6 Steps to Becoming a Certified Welder

So what does it mean to be a certified welder? Sounds like a fair question, especially if you have interest in becoming a certified welder, because the answer seems to depend upon who you ask. In short, being a certified welder means you hold a certification (as in an official printed certificate) certifying you have the ability to produce welds according to accepted standards, formally prescribed in writing.

Certified Welder

Definition of a Certified Welder

The governing powers in the welding trade have published a definitive series of procedures dictating the method by which various welds are to be executed. To become certified, a welder must take a test in which he’s judged and graded based on how well he conforms to the written procedure governing the type of weld he’s executing. By passing the test, the welder earns his certification. Each procedure has its own test. Pretty straightforward.


Picture Credit: www.somersetwelding.com

How do You become a Certified Welder?

The 6 steps outlined below provide a set of easy to follow instructions to help guide you along the path to earning your welding certification:

Step 1

Complete a welder’s training program. There are a variety of online resources which can help direct you to welding school in your area. More than likely, your local community college offers a welder’s training program that’s designed (at least in part) to prepare you for welding a certification test. The American Welding Society (AWS) is also a valuable resource, visit them online at www.aws.org.

Step 2

Acquire a copy of the written welding procedures governing the type of welding process on the exam, and practice creating welds according to procedure. The welding certification exam is a practical test, meaning you will create a weld for the specific type of welding process you’re testing on.

Step 3

Practice, practice, and when you think you might be ready, practice some more. Then, after you have a decent volume of practice under your belt, and you feel confident with your skill level, visit the AWS’s website, www.aws.org, and schedule a test in your area. Tests are available at fairly regular intervals, so it shouldn’t be too tough to schedule.

Step 4

Take your test, and hopefully pass. A $30 examination fee is payable at the time of the exam.

Step 5

You will be advised the same day you take the test whether you passed or failed, and assuming you passed, you will be awarded your welding certification on the spot, the day of your exam. But, If you fail, you can reschedule for the next available test date. Spend more time practicing to improve in the areas that are difficult before you retake the exam. Also, keep in mind when you retake the exam, you’ll need to pay another $30 examination fee.

Step 6

To maintain your welding certification, every six months you must submit certification maintenance paperwork to AWS. This form must be signed by your current employer, verifying you’re still actively working in the welding trade.

If you follow the six steps above, you’ll be on track to obtaining your welding certification.

More Welding Certification Resources

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10 thoughts on “6 Steps to Becoming a Certified Welder”

  1. Cory A says:

    Hello guys, I have been working in the automotive field since high school. I am now 31, tired of the trade and have since financed and paid off thousands of dollars in tools since I started when I was 17. I would consider myself a 7.5 out 10, 10 being very good at general automotive repair like diagnostics, chassis, electrical, etc etc. I’ve worked in a muffler shop and played with the Mig welder, with exhaust tubing in particular. If someone set the heat and stuff for me beforehand, I’m actually pretty clean at it. I seemed to understand the process of keeping the distance and angle and speed just right. I have boogered stuff, blew holes through stuff. Know some trials and tribulations. I’ve recently shown a huge interest in fabricating and welding, as I’m into both sides of the motorsports world [cycles and vehicles]. This would be a nice change for me, and the money would be about the same maybe better it seems. You guys think I’d be okay at my age to jump into a welding school and have a chance at landing a gig somewhere here in Northeast Pennsylvania? I’d consider myself an average-paced learner and very mechanically inclined.

  2. bakersgas says:

    It’s never a bad time to jump into the welding industry. Our suggestion is to contact your local community colleges to see what programs they offer and how they fit your particular skillset or specific area in welding you are wanting to move into.

    Baker’s Gas

  3. William says:

    My son has been taking welding for 3 years at his high school and has participated in FFA welding competitions. Can this count as his welding training, or it required for him to go community college or trade school before taking his certification test?

  4. Jessica Brandt says:

    Hello, I’m currently taking a welding course at my community college. However the instructor only teaches us the repetition of the welds, none of the actual technical information that i would need to know to pass any written exam. That being said, if i finish 1 of 4 sememsters would i be able to take the exam? The course does not give us a certification. Which I didn’t know until after the fact.

  5. farouk mohammed sani says:

    i am an international plate welder, graduated from samsung heavy industries nigeria limited

  6. John says:

    I’m an older man (52) who has been welding for about 30 years and was wanting to know if I can just go schedule a test at the nearest facility. I don’t have a high school diploma nor have I been to trade school

  7. Easton Memmott says:

    I like the tip you gave to study and practice for the entry level test to get into a welding school. I am planning to start welding school as soon as I graduate from high school, so I am looking to prepare as much as I can right now. I will be sure to study and practice as much as I can before I go in to take the entry level test.

  8. Jude says:

    I have a degree in Mechanical Engineering University Of Benin Nigeria . I am planning to enroll for a welding program .
    How do I start . can I get a training Institute in Australia that is willing to accept me .
    Thank you .

  9. Francis Adjei says:

    Hello , am Francis ADJEI ,from(Ghana) I am a welder and I went to know , how can I take part of the test , or how can I schooling online please

  10. UpWeld says:

    What is AWS Welding Certification Process?

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