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How to Become a CWI in 5 Steps

how to become a cwiThe responsibility of a certified welding inspector is extensive. The CWI manages the operation's oversight. It's hard work but the outlook for a CWI career path is growing and pays well for those willing to shine.

The average CWI salary is $72K/year with increasing demand. The field thrives no matter the economic ups and downs. CWI jobs offer competitive benefits, too, further bonding its opportunity.

Would you like to learn how to become a CWI, tapping this in-demand field? Read on and follow this career path.

Arcing Your Career: How to Become a CWI

A CWI career has a low barriers-to-entry via certification. This is a lucrative opportunity for those wanting to scale their welding prowess. Or, desiring a shift and arc into a new career path. Let's go through the steps on how to become a certified welding inspector.

1. Understand Where You Stand

You'll need to meet an education and experience threshold before you can take the CWI test. The CWI exam requires a 72% passing score (or higher).

Do you meet these AWS requirements?

  • 4/year Bachelors (or higher) or Welding Engineering/Tech + 1/year work
  • 3/year Associates (or higher) or Eng tech/science/Phys. tech + 2/year work
  • 2/year Engineering/Tech courses + Bachelors (or higher) + 3/year work
  • 1/year Trade/Voc. courses + 4/year work
  • HS Diploma (or GED) + 5/year work
  • 8th Grade + 9/year work
  • >8th Grade + 12/year work

Continue work or go back-to-school to fill the needed gaps. Higher education can gap 1-year increments. Push through!

2. Get Your Eyes Checked

You're required to pass a vision test alongside the AWS certified exam.

The process includes:

  1. Filing the VAF (Visual Acuity Form) within 7-months of the exam
  2. Having an eye exam performed by a certified medical professional

The exam factors one's ability to read Jaeger J2 within 12-inches. Corrective lenses are accepted including contacts. The examiner will also check for colorblindness.

3. Study, Study, Study

AWS exams cost $850 - $1,065 depending on membership so you'll want to get it right the first time. There are 3-parts and grants several hours to complete.

Begin studying early, and often:

  1. Go through the official AWS study material
  2. Apply your knowledge alongside our prep course
  3. Consider optional welding inspector training

You're also welcome to attend weeklong seminars. These events are helpful with prep, covering all sections you'll face on the exam.

4. Practice with Dummy Exams

You'll find AWS practice exams through:

  • Amazon
  • Udemy
  • Scribd

Work your way through these practice exams as if they're the real thing.

Include practicing:

  • The 150-question fundamental questions
  • Practical experience including tool identification and use
  • Memorizing and identifying the D1.1 code

5. Take the Real CWI Test

It's time!

  1. Apply for the exam by filing the CWI Initial Application
  2. Use the CWI schedule to choose your destination, and submit forms
  3. Confirm details with AWS
  4. Attend and take the exam

It takes a lot of work gaining the right experience and training. You'll study hard and commit a decent amount of money. But, it'll be worth it once you pass!

Create a Bond with Your Next Opportunity

Trade jobs prove viability no matter what's shaking the economy. A welding career creates stability and incredible income opportunities. Learning how to become a CWI launches this trajectory toward rewarding work.

Ready to apply and grow? Get in touch, learn about our ASNT Level III prep course.

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5 Tips to Pass the CWI Exam

cwi examIf you want to become a CWI, you need some welding experience. And, you need to pass the CWI exam. The amount of experience you need varies on your education level, but the CWI exam is always the same.

The CWI text is always three parts. You get two hours for each section. They focus on fundamentals, practical application, and code application.

The best thing you can do is be fully prepared. We've put together a list of 5 things you can do to prepare for your test.

1. Create a Study Plan

Everyone learns a little differently. While the test is the same for everyone, your study plan needs to tailored specifically to you.

If flash cards work for you, then start there. If they don't, then you should try reading the content over and taking notes.

There's no one full-proof study plan, the key is to know what works for you and build your plan around it. Most plans should contain more than one study method.

2. Just Reading the Content isn't Enough

Just reading your books or study guides isn't enough to learn the content. You need to actually study it.

Focus and make sure that you are absorbing as much of the information as possible. Don't just skim the material, try to really understand it. As you study try not to just memorize the information, you want to ask yourself why these procedures need to been done in certain ways.

It's a long test, so the better grasp you have on the material, the more likely you will be able to recall it under the stress of the CWI exam.

3. Take Welding Certification Practice Tests

The CWI prep courses and practice tests have been made to help you understand what information is going to be on the CWI exam. By bringing the relevant information to the forefront, you have much better odds of passing the exam.

What makes it even better is that both the courses and the practice tests are designed so you can go at your own pace. That gives you the opportunity to really absorb the material.

4. Know What the Sections are About

It can be really helpful to your self-study to know the breakdown and the number of questions in each of the sections.

Part A is all about your fundamental knowledge; this section is 150 questions. Part B is all about inspection both welding and nondestructive testing; it is 46 questions. Part C is the only open book section and it's about the codebook; this is 46 questions as well.

You have to get 72 percent on all of the sections to pass.

5. Teach a Friend

A lot of times, the best way to know if you actually understand something is to teach someone. As you're explaining it to someone who has no knowledge about welding, you can really tell what you do and don't know.

Teaching a subject has proven to help you remember it, this is called the protege effect.

Pass Your CWI Exam

Passing your CWI exam is a big step toward your future, studying for it can be stress full.

However, if you follow the tips we've laid out, it should be as stress-free as possible. If you are interested in courses or have any questions you can contact us.

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CWI Exam Prep Course @ AINDT!

cwi prep course
Did you know?

The CWI exam requires 72% for a passing score on each of its three sections:

  • Part A: Fundamentals,
  • Part B: Practical, and
  • Part C: Code Book.
  • Students who score at least 60%, but below 72% on these three sections will receive a CAWI certification. A Certified Associate Welding Inspector, or CAWI, requires a minimum of two years welding related experience. CAWIs also are not allowed to sign off on paperwork.
  • Upon successfully qualifying and testing to the requirements put forth by the American Welding Society (AWS), the student will receive a National Certification, which will be active for three years.

Included in the course fee each student will receive a comprehensive visual inspection tool kit.

We believe we offer the most comprehensive CWI Exam Prep Course available. Our course will give you the skills and knowledge you will need to take the AWS CWI exam with confidence!

Certified Welding Inspector Course Schedule - Click for More Info & to View Dates

Course cost: $1,800.00

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