Understanding Welding Symbols


Understanding Welding Symbols is designed to teach students how to quickly identify integral components of a shop drawing and interpret welding symbols for industry applications including fabrication, welding, and inspection.


At a Glance



Member: $337
Non-member: $449
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Materials Access

Course: 30 days
Exam: 10 more days


Length & PDH / CEU

Approximately 10 hours
10 PDHs / 1.0 CEU

Course Details

  • Who Should Take This Course
  • Prerequisites
  • Objectives
  • Student Learning Outcomes
  • Course Modules
  • Anyone involved in the design, fabrication, or inspection of welded, brazed, or soldered joints
  • Anyone wishing to learn how to decipher welding symbols and prints
  • Anyone seeking to prepare for the AWS Certified Welding Inspector exam
  • Anyone seeking to prepare for the AWS Certified Welding Inspector exam
    • This student body may encompass many positions, including:
      • Welders
      • Welding engineers
      • Welding inspectors
      • Welding sales reps
      • Welding supervisors
      • Shop owners

Prior to taking this course, students should be familiar with basic welding processes and welding terminology. This prerequisite knowledge can be obtained by: 

  • Taking the AWS Welding Fundamentals I online course 
  • Obtaining and reading a copy of AWS A3.0 Standard Terms and Definitions 


This course teaches students how to:

  • Identify basic components of a welding print
  • Differentiate between different joint and weld types
  • Read and construct welding, brazing, and nondestructive examination symbols

Upon completion of Understanding Welding Symbols, students will be able to:

  • Discuss the basic elements and fundamental principles of object representation
  • Distinguish between the different lines used on a welding print
  • Indicate key elements of a welding drawing
  • Identify common joint types and edge preparations
  • Correlate welds with basic joint types
  • Distinguish between the different types of welds and their respective symbols
  • Label parts of a weld
  • Identify the location of a weld with respect to the joint using the elements included on a print
  • Construct a welding symbol in order to demonstrate an understanding of print interpretation
  • Analyze a welding symbol to determine the characteristics and dimensions for a requested weld
  • Explain the rules governing the use of the arrow, reference line, supplementary symbols, and combined welding symbols
  • Describe the function and appropriate placement of supplementary data within a welding symbol
  • Describe a required braze by deciphering the parameters detailed within a brazing symbol
  • Determine the NDT method to be used by analyzing a nondestructive examination symbol
  • Analyze a combined welding and nondestructive examination symbol
  • Module 1 – Fundamentals of Object Representation
  • Module 2 – Lines and Welded Joints
  • Module 3 – Basics of Weld Types and Weld Symbols I
  • Module 4 – Basics of Weld Types and Weld Symbols II
  • Module 5 – Reading Welding Symbols I – Basic Parts of a Welding Symbol, Weld Location, and Symbol Orientation
  • Module 6 – Reading Welding Symbols II– Arrows, Reference Lines, and Supplementary Data
  • Module 7 – Reading Welding Symbols III – Extent of Welding
  • Module 8 – Reading Welding Symbols IV–Tail, Contour Symbols, and Melt-Through Symbol
  • Module 9 – Groove Welds I – Groove, Groove Welds, and Arrows
  • Module 10 – Groove Welds II– Depth of Groove and Size of Weld Dimensions
  • Module 11 – Groove Welds III – Special Case Dimensions and Root Opening
  • Module 12 – Groove Welds IV– Groove Angle, Groove Radius, and Weld Length
  • Module 13 – Groove Welds V– Intermittent Welds and Weld Contours
  • Module 14 – Groove Welds VI – Back and Backing Welds
  • Module 15 – Groove Welds VII– Backing, Spacers, and Consumable Inserts
  • Module 16 – Groove Welds VIII– Backgouging, Seal Welds, and Skewed Joints
  • Module 17 – Fillet Welds I: Anatomy of a Fillet Weld, Fillet Weld Size, Dimension lines, and Notes in the Tail
  • Module 18 – Fillet Welds II: Double Fillet Welds, Notes on a Print, Fillet Weld Length, Hatching Lines, and Changes in the Direction of Welding
  • Module 19 – Fillet Welds III: Fillet weld length and intermittent fillet welds
  • Module 20 – Fillet Welds IV: Weld Contours, Combined Weld Symbols, and Skewed Joints
  • Module 21 – Plug and Slot Welds I: Plug Weld Size, Slot Weld Width, and Slot Weld Length
  • Module 22 – Plug and Slot Welds II: Angle of Countersink, Depth of Filling, and Number of Welds
  • Module 23 – Plug and Slot Welds III: Pitch, Centerlines, and Joints with Three or More Members
  • Module 24 – Spot and Projection Welds I: Size and Strength, Number of Welds, and Pitch
  • Module 25 – Spot and Projection Welds II: Weld Process Reference, Grouped Spot Welds, and Multiple Member Spot Welds
  • Module 26 – Stud Welds
  • Module 27 – Seam Welds I: Size, Strength, Welding Process Reference, and Length
  • Module 28 – Seam Welds II: Intermittent Seam Welds, Number of welds, Contours, and Multiple Member Seam Welds
  • Module 29 – Surfacing Welds
  • Module 30 – Edge Welds I: Size, Length, Double Edge Welds, and Change in Direction
  • Module 31 – Edge Welds II: Chain Intermittent Edge Welds and Staggered Intermittent Edge Welds
  • Module 32 – Edge Welds III: Extent, Location, Joints with Three or More Members, and Combined Weld Symbols
  • Module 33 – Brazing Symbols
  • Module 34 – Nondestructive Examination Symbols I: Letter Designations, Side Significance, Multiple Tests, Combined Symbols, and Supplementary Symbols
  • Module 35 – Nondestructive Testing Symbols II: Specifying Location and Extent of Examination

Frequently Asked Questions

  • Who should take this course?

    Understanding Welding Symbols is ideal for anyone involved in the design, fabrication, or inspection of welded, brazed, or soldered joints.

  • How long do I have to complete this course?

    Participants have access to the course content 24 hours a day for a period of 30 days from the date of registration. After this 30-day period, participants will have an additional 10 days to pass the completion exam. The exam can be activated before the end of the 30-day period if the participant has completed all the modules.

  • Does this course include a completion exam?

    Yes. Upon completion of the final course module, participants are prompted to take an exam designed to evaluate their comprehension of the subject matter. The completion exam consists of 50 multiple-choice questions and must be completed within a 90-minute period. Participants who do not attain the 75% passing score may attempt to retake the exam a second time. Participants who attain a score of 75% or more on the completion exam earn an AWS Certificate of Completion and 10 Professional Development Hours (PDHs). The AWS Certificate of Completion can be downloaded and printed directly from the webpage.

  • Do I need to purchase any other materials?

    No. All the materials and resources necessary to complete the course objectives are included.

  • Do I receive Professional Development Hours (PDHs) for completing this course?

    Yes. Participants that receive a score of 75% or above on the Completion Exam will receive an AWS Certificate of Completion and 10 Professional Development Hours (PDHs).

  • Can I use these Professional Development Hours (PDHs) for recertification?

    Yes. Professional Development Hours (PDHs) earned through AWS online courses can be applied towards recertification provided the PDH’s are earned during the certification period.

  • Do I receive Continuing Education Units (CEUs) for completing this course?

    Yes. Participants that receive a score of 75% or above on the Completion Exam will receive an AWS Certificate of Completion and 1 IACET Continuing Education Unit (CEU).

    Learn More

  • Can I use these Continuing Education Units (CEUs) for recertification?

    Yes. Continuing Education Units (CEUs) earned through AWS online courses can be applied towards recertification provided the CEUs are earned during the certification period.

    Learn More

  • Will this course help prepare me for the Certified Welding Inspector Exam?
    Yes. The Certified Welding Inspector Fundamentals Exam (Part A) contains questions concerning the topics covered in this course. This course is designed to help prepare participants for this section of the exam.
  • What platforms and devices can I use to view AWS Learning online courses?
    You must be connected to the internet to access AWS Learning online courses. AWS supports the most recent versions of Google Chrome, Firefox, Safari, and Internet Explorer. Courses can be viewed on desktops, laptops, tablets, and mobile phones. Note, however, that a high speed internet connection and large screen offer a better user experience.





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