How to Become a Certified Welder: Carrier, Training & Salary (2021)


Welding is a professional skill that can be acquired by proper knowledge and hands-on experience. 

A welder is a craftsman that joins different parts of metals for the formation of productive patterns and ensures it meets certain criteria of durability and endurance.

He also has welding expertise to work with aluminum, steels, brass and other metals. 

Welding involves understanding the usage of complex tools and flame temperature that will be earned through proper training and hands-on experience.

How to Become a Welder?

When you are going to become a successful welder then you need to take two major steps. 

Step 1) Get High school diploma or equivalent

Join a welding institute that provides in-depth awareness about welding stuff such as temperature fluctuations, tools complexities and presents welding certificates after completing the course successfully. 

Step 2) Get Welding Experience

Work under the guidance of a professional welder who guides you practically by welding products in front of you and helps you during the hands-on experience. 

After obtaining proper knowledge & skills set that fulfil fundamental requirements to bond a metal a person starts a career like a welder.

Welding Career Guide

Welding is a well-reputed profession and wide carrier that is an essential need for hundreds of industries such as building construction, commercial structures, house repairing, bridges manufacturing, automobiles industry and even in ships or aircrafts manufacturing.

So after getting a complete skill set, a welder starts his career from any industry that he loves to join or those that offer him good wages or privileges.

What Does a Welder Do?

A welder is a trained person who has the expertise to use flame or heat for joining metals into a creative design during manufacturing/repairing any product.

Duties of a Commercial welder & skills needed

1- He confirmed welding project durability and ensured that his work fulfilled the required safety criteria.

2- He controls the temperature of flame while welding products and makes sure his joints never lose strength.

3- He has proper knowledge of welding tools and understands the usage of all.

4- He is responsible to keep welding tools clean and store after usage.

5- He has the expertise to analyze blueprints for understanding product dimensions that he is going to weld.

6- Proper usage of clips & clamps for perfect positions and restraining of metal parts.

7- After completing the welding process he needs to ensure that the welded product is durable and safe to use.

How much time take to Become a Welder?

Average training program for welding skills takes 6 months. 

In Which a student gains hands-on experience and some necessary knowledge about welding.

But If a welder wants to become more professional then he needs to obtain a high degree in welding that takes 4 years. 

After 4 years, students have a bachelor degree with 4-year welding base working practice and complete knowledge about the welding industry.

What is the highest salary of a Professional welders?

Here are in-depth details about Certified Welder salary.

Per Year: In 2020, United States companies offer an average salary to a certified welder up to 40,970 $ Annually.

Per Hour: Hourly wages of a professional welder is 19.70$ per hour.

For a Professional Welder: And Welders that are certified from a well-reputed institution and have years of experience may earn up to 47,919$ per year in the United States.

Step By Step guides to Become a Certified Welder?

Step 1- Earn a welding Diploma

What education do you need to become a welder? Although welding is a practical field. But it required a high school education to learn in-depth knowledge of this profession. 

In this era, as technology helps a lot in every field, education helps craftsmen to use the tools & latest equipment efficiently. 

For the core understanding of the welding profession, high school education is essential ingredients.

All around the world, thousands of schools offer GED certified courses for welding and metal fabrication.

So a person who wants to join welding as a career, he needs to join courses from beginner to professional level. And secondly gain hands-on experience to improve his professional reputation.

Welding courses build the foundation of the student and upgrade their confidence level about welding knowledge that helps them to join this field as a profession.

In welding courses, the teachers teach geometry and algebra that helps students to calculate dimensions plus find out the actual size of any product. And this kind of learning helps them in their whole career.

And science subjects are also taught in welding courses that help students to understand how welding works? High schools offer different welding disciplines that help students to specify their field according to their interest.

Step 2 Get a Degree from Welding Association

After completing high school education, a student needs to acquire a welding degree or certificate.

Certification is also a demanding requirement for applying on welding jobs in all well-reputed firms. 

For a Welding Technology Associate’s Degree, a student needs to complete coursework for gaining hands-on experience with theoretical knowledge.

And students need to pay thousands of dollars for acquiring welding certification. Cost of the certificate varies according to the welding School reputation.

How much does it cost to become a welder?

Some welding schools offer 6 to 8-month face to face classes and workshop experience for certification. 

And they may charge as little as 4500$ or as much as 20000$. 

Some universities also offer bachelor degrees in welding principles. And a bachelor degree required 4 years to complete and mostly face to face workshop class.

Step 3- Gain Hand On Experience

What type of training is required for welding? After completing school education and welding certificate, a student needs a hand on practice experience for a welder job. So the best solution to gain practical experience is to join a welding company on internship bases. 

How to become a welder apprentice?

After completing welding certifications, welders need to apply in welding industries as welder apprentices. Companies take candidate interviews and select if he has enough knowledge about the welding industry. 

In the apprenticeship period, students learn hand-on experience and experience the practical responsibilities of a welder. 

Welders also mention their apprenticeship experience in their resume as a welding base work reputation.

Some welding companies also pay a little amount of money to internees for manage their expenses.

After completing the apprenticeship period, welders may get a job as a professional welder in that company in which they already work or they may apply to somewhere else.

Step 4 – Earn a Welding Certification

After completing the first three steps, you have all necessary education about the welding profession, get a school certification and gain hand-on experience through apprenticeship.

What Certification do you need to become a welder?

So now you need to take some practice tests that help you to earn welding certification that is authorized through the American Welding Society (AWS)

These kinds of certificates help to raise your career reputation and impact on your career directly. 

If you want to work as a Pro Welder in a Multi National firm then these certifications are essential for you.

In the welding industry, different levels of jobs require different certificates. I mention some famous certification with their details:

1-Certified Welder(CW)

  • No educational requirement needed for this certification
  • It is a performance-based certification that costs $35.
  • In the United States, AWS(Accredited Testing Facility) takes this certification.

2-Certified Welding Inspector (CWI)

After completing CWI certifications, a person becomes a certified welding inspector. This certificate is essential for Welding supervisors who want to lead other co-welders.

CWI certification involves responsibility and remarkable skill demonstration. After obtaining this certificate a welder easily avails welding Inspector Job.

For obtaining this certificate a student need to fulfil these requirements:

  • For CWI, Student must pass the vision test
  • Higher Education and Minimum 1 year welding base working experience required
  • AWS charges $850 for a member and $1065 for non-member students.

3-Senior Certified Welding Inspector (SCWI)

This certification is an advanced form of CWI. It is a Prometric Computer-Based that ensures the quality of welder skills. The criteria of this certification are the same as CWI certification.

The requirement for taking this exam might be met from various perspectives.

Different Period of work experience and a higher level of education demanded

For members, its cost is $850 and for non-members, the cost is $1065.

4-Certified Welding Educator (CWE)

CWE Certification was introduced to define the minimum standard and expertise of welding instructors. 

This certification is essential for becoming a tutor in the welding industry. All professional Welders that teach in universities or welding labs must have this certification.

These are essential requirements that must meet for Welding Educator Certification.

  • Completed CWE Certification
  • Welder must b teach somewhere(full time or part-time) as Instructor
  • Already have Solid Welding Certification

Cost of Welding Educator Certification(WEC) is $700 for members and $900 for non-members.

Related Article: A detail discussion on MIG Welder.

A Quick Review – How to become a professional welder?

If a person wants to join welding as a professional career and then he must choose one path from given choices that I listed below.

1- First a student starts a six to eight-month welding certification course in which he covers primary awareness about welding, tools and obtains some practical experience.

2-After gaining beginner level certification, he tried to go toward a two-year professional certificate in welding. 

In which he learned about the usage of welding tools, safety rules & regulations, structure blueprints and about how to manage the flaming temperature.

3- Some welders that wish to get a high-level welding job, enrol themself in a welding bachelor degree program that will be completed in 4 years. After completing a 4-year professional welding certificate, students become professional Welder and easily obtain a good job.