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Certified Welding Inspector (CWI)

Certified Welding Inspector (CWI)

To Register for
CWI Seminar/Exam
Click Here

The Certified Welding Inspector certification is more than a rewarding career. It involves great responsibility and remarkable skill demonstration. The CWI® is widely recognized, both nationally and internationally, and successful companies have come to rely on this AWS certification when ensuring the highest level of quality workmanship. As a Certified Welding Inspector, you will find this career path lucrative and rewarding. This certification can lead you to a career that is engaging and promising on all levels. If what you need is a stable career where you will thrive and find fulfillment, then the CWI certification is for you.

Do You Qualify?

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:


Bachelor or higher degree in welding engineering or welding technology - (4) years maximum substitution

Minimum of (1) years welding based work experience

Associate or higher degree in welding or non-welding related engineering technology, engineering, or a physical science - (3) years maximum substitution

Minimum of (2) years welding based work experience

Engineering/Technical courses that can be applied to Bachelor or higher degree in Welding - (2) years maximum substitution

Minimum of (3) years welding based work experience

Trade/Vocational courses - (1) year maximum substitution for successfully completed courses

Minimum of (4) years welding based work experience

High school diploma or approved high school equivalency diploma

Minimum of (5) years welding based work experience

8th grade level of schooling

Minimum of (9) years welding based work experience

Less than 8th grade

Minimum of (12) years welding based work experience

Exam Schedule



Initial CWI Exam Application
Upgrade from CAWI to CWI Application
CWE to CWI Application
Re-Test Application for CAWI, CWI, CWE
Renewal Application for CWI/SCWI
Recertification Application for CWI 9th Year

Technical Documents

QC1:2016-AMD1 - Specification for AWS Certification of Welding Inspectors

B5.1:2013-AMD1 - Specification for the Qualification of Welding Inspectors

CWI Part B Examination Book of Specifications

For CWI exams held WITHIN the US or Canada:
Part B Examination Book of Specifications

For Current CWI exams held OUTSIDE the US or Canada:
Part B Examination Book of Specifications - Metric
Spanish  |  Portuguese  |  Russian  |  Chinese  |  Japanese  |  Korean

For Metric CWI exams held OUTSIDE the US or Canada only:
Part B Examination Book of Specifications

English Metric Version

AWS Publications Order Number
  Certification Manual for Welding Inspectors CM:2000
  Welding Inspection Handbook WI:2015
* D1.1/D1.1M Structural Welding Code-Steel D1.1/D1.1M:2020
* D1.1 Code Clinic Reference Manual CCRM:2020 - D1.1 Code Clinic
* API 1104 Study Guide for API Standard 1104 Welding of Pipelines API-M:2017
* Welding Inspection Technology WIT-T:2008
* Welding Inspection Technology (Workbook) WIT-W:2008
* Welding Inspection Technology Sample CWI Fundamentals Examination & Key WIT-E:2008
* Standard Welding Terms and Definitions A3.0M/A3.0:2010
* Standard Symbols for Welding, Brazing, and Nondestructive Examination A2.4:2012
* Guide for the Nondestructive Examination of Welds B1.10M/B1.10:2016

  Specification for the Qualification of Welding Inspectors

B5.1: 2013-AMD1
*Books are provided to participants of the AWS Seminar week

General Forms

16/40 Hours Additional Training Log
ADA Disability Accommodations
Computer Based Testing Applicant Instructions
Applicant Instructions
AWS Bank Information
Certification Duplicate Order Form
Change of Site/Cancellation Form
Employment Verification Form
Exam Security Agreement and General Term of Use Form
Photo ID Requirements
Policies and Fees
Price List
Qualifying Work Experience Form
Visual Acuity Form

Photo ID Requirements


Online Courses



To view the Exam Schedule click here.

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Applicant Instructions


For CWI's and SCWI's (3 and 6 year cycles):

The renewal process is an important part of maintaining your certification. SCWI’s and CWI’s maintain their certification by submitting an approved renewal application to the Certification Department. AWS will accept your applications up to 11 months prior to expiration. We highly recommend sending your renewal application 60 days prior to the expiration date of the current certification.

To qualify for renewal, the CWI or SCWI shall attest to having no period of continuous inactivity greater than two years during the previous three years of certification in activities described in AWS B5.1. This work experience must be documented in the Qualifying Work Experience section of the application. Resumes are not accepted.

A 60-day administrative extension period is allowed. During this time, certification will be considered as expired. Renewals submitted after the administrative 60-day grace period but within one year of expiration may be accepted for renewal; however, administrative late fees may apply. If all renewal requirements have been met, certification will be reactivated.

AWS may send a renewal notice, but if not received, it remains the responsibility of the SCWI or CWI to renew on time.

For further information concerning the CWI or SCWI certification renewal, please refer to AWS QC1.

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 CAWI certification is soon to expire, you may apply for both the CWI Upgrade and Renewal at the same time. Your certification will be renewed for an additional (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 options indicated below. An approved 9-year recertification application must be in the AWS Certification Department at least 60 days prior to the expiration date of the current certification and no earlier than (11) months prior to the expiration date of the current certification.

CWI 9yr Recertification Schedule

A 60-day administrative extension period is allowed. During this time, certification will be considered as expired. If the paperwork is received on time and all renewal or recertification requirements have been met, certification will be reactivated.

  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 the various measurement tools used for testing as described in the AWS Applicant Instructions. You should review a variety of weldments that show various levels of porosity and undercut. Be prepared to interpret and inspect bend, t-joint, groove, and pipe weld samples.
  2. 9-Year Recertification by Endorsement:  You can take an endorsement exam to recertify. You can apply for this option up to (11) 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:
  • All endorsement exams (with the exception of Structural Drawing Reading) will be offered all over the US in convenient locations using computer based testing with our partners at Prometric. After your application has been submitted to AWS and approved, you will be provided with an Authorization to Test (ATT) letter in order to schedule your appointment through Prometric at one of their centers. Prometric session fees will apply at the time you schedule your appointment.

  • 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.
  2. 9-Year Recertification Course: If your certification expires within the next eleven (11) 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.

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