General Drafting Certificate

Program Outline

Instruction Sets
Your program consists of nine Instruction Sets designed to take you step-by-step through the knowledge and skills you'll use in your new career.

Here's how it works
You receive the first course as soon as your enrollment has been accepted, and other courses will follow as you complete your exams.

Computer Specifications
You will need access to a Microsoft® Windows®-based computer and high-speed Internet in order to complete your program with Penn Foster.

Here is an overview of what you'll learn and the order in which you'll access your lessons:

Program Goal and Outcomes

Program Goal: The Career Certificate program provides students with the necessary skills for entry into the field of drafting. Upon completion of the course, students will be able to create both mechanical and architectural drawings.

Program Outcomes:
Upon completion of the program, students will be able to:

  • Be familiar with the basic techniques used in sketching and with occupations that use drafting language
  • Complete drawings using orthographic projection, points of view, and shape descriptions
  • Know the techniques of lettering, and recognize the lines used in mechanical and architectural drawings as well as the representation of math operations in drafting
  • Understand the use of drafting vocabulary, geometry, and instruments in the layout of drafting problems and geometric designs
  • Describe size and shape using the regular views of drafting and the principal views of orthographic projection
  • Work with various views, projections, tolerancing techniques, dimensions, and control frames
  • Complete working drawings and become familiar with the capabilities, applications, and development of computer software drawing programs
  • Prepare complete sets of structural drawings for a site plan, transit lines, and plans and profiles from survey information
  • Prepare complete HVAC drawings, electrical diagrams and cable assemblies, industrial electrical schematics, and electronic block and schematic diagrams

Instruction Set 1

Learning Strategies
The advantages of learning at home; types of study materials; types of examinations; accessing and using the features of our website; determining what kind of learner you are; establishing a study schedule; using study tips; preparing for and taking examinations.

The Drafter's World Language
Basic techniques used in sketching; occupations that use the drafter’s world language.

Instruction Set 2

Size and Shape Description
Orthographic projection; points of view and shape descriptions.

Drafting Project #1

Learning Aids:

  • Appendices and Glossary
  • How to Use Your Mechanical Drafting Scale
  • How to Use Your Architect’s Scale
  • How to Use Your Civil Engineer’s Scale
  • How to Use Your Metric Scale


  • Drafting Kit #1
    • Drafting Pencils
    • Leads
    • Templates
    • Scales
    • Other Common Drafting Items

Instruction Set 3

The Alphabet of Lines
Techniques of lettering; different types of lines; recognizing the lines used in mechanical and architectural drawings.

Basic Drafting Math
Basic math ground rules; signs of operation and how they are represented in drafting.


  • Drafting Kit #2
    • Compass
    • Divider
    • Triangle
    • Curve
    • Protractor

Instruction Set 4

Use of Equipment, an Overview of Common Drafting Equipment, Part 1
Drafting vocabulary, geometry, and instruments; practice with a straight edge, drafting board, triangles, and scales.

Use of Equipment, an Overview of Common Drafting Equipment, Part 2
Layout drafting problems; create geometric designs; create shapes using a compass and dividers.

Learning Aids:

  • Convention sheet
  • Help sheet


  • Drafting Kit #3
    • Triangle
    • Letter Guide
    • Drafting Pencil
    • Leads
    • Drafting board

Instruction Set 5

Orthographic Projection (Sketching)
Size and shape description; the three regular views of drafting; the six principal views of orthographic projection.

Geometric Construction
Drawing parallel and perpendicular lines; constructing bisectors; drawing polygons, tangencies, and ellipses.

Layout with Orthographic Projection with Drafting Instruments
Complete drawings with tangencies and invisible edges; layout an orthographic projection; transfer dimensions; sketch missing views.

Drafting Project #2

Learning Aid: Orthographic Sketching Workbook

Instruction Set 6

Auxiliary Views
Drawing single-view and multiview drawings; first- and third-angle projection.

Dimensioning systems; correct tolerancing techniques.

Sections, Revolutions, and Conventional Breaks
Making sectional views; modifying standard sectioning techniques.

Geometric Tolerancing
Establishing basic dimensions; identifying proper feature control frames; determining the virtual condition of features.

Drafting Project #3

Instruction Set 7

Working Drawings
Complete sets of working drawings; preparing engineering changes

Introduction to Computer-Aided Design and Drafting (CADD)
Use of basic CADD equipment; coordinate systems and various software features used with CADD programs.

Pictorial Drawings
Drawing three-dimensional objects using 3-D coordinates; isometric, dimetric, or trimetric drawings; one-, two-, or three-point perspective.

Drafting Project #4

Instruction Set 8

Structural Drafting with Basic Architectural Applications
Preparing a complete set of structural drawings; drawing a site plan.

Civil Drafting
Drawing transit lines for roadway layouts; drawing plans and profiles from survey information.

Drafting Project #5

Drafting Project #6

Equipment: Architectural  Templates

Instruction Set 9

Heating, Ventilating, and Air Conditioning/Sheet Metal Drafting
Function of HVAC systems; preparing complete HVAC drawings.

Electrical and Electronic Schematic Drafting
Drawing electrical diagrams and cable assemblies; making a set of electrical power system substation plans; drawing an industrial electrical schematic; drawing electronic block and schematic diagrams.

Drafting Project #7

Drafting Project #8

Drafting Project #9

Equipment: Electrical/Electronic Template


Online Library and Librarian
Students in Penn Foster Career School have access to an online library for use during their studies. Students can use this library to do the required research in the courses they complete or can use it for general reference and links to valuable resources. The library contains helpful research assistance, articles, databases, books, and Web links. A librarian is available to answer questions on general research-related topics via email and to assist students in research activities during their studies with Penn Foster Career School International.

We reserve the right to change program content and materials when it becomes necessary.

A High School Diploma, Secondary School Diploma, or equivalent is required to enroll in this program.