Certified Welding Inspector (CWI)



Effective March 16, 2015, all individuals who have applied for and are scheduled to test to the ASME Sec IX: B31.1 & B31.3 codebook exam (Part C of CWI exam or CWI endorsement exam) will be testing to the following editions:

ASME Section IX: 2013
B31.1: 2014
B31.3: 2012

To order a copy of the ASME editions, visit www.asme.org/shop/standards or to order by phone, please call 1-800-843-2763.

To qualify as a Certified Welding Inspector, you must pass a vision test and have a combination of qualifying education and work experience, with supporting documentation:

Associate or higher degree in engineering technology, engineering, or a physical science 3 years
High school diploma plus two or more years engineering/technical school courses 3 years
High school diploma plus one year engineering/technical school courses or one or more years of vocational education and training in a welding curriculum 4 years
High school diploma or approved high school equivalency diploma 5 years
At least 8th grade 9 years
Less than 8th grade 12 years


Photo ID Requirements

AWS adopts the same guidelines for photos as does the U.S. Department of State for passport photos. The following guidelines are borrowed and modified from the U.S. Department of State website.

Your photo is a vital part of your application. To learn more, review the information below on how to provide a suitable photo to avoid processing delays. The acceptance of your photo is always at the discretion of the AWS.

We recommend you use a professional passport photo service to ensure your photo meets all the requirements.

If you are applying for a Certification, you must provide one (1) passport-style photograph. Your photo must be:

  • In color
  • Printed on photo quality paper
  • 2 x 2 inches (51 x 51 mm) in size
  • Sized such that the head is between 1 inch and 1 3/8 inches (between 25 and 35 mm) from the bottom of the chin to the top of the head.
  • Including the full head from the top of the hair to the bottom of the chin and the top of the shoulders
  • Center the head with the frame
  • Taken within the last 6 months to reflect your current appearance
  • Taken in front of a plain white or off-white background
  • Taken in full-face view directly facing the camera
  • With a neutral facial expression and both eyes open
  • Taken in clothing that you normally wear on a daily basis:
    • Uniforms should not be worn in your photo, except religious clothing that is worn daily.
    • Do not wear a hat or head covering that obscures the hair or hairline, unless worn daily for a religious purpose. Your full face must be visible, and the head covering must not cast any shadows on your face.
    • Headphones, wireless hands-free devices or similar items are not acceptable in your photo.
    • If you normally wear prescription glasses, a hearing device or similar articles, they may be worn for your photo.
    • Dark glasses or non-prescription glasses with tinted lenses are not acceptable unless you need them for medical reasons (a medical certificate may be required)
    • Glare on glasses is not acceptable in your photo. Glare can be avoided with a slight downward tilt of the glasses or by removing the glasses or by turning off the camera flash.

Photos may be rejected and a new one requested if the photo has any of the following deficiencies:

  • Shadows on the face or in the background
  • Poor contrast (too bright, too dark)
  • Poor coloring
  • Poor focus
  • Poor resolution (discernible pixels)
  • Poor exposure (over or under)
  • Noticeable tilt of the head

Photos copied or digitally scanned from driver's licenses or other official documents are not acceptable. In addition, snapshots, magazine photos, low quality vending machine or mobile phone photos, and full-length photographs are not acceptable

Want to take the photo yourself?
While we recommend you use a professional passport photo service to ensure your photo meets all the requirements, you may take the photo yourself. Hand-held self-portraits are not acceptable. Photos must not be digitally enhanced or altered to change your appearance in any way. Please use reliable references for guidance on taking your own photo. There are several online software tools for this purpose. It is your responsibility to ensure the tool you use produces a photo that meets AWS specifications.

Examination results will NOT be released until we receive the 2 x 2 inch color passport-style photograph. To avoid delays in receiving your examination results, please mail your photo to the address listed below:

American Welding Society Certification Department Photo Center
8669 NW 36 Street, Suite 130
Miami, FL 33166-6672

We recommend using priority mail with tracking options.


INSPECTOR CWI Member *Non–Member
Initial CWI Exam
 + Add CWE Exam
RETEST Member *Non–Member
CWI or CWI/CWE (Per Part) 275 ***275
CWI or CWI/CWE (All Parts) 595 810
PACKAGES Member *Non–Member

CWI D1.1 Seminar and Exam Package
+ Add CWE Exam
 – CWI Pre-Seminar


CWI API-1104 Seminar and Exam Package 
+ Add CWE Exam
 – CWI Pre-Seminar

AWS D1.1 Code Clinic 375 590
AWS API-1104 Code Clinic 375 590
Seminar Retake 800 800
CWI D1.1 Seminar Week Pak 1585 1800
CWI API-1104 Seminar Week Pak 1585 1800
CWI Pre-Seminar (online course only) 865 1150
AWS Welding Inspection Technology Workshop 440 655
AWS Visual Inspection Workshop 635 845
RENEWAL Member *Non–Member
CWI 3rd and 6th Year Renewal by Work Experience 470 685
CWI 3rd and 6th Year Renewal by Examination 745 960
CWB or INWC Renewal by Reciprocity Renewal 430 645
CWI Part B Exam 870 1085
CWI Part B Exam and Visual Inspection Workshop 1210 1420
CWI Endorsement Exam 870 1085
CWI Non-Exam
  • 80 Professional Development Hours (PDHs)
  • Endorsement Exam Prior to 9th year of certification period
  • Initial CRI Certification (Achieved during current 9 year certification period)
595 810
CWI 9yr Course 1625 1840

Online Courses

Please refer to the following link


Please refer to the following link.


Please refer to the following link for the Exam Schedule

Examination Minimum number of questions Minimum percentage
Part A: FUNDAMENTALS 150 72%
Part B: PRACTICAL 46 72%
Part C: CODE BOOK 46-60 72%

Part A: FUNDAMENTALS – Closed book exam.

Part B: PRACTICAL – Hands-on test; using Book of Specifications and Test Kit containing basic tools and weld replicas.

Part C: CODEBOOK – Open code book test; refer to the Body of Knowledge for the current editions being used.

Please view the Applicant Instructions for more information regarding the CWI exam.


CWI RE-EXAMINATIONS: Candidates may take one (1) re-examination within one year of the original test date without further training. Any additional retests taken will require documentation of 40 hours of further training received in welding inspection that meets the requirements of 16.5.1. The maximum number of retests taken in any three-year period is three (3). You will be required to submit a retest application, along with applicable fees to register for your CWI re-exam. To access this application, please visit the documents tab.


CAWI UPGRADE TO CWI: If you successfully pass the CWI examination but were unable to achieve the CWI certification due to the fact you lacked the five years of work experience requirement, you will be eligible for CWI upgrade without re-examination once the qualifying work experience is met. You will be required to submit an upgrade application, along with the applicable upgrade fees to AWS. To access this application, please visit the documents tab.

Veteran Benefits

If you're a veteran with G.I. Bill Benefits and seeking a new job or striving to move ahead in your present job, licensing or certification may hold the key for you!

Find out more

Body of Knowledge


For CWI’s:

The renewal process is part of your continued certification according to QC1.. Please check the appropriate box at the top left corner of the application for which it is being used. Please complete the application accordingly and submit to AWS before your certification expiration date. For further information concerning the CWI Renewal, please refer to QC1.

(Be sure to check the Renewal box at the top of application):

Please be aware that it is your responsibility to renew your certification before it expires. You will not be allowed to renew your certification after the expiration date. In order to renew after your certification has expired, you will be required to test on all parts of the CWI examination.

To qualify for a renewal, all CWI applicants must attest to having no continuous inactivity two years or greater, of the three-year certification period, in the practice of welding inspection or related activities as defined in QC1. This work experience must be documented in the Qualifying Work Experience section of the application. Résumés are not acceptable.

For CAWI’s Eligible for Upgrade:

CAWI applicants whose scores on each part of the examination met the requirements of a CWI but lacked the mandatory (5) years experience are eligible for a CWI upgrade provided that the CAWI status is still current. Please document any additional experience you have had since initially taking the CWI/CWE examination in the Qualifying Work Experience section of the application. Certification personnel will review the additional experience to ensure that the (5) year requirement has been met.

For CAWI’s Eligible for Upgrade and Renewal:

CWI upgrades and renewals can be done simultaneously. If you are interested in applying for a CWI upgrade and your current certification is soon to expire, you mayapply for both the CWI Upgrade and the Renewal at the same time. Your certification will be renewed for anadditional (3) years at the CWI level.

Please visit the documents tab to access the CWI renewal application.


As an AWS Certified Welding Inspector, you must renew your certification every three years. Every nine years, you must recertify, by one of the following options:

  1. 9-Year Recertification by Part B Practical Exam:  The two-hour Part B Practical Exam will evaluate you in the practical aspects of weld inspection and establish that your skills are current. It is to your advantage to be familiar with fillet and butt weld gauges, micrometers and dial calipers. You should review a variety of weldments that show various levels of porosity and undercut. Be prepared to interpret bend samples and calculate tensile strengths.
  2. 9-Year Recertification by Endorsement: You can take an endorsement exam to recertify. You can apply for this option up to (6) months prior to your expiration date. Passing one of these exams meets the requirements for recertification. Endorsements require passing a two-hour exam on one of the following:

AWS D1.1 Structural Steel
AWS D1.2 Structural Aluminum
AWS D1.5 Bridges
AWS D15.1 Railroad
AWS D17.1 Aerospace
API 1104 Pipelines
ASME Section IX, B31.1 and B31.3 Boiler & Pressure Vessel
ASME Section VIII, Div. 1 & Section IX Boiler & Pressure Vessel
Structural Drawing Reading

Important Note: AWS QC1 defines endorsements as "Indication of an additional skill documented in writing and added to one's certification credential(s)". In fulfilling the 9-year recertification requirement, endorsements cannot be taken to the codebook to which your CWI certification was attained

  1. 9-Year Recertification by Accumulated Continuing Education: If you have kept yourself up to date in the inspection profession by attending classes and seminars related to welding, your education requirements may be satisfied. You need 80 contact hours (PDHs) of seminars, courses or online courses such as those found through American Welding Online (awo.aws.org) that meet the requirements of QC1 Section 16.

The course content must be in one or more of the subject areas as defined in the Education and Experience Requirements of the B5.1, Specification for the Qualification of Welding Inspectors Section 5.

  1. Endorsements or Certifications Achieved Prior to 9-Year Recertification:
  • Endorsements: Certified Welding Inspectors who have previously taken and passed one or more endorsement exams prior to the nine-year cycle may apply for recertification without having to meet further examination, professional development hour, or seminar requirements.
  • Certified Radiographic Interpreter: At any time during your nine-year cycle, if you meet the prerequisites, you can apply to become certified as an AWS Certified Radiographic Interpreter (CRI). This is a valuable certification that fulfills your nine-year requirement.
  1. 9-Year Recertification Course: If your certification expires within the next seven (7) months and you aren’t going to recertify through examination or haven’t accumulated 80 PDHs in the past nine years, the AWS 9-year recertification course is for you. Upon completion of the course, you will receive an AWS Certificate of Completion for the course. Your new wallet card, certificate, and stamp will be mailed to you. Your certification number and renewal month will not change.

Note: DO NOT mail the full 9yr Recertification application if completing the online registration.


CWI applicants in their ninth year of certification who qualify and wish to earn a Senior Certified Welding Inspector SCWI can apply for both SCWI and CWI 9YR Recertification. If taking either the endorsement or Part B option for CWI 9YR recertification, both the SCWI and CWI 9YR exam can be taken at the same exam location.

If recertifying via continuing education, it is recommended you submit the completed CWI 9-year Recertification application with supporting documentation ,along with your SCWI Exam application. This ensures that your CWI credential does not expire if you do not achieve SCWI.

AWS must receive your completed SCWI application and review your qualifications to make sure you are eligible to take the SCWI exam.