With more than 1,500 volunteers serving on over 300 boards, our committee of volunteers epitomizes the AWS mission to move welders and their work forward.
Certified Welder Program
Why Choose To Be an AWS Certified Welder?
Why Choose To Be an AWS Certified Welder?
The AWS Certified Welder program is open to anyone with a talent for welding. This program was developed through input from volunteers throughout the industry and is designed to provide transferable credentials to professional welders who demonstrate the required skills. This means your earned credentials reflect an industry need.
Since the test is strictly performance-based, there are no prerequisite courses or certifications required prior to testing. If you are able to do the weld necessary to pass the test, then you are eligible to become an AWS Certified Welder.
Here’s what to know about application and renewal.
Certified Welder Maintenance Portal
Certified Welder Maintenance Portal
You can now upload a PDF copy of your Maintenance of Welder Certification application and pay your renewal fees using the new online portal. The new online portal improves your certification(s) processing time while also providing a convenient and secure payment option.
Certified Welder Certifications
The AWS Certified Welder program allows for welders to obtain multiple certifications to expand their credentials. Every certification that a welder earns increases the number of skills needed to perform a wide range of welding jobs. See a list of certifications that a welder can obtain through the CW program.
The Certified Welder (CW) program tests welders on procedures used in the structural steel, petroleum pipelines, sheet metal, and chemical refinery welding industries.
CW tests are performed at AWS Accredited Testing Facilities (ATFs) located throughout the world, and candidates must make an appointment to participate. These testing facilities adhere to strict standards for welder testing and can test welders to AWS Standard Welding Procedures, industry standard specifications, and company-supplied or non-code welding specifications.
Certified Welder Requirements
The following requirements must be met to participate in this program:
- Test in accordance with one of the QC7 standards below (whichever is applicable):
- QC7, Standard for AWS Certified Welders
- QC7, Supplement C, Welder Performance Qualification Sheet Metal Test Requirements
- QC7, Supplement F, Chemical Plant and Petroleum Refinery Piping
- QC7, Supplement G, AWS Performance Qualification Test (generic supplement)
The following instructions outline the requirements of the program.
- Read the QC7 Standard and its supplements.
- Contact the ATF representative at a facility near you to register for the test.
- Perform welding test with the ATF.
- Once you have passed the test, the ATF will forward your application, qualifications test record, and payment to AWS.
- Read the QC7 Standard and its supplements.2. Contact the ATF representative at a facility near you to register for the test.3. Perform welding test with the ATF. 4. Once you have passed the test, the ATF will forward your application, qualifications test record, and payment to AWS.
- AWS will receive your application, test results and the registration fee up to two weeks after your skill demonstration. (This varies; check with your selected ATF.) You should receive your welder certification card and maintenance form from the AWS Certification Department two to three weeks from the date your application is received.
Other forms and documents:
Welder testing must be scheduled with an AWS Accredited Testing Facility (ATF). During a scheduled appointment, the welder will deposit a sound weld that is inspected by an AWS Certified Welding Inspector (CWI). The welder’s ability to properly adhere to the Welding Procedure Specification includes fit-up, assembly, and positioning.
If a welder fails any test, they can retest at any time. It is best to discuss retesting with the ATF representative, who will be able to assist in scheduling a new test date.
To contact an ATF near you, select one of the links below or call AWS at 800.443.WELD or outside the U.S. at 305.443.WELD.
Your certification remains valid as long as you submit your certification maintenance forms every six months as required by the Code of Acceptance that governed your test. As long as you can have it verified on the maintenance form that you are still performing the same welding as you originally tested for, your certification remains in effect.
A 60-day administrative extension period is allowed. During this time your certification will be considered expired. If the Maintenance Form is received within the administrative extension period, and the renewal requirements have been met, your certification will be renewed from the date of its expiration. An additional late fee of $50 will be asset if the Maintenance is submit after the expiration day and between the administrative extension period.
- Certification issued, June 1, 2023
- Certification expires, December 1, 2023
- Administrative extension period, December 1, 2023 to February 1, 2024, a $50 late fee will be charged.
- After February 1, 2024, welder must re-test, to regain certification
Note: Most codes require maintenance every (6) months. Check the requirements of the standard that governs your certification to assure that maintenance is received by AWS at the proper intervals.
Expand Your Welding Knowledge
Expand Your Welding Knowledge
Frequently Asked Questions
WHO IS ELIGIBLE TO BECOME AN AWS CERTIFIED WELDER?
The AWS Certified Welder program is open to anyone with a talent for welding. Since the test is strictly performance-based, there are no prerequisite courses or certifications required prior to testing. If you are able to do the weld necessary to pass the test, then you are eligible to become an AWS Certified Welder.
WHY BECOME AN AWS CERTIFIED WELDER?
The AWS Certified Welder program is designed to provide transferable credentials to professional welders who have demonstrated a skill level wanted by industry. Volunteers, representing all sections of the welding industry, came to a consensus on the skills an AWS Certified Welder must demonstrate. This means your earned credentials reflect an industry need.
WHAT IS MEANT BY “TRANSFERABLE"?
“Transferable” means your AWS Certification is not limited to a specific job, employer, or location. It’s the same in Florida as it is in Oregon, Minnesota, or any other state—even overseas. This is because you have performed satisfactorily to a standard that has national and international acceptance. In addition, AWS has established and administers the AWS National Registry of Welders. Even though AWS Certified Welders are issued a certification card, the Registry is frequently used by savvy employers to verify AWS Certification, or by contractors seeking welders. If, for some reason, you do not wish to be included in the AWS National Registry, you have the option of not being listed.
WHAT ARE MY CERTIFICATION CHOICES ?
The AWS Certified Welder program allows you to test to those procedures used in the structural steel, petroleum pipelines, sheet metal, and chemical refinery welding industries. In addition, there is a provision to test to a company-supplied or non-code welding specification. To find out which Accredited Test Facility is convenient for you, and for more information on your options or call AWS at 800.443.WELD
HOW DO I DEMONSTRATE MY SKILL?
On the day of your scheduled appointment at an AWS Accredited Test Facility, you will deposit a sound weld that will be inspected by an AWS Certified Welding Inspector (CWI). Your ability to properly adhere to the Welding Procedure Specification including fit-up, assembly, and positioning.
WHAT HAPPENS IF I FAIL THE TEST THE FIRST TIME ?
If you fail the test, you may retest at any time. It is best to discuss this with your AWS Accredited Test Facility representative, who will be able to assist you in scheduling a new test date.
WHEN DO I GET MY CARD ?
While you’ll learn if you passed the test immediately, it may take up to two weeks for AWS to receive your application, test results, and registration fee. (This varies; check with your selected AWS Accredited Test Facility.) You should receive your certification card and Maintenance Form from the AWS Certification Department within four to six weeks.
HOW LONG IS MY CERTIFICATION VALID ?
AWS Certification remains valid as long as you submit your Certification Maintenance Form every six months as required by the Code of Acceptance that governs your test. Visit the Certified Welder page on the AWS site for renewal pricing. As long as you can verify (have your employer sign the form) that you are still performing the same welding as you originally tested for, your certification will still be valid.
WHAT IF I LET MY CERTIFICATION LAPSE ?
A 60-day administrative extension period is allowed. During this time, your certification will be considered expired. If the Maintenance Form is received within this time and the renewal requirements have been met, your certification will be renewed from the date of expiration. An additional late fee of $50 will be added if the Maintenance Form is submitted after the expiration date.
- Certification issued, June 1, 2022
- Certification expires, December 1, 2022
- Administrative extension period, December 1, 2022, to February 1, 2023, a $50 late fee will be charged.
- After February 1, 2023, welder must retest, to regain certification.
HOW DOES MY EMPLOYER BENEFIT FROM MY AWS CERTIFIED WELDER STATUS ?
Your employer, and thousands of similar companies around the country, could save millions of dollars now spent on the constant retesting of welders. Getting certified also tells your employer that you’re a serious professional and a valuable member of the team. Being AWS Certified should put you at the front of the line for new hires, too.
WHAT IS AN AWS ACCREDITED TEST FACILITY ?
A testing laboratory or facility can become nationally accredited by submitting an application and meeting all the requirements under the AWS QC4 Standard. This Standard assures that this lab or facility has met the basic requirements for equipment and its calibration, procedures, and knowledgeable personnel. The requirements of QC4 assure quality control of welder testing for the industry.
WHAT DOES IT MEAN TO TEST AT AN ATF ?
It means that you will be tested to the highest standards of the industry resulting in becoming a highly skilled welder.
Welding School Locator
Use our tool to find post-secondary schools with welding or closely related programs.
Can’t find what you’re looking for or have additional questions? Reach out to Customer