What Is Covered in the Welding Certification Test?

The American Welding Society (AWS) offers numerous certifications for welders, including the Certified Welder credential. If you would like to know what's covered in various welding certification tests, read on. Schools offering Industrial Automation Engineering Technology degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

Welding Certification Options

A variety of welding certifications are offered by the AWS (www.aws.org). Some certifications include the Certified Welder, Certified Welding Engineer and Certified Robotic Arc Welding credential for operators and technicians. Other welding certifications available through AWS are applicable to welding inspectors, fabricators, supervisors, educators and sales representatives.

Passing written or practical examinations to demonstrate welding knowledge and abilities is required to earn the certifications, and certain eligibility requirements may need to be met. Read on to learn what each certification test covers, and check the requirements.

Important Facts About Welding

Entry-level Education High school diploma or equivalent
Key Skills Detail-oriented, manual dexterity, physical strength and stamina, technical skills
Median Salary (2018) $41,380 (for welders, cutters, solderers, and brazers)*
Job Outlook (2016-2026) 6% (for welders, cutters, solderers, and brazers)*

Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

Certified Welder (CW)

In order to become a CW, you need to locate an AWS-accredited testing facility and arrange a time to demonstrate your basic welding skills; a testing supervisor evaluates you. If you satisfactorily complete your weld, you'll earn certification. Your certification is valid as long as you regularly submit documentation from your employer noting your status as a welder. The CW credential does not require a written component, and no prerequisites are necessary to sit for the certification examination.

Certified Welding Engineer (CWEng)

As a Certified Welding Engineer, you'll direct the operation of welding projects, making sure that all completed joints comply with industry standards and contract documentation. To be eligible for the CWEng credential, you'll require a combination of an undergraduate degree and some experience in the welding field.

The CWEng certification requires passing a written exam that includes four sections. You must pass the first two sections in order to move onto the second half of the exam. The exam covers elements of safety, design, materials and quality assurance.

Certified Robotic Arc Welding (CRAW) Operator or Technician

Two levels of robotic arc welding certification are available. For the Certified Robotic Arc Welding Operator (CRAW-O) credential, you'll require a welding or related diploma plus two years of experience in the field. For the Certified Robotic Arc Welding Technician (CRAW-T) credential, you'll need to have an associate's degree in a relevant field and five years of welding work experience, plus certification as a Certified Welding Inspector (CWI) through AWS.

CRAW certification requires successful completion of both a written and hands-on exam. The written exam includes topics such as robotic programming and logic, arc welding, equipment setup and welding procedures. During the practical exam, you'll be asked to set up your welding equipment and demonstrate proper welding techniques using a robotic arc welder.

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