Certified Welding Supervisor


Why get certified as a Welding Supervisor (CWS)?

According to a final report on Welding Supervisor Training and Certification, CWS helps reduce welding costs, helps increase productivity and profitability, and helps make a company more competitive by an average of $17,000 per welder per year!

As a Certified Welding Supervisor, your personal rewards can be significant as well. You gain valuable expertise that can expand your career: certification can bring higher pay, better job security and the professional prestige that marks your skills and knowledge as among the industry’s elite.

What makes a Certified Welding Supervisor so effective?

Many supervisors have the potential to improve productivity significantly, but often lack the full knowledge and supportive skills to truly maximize their welding team’s performance..

The AWS Certified Welding Supervisor program is designed to rectify these conditions by:

  1. Teaching welding supervisors  how to lead their team to work even more productively and successfully;
  2. Sharing the body of knowledge all welding supervisors should know and understand to increase productivity and improve weld quality.


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.



CWS Exam Only 400 480 **
CWS Seminar Only 1250 1330 **
CWS Seminar and Exam Package 1550 1630 **
CWS Retest (Per Part) 275 275 ***
CWS Renewal 305 385 **
CWS 9yr Recertification by Exam 368 460 **
CWS 9yr Recertification by PDHs 336 420 **

* Non-Member price includes a 3-year AWS Individual Membership unless otherwise noted.
** Non-Member price includes a 1-year AWS Individual Membership.
*** No additional membership included with this price.

To view full price list click here.


Please refer to the following link


Please refer to the following link for the Exam Schedule

Minimum number of questions Minimum percentage
Part A: FUNDAMENTALS 150 70%

Each part of the examination is two hours long and consists of multiple choice questions. The exam will be given in an open book format and you may bring any reference materials you feel may assist you on taking the exam. You are allowed to tab or highlight your materials with written notes in the margins as an aid to finding the answers to the exam questions. You will not be allowed to write in your materials during the examination. Candidates found writing on their material will be immediately removed from the classroom and disqualified from the exam.

There are no time restrictions or limits on the number of times a candidate can retest in order to obtain CWS certification. Candidates may retest on only the parts needed to meet the minimum scores specified in Section 6 of AWS QC13, Specification for the Certification of Welding Supervisors.

Veteran Benefits

If you're a veteran with G.I. Bill Benefits, and you're looking for a good job, or you want to change jobs, or if you want to move ahead in your present job, licensing or certification may hold the key for you!

Find out more

Body of Knowledge


The period of validity for the AWS CWS credentials is three (3) years. Prior to the end of three years, certificate holders shall renew the certification if they wish to maintain their CWS credentials. Renewal requires written documentation to support evidence of continued activity in the occupational position of welding supervisor. If the certification is allowed to lapse beyond the grace period, renewal is not permitted. A new application for certification shall be submitted, and the educational and examination requirements shall be met.

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


After two (2) consecutive renewals, a total of nine (9) years of continuous certification, the certificate holder is required to recertify to maintain CWS credentials by meeting the following requirements:

  1. Documentation to support evidence of continued activity in the occupational position of welding supervisor shall be provided.
  2. The certificate holder shall successfully pass the CWS written examination or be exempt from the exam by demonstrating continued education equivalent to 80 professional development hours (PDH) over the nine (9) year period of certification with 20 PDH being completed in the immediate three (3) year period preceding the nine-year recertification.

Please visit the documents tab to access the CWS recertification application.