Either you want to be a welder, or you want to pursue your career in electrical engineering, education is equally important. For becoming a welder high school education is mandatory. Many high schools offer welding courses and metal fabrication. 

To learn the necessary skills of welding, a student must take every course to gain hands-on experience. It is not a field of bookish knowledge, in fact, it requires a lot of practical work and a deep understanding of science, algebra, measuring, calculations, and mathematics. 

How long does it take to become a certified welder?

An average time to become a welder is six months. A person who opts for the six-month course only earns a certificate. Contrary to it if a student prefers a four-year pathway will be considered as a Bachelorette in welding, which is more beneficial. 

Welding graduates acquire a professional level of welding skills and work far better than conventional welders. Therefore, a welding degree holder earns higher in the industry than a certified welder. To decide which school or program is required, you need to have complete information about the schools and universities and thanks to the internet which has made this task an easy one. 

Students who want a higher degree in welding but in a shorter period they can opt for a Welding Technology Associate’s Degree. This program i extends only for two years, costing $6000 to $55,000. 

How much does it cost to become a certified welder?

There are diverse certification programs offered in the welding field. Hence, the cost is not the same for every certification. The price can be as minimal as $3,500 or as costly as $55,000. AWS offers certification for potential members at a lower cost. The cost entirely depends on which program you want to enroll. 

Welding programs in vocational schools and community colleges will cost you around $5,000 to $15,000. If you are willing for an Associate’s degree in welding, the certification will cost you $6000 to $55,000. Vocational schools for welding programs do not always offer all of the different certification code tests that you may need. Thus, for some certification tests, you may have to use an accredited testing facility. 

For pursuing a career professionally in the welding domain, multiple universities offer four years Bachelor program. The cost is even higher for a bachelor’s degree in welding. It ranges from $40,000 to $100,000. Meanwhile, you will also find some courses on welding certification online. 

Additionally, it costs about $100 to $150 to register yourself in an American Welding Society Test Facility as it is the most common and accepted certification in the U.S. The primary benefit of opting an AWS test facility is that they will automatically register you in the National Certified Welder registry upon passing the certification exam and provide you with an AWS registered welder’s card. This card will allow you to skip the recertification test that is mandatory for non-AWS certified welders.

How to Become a Certified Welder

How many welding certifications are there?

There are primarily two types of welding certifications to pursue after finishing your high school degree. 

1. Employer certification

Employer certification is a conventional type of certification offered by the employer after years of hard work in welding. The certificate assesses your working process, types of metals you are expert to work on, the thickness of the metal you are pleasant to work with, and many factors related to welding. 

2. American welding society (AWS) certification

In the welding industry, AWS certification has gained acceptance owing to its standards of certifying skillful welders. To qualify their certification, you are bound to weld according to AWS welding procedures, industry-standard specifications, or non-coding welding specifications, and pass their welding examination. 

What Is the Standard Certification for Welding?

The standard, widely accepted welding certifications are offered by the American Welding Society (AWS). These tests evaluate the welder’s knowledge regarding safety and the welding process itself.

For testing welding skills, a written exam is taken by AWS certification. These certifications required to be renewed after every six months per year. Acquiring an AWS certification is an excellent way to earn a reasonable sum and to avail employment opportunities as AWS is widely accepted. 

Apart from AWS, many other organizations offer welding certifications. Some of them include the American Petroleum Institute (API), American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME). 

Besides proper certification, some organizations offer online certifications, as well. But these certifications may not be recognized by most of the employers. American Welding Society, Academic Info, ToolingU, and Welding.org are some of the most legit and trusted websites to get an online certification.

Currently, AWS offers several categories of certification:

  • Certified Welding Inspector (CWI)
  • Certified Associate Welding Inspector (CAWI)
  • Senior Certified Welding Inspector (SCWI)
  • Certified Welding Educator (CWE)
  • Certified Radiographic Interpreter (CRI)
  • Certified Welding Supervisor (CWS)
  • Certified Welding Sales Representative (CWSR)
  • Certified Welding Engineer (CWE)
  • Certified Welder (CW)
  • Certified Robotic Arc Welding (CRAW)

Basic welding skills you need

Knowing how to weld isn’t enough to become a prosperous and professional welder. Being a welder takes an immense effort and acquires a range of skills to master in. Some of the essential skill sets required for welding are mentioned below: 

1. Mathematical Skills

A skillful welder must be handy with basic maths and geometry. As welding requires calculating dimensions to fabricate the metal into exact sizes. A better understanding of geometry is essential for a welder because it assists in accurate welding angles, volume, and length.

2. Technically sound on Welding Techniques

A welder must be very well familiar with recognizing the sounds of different metals as it helps in welding the metals effectively. He must possess the technical knowledge of metal art, gas tungsten, arc welding, flux core, oxy-fuel as this skill helps a lot to deal with metals of different characteristics and properties.

3. Knowledge of tools & equipment

Tools and equipment are the keys for an artist, musicians, in fact, for every professional work around the globe. Akin to that, a good welder must be particular about accurately using his tools. His knowledge about upgraded and advanced appliances will make it easy for him to decide which tool to use for what type of work. Additionally, he should be well-aware of safety standards for using the tools he owns.

4. Attention to detail

Welders often work in life-threatening environments. Therefore, they need to be extremely observant and must keep a sharp eye on every minor detail. 

5. Must Be a Proficient Planner 

There does not exist any project that starts without planning. Therefore, a skillful welder should be able to execute the plan properly. He must read blueprints and understand every particular aspect that may affect the project.

6. ARC Welding

ARC welding is one of the most critical welding types. An expert welder must be capable to accurately feed the electricity to metals to melt and join metal pieces.

7. Interest in fabricating and grinding

To weld any pieces of metal properly, you will need to first fabricate the metal by bending, cutting, and then approach for giving it the desired shape. Only welding isn’t enough to satisfy the customers. Broken metal parts would require grinding before handing over the project. Therefore, it is incredibly essential for a welder to know how to use a grinding machine properly.

Welding Apprenticeship

Apprenticeship programs accredit a welder to perform on-the-job training that enables him to get entry-level training and has the chance to learn even more. Participating in an apprenticeship is a very effective way to enhance both the welding skills and knowledge.

Many companies offer apprenticeship programs and pay some amount of money as well. It’s a great way to get initial training while earning money. These programs assist in qualifying advanced jobs quicker than the ones who did not attend apprenticeship. If you don’t find any apprenticeship programs in your area, seek for the job training sessions apart from learning.

Conclusion

If making fireworks with a welding machine fascinates you then surely propel yourself in attending the welding sessions, courses, and programs. If your interest gets dense with time, pursue it through a Bachelor’s degree. 

It’s always better to know about entering into an entirely new career, so such certifications are there to assist the beginner’s minds. Becoming a certified welder is the main issue as it requires good experience in the field.

Once you gain experience in welding, then depending on places, the annual income of an average welder can be around $38,000 per year. Therefore, it can be a shiny career for those who are passionate to learn welding skills.