Fisheries and Aquaculture Techniques

Fisheries and Aquaculture Techniques - Certificate

Want to fast-track your education? The Fisheries & Aquaculture Techniques Certificate focuses on applied, technical skill development in just nine months to maximize learning with a minimal time commitment. This certificate is ideal for students exploring new career pathways, established industry members desiring additional training, or those wishing to supplement their bachelor’s degree with hands-on experience.

Certificate students wishing to learn more advanced topics for higher employment placement may apply all Fisheries & Aquaculture Techniques certificate course credits towards an AAS or AAS-T in Fisheries & Aquaculture Sciences. Upon completion of the Fisheries & Aquaculture Techniques Certificate, students also receive the Aquaculture Science Certificate of Completion.

Employment Information

Data are provided on a program (not credential) level

63%1 BTC graduate placement rate (Employment Security Department- WA and OR only)
96%3 BTC graduate placement rate (faculty-tracked, national)
78%3 BTC in-field graduate placement rate (faculty-tracked, national)

$46,473 starting annual wage2
$53,133 average annual wage2
$64,731 potential annual wage2

  • Employment and Wage Data Sources and Information

    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.

    3Additional employment rates are provided for programs with faculty who maintain their own employment records of students who graduated between 2017-18 and 2019-20 and who were employed within 9 months of graduation. Both overall and in field of study employment rates are included, respectively. For these programs, the format follows: ESD rate / faculty-tracked overall rate / faculty-tracked in-field rate. These additional, faculty-provided rates are particularly important for programs that tend to have graduates employed outside of WA and OR. Note that due to lack of available data, rates may represent fewer than 3 years of graduates.

  • Estimated Program Costs

Tuition Fees and Rates overview page

Entry Information

When Can I Start?

This program typically starts in Fall or Spring Quarters on a space available basis.

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: 39

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

  • Quarter 1

  • AQUA 100Intro to Fisheries and Aquaculture2 CR
  • AQUA 110Water Quality3 CR
  • AQUA 120Aquatic Biodiversity3 CR
  • AQUA 130Reproduction2 CR
  • AQUA 135Hatchery Practicum I4 CR
  • Quarter 2

  • AQUA 140Growth and Nutrition3 CR
  • AQUA 150Fundamentals of Aquaculture3 CR
  • AQUA 165Aquaculture Practicum3 CR
  • AQUA 190Toxicology and Diseases3 CR
  • Quarter 3

  • AQUA 160Fundamentals of Fisheries Biology3 CR
  • AQUA 170Freshwater Ecology3 CR
  • AQUA 180Oceanography3 CR
  • AQUA 195Fisheries Practicum4 CR
  • View past class requirements for this program.

Program Outcomes

Students who successfully complete the Fisheries & Aquaculture Techniques Certificate will be able to:

  • Demonstrate competency in hatchery methods and apply appropriate techniques to spawn, incubate, rear, and release fish.
  • Demonstrate competency in shellfish hatchery and aquaculture methods and apply appropriate techniques to raise diatoms, spawn shellfish, set seed, plant seed, culture and harvest shellfish.
  • Demonstrate competency in Habitat Restoration methods and apply techniques to improve and restore habitat, plant native vegetation, eliminate invasive species, and add woody debris and gravel to streams.
  • Demonstrate competency in field research, stream surveys, tag studies, spawning assessments, and smolt trap projects.

Employment Outlook

Fisheries & Aquaculture Techniques Certificate graduates meet the requirements for Fish Hatchery Technician positions with WDFW and Biological Technician GS 3 positions with the federal government, and employment in tribal government, private, and nonprofit sectors.

Faculty & Support

  • Degrees and Credentials

    Certificate, Professional Technical Education, Washington State

    MS, Marine Sciences, University of New England

    BS, Marine Biology, University of New England

  • Degrees and Credentials

    BS, Environmental Science-Freshwater Ecology Emphasis, Western Washington University

    Certificate, Professional Technical Education, Washington State

    MS, Fisheries and Wildlife, Michigan State University


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