CWI: A Sought-After Certification

CWI: A Sought-After Certification

The AWS Certified Welding Inspector credential is one of the welding industry’s most recognized certifications. In fact, CWIs are highly regarded and sought after throughout the welding industry. Becoming a CWI means that you have demonstrated the requisite knowledge, skills, and abilities to earn this prestigious credential.

Application, Renewal, Recertification

Application, Renewal, Recertification

Visit my.aws.org to enter information, submit required documentation and a current photo, register for seminars and courses, and make payments.

CWI certification is valid for nine years. After the initial activation date, the CWI is responsible for managing renewal and recertification processes. All renewal applications are available via my.aws.org.

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CWI Initial Application

  • How it Works
  • Eligibility
  • Required Documents
  • Technical & Reference Materials
  • Exam Information
  • Pricing
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CWI Renewal

  • How it Works
  • Required Documents
  • Pricing
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CWI Recertification

  • How it Works
  • Required Documents
  • Exam Information
  • Endorsements
  • Pricing
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CWI by IIW Waiver or Reciprocity

  • How it Works
  • Required Documents
  • Exam Information
  • Pricing
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CWI Initial Application

  • Overview
  • Eligibility
  • Documents
  • Technical and Reference Materials
  • Exam Information
  • Pricing

AWS Certified

Certified Welding Inspectors (CWIs) determine if a weldment meets the acceptance criteria of a specific code, standard, or other specification; handle qualification records; oversee non-destructive testing; and ensure proper materials are available during testing. Watch the video below to learn more about becoming AWS Certified.


CWIs must demonstrate a keen attention to detail along with other requisite knowledge, skills, and abilities, and are often considered the safety nets that catch potentially catastrophic mistakes.

This means that CWIs must be familiar with welding processes, welding procedures, welder qualifications, materials, and weld testing limitations, as well as how to read blueprint drawings, prepare and keep records, prepare and make reports, and make responsible judgments.

By employing or contracting CWIs, hiring organizations can improve safety, reduce risk, and meet the technical criteria and standards developed and updated by AWS industry experts.

Certified Welding Inspector Program

A CWI candidate is required to pass the three CWI exams to achieve the CWI certification. AWS conducts the Part A (Fundamentals) and the Part C (Code Book) exams via computer-based testing (CBT) at Prometric Test Centers, and administers the Part B (Practical) exam at locations across the United States where AWS educational seminars are held.

Part A: Fundamentals Exam*

The Part A Fundamentals Exam contains 150 questions that cover all topics related to the following:

  • Destructive Testing
  • Fabrication Math
  • Safety in Welding
  • Metallurgy
  • Nondestructive Testing
  • Understanding Welding Symbols
  • WPS/PQR
  • Welding Fundamentals

For additional information access the CWI Part A Examination Information Guide

Part B: Practical Exam*

The Part B Practical Exam for CAWI/CWI consists of hands-on activities using equipment provided by AWS, and 46 questions related to those activities. Activities include:

  • Application of WPSs and PQRs
  • Use of Inspection Tools and Methods
  • Execution of Required Welds

For additional information access the CWI Part B Examination Information Guide

Part C: Code Book Exam*

Part C of the CWI exam is an open-book test that establishes the participant’s ability to locate and understand information in the code book. The 50 to 65 exam questions are based on the code book editions listed below.

Candidates are permitted to bring one of the following code books to the Part C exam:

For additional information access the CWI Part C Examination Information Guide

View the Exam References and Editions Guide

*To obtain the CWI credential, candidates are required to earn a minimum score of 72% on each part of the exam (Part A: Fundamentals, Part B: Practical, and Part C: Code Book).

Review the AWS Certification and Qualification Standards for more detail:

CWI Education and Experience

To qualify to earn the CWI credential, candidates must pass a vision test and have a combination of qualifying education and work experience, with supporting documentation.

MINIMUM EDUCATION

MINIMUM WORK EXPERIENCE

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

Minimum of one (1) year welding based work experience

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

Minimum of two (2) years welding based work experience

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

Minimum of three (3) years welding based work experience

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

Minimum of four (4) years welding based work experience

High school diploma or approved high school equivalency diploma

Minimum of five (5) years welding based work experience

8th grade level of schooling

Minimum of nine (9) years welding based work experience

Less than 8th grade

Minimum of twelve (12) years welding based work experience

CWI Forms

Before beginning the application process, all applicants should download, review, and complete the following required documents:

This step-by-step guide streamlines the path to becoming a Certified Welding Inspector, saving you time and ensuring success.

Other forms and documents:

CWI Standards

Review the AWS Certification and Qualification Standards for more detail:

Technical and Specification Documents, and Reference Materials

The CWI Examination User Guide is a comprehensive resource that provides crucial information on the rules, policies, procedures, and exam content for individuals planning to take the CWI exams. This guide is an essential tool to help you prepare for the exam and ensure that you are fully aware of the requirements and expectations before you begin. Download the guide today to equip yourself with the knowledge and confidence you need to succeed in your CWI exam.

CWI Part B Examination Book of Specifications

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

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

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

English Metric Version

 

Other forms and documents:

Seminar and Exam Schedule

Find upcoming in-person seminars and exam dates on AWS by visiting the Seminar and Exam Schedule.

Computer-Based Testing/Prometric Exam Centers

AWS conducts the CWI Part A (Fundamentals) and Part C (Code Book) exams via computer-based testing (CBT) at more than 450 Prometric Exam Centers across the globe.

Learn more about Prometric CBT and Exam Centers:

Practical Exam (Non-Computer Based)

AWS administers the Part B (Practical) exam at locations across the United States where AWS educational seminars are held.

Additionally, AWS administers the Part B (Practical) exams at many international locations through our International Agents. Please review the International Contacts for Seminars and Exams.

CWI Candidates can register for the Part B exam via the online Certification Application Portal.

CWI Candidates who take the Part B exam will not receive the Part B Exam score until Part A and Part C Exams are completed. An exam score letter, documenting scores from Part A, Part B, and Part C will be sent via email approximately two (2) weeks following the completion of Part A and Part C.

CWI Renewal

  • Overview
  • Documents
  • Pricing

Maintain and Continue an Active CWI Certification

CWI certification is valid for nine years. At years three and six after the initial activation date, the CWI is responsible for submitting a renewal application to AWS Certification and actively managing the renewal and recertification process. (At six months and three months ahead of each renewal and expiration date, AWS will send a reminder notice to the email address on record.)

To qualify for renewal, the CWI shall attest to having no break in practice/employment greater than two years during the prior three years of certification in activities described in B5.1:2013-AMD1 - Specification for the Qualification of Welding Inspectors.

All renewal applications are available via the Certification Application Portal.

Work experience must be documented in the Qualifying Work Experience section of the renewal application. Resumes are not accepted as a substitute for information required by the renewal application.

AWS will accept renewal applications up to 11 months in advance of the current certification expiration and recommends a CWI send a renewal application at least 60 days prior to the current renewal date. In the event the CWI does not provide a renewal application in a timely manner, a 60-day administrative extension period is permitted. However, the SCWI certification will be considered "expired" during the administrative extension period.

Renewal applications submitted after the administrative 60-day extension period but within one year of the certification expiration date may be accepted for renewal.

Administrative late fees will be incurred by the CWI if a renewal application is submitted after the 60-day extension period. All administrative fees must be paid in full prior to AWS considering the renewal application.

Once all renewal requirements have been met via the renewal application and all administrative fees have been paid in full, the CWI certification will be reactivated. For further information concerning the CWI certification renewal, please refer to AWS QC1:2016-AMD1 - Specification for AWS Certification of Welding Inspectors (English PDF).

CWI Recertification

  • Overview
  • Documents
  • Exam Information
  • Endorsements
  • Pricing

Options for CWI Recertification

Part B Practical Exam

The CWI Part B Practical Exam will evaluate a CWI in the practical aspects of weld inspection and establish that the CWI’s skills are current. A CWI, prior to taking the Part B Practical Exam, should review a variety of weldments that show various levels of porosity and undercut. Additionally, a CWI should be prepared to interpret and inspect bend, T-joint, groove, and pipe weld samples. AWS administers the CWI Part B Practical Exam. 

Add One Endorsement

A CWI can pursue adding an endorsement to their certification. Successful completion (passing exam score) will meet the requirements for CWI recertification. 

A CWI can pursue the endorsement option up to (11) months prior to the current CWI certification expiration date. A CWI must choose one of the endorsements from the list below. Endorsements require passing an exam.

  • AWS D1.1 Structural Steel
  • AWS D1.2 Structural Aluminum
  • AWS D1.5 Bridge Welding
  • AWS D15.1 Railroad
  • AWS D17.1 Aerospace
  • API 1104 Pipelines
  • AWS Welder Performance Qualification Endorsement
  • AWS Magnetic Particle Testing (MT Dry Powder Yoke Method)
  • AWS Penetrant Testing (PT Type II - Method C)
  • ASME Section IX, B31.1 and B31.3 Boiler & Pressure Vessel
  • Structural Bolting Inspection
  • ASME Section VIII, Div. 1 & Section IX Boiler & Pressure Vessel
  • Structural Drawing Reading

Important Note: AWS Specification for the Certification of Welding Inspectors (AWS QC1:2016-AMD1) defines an endorsement as an “Indication of an additional skill documented in writing and added to one’s certification credential(s).” In fulfilling the 9-year recertification requirement, the pursuit of the chosen endorsement cannot be successfully completed using the same code book that was used for achieving the current active CWI certification.

9-Year Recertification by Accumulated Professional Development Hours (PDH) Continuing Education 

Continuing education requirements may be met if a CWI has kept up to date in the inspection profession by attending classes and seminars related to welding. A CWI needs 80 PDHs of seminars, courses, or online courses such as those found on the AWS Education Portal that meet the requirements of AWS Specification for the Certification of Welding Inspectors (AWS QC1:2016-AMD1).

The course/seminar content must be in one or more of the subject areas as defined in the Education and Experience Requirements of AWS Specification for the Qualification of Welding Inspectors (AWS B5.1:2013-AMD1).

ENDORSEMENTS OR CERTIFICATIONS ACHIEVED PRIOR TO 9-YEAR RECERTIFICATION

Endorsements: A CWI who has previously taken and passed one or more endorsement exams prior to the 9-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 a CWI’s 9-year cycle, if the prerequisites are met, a CWI can apply to become an AWS Certified Radiographic Interpreter (CRI). The CRI fulfills the CWI’s 9-year recertification requirement. Please visit the CRI Program Overview page.

9-Year Recertification Course: As an alternative to the previous permitted options, a CWI can register and successfully complete the AWS 9-Year Recertification Course. The successful completion of the course meets the requirements for CWI recertification.

Seminar and Exam Schedule

Find upcoming in-person seminars and exam dates on AWS by visiting the AWS Calendar. The Calendar is easy to use and navigate, select "Exam" under "Event Type", choose the month and/or year, and search by city and state. 

Part B Practical Exam

AWS administers the Part B (Practical) exam at locations across the United States where AWS educational seminars are held.

Additionally, AWS administers the Part B (Practical) exams at many international locations through our International Agents. Please review the International Contacts for Seminars and Exams.

CWI Candidates can register for the Part B exam via the online Certification Application Portal.

Add One Endorsement

All endorsement exams (except for Structural Drawing Reading, which is administered by AWS) will be offered at Prometric Exam Centers. Visit Prometric’s AWS information page to explore exam center locations across the globe.

Endorsements are supplemental inspection credentials available to all AWS Certified Welding Inspectors (CWIs) and Senior Certified Welding Inspectors (SCWIs). Endorsements document an individual’s additional knowledge, skill, or ability.

Below are the available endorsement certifications that AWS offers. Select the endorsement you are interested in to see requirements, reference materials, and other relevant information.

 

D1.1 Structural Steel
Description: This endorsement covers five subject areas in AWS D1.1: material and design, fabrication, inspection, qualification, and reports and records. Subject weights for each of these areas are in conformance with the code book examination requirements as expressed in section 7.1 of AWS B5.1, Specification for the Qualification of Welding Inspectors.

D1.2 Structural Aluminum
Description: This endorsement covers four subject areas in AWS D1.2: material and design, fabrication, inspection, and qualification. Subject weights for each of these areas conform to the examination requirements outlined in section 7.1 of AWS B5.1, Specification for the Qualification of Welding Inspectors.

D1.5 Bridge Welding
Description: This endorsement covers five subject areas in AWS D1.5: material and design, fabrication, inspection, qualification, and reports and records. Subject weights for each of these areas are in conformance with the code book examination requirements as expressed in section 7.1 of AWS B5.1, Specification for the Qualification of Welding Inspectors.

D15.1 Railroad
Description: This endorsement covers four subject areas in AWS D15.1: material and design, fabrication, inspection, and qualification. Subject weights for each of these areas are in conformance with the code book examination requirements as expressed in section 7.1 of AWS B5.1, Specification for the Qualification of Welding Inspectors.

D17.1 Aerospace
Description: The D17.1 examination covers AWS D17.1 Specification for Fusion Welding of Aerospace Applications.

API 1104 Pipeline
Description: This endorsement covers five subject areas in API 1104: material and design, fabrication, inspection, qualification, and reports and records, including Appendix A and B. AWS QC1, Standard for AWS Certification of Welding Inspectors, provides for endorsements that may be added to CWI and SCWI certifications.

ISO Standards Endorsement
Description: The ISO Standards exam/endorsement provides CWIs and SCWIs an opportunity to demonstrate their knowledge, ability, and skills in the ISO Standards used as the test base. With this endorsement, CWIs and SCWIs may expand their opportunities in areas of the world where these standards are commonly specified.

 

Welding Coordination and Quality Assurance Endorsement

Description: This endorsement covers the essential aspects of welding quality assurance and coordination, ensuring proficiency in these areas. It aligns with industry standards and best practices for welding quality management.

Welder Performance Qualifier Endorsement
Description: This endorsement assesses a candidate's knowledge, skill, and ability to conduct welder performance qualification tests. AWS QC1, Standard for AWS Certification of Welding Inspectors, provides for endorsements that may be added to CWI and SCWI certifications.

Welding Procedure Qualifier Endorsement
Description: This endorsement assesses a candidate’s knowledge, skill, and ability to conduct welding procedure qualification tests. AWS QC1, Standard for AWS Certification of Welding Inspectors, provides for endorsements that may be added to CWI and SCWI certifications.

Magnetic Particle Testing (MT Dry Powder Yoke Method)
Description: This endorsement shall govern Magnetic Particle Testing (MT) of welds in ferromagnetic materials using an electromagnetic yoke with visible dry powder. The general exam will require the candidate to demonstrate an understanding of the basics of the other MT methods. The specific and practical exams will focus on the Magnetic Yoke Technique.

Penetrant Testing (PT Type II- Method C)
Description: This endorsement governs visible Penetrant Testing (PT) of welds using the solvent removable method in ferrous and non-ferrous materials manufactured from non-porous materials. Section 2 of AWS QC1, Standard for AWS Certification of Welding Inspectors provides for endorsements that may be added to the CWI and SCWI certifications.

ASME BPVC Section IX, Power (B31.1) and Process (B31.3) Piping
Description: This endorsement covers four subject areas in three ASME standards: material and design, fabrication, inspection, and qualification. Subject weights for each of these areas are in conformance with the code book examination requirements as expressed in section 7.1 of AWS B5.1, Specification for the Qualification of Welding Inspectors.

CWI by IIW Waiver or Reciprocity

Frequently Asked Questions

  • Can I pick what start time my exam will be?

    CWI (Exam Parts A and C) CBT Exams

    Prometric schedules exams in windows, typically a morning window and an afternoon window, and you may select one or the other depending on availability.

    You will not be able to choose a specific start time (e.g., 10:30 a.m.), but you will be able to select an available time slot in either the morning or the afternoon.

    CWI Part B Exam

    Exam dates and times are scheduled along with AWS seminars and are often held in a variety of cities across the United States.

    Exam dates and times are not flexible. Please plan for potential travel time depending on the exam location you select.

  • Can I schedule my exam by walking into the local Prometric exam center and talking to a staff person there?

    A candidate must receive a confirmation letter from AWS before scheduling exams with Prometric.

    The confirmation letter, which includes an eligibility code, will be sent via email after initial, renewal, or recertification applications and all required documentation are reviewed, processed, and approved by the AWS Certification Department.

    A candidate will require the eligibility code contained in the confirmation letter sent by AWS before being permitted to schedule.

  • Can I submit an incomplete CWI application via my.aws.org?

    Yes, my.aws.org now offers the ability to save an incomplete application.

  • Can I use my nickname on my CWI application?

    The name on your government-issued ID needs to exactly match the name you provide on your application.

    The Prometric Staff will require the name on the ID that candidates present at the Exam Center to exactly match the name on the application.

  • Has the CWI application/registration process changed?

    The American Welding Society offers all applicants the opportunity to use the online Certification Application Portal to register for seminars and courses and to make payments.

    Before beginning the online application, please review the submission process, required documents, and the education and work experience requirements that must be met to become a CWI.

    AWS administers the CWI Part A and Part C Exams via Prometric. Candidates will receive a confirmation letter from AWS via email once all application requirements are completed and approved. A candidate will require the eligibility code contained in the confirmation letter before being permitted to schedule CWI Part A and Part C Exams with Prometric.

    Prometric offers over 450 exam centers across the globe and has over 100 Exam Centers across the United States. For more information, please visit the AWS page on Prometric’s website.

    AWS administers CWI Part B (Practical) exam at locations across the United States where AWS educational seminars are scheduled.

    Please review the schedule here.

    International candidates should work with their local AWS Agent representative to determine appropriate methods for applying for certification programs and for registering for exams.

  • If I take CWI Part B practical exam but do not think I scored high enough to keep my overall average up, can I retake CWI Part B again before taking Part A and Part C?

    CWI candidates must complete all three parts of the CWI exams (Part A, Part B Practical, and Part C) before retaking any of the exam parts.

  • What are the application deadlines to take the CWI exams?

    CWI Part B Practical Exam

    For CWI examinations that include the Part B Practical exam, application deadlines will remain the same as published.

    In the U.S., the deadline is six weeks prior to the Part B exam date.

    Please plan for potential travel time depending on the exam location you select.

    CWI Part A and Part C Exams

    CWI (Exam Parts A and C) exams, application deadlines are flexible, depending on your scheduling preferences and availability to take the selected certification program exams at Prometric.

    Candidates will find the best availability at Prometric sites when scheduling as soon as they receive their eligibility codes in their confirmation letters.

    Outside of the U.S., the deadline may be closer to four weeks (please see the local AWS agent for the specific timeline for your country/region).

  • Why can’t I take the CWI exams all in one weekend?

    Prometric administers CWI Part A and Part C Exams via CBT.

    AWS directly administers CWI Part B Practical Exam.

    Parts A and C Exams will be held at a Prometric Exam Center, and Part B Exam will be held at a different time, day, and location.

  • Why do I have to contact Prometric to schedule an exam date and time?

    The Prometric website maintains the most current schedule options available to AWS candidates.

  • I scheduled CWI Part A and Part C for the same day; which part will I see first?

    When you schedule your exam, you are given the option to choose the order in which you prefer to take Parts A and C of your exam.

  • Can I take CWI Part A and Part C before I take Part B?

    All candidates are required to take the Part B Practical portion of the CWI Exam before Parts A and C.

    Candidates may choose whether to take Part A before Part C or vice versa, but both must be after Part B has been completed and within - days of Part B Practical.

  • Why is there a gap between the CWI Part A and Part C exams?

    Prometric treats CWI Part A and Part C as two separate exams, and therefore they are scheduled separately.

    Although they may be on the same day, they may be some hours apart, depending on the availability of various exam seats at the local Prometric Center.

  • Does AWS offer CBT exams in languages other than English?

    CBT Exams are offered in languages other than English.

    Languages currently offered are Spanish, Portuguese, Russian, Japanese, Chinese, and Korean.

    Please contact your local AWS International Agent for more information.

  • If I am an international candidate, how long will it take to get my eligibility code?

    On average and barring extenuating circumstances, international applications are processed in approximately four (4) to six (6) weeks from the time the application is received.

    Once an application is processed, eligibility codes for Parts A and C are created and emailed directly to the candidate.

    AWS Coordinators will send a follow-up email to the agency within 24 hours of processing with all eligibility letters.