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How to Get a Welding Certification

While obtaining a welding certification is not mandatory, we find it greatly helps while seeking employment. Generally, welding certification from the American Welding Society (AWS) is the standard. We find that obtaining one of these certifications through a trade or vocation school is a great place to move a career forward.


Education for a Welding Certification

Education is an important part of the welding certification process. Many trade and vocation schools require that applicants demonstrate finishing high school or procuring the relevant equivalency exams. That way, any applicants start with the same basic skills.

The length of time a vocational or trade school takes varies wildly. We found options to get a basic welding certification in six months. Meanwhile, others take two years and bring a bevy of endorsements. Some programs even take four years and mean a bachelor’s degree in welding science or related field.

It’s worth noting that a formalized education is not a strict requirement for certification. We do find it helps immensely, though, when welding certification testing comes.


Welding Apprenticeship

Apprenticeships offer a place to both practice welding skills and make money. We also know that they’re a fantastic way to learn the things books cannot teach with welding. With an apprenticeship, participants observe experienced welders and receive feedback on their own work.

For tactile learners, some apprenticeships can substitute for the formal education aspects of the process. A good welder will teach the safety and science as the apprentice advances.

Written Exam

The applicant for welding certification must pass the written portion at many certified testing facilities before attempting the practical. We understand that this is a safety consideration, as well as testing the applicant’s overall understanding of the welding process.

The written exam will vary depending on which welding certification is in question. For example, the one for Certified Welding Inspector focuses on different thang than the general one for Certified Welder with AWS.

Practical Exam for Welding Certification

The practical half of the welding certification testing must also take place at a credentialed facility. This portion requires the applicant complete several test welds that meet the approval of the weld inspector. It’s only then that the person can be an AWS certified welder.

Generally, applicants should approach the welding certification exams like they would a job. That means proper attire and mindset. This choice will help people avoid having to make another attempt at the exams.

The Cost of a Welding Certification

Basic welding certifications are not unreasonably expensive for the testing. However, we found that there are massive disparities in the cost of training. Even the community college route can range from a couple of thousand dollars to over twenty thousand dollars. We recommend that people weigh the benefits of the programs before committing.


“Certified Welder Program : Certification.” American Welding Society, Accessed 20 Oct. 2020.

“How to Become a Certified Welder: Career, Salary & Training (2020 Updated).” Vocational Training HQ, Accessed 20 Oct. 2020.

Sanders, Gregory. “How to Get Your Welding Certification.” Crom Weld, 7 Aug. 2018,


Written by Maggie Pie

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