Welder working at a construction site.

What Kind of Welding Certification Should You Get?

The construction business is always booming and skilled welders will always be able to accomplish what a welding machine cannot. If you like working with your hands and seeing progress at the end of the day, then think about getting a welding certification. There are national welding code standards to which each welder must create their weld, and a good welder keeps their qualifications and welding certification up to date. Depending on the welding field you would like to work in, there are different methods in which to get certified. As well as welder certification, most programs offer a welding instructor certification.

Why Do You Need a Welding Certification?

If you already have a passion for creating or fixing things, getting a welding certification is something you should consider. A welding certification is mandatory for all construction codes. Depending on how a welder gained prior experience, they may already have personal welding certifications. There are hundreds of possible certification tests, all variable on what kind of project the welder is working on. Most welding certifications are offered through the employer and taken as soon as a new employee is hired. Many professional welders prefer to have a few personal certifications finished before applying for a job. Having personal certifications indicates that a candidate has passed certification tests before and the employer knows that the candidate will be more likely to perform well. Once a welder has been employed, they will take certification tests for every type of weld they may be expected to perform. Usually, welding certifications are non-transferable.

What Does It Take to Get Certified?

Welder certification is designed with special tests to determine the welder’s skill and ability level. A welder with skill is able to deposit good welds with variables present, including specific welding processes, thickness, type of material, joint design, position, and others, during the test. Once a welder passes a series of tests, the tester will certify the ability to weld, the extent or limitations they are qualified to weld, and will make sure the test was administered within the guidelines of a particular code. Depending on the welding certification, some are only valid for a single project, while other certifications are unlimited as long as welders do not go beyond a specific period of time without performing that weld, usually within a period of six months. Professional welders must maintain a log to show that they have kept up with their welding certifications.

What Does Having A Welding Certification Mean?

Having a welding certification gives the welder an opportunity to show their pride and quality of work. Being proud of the effort you put into each and every job is what being a welder is about. Because of the long list of different kinds of welding certifications, there is a national standard to which testing environments adhere. The two big national certification groups are the American Welding Society (AWS) and the American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME). They both accredit various schools around the nation. It is vital to make sure the certification you receive is nationally accredited as there is no such thing as a state-level certification. Accreditation is also important when you are choosing a training program. It lets you know that the school has educated quality welders in the past and is committed to continuing a thorough and well-rounded learning environment.

What Other Welding Jobs Exist?

Depending where each welder is in their career, there might be different steps moving forward. After years of experience, some welders grow tired of working in the field and may want to move towards a more controlled and less intensive working environment. There are many great opportunities for people who want to be involved in welding, but not the dangers it creates. Some choose to become welding educators. Professionals, who have years of working experience, are in high demand by large companies with an internal weld-training programs. Other professional welders may choose to expand their knowledge and become a welding engineer. To become an engineer, you need to complete a four-year degree in welding engineering, which prepares you for complex research and applications working in the industry. The longer length program gives the student the tools to perform in four areas: welding materials, design, processes, and nondestructive evaluations.

If having your own business sounds more attractive, consider becoming a welding sales representative. They usually have a welding certification, having welding based knowledge is helpful, and are able to create opportunities and jobs from their sales performance and work ethic. If you are willing to still work on the construction site consider becoming a welding inspector. Welding inspectors ensure that a steel structure will hold its own weight. Checking each weld to ensure the presence, location, and coverage of the weld is an important job with lots of responsibility. You learn about code enforcement and how to properly use welding inspection tools.

There are many different opportunities to get a welding certification with many alternative jobs in the workforce, be careful to thoroughly check each option and make sure that the program you want to attend is accredited to give a proper welding certification.