7 Types of Welding Certifications

There are many welding certifications that prove your proficiency in a certain welding process or as a welding supervisor or educator.

Whichever type of welding certification you choose to pursue, it’ll go a long way in allowing you to secure a great job in the field of welding. This includes positions such as underwater welding and welding engineering.

Read on to learn more about the different types of welding certifications and the importance of being certified in the field.

What Are Welding Certifications?

Welding certifications are proof of skill and proficiency in different welding types and processes. 

An aspiring welder must complete training and pass a qualification test to get certified.

A letter and number code signify a welder’s level of competence in each type of welding. For instance, a person can be certified as a “4-F” welder. This means that they’ve reached level 4 proficiency in fillet welding. 

Generally speaking, certification isn’t a must when pursuing a career as a welder. However, if you wish to get a job with a high-profile employer, this will probably require you to have a minimum level of welding certification.

Such certifications are typically issued and overseen by the American Welding Society (AWS) or the American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME).

Why Are Welding Certifications Important?

You may be wondering, is having a welding certification really that important? 

If you’re serious about a career in welding, the answer is most definitely yes.

First, going through the certification process is a valuable learning experience. It allows you to diversify your welding skills and be proficient in various welding types and processes.

This gives you a major competitive edge relative to welders that aren’t certified. It’s safe to say that an individual certified in shielded metal arc welding and resistance welding will have more doors open to them than someone who can only do gas welding.

In turn, the ceiling for the salary you can receive as a certified welder is considerably higher than that of a non-certified one.

Common Types of Welding Certifications

There are many types of welding certifications. They range from specific welding techniques to certifications for professions surrounding welding.

Here are some common ones:

1. Certified Welding Engineer

It’s safe to say that engineering is one of the most respected professions in our society. Becoming a certified welding engineer is one way to make your engineering degree even more valuable and potent.

This certification gives you all the tools and knowledge you need to become a proficient welder who produces high-quality work. It also expands your knowledge of the legal and financial aspects of the job. 

This comes in handy, especially if you wish to work on public and government projects.

2. Certified Welding Supervisor

A certification in welding supervision is another one you can pursue in the world of welding. 

Certified welding supervisors are in high demand in many aspects of the field, including construction and manufacturing.

As a welding supervisor, you’ll oversee a team of welders and ensure that the quality of the results they’re putting forth is up to par. 

You’ll also have the responsibility of managing the big picture aspects of the job. Specifically, you’ll be tasked with devising work practices that optimize efficiency and productivity.

3. Certified Welding Educator

Pursuing certification as a welding instructor is also a great way to go. This is especially true for those with extensive welding experience and cannot put it into practice for any reason.

A certified welding educator has the essential job of passing on valuable knowledge and tricks of the trade to aspiring welders. This is a huge responsibility since your proficiency in teaching your students will affect the quality of their work for years to come.

4. Certified Resistance Welding Technician

Certification in resistance welding is highly sought after for a reason. Resistance welding has a diverse set of applications in highly important industries, such as the automobile industry, appliance manufacturing industry, and sheet metal production.

Since this certification involves the practical application of a welding process, those looking to get certified must pass a qualification test

This test requires you to demonstrate your proficiency in various resistance welding processes. In addition to this, it assesses your degree of knowledge of the concepts involved in resistance welding.

5. Certified Underwater Welder

This is arguably the most exciting and financially rewarding certification in this guide.

However, it’s also one of the most intense and difficult to obtain. This is why there aren’t that many underwater welders out there. That, paired with the high demand for the position, makes employers willing to pay top dollar for the services of a certified underwater welder.

If you pursue this certification and succeed in getting it, you’ll get the chance to pair your diving and welding skills when working in shipyards and on military projects.

6. Certified Robot Arc Welder

Welding using a robotic arm has become increasingly in demand over the years. By getting a certification in this welding process, you’ll be at the forefront of the field when it comes to technology.

This certification will also get you up to speed with the codes and specifications involved when dealing with robot arc welding.

You should note that robot arc welding certification isn’t a one-time deal. Since this welding process is technology-intensive, you’re going to have to renew your certification every three years to stay up to date with the latest advancements.

7. Certified Radiographic Interpreter

Radiographic interpretation involves using complex processes to evaluate the quality of a welded joint.

Once you get certified as a radiographic interpreter, you’ll be tasked with reading reports from radiographic inspections to determine whether a joint has any defects.

Qualification Tests

After completing your certification program, you will have to pass a qualification test to seal the deal and receive your certificate.

Such tests involve a practical examination of your knowledge and skills. They require you to execute a certain weld type or procedure. Your performance is then judged based on the quality of the joint you’ve produced.

The testing board uses a variety of indicators to gauge your performance. Here are the most common ones:

Destructive Tests:

  • Tensile Tests
  • Nick Break
  • Hardness Tests
  • Bend Tests
  • Micro Hardness

Non-Destructive Tests:

  • Visual Inspection
  • Dye Penetrant
  • Mag Particle Inspection
  • Ultrasound Inspection
  • X-ray Inspection

Conclusion

Are you thinking of pursuing a career in welding? If you are, you need to know the types of welding certifications you can get.

Getting certified by the AWS or ASME is a great way to improve your prospects of getting a stable job in the welding field that can help you support yourself and your family.

There’s a wide variety of welding certifications you can go for. They range from ones that prove your proficiency in a certain welding process to ones that allow you to become a supervisor, inspector, or educator.