Certified Welding Supervisor (CWS)

Certified Welding Supervisor (CWS)

Listed below is helpful information for this selected AWS certification, including what it is, education and experience prerequisites, technical references, exam requirements and preparation suggestions, renewal and recertification information and FAQs. For application information, as well as other forms and documents, please refer to the menu on the right side of the screen.


What is Welding Supervision?

Welding Supervision is focused on oversight and management of quality, productivity, cost and safety. It is an essential part of all welding processes and the management of welding professionals.

What is a Welding Supervisor?

Welding Supervisors are found in every industry that uses welding as a core process in the manufacture, construction, or fabrication of their products. A good welding supervisor is the eyes, ears and conscience of any welding operation, but learning the ins-and-outs of the job takes years and lots of trial and error. To be effective, they need to have and use a wide range of knowledge, including welding safety, supervision, planning, fabrication, inspection, documentation, and economics.

Welding Supervisors should know what factors influence quality and performance, and how monitoring welders can lead to increased productivity and improved weld quality with lower materials waste, while ensuring safety and maintaining acceptable levels of risk.

What is a Certified Welding Supervisor?

The Certified Welding Supervisor (CWS) Program leverages the AWS Body of Knowledge that welding supervisors should know and understand to demonstrate they possess the necessary skills, training and knowledge to be able to lead their team to work even more productively and successfully. Here are three ways Certified Welding Supervisors can enrich any welding operation:

  1. Manage Resources: Facilitate communication, review materials and manpower and maximize them both to achieve production goals while following safety protocols.
  2. Improve Productivity: Coordinate and monitor welding procedures on the floor to discover and implement workflow efficiencies.
  3. Increase the Bottom Line: By monitoring materials, labor and procedures, all efficiencies gained translate to lower costs and a growing profit margin.

The AWS Certified Welding Supervisor program confirms supervisors have the necessary skills, training and knowledge to lead their team to work even more productively and successfully.

Therefore, the AWS program for the Certification of Welding Supervisors defines minimum standards for Welding Supervisors and provides a means of recognition for those who demonstrate that they have the skills, knowledge, and experience in the field of welding supervision.

A CWS gains valuable recognition and experience that can expand their career, result in higher career long income, improve job security and offer professional prestige that marks their skills and knowledge as among the industry’s elite.

Review the AWS Certification and Qualification Standards for more detail:

CWS Education and Experience

Certified Welding Supervisor (CWS) candidates must hold both educational and work experience as follows:


The candidate shall be a high school graduate; or hold a state or military approved high school equivalency diploma.


Option 1: The candidate shall have a minimum of three (3) years of practical welding experience/employment in a fabrication, construction, or welding-related industry.

Option 2: The candidate shall have a minimum of two (2) years of practical welding experience/employment in a fabrication, construction or welding-related industry AND three (3) years of documented and relevant teaching experience as follows:

  • Teaching the occupational skill of welding or subjects relating to welding, its application, control, materials and processes full-time (or teaching part-time at a full- time equivalence) in a trade, technical school, college, or university; or
  • Employment in the manufacturing industry in a position for which the teaching of welding skills and the application of theory, control, materials, and process is a responsibility.

Review the AWS Certification and Qualification Standards for more detail:

How to Apply to Become a CWS

CWS - Step by Step Guide
Download the
CWS Step by Step Guide

The American Welding Society offers all new applicants the opportunity to use the online Certification Application Portal to enter information, submit required documentation, a current photo, register for seminars and courses and make payment.

Before beginning the application process, please review the submission and document requirements below and be sure to have all of your documentation ready before you begin the application process.

Additionally, please review the education and work experience requirements, found above, that must be met to become a CWS candidate.

All applicants should review and complete the following before beginning the online Certification Application Portal process.


Employment Verification Form
Qualifying Work Experience Form
Photo ID Requirements

Required forms are available for downloading.


CWS Exam Application (member): $585 USD
CWS Exam Application (non-member): $673 USD

Please review the AWS Certification Price List for more details.

Access the online Certification Application Portal

Note: Submitting a paper-based application incurs a $125 USD processing fee.

CWS Exams Information

CWS Candidates are required to take two exams:

  • Part A­ Fundamentals of Supervision
  • Part B­ Welding Practices & Economics

CWS Candidates must pass exams based on the essential tasks designated for the Welding Supervisor:

  • Personnel management
  • Supervision
  • Codes/quality management (QM) requirements
  • Qualification of personnel
  • Safety
  • Welding preparation and fabrication
  • Planning
  • Control
  • Equipment/consumables

Quality management and quality control requirements in:

  • Personnel
  • Procedure
  • Procedure testing
  • Materials/prefabrication
  • Welding inspection
  • Documentation

CWS Candidates must also be familiar with and understand the fundamentals of the following processes: SMAW, SAW, OFW, GTAW, FCAW, GMAW, SW, brazing, thermal cutting and mechanical cutting (cutting processes refer only to those that are applied to the fabrication & repair of weldments).


Part A Exam, an open book examination, consists of 150 multiple-choice questions and Part B Exam, an open book examination on welding practices and economics, consists of 30 multiple-choice questions. All questions have only one correct answer.

The exam is given in two parts and lasts four hours. Candidates are given two hours for each exam part (Part A and Part B).

The passing score for the CWS exams are a minimum of 70%.

Review additional information on the CWS Exams
Understand Computer Based Testing (CBT) Requirements
Review Prometric’s Exam Center Locations

Taking the Exams

Computer-Based Testing/Prometric Exam Centers

Exams are administered by Prometric at more than 450 Exam Centers around the world. Locations can be viewed at prometric.com/aws.

Learn more about Prometric CBT and Exam Centers:

CWS Exams Preparation Training and Seminar

The Certified Welding Supervisor seminar was developed to teach individuals the mastery that welding supervisors must be capable of demonstrating.

This 5-day course focuses on the knowledge a supervisor needs to support improvement of the welders’ environment, productivity, throughput, weld quality and safety.

Participants will learn the science rather than the art of welding for a better control of variables in the welding process.


CWS Specifications, Technical Standards & References

CWS Standards

A CWS certification ensures the certificate holder meets all of the specification and certification requirements found in:

Technical and Reference Documents are provided when registered and attending an AWS Seminar.

If an applicant/candidate is not attending an AWS Seminar prior to testing and is planning to self-study, please review the Self-Study page for more information.

Technical and Specification Documents and Reference Materials
(AWS CWS Body of Knowledge)

To purchase any of the AWS publications, visit the AWS Bookstore

Review the AWS CWS Body of Knowledge (PDF)

CWS Renewal

CWS Renewal Overview

The CWS credential is valid for three (3) years. A CWS can renew their CWS credential twice: once at year three (3) and once at year six (6).

A Certified Welding Supervisor shall renew the CWS certification to maintain a CWS credential.

Each of the two renewals require written documentation to support evidence of continued activity in the occupational position of welding supervisor.

The renewal application can be completed via the online Certification Application Portal.

Use the MyAWS Portal to check your CWS credentials, application or exam registration status

CWS Renewal Pricing

  • CWS Renewal Application (member): $360 USD
  • CWS Renewal Application (non-member): $448 USD

Please review the AWS Certification Price List for more details and options.

CWS Recertification

CWS Recertification Overview

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:

  • Completed and submitted documentation to support evidence of continued activity in the occupational position of welding supervisor.
  • The certificate holder shall successfully pass the CWS Part A and Part B exams or be exempt from the exams 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 (9) recertification.

The recertification application and exam registration can be completed via the online Certification Application Portal.

Use the MyAWS Portal to check your CWS credentials, application or exam registration status

CWS Recertification Pricing

  • CWS Recertification (member): $545 USD
  • CWS Recertification (non-member): $633 USD

Please review the AWS Certification Price List for more details and options.

CWS Frequently Asked Questions

Please explore the frequently asked questions on the AWS Certification Frequently Asked Questions pages.

Certified Welding Supervisor Program FAQs
Certification FAQs
VA Licensing & Certification Benefit FAQs
CBT and Prometric Exam Centers FAQs


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