Why Pursue a SCWI Credential?

Why Pursue a SCWI Credential?
May 2024

Achieving AWS’s Certified Welding Inspector (CWI) credential is quite an accomplishment. It is the culmination of years of experience, hours of studying, and intense examination. Successfully achieving that goal is worthy of a moment of praise and respite.

Attaining the CWI credential, though, is very much a beginning. For many, it opens the door into the large world of quality control, supervising work, performing inspections, conducting audits, and verifying materials and processes. Additionally, working in this field inevitably means exposure to the application of any number of nondestructive examination (NDE) methods and other certifications (American Petroleum Institute, the International Code Council, etc.). Achieving the CWI credential is a great accomplishment, one that can put you on a course that will require you to continue to learn and grow professionally.

Over time, and after gaining considerable experience, you may begin to wonder what benefit adding Senior before the CWI acronym may offer you professionally. The answer to that question is not a universal one; the specific benefits of a Senior Certified Welding Inspector (SCWI) credential are specific to you and your professional situation.

At first glance, it may not seem as though there are clear cut benefits to pursuing this credential. It is rare to see job listings advertised exclusively for SCWIs. Depending on your employment situation, there may not be an immediate monetary gain in the form of a pay raise. CWIs exist who have extensive experience and are leaders in the industry but have not pursued an SCWI credential. After all, it is the responsibility of the employer to determine if an employee is capable of performing their assigned duties; no certification is a substitute for that evaluation.

So, isn’t a CWI credential enough? Why pursue an SCWI credential? Earning the CWI credential is a notable achievement, but it is a beginning, one that promotes growth over time. If your position has grown from performing inspections to supervising inspectors and NDE technicians, from verifying conformances to developing and maintaining quality management systems, and from supervising the application of welding procedures to developing and writing procedure specifications, or if that is where you want your career to take you, then pursuing the SCWI credential may be advantageous. The SCWI credential is intended to, by means of testing and certification, identify one as an expert and supervisor in their field. If that sounds like the path you want to take, consider working toward adding Senior to your CWI credential.

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CALEB FECKER (cfecker@tip-cons.com) is an AWS SCWI and ASNT NDT Level III at Testing & Inspection Professional Consulting in Wappingers Falls, N.Y.