introduction to Business5 CR
  • CMST& 210Interpersonal Communication5 CR
  • OR
  • OR
  • SOC& 101Introduction to Sociology5 CR
  • PSYC& 100General Psychology5 CR
  • View past class requirements for this program.

Program Outcomes

After successfully completing this program, students will be able to:

  • Provide satisfactory helpdesk solutions to problems or scenarios with Word, Excel, Access, or PowerPoint using industry standard helpdesk procedures.
  • Troubleshoot operating systems or software problems.
  • Provide efficient and effective IT technical support to clients in a manner that promotes safe computing practices and encourages effective working relationships.

Employment Outlook

Computer support positions are expected to be one of the fastest growing occupations over the next decade. The rapid rate of growth and change in the field requires a commitment to stay current with new technologies. Enhancing a Computer Support Specialist with industry recognized certifications increases employment opportunities.

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

Computer software support and training staff usually work in the information support departments of large organizations such as universities, government agencies, hospitals, financial institutions and major corporations.

Hardware and software manufacturers also employ telephone-based help as customer service representatives. Potential positions include computer support specialist, computer software specialist, help desk specialist, training and support coordinator, desktop services analyst, PC support specialist, response line representative, and help desk analyst.

Faculty & Support

  • Degrees and Credentials

    Certificate, A+ Certified Professional

    Certificate, Microsoft Certified Professional

    Certificate, Network+ Certified Professional

    BS, Community Health Ed, Western Washington University

    Certificate, Professional Technical Education, Washington State

    Certificate, Linux+ Certified

    Certificate, Certified Netware Administrator

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

    Certificate, CompTIA A+ Certified

    Certificate, CompTIA Network+ Certified

    BA, Business Administration/Computer Science, Western Washington University

    MA, Biology, Miami University

    Certificate, Professional Technical Education, Washington State

    Certificate, Microsoft Certified Systems Engineer


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