TeamUSA Welder Selection Process
Competition Promotes Excellence
Student welder competitions effectively promote quality, productivity and the image of welding, one of America's key production skills. By holding competitions at the local, national and international levels, AWS and SkillsUSA demonstrate their support through encouraging future welders to develop the full potential of their skills. AWS welding competitors exemplify excellence through their knowledge, skill and intense personal commitment.
Contests at various levels are comprehensive and consist of written, hands-on welding, code interpretation, and other test of a welder's skill and knowledge that are used everyday in the workplace. Throughout these welding contests, the pressure is on to be the best!
Team USA Welder Selection
Every two years, the American Welding Society invites the top 48 welding competitors from the National SkillsUSA Championships to compete in the four-stage Team USA Welder Selection that decides which welder will represent the United States at the World Skills Competition. For example, AWS will select the top 48 finalists from the 2013 and 2014 SkillsUSA Championships (24 finalist from each year) to participate in the first stage of competition that will decide who goes to the World Skills Competition in 2015.
AWS U.S. Invitational Weld Pre-Trials
The first stage of the Team USA Welder Selection is the AWS U.S. Invitational Pre-Trials. Pre-Trial contestants are given a set of WorldSkills Competition projects to complete in their home states. These projects are scored by the AWS Skills Competition Committee, and the students that submit the top six projects are invited to participate in the next trial. The top six finalists also receive a $1,000 scholarship for books, tuition or lab fees, and a one-year AWS membership. It’s important to note that contestants must be 22 years old or younger in the year of the World Skills Competition to be eligible to compete.
AWS U.S. Invitational Weld Trials
Every two years, the top 6 Pre Trial finalists compete for the top 3 positions at the AWS U.S. Invitational Weld Trials held at the annual AWS/FABTECH Exposition. These six Americans compete alongside competitors from up to 24 WorldSkills countries. This event fosters international camaraderie and greatly improves the American welders’ ability to compete on the world stage.
AWS U.S. Finalist Tune-Up
The top 3 finalists from the AWS U.S. Invitational Weld Trials go on to the AWS TeamUSA Finalist Tune-up. This is a one week intense training event conducted by past TeamUSA Welding competitors, the U.S. Expert to the WorldSkills welding competition and the AWS Skills Competition Committee. Three very qualified and skilled welders emerge ready to compete for the chance to represent their country at the WorldSkills Welding Competition.
AWS U.S. Finals
The final weld off takes place at the AWS TeamUSA Finals. It is a week-long event that invites the public to learn more about the competitors and the welding industry. The gold medalist of the AWS TeamUSA Finals earns the right to represent the United States at the WorldSkills Welding Competition. After participating at the WorldSkills Competition, the U.S. representative receives up to $1,000 in AWS publications, a four-year AWS membership, and a $40,000 four-year scholarship from the AWS Foundation and the Miller Electric Manufacturing Company.