Blueprint Reading Course and Training Program Information

Courses in blueprint reading are often part of the curricula of vocational, apprenticeship and engineering degree programs. Blueprint reading courses can be found in programs for plumbing, carpentry or mechanics.

Essential Information

A few colleges offer stand-alone blueprint reading training programs. Such programs require a high school education that included drafting, shop or similar classes. Programs might be customized to focus on welding, construction or manufacturing blueprints. High schools courses in shop, welding, drawing and drafting may also be good preparation.

  • Program Levels: Blueprint Certificate, Associates Degree
  • Prerequisites: High school diploma or equivalent
  • Program Length: Less than a year

Blueprint Reading Courses and Training

Students learn to identify elevations, floor plans and foundations from construction blueprints, as well as how to match parts to a drawing and assess tooling requirements from manufacturing blueprints. A training program can be completed in under a year and may result in a certificate. Blueprint reading training programs sometimes consist of half a dozen courses, but more often tend to consist of a single long course that surveys multiple topics. Students learn the following in their coursework:

  • Lines and line characteristics
  • Projection views
  • Dimension lines
  • Fractional dimensions
  • Design tolerances
  • Multi-view drawings

Popular Career Options

Training in blueprint reading by itself isn't sufficient qualification for any one career, but blueprint reading is an important and essential skill for many fields. Individuals working in the following job fields may benefit from blueprint reading courses and training programs:

  • Cement masons
  • HVAC mechanics
  • Plumbers
  • Machinists
  • Carpenters

Employment Outlook and Salary Information

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) predicted 24% job growth for carpenters and 21% employment expansion for plumbers, pipefitters and steamfitters, from 2012-2022. In 2014, the BLS noted that carpenters earned an annual median salary of $40,820 while plumbers, pipefitters and steamfitters earned $50,660.

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