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Commonly Asked Questions About Welding

But anybody can weld, right?

Well… read this

Written September 16, 2008 by: Rick Cowman

Welder training at Blessing Industries, Fayette, IowaPhoto courtesy of Welding Training Solutions Inc.

“Welding is a craft that requires both proper training and practice. Training your welders can have a very positive effect on your operation. A well-trained welder is more likely to produce high quality welds efficiently and weld safely. He also may be more satisfied with his job and stick around longer” …

Commonly Asked Questions About Welding Training

Do you have any experience with apprenticeship programs?

Yes. I’m proud to say I have been instrumental in developing and implementing a welding training curriculum for the Iowa Association of Builders and Contractors in Grimes, Iowa. This training is offered to member company apprentices and journeyman who need to upgrade their welding skills, or attain welder certification.


Can I find you on LinkedIn?


What kind of welding training schedule is normal?

There is no normal training schedule. Training can be done on any schedule that works for you–the customer. Often, scheduling includes two work shifts on the same day which eliminates disruption of normal working hours for the operators.

Can you work with inexperienced operators?

Often, the need for training is because of the lack of experienced operators, so much of the training I provide is with limited experienced to completely inexperienced individuals. Regardless of experience, the goal is to provide a solid foundation of knowledge and skills and provide an environment where operators can help each other. This happens when everyone is on the same page by receiving the same training.

Does training go faster with experienced welders?

In some ways it’s much easier to train individuals who have experience, but at the same time bad habits have been developed through that experience. Having said that, much of the training for experienced operators is spent breaking bad habits! Regardless of experience, it’s all about building a solid common foundation that can be built upon with experience and good practice.

What is the cost of training?

First of all, training is an investment – not an expense! And your investment will depend on the amount of time needed to get your operators to the level of skill needed to accomplish your goals. This also depends on whether welder qualification is one of those goals, as this requires more time for certification testing. Training costs are on a day rate basis, regardless of the number of operators involved.

What are the advantages of “on-site” training?

One of the advantages of our services is that we bring the training to YOU, at your facility, using the equipment your operators use every day. On-site training helps the participants understand how to set up and operate their own equipment, and also allows for recognition of equipment problems and safety issues which may need to be addressed. Regardless of where you’re located, we will come to your location and provide welding training on a schedule and during the work shifts that work for YOU!

Commonly Asked Questions About Welder Certification

What is welder certification?

Welder certification is the documentation of an individual’s ability to perform specific welds, via performance testing, which conform to the minimum standards of a specific welding code and weld procedures in that code. Certification documents a welding operator’s qualifications. The welding codes involved are typically either AWS (American Welding Society) or ASME (American Society of Mechanical Engineers). The welding code involved and the type of testing is determined by the type of materials being welded and whether it is structural or pressure vessel qualification. It is the individual company’s responsibility to qualify their welding operators.

What is the difference between a “certified welder” and a “qualified welder”?

The word “certified” refers to the documentation of “qualifications”. Therefore, you could be a very qualified welder but not certified, or had those skills documented. It’s also possible that you could have the documentation, or certification and not do qualified work. To say a person is a “certified welder” actually is a radically misuse of terms, because no one could possibly be certified to weld everything because of the vast diversity of welding applications and therefore certifications. It is more appropriate to say “I’m certified to weld ________”.

What is the process of welder certification?

In welder certification, an individual is tested to standards within a specific welding code. Those standards are call weld procedures. Depending on the welding code involved, the operator is tested to either a pre-qualified weld procedure (already established) or a weld procedure that has been approved by testing. If there has not already been qualified welders in your company, a weld procedure will need to be attained – either by purchasing a pre-qualified procedure, or attaining procedure qualification by testing. Again, this depends on the welding code involved. Once a weld procedure has been established, the operator performs his/her welder qualification by testing to that procedure. This sounds complicated, but it really isn’t. Once it’s determined what type of welder qualification your operators need, this can all be determined.

Is there written testing or just practical performance involved in welder certification?

For welder qualification, certification testing is practical performance. There is no written exam involved.

Who needs to be certified?

Welder qualification is required for any operator who welds on or fabricates anything that creates a liability, such as anything that can be climbed on, walked under … anything that if the welds fail, someone could be injured. Often a fabricator will qualify their welders so they can promote their shop as having “qualified” welders.

How long is certification good for?

An operator’s certification document is valid as long as there is some type of continuity log maintained showing the operator has been using the skills he is qualified for at least once within a six month time frame. If this doesn’t happen, or if his/her skills are questioned, re-testing would be required.

Can I transfer my certification to another company?

Each individual company is required to qualify their welders through welder certification testing, if needed. That qualification document then belongs to the company who paid for it and cannot be transferred with the operator should he change employment.

Don’t ask, “What if we train them and they leave?”  Rather, “What if we DON’T train them – and they STAY?”

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