Process Technology

Process Technology - Certificate

If you’d like a high-paying career upon graduating from BTC, then you should consider Process Technology. This program will prepare you for a position as a process technician or operator for local employers in power generation, refining, manufacturing, and many other industries. Currently, our primary employers are the four refineries in Whatcom and Skagit counties. You’ll learn how to monitor and control processing equipment, troubleshoot and solve equipment problems, test product quality, and implement safety standards and procedures. The Process Technology program provides the technical and academic knowledge you need, along with valuable communication and interpersonal skills that employers want.

Employment Information

86% BTC graduate placement rate

$38,750 starting annual wage
$51,958 average annual wage
$64,147 potential annual wage

Tuition Fees and Rates

  • 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

Entry Information

When Can I Start?

This program has rolling admission.

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:


  • Quarter 1

  • AMATH 111Applied Technical Math5 CR
  • PTEC 101Introduction to Process Technology5 CR
  • PTEC 102Process Technology Equipment5 CR
  • Quarter 2

  • CMST& 210Interpersonal Communications5 CR
  • CTE 108Job Skills1 CR
  • PTEC 103Safety, Health & Environment I5 CR
  • PTEC 104Process Drawings2 CR
  • PTEC 105Process Technology II (Systems)5 CR
  • Quarter 3

  • CHEM& 110Chemical Concepts w/Lab5 CR
  • AENGL 100Applied English5 CR
  • PTEC 110Process Instrumentation5 CR

Program Outcomes

  • Graduates will demonstrate a knowledge of the typical hazards found in process plants, basic PPE, and requirements of regulating bodies regarding safety, health, and environmental issues (OSHA, DOT, EPA). Example: Worker-Right-to-Know, PSM, RMP, RCRA, and Clean Air Act).
  • Graduates will be able to apply mathematics, physics, and chemistry in the Process Technology field. Graduates will obtain the ability to link their knowledge to applications such as the nature of heat, chemical reactions, boiling points, vapor pressure, and electrical currents.
  • Graduates will be able to demonstrate a knowledge of the typical organizational structures, economics and quality controls; fundamentals of refining and power generation processes.
  • Graduates will be able to perform core functions and principles of operation of typical process industry equipment such as pumps, compressors, filters and dryers, lubricating systems, valves and piping systems, and process plant instrumentation systems (from an operations viewpoint).
  • Graduates will know the principles and typical operation of electronic control systems (DCS).
  • Graduates will have the ability to operate simulated DCS process control systems Effectively.

Employment Outlook

Future retirement data indicates that over the next 10 years there will be a great need for trained process operators in the industry, both locally and nationally.

About 86% of BTC Process Technology students are employed within nine months of graduation. The average annual wage in this field is $51,958, with an earning potential of about $64,147 per year.*

Criminal convictions may restrict or prevent student participation with internships and employment in this industry.

Process technicians may find career opportunities in a variety of industries including: chemical, petrochemical, refining, pharmaceuticals, pulp and paper, power generation, utilities, food and beverage, and water treatment. In many instances, process operators will interface with other technical personnel, such as maintenance electricians, instrument technicians, chemical laboratory technicians, plant engineers, industrial trainers and managers.

Faculty & Support

Photo of Scott Cory
Scott Cory
Process Technology