How to become certified welding inspector

Updated February 21, 2017

If you are interested in becoming a certified welding inspector, you must start with the basics of the training process early in your education and work your way up. Each training program and certification will lead you to the next level in your career. When you are ready to take the Associate Welding Inspector and Welding Inspector certification tests, you must fill out a lengthy application form, send in the necessary application fees, and report to a test site to take the tests.

Take as many shop and welding courses as are offered in your high school or vocational-technical institute. Look for and complete courses offered by local vocational training programs. Practice your welding skills as often as you can, using your school's or program's shop and tools.

Find a welding shop that will take you on as an apprentice welder. Call all the welding shops in the phone book, and ask if they offer apprenticeships. Ask your welding instructors to recommend you for an apprenticeship. Work for 4 to 6 years as an apprentice.

Prepare for the Certified Associate Welding Inspector (CAWI) examination. Locate a school or institute the gives preparatory seminars for the test. Continue working as an apprentice, and get the skills you need to pass the CAWI test.

Fill out an application form for CAWI certification and send it in with the required application fees. Take the three-part test to earn CAWI certification. Try to get an overall average score of 72 per cent on all three parts of the test. If your overall average is 72 per cent, you can retake the section on which you scored less than 72 per cent. Pass the three-part test and receive your CAWI certification.

Find a position with a welding shop where you can work as a certified welding inspector, which you can do with a CAWI certifcation. Continue learning skills on-the-job in order to prepare yourself to take the Certified Welding Inspector (CWI) certification exam.

Fill out an application form for CWI certification, which includes a Visual Acuity Record, and send it in with the required application fees. Take the CWI exam and score at least a 72 per cent. Earn your CWI certification, which includes an internationally recognised CWI certification ID number.


Make sure you have top math and problem-solving skills to be successful as a welding inspector.


Remember that your CWI certification is valid for 9 years, so register for a CWI renewal program at least 6 months before your certification expires.

Things You'll Need

  • Shop and welding classes in school
  • Welding shop
  • Welding work experience
  • CAWI application form
  • Application fees
  • CWI application form
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About the Author

Aryeh Raphael has a degree in journalism and has worked with Fortune 1000 companies helping them to increase their online brand exposure through innovative website design, content creation, advertising and marketing. Additionally, Raphael is a writer for a slew of high-traffic blogs, including eHow and Tech Crunch.