Welding Resources – Welding Certification

This is the next installment of a monthly Welding Resources series. In this series, we’ll be covering key topics relevant to welding and welders. Rather than providing one narrative article detailing a specific tip, procedure, or issue, these Welding Resources posts are meant to serve as a consolidated list of the top online resources for the given topic.


Introduction

In this month’s welding resources column, we’ve consolidated some of the top online resources for preparing for the welding certification test. There are many benefits to earning your welding certification, especially if you want a career in welding, but the process is not necessarily an easy one. Should you decide to pursue certification, be sure to get familiar with a lot of the resources below. 


First Step – Get Educated

Technical Schools Guide, www.technical-schools-guide.com – The first step in earning your welding certification is admission to a welding school or program. Many technical and trade schools offer welding programs, and the first thing you need to do is find out whether your nearby schools have the program(s) you’re hoping to get into. If you aren’t already familiar with your local schools, visit the Technical Schools Guide website to find the welding programs closest to your zip code. Once you know where to apply, you’ll be able to get in touch with the school to find admissions information and go from there. 

American Welding Society, www.aws.org – The AWS offers conferences and seminars to welders and would-be welders who want to learn more about current technology and applications. These events could also offer the opportunity to network and learn more about the different fields and aspects of welding.  


Next Step – Register to Take the Certification Exam

There are several organizations in the US that offer and oversee certification programs. Visit each one to learn more about the opportunities available to you and to select a field or specialty you want to pursue. 

American Welding Society, www.aws.orgAWS welding certification prepares you for structural welding, including buildings and bridges.

American Society of Mechanical Engineers, www.asme.org – The ASME certification program prepares welders to work on boilers and vessels. 

American Petroleum Institute, www.api.orgAPI certification deals with welding codes specific to pipelines for the oil and gas industries. 

Welding School Locator, http://www.aws.org/w/sense – Often you’ll be able to take your certification exams at your local trade school, but if the exams you need aren’t being offered, visit AWS’s welding school locator to find a facility that offers the specific test(s) you need. 


Next Step – Consider an Internship or Apprenticeship

An internship or apprenticeship may be just the thing you need to keep your skills sharp and make valuable connections while you wait to take your certification exams. Countless job boards carry listings for welding internships, but you may find that some of these resources offer better results for your time. 

AWS Internship List, http://www.aws.org/w/a/membership/internlist.html – Among the AWS’s many resources to prospective welders is this free internship board

Indeed, www.indeed.com – Do a search for "welding internships" at Indeed to find a great list of welding internships. 

You may find, however, that the best way to find an internship or apprenticeship is to speak with the faculty at your local trade school or to call your local welding companies directly to find an internship. Odds are good that these wouldn’t be paid, but the experience will more than make up for that, if you’re in a position to do so. 


Other Certification Prep Resources

Check out these past WeldMyWorld.com posts to get more information on welding certification: 

 

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