AWS Welding Certification

aws welding certification

AWS Welding Certification is a skill test of the qualification and work experience of welders. The value of certification for a welder is immense in a career and it can boost their earnings. Besides this, welding certification is proof of welders’ efficiency and adeptness in their expertise. An authorized certified welder inspector conducts the certification process according to the regulations.

Each country has its own certification body. In the United, the American Welding Society is a renowned certification organization. AWS is the apex body for welding certifications. It conducts various types of certification tests for welders. However, if a welder got certification in one specialization does not mean he/she is able to work in all the welding positions. Simply, each welder has his/her own specialization i.e. TIG welder, MIG welder, etc. The American Petroleum Institute (API) and the American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME) are other bodies that provide certifications in the United States.

Post Highlights:

  • AWS Professional Certification Tests
  • AWS Certification Documents
  • Positions Used for Welding Certification
  • Welding Certification Processes
  • How Long Does Certification Process Take?
  • Where to Get AWS Welding Certification?
  • Do Welders Need Certification?
  • Industry and Required Qualification Test
  • Requirement of License along with Certification

AWS Professional Certification Tests

The American Welding Society conducts various professional welding certifications. They are as follows.

  • Certification for Certified Associate Welding Inspector
  • Certification for Certified Radiographic Interpreter
  • Certification for Certified Robotic Arc Welding
  • Certification for Certified Welder
  • Certification for Certified Welding Educator
  • Certification for Certified Welding Engineer
  • Certification for Certified Welding Inspector
  • Certification for Certified Welding Sales Representative
  • Certification for Certified Welding Supervisor
  • Certification for Senior Certified Welding Inspector

AWS Certification Documents

The following are AWS technical documents on various types of certifications.

QC1 – Standard for AWS Certification of Welding Inspectors

QC5 – AWS Standard for Certification of Welding Educators

QC9 – Administrative Procedures for Alleged Violations of AWS Certification Programs

QC13 – Specification for the Certification of Welding Supervisors

QC14 – Specification for the Certification of Welding Sales Representatives

QC15 – Specification for the Certification of Radiographic Interpreters

QC17 – Specification for AWS Accreditation of Certified Welding Fabricators

QC19 – Specification for AWS Certification of Robotic Arc Welding Personnel

QC20 – Specification for AWS Certification of Resistance Welding Technicians

QC47 – Specification for AWS Certification of Welders and Accreditation of Test Facilities

Positions Used for Welding Certification

During the certification process, many welding positions are to be employed. Welders take the certification test in vertical, horizontal, flat, and overhead positions depending on the pipe or plate on which welding is to be performed.

1. Vertical Position

In this position, the weld joint faces the welder vertically both up and down. Besides this, the welder has both welding options i.e. welding the joint from the bottom to the top and from the top to downward.

2. Horizontal Position

In this position, the welder performs welding on a joint both from left to right and right to left as per the requirements.

3. Flat Position

Basically, this is a starting position for students or beginners. In this position, welders are either standing or sitting on a table and lay welds looking down on it.

4. Overhead Position

Generally, the welding position requires sufficient experience. In this position, welders need to look up and weld the metals either left to right or right to left.

Welding Positions Employed-

Plate Welding Certification Positions

  • 1G Welding Position
  • 2G Welding Position
  • 3G Welding Position
  • 4G Welding Position

Pipe Welding Certification Positions

  • 1G Pipe Welding Position
  • 2G Pipe Welding Position
  • 5G Pipe Welding Position
  • 6G Pipe Welding Position

Restricted Pipe Welding Certifications and Test Positions

  • 6GR Restricting Ring Pipe Welding Position
  • 6GR Restricted Boiler Tubing Test Position
  • 6GR Box Type Restriction Pipe Welding Position

Welding Certification Processes

There are many welding processes and procedures for certification depending on the area selected by welders. Yet, the following are some of the common processes used for welding certification.

How Long Does Certification Process Take?

The different certifications take different time duration. Normally, it depends upon you which test you going for. Besides this, a welder with a lot of experience can cut down a long time. Take a look at some of the tests and time duration.

  • 3G test for beginners normally takes 1½ to 3 months.
  • 3G and 4G Combo SMAW tests for beginners take anywhere from 6 to 9 months.
  • 6G Pipe Test for beginners takes 12 to 18 months.

So, every certification test has its own time duration.

Where to Get AWS Welding Certification?

Every country has its own certification bodies. In the United States, the American Welding Society (AWS) is the apex authority for various types of certifications. And its certification is recognized in most countries of the world. AWS also offers different types of membership such as corporate membership, individual membership, student membership, and welder membership.

Do Welders Need Certification?

This is a big question circling almost in the mind of every welder. Some think in favor of it and others do not. But the reality is they need welding certification for excelling in the welding industry and getting an edge over other welders. Certification means a high level of skills and smart experience with managing and leadership roles. Besides this, it also attests to the ability of a welder to work with specific metal thicknesses, certain weld types, and other specific welding considerations.

Even the person who observes certification tests is also a certified welding inspector. So, getting certified is multi-beneficial for all welders from a salary point of view and overall profile in the welding industry. Nowadays, most employers prefer applicants with certain certifications. As the job profile has become complex, employers need candidates trained in certain codes and standards.

Industry and Required Qualification Test

All industries demand a certain qualification test. Some of them are as follows

Industry Types Qualification Test
Power Plant Construction Pipe Welder Qualification Test
Bridges Structural Welder Qualification Test
Industrial Construction Structural Welder Qualification Test
Reinforcing Bar Structural Welder Qualification Test
Sheet Steel Structural Welder Qualification Test
Shipyards Structural Welder Qualification Test
Aircraft Components Welder Qualification Test
Pressure Vessels Welder Qualification Test

Requirement of License along with Certification

In the United States, some states like New York and Los Angeles require licensing in addition to AWS welding certification. In New York, first welders should be certified both by the AWS and the New York State Department of Transportation, and then they must apply for licensing. Welders willing to work with local bodies need to comply with local requirements.


Thus, the aforesaid information on the American Welding Society certification types is beneficial for students, welders, and other professionals in the welding industry. The information will clear their doubts and points about certification.

Related: Other Welding Certifications

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