What is a Welding Quality Assurance/Quality Control Inspector?

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Welding Quality Assurance Inspectors are needed to inspect welds 1 to be sure they have been performed according to contract requirements and are up to the specific state codes and standards in the industry. The inspector does this by performing visual inspections on the welded steel pieces, as well as testing them for possible defects. The inspector uses specific testing and measuring devices.

Job Requirements of Quality Assurance/Quality Control Inspectors

Basically, inspectors need to know about everything related to welding. They need to be knowledgeable about applicable codes and how to quickly look up any section when they need to verify and substantiate that a weld needs to be reworked. They need to know how to engage in nondestructive testing, be cognizant of the terminology applicable to the welding process and how different materials react when combined during the welding process.

Just a few of the job requirements recently listed in an advertisement for a welding inspector include:

  • Dedication to the quality control/quality assurance process.
  • Ability to read complex fabrication plans.
  • Ability to efficiently multi-task.
  • Excellent verbal, written and computer communication skills.
  • Certification as a welding inspector.
  • Knowledge of how to properly interpret relevant codes and regulations.
  • Be detail-oriented and have the ability to conduct visual inspections as well as knowledge of how to use proper equipment when circumstances require it.

How to Become a Certified Welding Quality Assurance Inspector

The American Welders Society (AWS) offers inspector certification to welders who meet certain eligibility requirements and can pass a three-part written exam. In order to be eligible to take the exam, a welder must meet this criteria:

  • Pass a vision test.
  • A combination of education and experience is required.
  • As the amount of education in the field of welding a person has increases, the number of years of experience required decreases.

Although experience is a big factor in becoming an inspector, welding education is also required. The AWS requires training at a technical school 2 for anyone who has fewer than five years of welding experience in order to sit for the certification exam. We at Tulsa Welding School offer welding technology training programs that will qualify welders for careers in the field of a Welding Quality Assurance/Quality Control Inspector.

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According to an article in The Fabricator 3, a magazine that has been publishing articles for the metal fabricating industry since 1971, welders who want to become certified inspectors must be prepared to “hit the books” and go to welding school. The AWS certification test is comprehensive. A passing score of 72 percent must be achieved on each part of the three part exam.

If test-takers score below 72 percent, they have to wait one year before they can retake the exam. During that year, the candidate must also take 40 hours of professional welding training in order to be eligible to retake the exam.

Additional Sources

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