When you start looking for a welding job, you will be asked to do a hands-on test by most employers. This is to gauge your skills. For other employers, this is not enough as they will ask for proper certification that is up-to-date. Welding certification is a qualification test a welding inspector conducts that will determine if your welding skills are up to a required standard for a specific industry.
If you are looking for a welding job in Virginia, you can increase your chances of getting a well-paying job by becoming a certified welder. Welders are recommended to have this additional qualification as it gives them more credibility when looking for a job. It increases an employer’s confidence in your abilities, which can land you a better paying job.
There are many things involved with getting certified depending on your selected welding field. Before you run to be certified, you need to be sure about where you want to work and the type of welding you are interested in. This will guide you in getting the right certification that will give you higher chances of getting a job.
Who certifies welders?
The organization known to certify welders is known as the American Welding Society (AWS). They mainly deal with structural codes. They have welding procedures that you will need to know and follow if you want to pass the test. There are several tests that are done since one test cannot cover everything in welding. Once you pass the tests, you become a certified welder.
There are other organizations that certify welders. These are more specified institutions that have their unique codes that are not offered in most institutions. These include the American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME) that deals with pressure vessel and boiler codes. There is the American Petroleum Institute (API) that deals with welding codes for the oil and gas industries.
Most institutions offer AWS certification once you successfully complete the welding course. However, you will need to join a school that is an accredited test facility for welder testing so you can get the right skills and certification after your training. Most of these vocational institutions will give you AWS certification after you complete a program.
You also have the option of looking for an independent center that is an accredited testing facility and pay the fees to take the certification test there. The facilities offer more codes and procedures to choose from. If you are working under ASME or API, you may need to go to these facilities to get the required certification. The facilities usually let you pay for practice sessions if you need them before you can take the test.
Common welding certification processes
There are several welding procedures and processes you can get certified in. The most common ones include:
- Shielded Metal Arc Welding
- Gas Tungsten Arc Welding
- Gas Metal Arc Welding
- Flux Core Arc Welding/ Wire Wheel Welding
There are several common combinations when it comes to job site testing depending on the industry or company you want to work in. The tests differ in terms of positions, processes and the welding inspection. In most cases, you will get a bend test. If you are interested in pipe welding, the weld will be x-rayed. When it comes to industrial construction, you may get a 3 and 4G combo weld test. However, you will mostly be asked to do a Flux core arc welding test. Every industry differs which is why you should be sure of the kind of welding you want to get into so you can know the right codes and tests to take.
There are several processes you can get certified in. However, when picking one, you need to ensure that there are jobs available. You might pick one that is extremely specialized that it makes it difficult to get a job. If you are working in specialized industries, you will want to know where you can get the certification and the right code. Also, before you do the test, ensure you get lots of practice.
Where to get started?
Are you interested in making welding your career? You can do this by getting a degree, an Associate of Occupational Science in Maritime Welding Technology with Service Management from the Advanced Technology Institute. The institution is an accredited testing facility for welder testing and you can get your AWS certification once you are there. Connect with a friendly admissions advisor today to learn more about this exciting program.