How to get your welding certification - (2023)

According to the American Welding Society, welding orders in the manufacturing sector have increased steadily since 2000 and the construction of several large pipelines has begun.

Countless bridges, highways, utility lines and pipelines need major repairs across the United States.

Many industries use welders: manufacturing, vehicle assembly, aerospace, construction, oil pipelines, oil refining, and drilling and military support. The demand for qualified and certified welders is not expected to decrease in the foreseeable future.

Most welding jobs require a high school diploma or GED, technical and practical training, and a current certification earned from a school or workplace.

In this comprehensive article we will show you how to become a certified welder, all the information about welding courses and the benefits of certification.

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Benefits of Certification

salary increase

More employment opportunities

There are a variety of welding jobs.

Obtaining your certification can be completed in a short time.

This is how you become a certified welder

Types of Welding Certification Levels

What the codes mean

The buildplate certification code can be interpreted as follows:

The pipe certification code can be interpreted as follows:

Types of welding tests.

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Test centers for welding certification

Test costs for welding certification

How to prepare for the welder exam

1. Welding courses

2. Sweat Examination Practice Tests

3. Video Instruction

Online Welding Certification

What jobs can you get with a welding certificate?

How long is a welding certificate valid?

What you need to do to renew your certification


Benefits of Certification

salary increase

According to the Federal Office for Labor Statistics (BLS), the annual wage table forweldernationally, it starts at $24,490 for the bottom 10% to $55,240 for the top 10%.

The middle 50th percentile earns $35,920 per year.

How to get your welding certification - (1)

Certified welders are more willing to do thisearn top salaries, as they have demonstrated a certain level of knowledge with their certification.

It's not uncommon for a certified welder to make $35 an hour or more. (Search for the informationHere).

More employment opportunities

Welders who keep up with the latest technology and are certified are in high demand among employers. In addition, welding skills are highly transferrable between employers and states.

Once you're certified in one state, it's relatively easy to work in any other state. Welding skills are also transferrable between industries as the basic skills are the same in all industries.

There are a variety of welding jobs.

There is a need for welding equipment at both stationary locations and locations that require constant travel.

Regardless of your life stage and family situation, welding is a profession that offers you permanent work in a factory/warehouse or the adventure of traveling from one job site to another across the country or abroad. .

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Obtaining your certification can be completed in a short time.

Welding is a craftNo college degree is required. It takes less than four years to be trained and certified as a welder. You can even learn on the job while earning your certification.

For those who want to learn a trade and get into the job market and earn a quick salary, welding is a good option.

This is how you become a certified welder

How to get your welding certification - (2)

Becoming a certified welder is not easy. A welder must have a solid basic understanding of the process and procedures, as well as practical welding skills.

  • Apply for and complete a welder training course at a local trade school or community college
  • Obtain a copy of the written welding procedures for the certification exam you wish to take
  • Practice for your written and practical certification exam
  • Plan your certification test
  • Take the certification test. If you are approved, you will receive your certification immediately.

Many employers now require welders to pass a written test before taking the practical welder's test. The written exam includes safety protocols, standards and personnel definitions.

All employers require a welder to prove their welding proficiency by taking a practical test at their facility or by providing a current certificate from a school or workplace.

Job descriptions for welders often state the level of welder certification required for that job, e.g. B. "2-G" or "4-G", where the number indicates the position level and the letter indicates the type of weld joint. "2-G" would mean that a welder can weld a grooved joint in a horizontal position.

To pass the practical test, a welder must be able to:

  • Complete a welding project by reading and interpreting weld drawings, sketches and symbols to determine dimensions, angles, etc.
  • Cut metal parts and assemble metal parts provided by the welding inspector according to the proper layout and procedure and written and verbal instructions.
  • Weld metal given to you by the welding inspector in the specific position for which the welder is being certified, according to the written and oral instructions given according to the relevant procedures.
  • Cut sections of the metal and prepare it for a bend test, which will determine the quality of the weld.
  • Pass the weld metal bend test, X-ray test or visual inspection test according to the relevant procedures.

Types of Welding Certification Levels

Many people assume that there is a universal welder certification exam that prepares you for employment as a welder.

The weld certification process is not a written text like the SAT or ACT.

Each certification certifies that a welder has passed the approved process for a single weld and a single position. This can be confusing for many new welders, but welders must be certified to specific welding codes. Each weld code is used to:

Specific industries such as automotive, aerospace, oil pipelines, oil extraction or refining, manufacturing, etc.

How to get your welding certification - (3)

welding processifTake(SAW),MI(GMAW),WIG(GTAW) or flow core (FCAW)

The typesuch as plates, pipes, boilers, etc.

Positionsuch as vertical, horizontal, flat or hanging.

metal typesuch as mild steel, sheet metal, aluminum,stainless steel

Metalldicke. The thicker the metal, the more often the torch or arc must be cycled to fill the gouge and the greater the precision required.

Each code has its own unique set of rules and skills that must be learned and mastered for a welder to be considered competent and qualified. Each number and letter represents a different level of mastery.

The good news is that you don't have to pass each level of the welding certification code before you can start working on a welding job.

What the codes mean

There are literally hundreds of welding codes because there are so many types of work that welding is used for and there are many different organizations that oversee welding processes.

In general, certifications are determined based on the type of structure to be welded i.e. structural plate or tube.

The buildplate certification code can be interpreted as follows:

The number is the location level of each type of weld.

  • 1 - flache Position
  • 2 - horizontale Position
  • 3 - upright position
  • 4 - elevated position

The letter is the type of weld joint being welded.

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F - Kehlnahtnaht

Simple fill seam, commonly known as "T-joints", which are two pieces of metal perpendicular to each other, or two pieces of metal that overlap and are welded together.

G - groove connection

In a groove weld, two pieces of metal are placed side by side or parallel to each other and welded together at the same edge. It requires a higher level of skill than a fillet weld.

When a welder is certified for fillet welds, they are also qualified for fillet welds, as a fillet weld requires a higher level of skill than a fillet weld.

The pipe certification code can be interpreted as follows:

The number is the location of the weld type.

1 - Pipe in a horizontal position while the welder is welding in a flat position while rolling the pipe.

2 - Pipe in a fixed vertical position while the welder is welding in a horizontal position.

5 - Pipe in a fixed horizontal position while the welder is welding in a hanging, vertical or flat position.

6 - Pipe in a fixed 45 degree position while the welder is welding in an elevated, vertical, horizontal or flat position.

How to get your welding certification - (4)

The letter is the type of weld joint being welded.

F - Kehlnahtnaht

G - grooved weld

R - restrained solder joint. This is the most difficult type of welding as it requires welding in tight or confined spaces.

When a welder is “6G” certified, they are qualified to perform any piping or structural panel welding position..

Types of welding tests.

Certification is a hands-on welding test performed and supervised by a certified welder who has been trained to inspect welds to determine that they have been made in accordance with the procedures and guidelines established by the certifying organization, usually the American Welding Society (AWS), have been approved. or the American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME) or the American Petroleum Institute (API). Military and government organizations use their own certification requirements.

The written welding test is designed to provide welders with an understanding of welding concepts, technical terminology, procedures and protocols.

How to get your welding certification - (5)

The test consists of questions on welding symbol recognition, basic welding procedures, safety, welding processes and locations, different types of welds, storage and transportation methods, material handling and handling.

The practical welding qualification test (also known as the welding test test) is designed to show the welder's ability and can be either non-destructive testing (NDT) or destructive testing.

The inspection is carried out by a qualified and certified welding inspector who must assess whether the inspected welds meet the specifications and quality criteria set out in the drawings, specifications and welding standards.

Professional and industry organizations in the United States that guide the development of standards include: ASTM International, Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE), American Iron and Steel Institution (AISI), American Welding Society (AWS), and ASME International.

1. Non-destructive testingUse various methods such as visual inspection, ultrasonic vibration, X-ray, liquid penetration, etc. to inspect the quality of a weld and reveal cracks, unfilled craters, overlaps, etc. which may result in repairs or refusal of work.

During this test, the inspector evaluates the welder's attention to safety procedures, welding procedures, accuracy, adherence to plans and specifications, use and storage of equipment, maintenance of the work area, preparation of weld joints, etc.

2. Destructive testingThese are chemical tests, hardness tests or mechanical tests in which a section of the welded joint is cut along the weld and tested to failure.

Test centers for welding certification

How to get your welding certification - (6)

Welding certification tests are usually conducted at a job site or welding school and must be conducted by a certified welding inspector.

You can verify that your test supervisor is certified by looking it up in the AWS Supervisor Registration at

The American Welding Society website has a list of accredited testing facilities across the country where you can take an ATF test for the welding code you wish to be certified to. AWS Certificate Authorities can be found in most major cities in all states across the country.

If you are a member of a local union, they likely have a list of testing facilities in your area as well.

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Test costs for welding certification

Welding certification exam costs vary depending on the type of certification you want to earn and where you are taking the exam.

If you take the certification exam at a trade school that offers a welding program, the cost is generally cheaper than an accredited exam agency. Unfortunately, trade schools with welding programs do not always offer all of the different certification code tests you may need, so some certification tests may require you to use an accredited testing center.

There is also an additional cost of around $100-$150 to get tested at an American Welding Society testing facility, as this is the most common and accepted certification in the United States.

A major benefit of testing at an AWS test center is that if you pass the certification exam, you will automatically be registered with the National Registry of Certified Welders and will issue you with an AWS Registered Welder Card, which you can use to skip the recertification test, which an employer can do require for welders who are not AWS certified.

How to prepare for the welder exam

How to get your welding certification - (7)

Unfortunately, there is no general welding approval that covers all types of welding. In addition, certification tests must be repeated frequently to keep them current. Therefore, exam preparation is an ongoing process.

Welding certification tests test your knowledge of specific welding processes based on the code level for which you are seeking certification. Brazing, soldering, mechanical and thermal cutting processes and the preparation of the surface materials to be welded are often part of the inspection process.

If you're not regularly using the skills you'll be certified in, take advantage of video instruction and hands-on practice to keep you ahead of the curve.

There are several resources that can help you preparewelding approvalprove.

1. Welding courses

When you register for vocational traininglocal school or community college for weldingThese courses typically prepare you to pass the written and practical welding certification test for each code level you are seeking certification for.

2. Sweat Examination Practice Tests

whilewelding approvalThe test is not a written test. Practice tests can introduce you to the type of questions and format you might expect to find on the certification written exam, giving you a good idea of ​​what you need to know for the test.

ÖPruebas.comThe site has a free 20-question welding practice test and offers a 360-question welding practice test kit with fully explained answers for $59.95.

Another free practice test is available atProProfs.comwebsite

3. Video Instruction

ÖWebsite der American Welding Societycontains a range of online welding courses and educational materials available to members.

ÖTips and tricks for solderingRun by former welding instructor Jody Collier, the site has a wealth of videos on everything from methods, processes, test preparation and more.

Online Welding Certification

Although the welder qualification exam consists of a written exam and usually a practical exam administered by a certified welding inspector, there are many online certification sites that can help you prepare for any type of exam.

Welding is a hands-on job and the ONLY way to get a welding certification, which would be recognized by most employers, is by attending an online certification program. However, there are some welding course programs that can prepare you for certification.

Several reputable websites offering online welding courses are:

What jobs can you get with a welding certificate?

How to get your welding certification - (8)

Welding is considered a crucial skill fora lot of workin a variety of industries.

Some of the professions available to welders are: welder, assembler, machine operator, structural or fabrication welding technician or supervisor, welding inspector, engineer, and technical sales.

Creating an appropriate resume can help you land a job in any of these careers. TheWelder Resume Guide by Novoresumecan help you with this process.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, most of the more than 316,000 welders in the US are employed in manufacturing.

Welding is an essential process in industrial processes, construction, shipbuilding, automobile manufacture and repair, agricultural equipment, industrial maintenance and repair, oil and gas pipelines and many other industries.

How long is a welding certificate valid?

Welding certifications aren't like college degrees where you graduate once and it's good forever.

Welding certifications are valid for a specific period of time, typically six months.

Employers keep log books that all welders must sign to show they have used that welding certification skill in that particular position during that six month period. Soldering is a precise skill and without constant use or practice, the skill will deteriorate.

What you need to do to renew your certification

If you were certified by a non-AWS institution, many employers will want to reevaluate you every six months or when you change jobs.

For an AWS Welding Certification, the welder must demonstrate, through documents signed by their employer, that their skills have been used regularly and are up to date for that specific certification.

Welding is considered an essential skill required in many industries around the world. The resistance of the fusing of metal parts through the welding process is superior to other forms of connection such as screws or rivets.

Because of the potential of a welding defect to cause a catastrophic accident, welding is a skill that requires frequent training and testing.

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A certified welder can be trained and hired in almost every state in the US in as little as 7 months. There are numerous career opportunities for a certified welder and salaries can be very lucrative depending on the type of certification, level and location of the welder. Work.

A certified welder willing to travel and work in hazardous conditions can make more than $100,000 a year. Even with the advent of robotics, automated systems, and computer programming, welding is still considered a necessary skill.

Those who are certified in welding have a bright future.


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