If you are ready to start a unique career as a professional welder, consider getting welding certifications.
Think about this as investing in your future and putting yourself on the right path, ready for opportunities and life as a success.
As you know, welding is a fabrication process whereby two or more parts are fused through heat, pressure, or both forming a join as the parts cool.
Welding over time is used on metals and thermoplastics but can also be used on wood.
So, as long as everyone continues to make things, welders are needed. Hence, this is a great reason to get yourself to stand out by getting certified.
This article explains the top welding certifications you can get in 2023.
What Are the Welding Certifications?
Welding certifications are a hands-on welder qualification test conducted by a welding inspector who determines if you can produce a sound quality weld or a welding procedure that would require you in your field.
Certification as a welder would test you on procedures used in the structural steel, petroleum pipelines, sheet metal, and chemical refinery welding industries.
Why get a Welding Certification?
There are a variety of reasons you should get a welding certification. The six (6) reasons that easily come to mind are-
How Many Welding Certifications Are There?
There are a lot of welding certifications that you can easily choose from. There are eighteen (18) popular welding certifications, with a few more on the sideline.
This gives you a whole lot of options to choose from.
How Long Are Welding Certifications
The duration would depend on what test you want to take. A #G test for a beginner can take between 6 weeks to 3 months of dedication. A 3 and 4G Combo SMAW certification test would take 6 to 9 months for a beginner.
If you have had lots of experience and practice being a welder, the certification process would be more straightforward for you and, thus, cut your time down.
The faster you can pass your certification test, the quicker you can get to work as a certified welder. The more thoroughly you prepare, the better your chances of passing your test on your first try.
Can You Get Multiple Welding Certifications?
Absolutely. So far, you have the zeal and dedication to keep pushing, and you can get as many welding certifications as you can.
What are the Basics of a Welding Certification?
Unlike many other certifications, most welder certifications can be gotten in a month. The tests vary in positions, welding processes, and the type of welding inspection to be used. The very basics of getting a welding certification are-
If you pass these tests, you will be said to have earned your welding certification. The testing ranges from a bend test to a radiographic (X-ray) or a visual exam of the quality. Most certifications also test you on positions. Positions like these are tested on:
- A flat position is standing or sitting at a table and welding a joint as you look down on it.
- The horizontal position is welding a joint from left to right (or right to left) as you look across from it.
- Vertical position- in this welding position, the weld joint faces you vertically as you look straight at it. In this position, you have the option of welding the joint from the bottom to the top, which is most common, or from the top downward.
- Overhead position- This welding position involves welding as you look up at the workpiece, moving either from left to right or right to left.
Where are Welding Certifications Done?
Welding certifications are usually performed at a workplace or welding school.
It is possible to get them done privately, but this is to your detriment because they cost a lot of money, and there is no guarantee that you would pass even after spending that amount.
What Skills are Needed for a Welding Certification
How Much Does a Certified Welder Make?
According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the median annual salary for certified welders is around $41,000.
However, the government groups all welders with cutters, solderers, and brazers, so that number is somewhat skewed.
Generally, salary data for certified welders cites a slightly higher figure of $45,000 per year. Glassdoor lists a lower median annual salary of $39,000.
What Are the Different Types of Welding Certifications?
Top 10 Welding Certifications in The World
1. Certified Welder Program
The Certified Welder program is performance-based, requiring no prerequisite courses or certifications. Final certification will provide transferrable credentials you can take wherever you go.
The Certified Welder (CW) program tests you on procedures used in the structural steel, petroleum pipelines, sheet metal, and chemical refinery welding industries.
There is a provision to test to a company-supplied or non-code welding specification. Certified Welder (CW) tests are performed at AWS Accredited Testing Facilities worldwide.
2. Certified Associate Welding Inspector
This certification was brought about by professionals who aimed to enter the inspection field.
Becoming a certified associate welding inspector shows employers that you are determined and serious about your career. It also shows that you are ready to do what you need to do for the job ahead of you.
As a certified associate welding inspector, you would gain hands-on experience in the inspection field and work alongside senior certified welding inspectors and certified welding inspectors.
3. Certified Welding Inspector
The relevance of certified welding inspectors is under-emphasized. A certified welding inspector is integral to the safety and quality of daily life, assuring weld quality in oil & gas, transportation, aerospace and construction, government contracting, and other industries.
This Certified Welding Inspector program credential is one of welding’s most respected stamps of approval. Those who pass the test are highly regarded and sought-after throughout the welding industry for their demonstrated knowledge, skill, and ability to examine weldments, problem-solving, and determine remedial action.
This certification is both rewarding and lucrative.
4. Senior Certified Welding Inspector
A senior certified welding inspector is essential. It is vital to have one in any organization where things are built.
Usually, they find that as their careers progress, their roles expand to include managerial and mentorship responsibilities, not to mention but a few.
If you are very dedicated to your job, you could start your own inspection business sooner than later.
The Senior Certified Welder Inspector certification program is designed for welders who have experienced what it is like to go into welding inspection and have acquired a deeper, more detailed understanding of advanced NDE, quality systems, and procedure qualifications.
5. Certified Resistance Welding Technician
This is a very competitive, high-production program that requires the expertise of well-trained technicians to keep a cautious eye out for the daily happenings today.
Resistance welding technicians are highly skilled in operating and maintaining costly and valuable equipment.
The Certified Resistance Welding Technician program was co-developed by the American Welding Society (AWS) and the Resistance Welding Manufacturing Alliance (RWMA).
It sets a new standard for the qualification of resistance welding personnel and separates the qualified from the untested.
This certification may be obtained after some education and training in the welding field by AWS.
6. Certified Radiographic Interpreter
A Certified Radiographic Interpreter reads and interprets welding-related indications produced on radiographic film and related media.
As a Radiographic Interpreter, you must be very familiar with the welding and casting process.
This would enable you to view and evaluate weld radiographs, then translate the results against a project’s applicable standards, codes, specifications, or procedures in the long run.
7. Certified Welding Supervisor
Generally, in the welding field, a Certified Welding Supervisor is the eyes, ears, and conscience of any welding operation. He pays attention to detail and is aware of every single in and out in the area where he works.
To succeed in this field after being certified, you need to have and use a wide range of knowledge, including welding safety, supervision, planning, fabrication, inspection, documentation, and economics.
Certified Welding Supervisors know what factors influence quality and performance and how monitoring welders can lead to increased productivity and improved weld quality with lower materials waste while ensuring safety and maintaining acceptable levels of risk.
Their job is of utmost importance.
8. Certified Welding Sales Representative
In getting a certification in welding as a sales representative, you have to be ready for the challenges which come with this certification.
As a Welding Sales Representative, you would be the middle-man between manufacturers, distributors, and customers.
Welding Sales Representatives are relationship-builders and nurturers, connecting and networking with others and being a resource for their clients.
They relay information concerning new technologies that can improve welding processes’ productivity, reliability, and quality.
This certification may also be obtained after some education and training in the welding field by AWS.
9. Certified Welding Engineer
By acquiring an AWS Certified Welding Engineer certification alone, you would be deemed to have demonstrated your skills for preparing or reviewing written instructions for producing welded joints.
You would be drilled to be familiar with various codes, specifications, standards, and other aspects of fabrication and assembly.
You would also be prepared to produce reports that accurately reflect your professional judgment and can work with management representatives, inspection personnel, welders, and support crafts, understanding the integrated role of each in developing weldments.
10. Certified Robotic ARC Welding
This AWS Certification Program for Robotic Arc Welding – Operators and Technicians allows many welding personnel employed in various welding sectors to measure themselves against standards for their occupation.
It also signifies that the Certified Robotic Arc Welding Operator has demonstrated the capability of working with various codes, standards, and specifications.
Since proof of active practice or re-examination is required every three years, certification also signifies that the CRAW Operator or Technician is current with the welding industry.
A Step-by-Step Guide On How to Get a Welding Certification
FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions)
is earning a welding certification essential?
Yes. Earning a welding certification can greatly reward you in the long run, including higher salary potential, more robust employment demand, and better job stability.
Why do I need a welding certification?
Welding certifications ensure the welders’ skills are up to the code they will be working under.
Which bodies offer welding certifications?
The American Welding Society, The American Society of Mechanical Engineers, and The American Petroleum Institute.
How much do welding certifications cost?
A welding certification can cost you anywhere between $142 and $500. Depending on the certification you want to get.
What is the most accepted welding certification?
The most accepted welding certifications are from the American Welding Society.
What is the minimum requirement for welders?
A high school diploma is a minimum requirement for welders.
Working with metal is both exciting and empowering. As the sparks fly and the heat turns up, welders can transform some of the world’s most robust materials into the shapes and products they envision.
This skill requires work and practice, and it’s best learned with the help and guidance of industry professionals.
With plenty of experience in these welding techniques, graduates can see many avenues open when looking for employment.
Welders often seek manufacturing, commercial construction, mining, agriculture, wholesale trade, artistic railings, and equipment repair & maintenance jobs. The variety in application of this skill leads to excellent employment opportunities.