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Geometric Dimensioning and Tolerancing (GD&T) is a crucial aspect of modern manufacturing and engineering. It enables precise communication of design requirements and ensures that parts fit and function as intended. Whether you’re a student, a professional looking to enhance your skills, or an employer seeking to certify your workforce, GD&T plays a vital role. In this comprehensive guide, we will delve into how to learn GD&T, the costs associated with GD&T courses, the process of obtaining GD&T certification, and the ASME Code for GD&T.

Take Our Free Skills Assessment

Discover how well you understand geometric tolerancing with a free skills assessment. Based on the ASME Y14.5 1994, 2009 and 2018 Standards, you will gain a better understanding of what you know about GD&T and what you need to learn. Challenge your knowledge and understand what level of GD&T training you need.

Each online assessment takes approximately 25-35 minutes to complete. Scoring is in the form of a percentage and includes a list of which GD&T concepts have been mastered. Results are emailed to individuals or training managers within two business days. There is no cost involved and no purchase required.

The assessments can be used by individuals or companies. If you’re an individual who would like to test your GD&T knowledge, simply click the link below and begin. For companies that would like to test a whole department, each employee can take the quiz on their own or you can contact SAE to set up a group testing. 

How to Learn GD&T

Learning GD&T is an essential step for anyone involved in the fields of engineering, manufacturing, and quality control. Here are some ways to get started:

1. Self-Study

Self-study can be an excellent option for individuals who prefer independent learning. Start by acquiring GD&T reference materials, such as the ASME Y14.5 standard, textbooks, or online resources. It’s important to focus on the fundamentals, including geometric symbols, tolerance zones, and datums. Practice interpreting GD&T on engineering drawings to gain practical experience.

2. Online Courses

Many online platforms offer GD&T courses. These courses often include video lectures, interactive exercises, and quizzes. They can be a cost-effective and flexible way to learn GD&T at your own pace. Look for courses that provide a certificate of completion, which can be valuable for professional development.

3. In-Person Training

For a more structured and hands-on approach, consider enrolling in in-person GD&T training programs offered by technical schools or training centers. These courses are led by experienced instructors who can provide personalized guidance. In-person training is ideal for those who prefer a classroom setting.

How Much Does the GD&T Course Cost?

The cost of GD&T courses can vary widely based on several factors, including the type of course, duration, location, and the training provider. Here’s an overview of the cost range:

1. Self-Study Costs

Self-study is the most budget-friendly option, as you can use free online resources or purchase books and reference materials. However, investing in high-quality books and reference materials may still cost between $50 and $200.

2. Online Course Costs

Online GD&T courses typically range from $100 to $500. The cost depends on the course’s comprehensiveness, the platform’s reputation, and whether it includes a certification exam. Some platforms offer subscription models that allow unlimited access to a library of courses for a monthly or annual fee.

3. In-Person Training Costs

In-person GD&T training courses tend to be more expensive, with prices varying significantly depending on the duration and location. Short courses lasting a few days may cost around $1,000 to $2,000, while more comprehensive programs lasting several weeks can range from $2,000 to $5,000 or more.

How Do I Get My GD&T Certification?

Obtaining a GD&T certification can be a valuable addition to your resume and can demonstrate your proficiency in interpreting and applying GD&T principles. Here’s a step-by-step guide on how to get your GD&T certification:

1. Choose a Certification Provider

Select a reputable organization that offers GD&T certification programs. Common certification providers include the American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME), the American Society for Quality (ASQ), and various professional training institutions.

2. Meet Prerequisite Requirements

Certification programs may have prerequisites, such as a minimum level of education or work experience. Make sure you meet these requirements before applying for certification.

3. Register for the Exam

Once you’ve chosen a certification provider and confirmed your eligibility, register for the GD&T certification exam. Pay the associated exam fee, which can range from $300 to $800, depending on the provider and the level of certification.

4. Study and Prepare

Prepare for the exam by studying GD&T materials and taking practice exams. Many certification providers offer study guides and sample questions to help candidates prepare.

5. Take the Exam

Schedule and take the GD&T certification exam at an approved testing center. The exam typically consists of multiple-choice questions and practical exercises.

6. Receive Your Certification

Upon passing the exam, you will receive your GD&T certification. The certification level may vary, with options like GD&T Associate, GD&T Technologist, and GD&T Senior Technologist, depending on the provider.

What Is the ASME Code for GD&T?

The American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME) has established standards for GD&T that are widely recognized and used in the industry. The primary reference for GD&T standards is ASME Y14.5, titled “Dimensioning and Tolerancing.” This standard defines the symbols, rules, and conventions for geometric dimensioning and tolerancing.

ASME Y14.5 covers various aspects of GD&T, including:

  • Geometric symbols and their meanings.
  • Tolerance zones and how they apply to different features.
  • Datums and their significance in establishing reference points.
  • Material condition modifiers, such as Maximum Material Condition (MMC) and Least Material Condition (LMC).
  • Form, orientation, profile, and location tolerances.
  • Inspection methods and techniques.

Engineers, designers, and manufacturers rely on ASME Y14.5 to ensure consistency and precision in their designs and manufacturing processes. Familiarity with the ASME Code for GD&T is essential for anyone working in industries where precise tolerancing and communication of design intent are critical.


GD&T is a crucial aspect of engineering and manufacturing, and learning it can enhance your career prospects and the quality of your work. Whether you choose self-study, online courses, or in-person training, the path to GD&T proficiency is attainable. Understanding the costs involved and the certification process can help you make informed decisions. Additionally, the ASME Code for GD&T serves as the foundation for precision and consistency in design and manufacturing, making it an essential resource for professionals in these fields. With the right knowledge and training, you can master GD&T and contribute to the production of high-quality, precise components and products.

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