Welding Student Guide to AWS Welding Certification

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Not familiar with the American Welding Society? You’ll want to be if welding is your chosen career. Don’t worry: we’ve got you covered with this helpful explainer.

The American Welding Society (AWS) is a leading non-profit focused on promoting the welding industry and supporting professionals within the field. The organization is best known for its professional welding certificates which cover all parts of the welding industry.

If you’re interested in pursuing a career as a welder, earning an AWS certification is a great way to demonstrate your abilities and achieve your professional goals.

Let’s take a deeper dive into the purpose of an AWS certification, its merit, and how you can obtain one.

What is AWS certification?

An AWS certification is an accreditation offered to welders who pass tests that prove they can adhere to employer and industry standards.

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AWS offers 14 professional certification categories spanning all the welding and joining sectors. Each AWS certification puts welders through different examination procedures specific to the role.

The welding certificate you choose will depend on your desired career path.

The actual examination for AWS certifications is held at accredited testing facilities across the country and the world. All testing facilities, like Tulsa Welding School, must stick to rigid standards to ensure the testing is standard across all sites.

What types of AWS certifications are there?

AWS offers over a dozen professional welding certificates to help welders achieve their professional goals no matter which section of the industry they’re interested in. Here are all of the welding certifications currently offered by AWS:

  • Certified Welder Program
  • Certified Associate Welding Inspector
  • Certified Welding Inspector
  • Senior Certified Welding Inspector
  • Certified Welding Educator Program
  • Certified Resistance Welding Technician
  • Certified Radiographic Interpreter
  • Certified Welding Supervisor
  • Certified Welding Sales Representative
  • Certified Welding Engineer
  • Certified Robotic Arc Welding
  • CWI By IIW Diploma
  • CWI By Reciprocity
  • CWI / SCWI Endorsements

Which AWS certification should I get?

With 14 different professional welding certifications from which to choose, it’s easy for welders to feel overwhelmed.

Obtaining an AWS certification requires an investment of time, energy, and even some money, so you want to make sure you’re making the right decision when pursuing a particular certification.

For most beginner welders, the Certified Welder Program is the best choice. The testing procedure is solely based on performance, which means there aren’t any requirements in terms of experience, certifications, or courses.

If you’re capable of performing the required weld, you’ll become an official AWS Certified Welder.

According to the AWS site, the Certified Welder Program tests participants on “procedures used in the structural steel, petroleum pipelines, sheet metal, and chemical refinery welding industries.” With welding basics under their belts and accreditation to prove it, graduates of the certified welder program are in a great position to start their careers.

Is AWS certification worth it?

Whether you’re interested in pursuing a career in welding, or you’ve already been working in the industry for a few years, you might be wondering: why get AWS certified? After all, it’s not required to practice as a welder.

The advantages of certification overshadow the time and effort it takes to obtain an AWS certification. Here are some benefits to consider:

Recognized Accreditation

Once you receive an AWS certification, your name is instantly added to a nationwide AWS database where employers can easily find your name and your credentials.

Instead of having to retest every time you move, an AWS certification acts as transferable accreditation that’s valid in all states. Since many employers model their standards after those set forth by the AWS, your certification will be viewed as that much more valuable.

Dynamic Skillset

The more skills you have as a welder, the more valuable you are to employers!

Since AWS certifications cover a wide range of welding and joining components, you have many opportunities to increase your skillset. Not only will you have the capabilities on hand, but you’ll also have the accreditation to back it up.

Anytime you want to advance your career or make a transition into another subdivision of welding, you can easily take another AWS certification test to gain those credentials!

Where can you get AWS certified?

As mentioned earlier, AWS certification tests are administered at registered and accredited testing centers across the country.

These facilities have to undergo rigorous examinations to ensure they meet stringent AWS standards and policies.

At TWS Jacksonville, we’re committed to providing welding students with as many opportunities as possible for career success and growth. Our Jacksonville campus is a highly esteemed accredited AWS testing center with years of experience proctoring these certification assessments.

Although there aren’t any prerequisites for the AWS Certified Welder Program, you still need to successfully complete the test to receive accreditation.

In order to pass the exam the first time around, you’ll need the right training and experience. Vocational schools, such as Tulsa Welding School, are great places to receive welder training that can prepare you for the welding tests in the Certified Welder program.

AWS Welding Certificates Are Perfect for Welders

The Certified Welder program and all other AWS welding certificates are great opportunities for those interested in the welding industry to take their careers to the next level.

In preparation for the examinations, you can receive the essential training needed to succeed through a comprehensive welding vocational program. When you finally receive the accreditation, your name will show up in a nationwide registry of certified welders to prove your abilities.

Interested in learning more about becoming a welder? Read about the differences between welder qualification and certification.