How to become a Certified Welder
Are you interested in becoming a welder and want to know how to get into the career? If you are, then this post is for you.
It treats what you need to know about the welding career and how to become a certified welder, including the educational requirements and the ways to get certified.
Keep reading, but first …
Who is a Welder?
Welders are professionals who work on metals, steel, aluminum, and brass to make mechanisms or fix up broken elements.
Welders must be able to handle different welding tools and equipment skillfully, and be attentive to detail for efficacy of the job.
They must know how to use calculations and measurements for proper alignment of components to be welded.
Pipes, auto, and electronic parts are some of the things that get welded. Some welding techniques for specialization include gas metal arc and shielded metal arc.
Sometimes, skillful use of industrial welding robot and CAD software becomes a requirement.
Welder Educational Requirements and Career Pathway
There are various welding educational requirements depending on the employer.
A high school diploma may be what some employers require as long as you have acquired some welding experience and have completed essential welding tests.
Other employers may require certificate or degree from a community, technical or vocational college.
Welders who went through apprenticeship program still get employed. A welder can extend towards getting a Bachelor of Science or Associate of Science in welding engineering.
A welder with the motive for attending a formal education program should be ready to spend few years of study.
Students are to learn pipe layout, metallurgy, and mathematics together with techniques like bronzing, gas metal arc welding, soldering, tungsten arc welding, oxyacetylene welding, cutting, and casting and brazing.
How to Obtain Welding Certification
Welding certification serves as a welder qualification test to prove competence of the students or apprentices involved.
The welding certification is to make sure that welders acquire enough crafts for the career they have chosen in order to be up to the code they will work under.
The variety of welding codes depends on the sort of work being done. And each welding certification covers only that particular type of welding.
If you are to obtain all the welding certifications, then you have to attend all the welding certification programs for each field of work according to area of interest.
You cannot just jump into a welding certification program without first of all taking your mind to the type of work you are interested in.
In the U.S. the American Welding Society (AWS) has the most recognized welding certifications.
There is an inclusion of AWS welding certifications at vocational schools offering welding programs.
Basic Welding Certification Programs are as follows:
- Welder Training and Testing Institute (WTTI): This certification program is an AWS accredited training and testing institute. It is located at Graham Street Allentown – a certification program that has been in existence for 42 years. The cost for plate test is $143.00 while a 6G pipe welding certification costs $299.00. Courses and training that WTTI offers include: Standard Welding Course, Advanced Welder Qualification – Pipe, Gas Tungsten Arc Welding Course, Gas Metal Arc Welding Course, and Flux Cored Arc Welding Course, and Specialized Training.
- Vocational Schools for Welding Certification: Most vocational schools that offer welding certification programs charge from $170.00 and above for classroom courses, pipe coupons cost $30.00 while test plates costs around $20.00. You can take as many welding certifications as you can with most of the vocational schools for welders.
The three recognized bodies with certification authority that operate in the United States are:
- The American Welding Society (AWS): AWS deals with structural codes on buildings and bridges. According to BBB which ascertained AWS of meeting accreditation standards, AWS got accredited by BBB in October 2015. AWS settles BBB accredited Business Pay – a fee for accreditation support, monitoring and review of BBB services to the public.
- The American Petroleum Institute (API): API, based in Washington D.C., supervises pipeline welding codes for gas and oil industries, representing 400 corporations engaged in oil making, extracting and marketing. It is a comfortable and nice place to work; though has low turnover, people are still happy regarding lots of benefits involved. API has a severe 35-hour work week, does not allow overtime but has fair compensation.
- The American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME): ASME, an organization founded in 1980, takes care of pressure vessel and boiler codes, promoting art, sciences, and multidisciplinary engineering. ASME was not organized for profit but to serve different purposes such as helping the global engineering community improve on livelihoods, career, knowledge, skills, and collaboration.
Licensing in welding
Each State has its own licensing requirements, varying according to the law guiding welding licensing.
For instance, New York’s licensing requirements include certification by the American Welding Society (AWS) or the New York State Department of Transportation (NYSDOT).
Department of Permits, Licensing, and Inspections
Obtaining a license from the Department of Permits, Licensing and Inspections covers your specified type of welding for which license is issued.
There is a license application to download on their website, print, fill out and mail it, or bring it in person with current fee and other information.
Remember that all Department of Permits, Licenses, and Inspections fees are liable to annual changes.
Requirements for licensing:
- Candidate must be able to understand, speak and read English Language very well
- Must have experience
- Exam or test certifications meeting American Welding Society standards within two years of application
- Payment of check or money order payable to Treasurer, City of Pittsburgh for Licensing Fee
- Candidate must be 18 years old and provide proof of age and identification.
Duties and Responsibilities of Certified Welders
There are different duties and responsibilities of certified welders which they need to know to ease off any confusion and ignorance they may likely face.
The duties and responsibilities include:
- Setting up and operating welding machineries
- Cutting and joining together metal pieces with machines
- Arranging metal pieces and fixing them temporarily into their right positions before the main welding takes place
- Fabrication and assembling welding equipment and structures
- Making metal products for customers
- Reading and understanding blueprints, diagrams and sketches.
Where can Certified Welders Find Jobs?
Certified welders can find jobs in various places, depending on qualification and job experience. While some firms may demand months or years of experience, others do not.
However, education, training and experience of the job create more job opportunities in welding profession.
Leading Corporations that employ a large number of welders are as follows:
- Wabash National Corporation
- Trinity Inc.
- Caterpillar Inc.
- Great Dane Trailers LLC
- Huntington Ingalls Industries
What are the Salaries of Certified Welders?
According to the analysis of the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, welders were paid an average median salary of $19.00 in May 2013.
PayScale salary report for welders stated the salaries of welders in the United States to be between $11.98 and $25.20.
Furthermore, certified welding inspectors earn a median income of $58K per year, while welding supervisors earn $11K and production supervisors make $12K.
Tenneco Inc. and General Electric Co (GE) offer welders between $43K and $48K, while National Oilwell Varco pays employed welders $50K; Steel Fab Company offers low payment of $37K.