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Career Change: Become a Certified Welding Inspector

How Much Money Can I Make as an AWS CWI?Did you know that more than 50 percent of all products require wielding at various stages of the manufacturing process? The building and construction industry also heavily requires the work of welders.

Welding inspectors work to ensure the safety and integrity of things made by welded machinery.

If you have a keen eye for detail and have a passion for technical roles, this is a career you can pursue.

In this article, we're telling you what it takes to become a welding inspector.

Gain Welding Education and Experience

There are several paths to becoming a certified welding inspector.

You can start your journey by pursuing a bachelor's degree in welding technology, welding engineering or a closely related field. After graduating, you'll only need at least 1 year of welding experience to qualify for certification by the American Welding Society.

If you have an associate degree in welding technology, welding engineering or a closely related field, you'll need a minimum of 2 years of wielding-based experience to qualify for certification.

Another option is to join a vocational training institution and get welding training. This is a popular path among the vast majority of aspiring welding inspectors. There are many welding trade schools, and they're cheaper than pursuing a degree. You'll, however, need at least 4 years of welding-based work experience to qualify for AWS certification.

Holders of a high school diploma, along with those whose highest level of schooling is 8th grade, must have a minimum of 5 and 9 years of welding experience, respectively.

Evidently, the best way to become a welding inspector is to start out as a welder. After gaining sufficient welding experience, you can then seek certification as a welding inspector.

Nurture the Skills Required to Become a Competent Welding Inspector

Beyond obtaining welding knowledge, there are essential skills you need to master.

For example, you need a high attention to detail. The job involves scrutinizing weldments, some in places that are not easily visible to the eye. A keen eye for detail will enable you to spot anything that doesn't meet the applicable standards.

Strong technical writing skills are crucial, as well. After conducting an inspection, you'll write detailed reports of your findings. Analytical skills are also crucial, since your role will involve studying engineering drawings.

Get Certified by the American Welding Society

The last step to becoming a welding inspector is to get certified by the AWS.

The Society offers 3 levels of welding inspector certifications:

  • Certified Associate Welding Inspector
  • Certified Welding Inspector
  • Senior Certified Welding Inspector

Each certification has different minimum qualification requirements. Generally, though, the level of minimum qualifications increases with the seniority of certification.

To get certified, you must successfully complete a certification examination, as well as pass a vision test. Certified welding inspectors must renew their certification every 3 years.

The Path to Becoming a Welding Inspector Is Clear

From increased employment prospects to higher compensation, becoming a welding inspector is a great career move. What's more, we have given you the information you need to make a switch to this career.

And that's not at all. We offer a CWI exam prep course that will get you the best preparation you need to ace the certification exam.

Contact us for more information.

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