The American Welding Society (AWS) was founded in 1919, as a nonprofit organization with a global mission to advance the science, technology and application of welding and allied joining and cutting processes, including brazing, soldering and thermal spraying. AWS strives to move the industry forward in both thought and action, as well as inspire new generations to see the exciting career opportunities available today.
Uniting the Welding Industry
Headquartered in Miami, Florida, and led by a volunteer organization of officers and directors, AWS serves over 70,000 members worldwide and is composed of 22 Districts with 250 Sections and student chapters. The Society is dedicated to supporting hundreds of thousands of industry professionals, including: welders, business leaders, sales and service teams, manufacturers, vendors, associations, educational institutions, committee volunteers, and students. We connect welding communities from around the world into a collaborative force, built on a foundation of higher standards; advanced learning; and rewarding growth.
Explore AWS programs and initiatives
AWS proudly serves over 70,000 members. Members include individual welders, supervisors, executives, engineers, scientists, educators, researchers, inspectors, foremen, sales and service teams, as well as manufacturers, independent shops, distributorships, end-users, and educational institutions. Membership interests span automatic, semi-automatic and manual welding, brazing, soldering, ceramics, lamination, robotics, thermal spray process and welding safety and health. Members receive a variety of resources and discounts. See the full list of benefits in our AWS Membership section.
AWS offers a number of certification programs that recognize and document expertise and knowledge in specific welding-related disciplines including, inspectors, supervisors, educators, radiographic interpreters, welding engineers and fabricators. AWS is the source for qualification and certification of welding personnel. Since the Certified Welding Inspector (CWI) program was introduced in 1976, AWS has certified over 97,000 welding inspectors alone, plus thousands more working professionals across other certification categories. Visit the AWS Certification section to find out more.
Education and Research
AWS offers international, national and local educational opportunities including seminars, conferences, individual corporate programs, and online courses. AWS education initiatives span from welding basics to leading-edge technology updates. AWS also offers the award-winning program, SENSE (Schools Excelling through National Skills Education), which offers administrative standards and curriculum guidelines for the qualification of entry-level, advanced, and expert welders in high schools and colleges. For more information on AWS educational offerings, visit AWS Learning.
AWS also supports the educational mission of the AWS Foundation, founded in 1989 to support research and education in welding and related technologies. The Foundation raises funds to support education and research in welding and allied technologies, awarding more than $1,800,000 a year in scholarships, research fellowships, and grants to welding training institutions. The Foundation also works to address the welder workforce shortage and helps facilitate programs aimed at relieving the nationwide critical shortage of welders.
Find out more about AWS Foundation.
Industry and Technical Publications
AWS members receive The Welding Journal, a monthly magazine dedicated to the welding and manufacturing industries and winner of more than 60 editorial and design awards, including the 2014 Florida Magazine Association award for "Best In-Depth Reporting". In addition, AWS publishes the quarterly magazine Inspection Trends, a magazine is tailored to materials inspection and testing professionals and covers new technology, trends and safety. The Welding Journal EN ESPAÑOL is published four times a year by AWS and is the leading magazine in welding in Latin America. For more information, visit AWS Publications.
AWS publishes more than 300 technical books for the welding industry, including one of the world's most widely used standards, D1.1/D1.1M, Structural Welding Code – Steel. AWS has also developed approximately 200 codes, specifications, recommended practices, and guides that are approved by the American National Standards Institute (ANSI).
To view a listing of all AWS technical publications visit our online shop at the Online Bookstore.
AWS co-sponsors FABTECH, North American's largest metal forming, fabricating, welding and finishing event. AWS also participates in national and international trade shows, providing a valuable crossroad for welding and joining professionals. For more information visit the AWS Events section.
The Professional Program
AWS offers a broad range of technical papers outlining the latest welding research, processes and applications, as well as special sessions to explore industry issues. Subjects cover an entire range of industry concerns from the joining of space age materials to production management techniques, testing, quality assurance and more. Find out more by reaching Technical Papers Editor, CaLae Browne.