Schools with Blueprint Reading Programs: How to Choose

Dec 09, 2019

Students can obtain blueprint reading training through diploma, certificate or associate's degree programs in construction or related fields. Courses in blueprint reading prepare students to analyze and interpret building blueprints and other engineering drawings.

Schools offer programs in construction, welding or manufacturing that include courses in blueprint reading, rather than programs focused solely on blueprint reading. These programs are usually diploma, certificate or associate's degree programs and are designed for current or aspiring construction professionals.

10 Schools with Construction Technology Programs

The following schools offer programs in construction technology and other fields related to blueprint reading.

College/University Location Institution Type Degrees Offered Tuition
Northland Pioneer College Holbrook, AZ 2-year, Public Certificate, Associate's $1,866* In-state Undergraduate; $8,610* Out-of-state Undergraduate
Sierra College Rocklin, CA 2-year, Public Certificate, Associate's $1,144* In-state Undergraduate; $6,214* Out-of-state Undergraduate
Technical College of the Lowcountry Beaufort, SC 2-year, Public Certificate $4,684* In-district Undergraduate; $5,284* In-state Undergraduate; $10,036* Out-of-state Undergraduate
American River College Sacramento, CA 2-year, Public Certificate $1,104* In-state Undergraduate; $8,712* Out-of-state Undergraduate
Carver Career Center Charleston, WV 2-year, Public Certificate $6,005** (Electrical technology program, tuition and fees)
Blackfeet Community College Browning, MT 2-year, Private not-for-profit Certificate, Associate's $3,370* Undergraduate
Hartnell College Salinas, CA 2-year, Public Certificate, Associate's $1,420* In-state Undergraduate; $8,870* Out-of-state Undergraduate
Idaho State University Pocatello, ID 4-year, Public Certificate, Associate's, Bachelor's $7,420* In-state Undergraduate; $22,940* Out-of-state Undergraduate
GateWay Community College-Central City Phoenix, AZ < 2-year, Public Certificate, Associates $5,774** for Associate's; $3,044** for Certificate
Fresno City College Fresno, CA 2-year, Public Certificate, Associate's $1,304* In-state Undergraduate; $7,496* Out-of-state Undergraduate

Sources: *National Center for Education Statistics (NCES) (2018-2019); ** School websites (2019-2020)

School Selection Criteria

There are several points to consider when selecting a blueprint reading program.

  • Construction professionals need specific technical skills to be successful, so look for programs that offer practical experience such as internships, lab work, volunteer projects.
  • Choose a school that has experienced professors from the construction industry (or a related career).
  • Students benefit from attending a school with support services, such as job placement assistance and tutoring.
  • Program specialization areas vary, and it may be important to review the course curriculum for each program before determining which best suits your career goals.

Diploma Programs in Construction

Students can develop a fundamental understanding of basic blueprint reading skills by earning an Industrial Systems Technology Diploma, a Construction Project Management Diploma or a Building Construction and Carpentry Diploma. Courses in these programs may count for professional development hours, and they may be transferred towards the completion of an associate's degree.

Certificate Programs in Construction

Students study basic and advanced skills, as well as prepare for managerial positions by completing a Construction Management Certificate or a Professional Certificate in Construction Estimating. In some certificate programs, students have the option to take elective courses to supplement their training.

Associate's Degree Programs in Construction Technology

Blueprint reading courses may be part of undergraduate degree programs in welding and manufacturing and construction technology. Associate's degree programs provide both specialized training and general education, and courses can often be transferred to a university toward the completion of a 4-year degree. Within blueprint reading courses, students are trained to read and interpret blueprints for fabrication and construction

Many colleges and universities offer certificate and associate's programs that encompass training in reading blueprints. In addition to cost and location, the program focus area, practical training, faculty roster and the school's support services may all be factors when selecting a blueprint reading program.

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