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General welding certification question

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  • General welding certification question

    Hey everyone, I have a question about what it means to be a "certified welder". I'm opening a small welding business and I would like to start working towards a certification. I asked a welding instructor what a welding certification was and he told me that you can only get certified in certain processes, at a certain position, on a certain thickness, ect. I've looked on the internet on the AWS website and I see that you can be a certified welding inspector, and a few other things, but no "certified welder". Please let me know what I'm missing. Thanks!

  • #2
    There is not an all around certification. You have to test to a welding code, on a given weld process, material type, thickness, and position. The welding codes tell you what's acceptable. Some tests cover multiple positions, or materials. For example, I am a traveling pipe welder, every company I work for I have to take welding tests to be certified to there welding program. Those companies, have a welding program, and have to do a test for themselves (procedure qualification record) to have there own certification on there own process. That's where they get there weld parameters (welding procedure specification) to show the welders what variances of- amperage, travel speed, filler material, gas etc. And sometimes i've had to take the same test twice to test to different welding codes. And lots of times when the companies go to sites, the site may have there own welding program and you have to test to there program too. It's my understanding that the tests don't follow you from job to job. There is a lot more to it but I hope that can help explain it better. Now I think you can take a weld test to certify to AWS if you are looking for something like that.

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    • #3
      Originally posted by Rob1488 View Post
      It's my understanding that the tests don't follow you from job to job.
      I have done the same test for my last 3 jobs. Nope they don't care if you have already had it do it again...Bob
      Bob Wright

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      • #4
        It all depends on what kind of work you want to do out of your shop. If its general fabrication certs won't help you much. If your doing pipe, structural, or aircraft then you need those specific certs.

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        • #5
          I once had an AWS Certification (only certain "labs", schools have the creds to do the cert ---- a listing is avail on the AWS site somewhere). The problem is the cert is only good for six months and needs to be "redone", "recertified" and you need to stay in the trade. I'm now in auto mechanics and don't do enough welding nor do I have a welding manager (or CWI) to revalidate my certs.......there are others that provide their own certifications (examples include Newport News Shipbuilding, US Navy NAVSEA, etc)...............I think the underwater schools (using SMAW) have their own accreditation programs as well......

          One gentleman I know who runs a welding school in Newport News (Hampton Roads Skills Center) has (I believe) almost 30 certifications from AWS and other institutions.
          Last edited by Auto_Tech; 09-13-2016, 07:39 PM.

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          • #6
            Thanks for your help guys!

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            • #7
              I got a question I guess about certs. I've been certified with two different companies in the past one tig 6g and the other stick 6g. I've been turned down on two different projects recently because the recruiter said they only wanted guys with certs. I tried to explain that I have been certified and have no problem certifying but my certs stayed when I left those companies. But they didn't care. Are there really that many guys out there who carry their own certs? I mean they're expensive and they expire and I thought pretty much any company you work for is going to re cert you regardless. Seems if you carry your own certs you wouldn't be calling recruiters like I am trying to get in on projects you'd be the guys calling recruiters telling them you need guys for your projects. Do you guys just say yeah I'm certified in this situation even though you technically aren't?

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              • #8
                I know guys with notebooks full of them. Years ago they would give them to you. Now companies keep them if they paid for them. I know guys who paid from their pockets and have kept them...Bob
                Bob Wright

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                • #9
                  Things may have changed of recent, but the AWS Professional Welder Certification requires no prerequisite courses per se --- when I took the test (and I'm an average welder) you took your plates, did fit-ups then did welds from horizontal, vertical and overhead positions ---- typically they check your welds on a hydraulic press --- if, for example your butt plates hold up (turn into a "U" under the press with no breaks) they consider that you've passed the test.

                  The problem with the overall Cert Process is the re-certification process every six months ---------for me I have no boss (I'm self employed) and really can't do a recert so it turned out to be a HUGE waste of time and money.

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                  • #10
                    I have 2 all position structural certifications with the CWB (Canadian welding bureau). They are transferable welding tickets that qualify me to weld for any CWB certified company. I don't have to do a test each time the hall sends me to work for for a different company. I recertifiy my structural CWB tickets every 2 years.
                    Now pressure pipe on the other hand can be a different storey. You can have the certification but the companies often want to to a test on you to ensure what they're getting. They want a visually appealing pipe weld and a solid/sound weld prior to you welding their pipe.
                    Lincoln Idealarc 250
                    Miller Bobcat 250
                    Thermal Arc Hefty 2 feeder
                    Thermal Dynamics Cutmaster 52
                    Torchmate CNC table

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