What Are Welding Certifications? (With Careers in Welding)

By Indeed Editorial Team

Published 30 March 2022

The Indeed Editorial Team comprises a diverse and talented team of writers, researchers and subject matter experts equipped with Indeed's data and insights to deliver useful tips to help guide your career journey.

A welder works in the trades industry, joining materials by forging them together with tools that produce extreme heat. Once a welder gains their basic qualification, there are several certifications that can further their welding skills. By reviewing certifications in welding, you can identify which ones best fit your career goals. In this article, we discuss what welding certificates are, detail common welding certificates, provide steps on how to become a welder, share their skills, identify several welding careers and answer some frequently asked questions about this career.

What are welding certifications?

Welding certifications are courses that can certify a welder's practical competencies. There are usually several certifications that may provide a welder with advanced skills in welding techniques. A certification can certify a welder's ability to supervise a team and inspect the quality of their welds.

Several international certifications may certify a welder for employment overseas. They usually require a qualification, such as an apprenticeship, to complete a welding certification. There may also be requirements, such as work experience or alternative certifications.

Related: What Does a Welder Do? (With Steps to Help You Become One)

Certifications in welding

Below, you can find details on several certifications in welding you may take through Weld Australia:

International Welding Specialist (IWS)

The IWS certification is an online course that covers a variety of practical and managerial skills. You may learn topics such as equipment maintenance, material behaviour, workplace safety and design interpretation. The IWS certification usually takes six months to complete. It comprises four modules that focus on cost, safety, productivity and quality.

International Welding Inspector – Basic (IWI-B)

The IWI-B certificate usually takes five weeks to complete. This certification is online and includes live lectures, recorded classes and interactive live streams. This certificate may help you gain employment as an inspector. The IWI-B can help you identify weak welds and create testing plans for fabrications.

International Welding Inspector – Standard (IWI-S)

The IWI-S is considerably shorter than the other certifications. Training can last around eight days and comprise six modules of learning material. The IWI-S is a face-to-face certification. This course covers similar content of the IWI-B certification. The difference is that the IWI-S includes more managerial lessons, such as managing a team of inspectors.

International Welding Technologist (IWT)

The IWT certificate is a combination of practical and online theoretical studies. Depending on the training provider, the location of the practical study may vary. The IWT comprises four modules that take around five weeks each to complete. This certificate has a large focus on supervision, inspection and management within a fabrication company.

International Welding Engineer (IWE)

If you're hoping to develop your knowledge of welding processes, the IWE may be a good choice for you. The IWE covers advanced welding procedures and may provide you with the expertise to inspect industrial welds. With the IWE certification, you may gain employment with engineering firms and large construction companies. The IWE certificate usually takes six months to complete and includes practical units of study. Your training provider generally decides on the location of your practical training.

AS1796 Welding Supervisor Certificate 10

With the Welding Supervisor Certificate 10, you can gain the authority to supervise welding operations on pressure vessels. This certificate provides knowledge in safety procedures, metallurgy and building standards. This course includes two online modules. The first module relates to complex welding procedures. The second module focuses on the application of government standards. It's important to understand that Australian Standard (AS) certifications may not receive recognition in other countries.

AS2214 Welding Supervisor

The AS2214 Welding Supervisor certificate is usually a popular certification that can show your dedication to the industry. This course may take three to four months to complete and includes online theoretical studies. You may gain knowledge in advanced managerial strategies, production processes and workplace safety.

How to become a welder

If you're considering a few of the certifications in welding, you may require an apprenticeship in fabrication or boiler-making. If you have no experience in welding, you can consider some of the following steps to help you become a qualified welder:

1. Complete an apprenticeship

The minimum requirement for becoming a welder is often the completion of an apprenticeship. An apprenticeship in boiler-making or welding usually takes three years to complete. Most of your training may be practical, with several hours a week of theoretical study. Once your training provider certifies your competencies in welding, you can search for a career as a qualified welder.

2. Consider a university degree

A university degree is not usually necessary for a career as a welder or boilermaker, though it can improve your job opportunities. Completing a bachelor's degree in engineering can show employers that you have knowledge and skill in managerial processes. It can also highlight your knowledge of engineering fundamentals, such as material behaviour, design planning and structural integrity. A bachelor's degree usually takes three years to complete.

3. Apply for a welding career

Once you obtain the relevant qualifications, you may apply for a welding job. As a welder, you can expect to gain employment with fabrication, industrial and construction companies. Gaining employment as a welder is also an important step in gaining a welding certification. Some certifications may require you to complete three years of work experience before you can gain the certification. You can apply for a career in welding using the Indeed job board.

Welder skills

Here, you can find several skills that can assist you when fulfilling your duties as a welder:

  • Safety awareness: Several pieces of welding equipment can require extensive knowledge and awareness to operate. As a welder, your awareness of your environment can help you identify potential safety concerns.

  • Physical endurance: Some fabrication processes can require your physical attention for long periods. Physical endurance can help you maintain a steady hand while you weld fabrications together.

  • Mathematics: As a welder, one of your primary duties can involve interpreting design blueprints. Having mathematical skills can help you identify the correct quantity of materials that a fabrication requires.

  • Teamwork: Depending on the company you gain employment with, you may conduct your duties in a team environment. Teamwork skills can help you work effectively with your colleagues, which can improve your productivity.

Related: Hard Skills vs. Soft Skills

Welding careers that may require certification

Below, you can find some of the welding careers that may require a welding certification:

1. Certified welder

National average salary: $70,295 per year

Primary duties: A certified welder usually has a welding specialist certification. They often specialise in a specific type of welding. These welding procedures can require additional knowledge and training beyond a welding qualification. A certified welder may cut, join and shape materials for a variety of clients.

2. Production manager

National average salary: $74,758 per year

Primary duties: A production manager for a fabrication business ensures the production team conducts their responsibilities safely. They may review the team's productivity and identify areas they could improve. Production managers also help implement managerial strategies to improve the team's efficiency and communication.

3. Structural welder

National average salary: $75,350 per year

Primary duties: A structural welder typically has an IWE or IWT certification. They conduct repairs and maintenance on large industrial structures. A structural welder may also fabricate large objects that may require extensive knowledge of material behaviour. They often use different welding methods to create steel formworks for structures.

4. Welding supervisor

National average salary: $92,232 per year

Primary duties: Welding supervisors coordinate welding operations and ensure the quality of fabrications. They may review welding procedures to identify safety hazards and create safe solutions. A welding supervisor utilises their knowledge of standards to ensure the welding operation meets government regulations.

Frequently asked questions about welders

Below, you can find answers to some of the most commonly asked questions about the welding industry:

What are welding tickets?

A welding ticket is a qualification that can allow you to operate a specific type of welding equipment. Apprenticeships usually provide you with the opportunity to gain several tickets. Depending on the type of welding you conduct, you may only require a few tickets to perform your responsibilities.

Below, you can find several welding proficiencies that may require a ticket:

  • pipe welding

  • gas metal arc welding

  • shielded metal arc welding

  • flux core arc welding

  • gas tungsten welding

  • tungsten inert gas (TIG) welding

  • metal inert gas (MIG) welding

How much does a welder earn?

The national average salary of a welder is $64,761 per year. Depending on where you work as a welder, your salary may vary. Some regions may provide opportunities for remote welding work. Companies in remote areas may provide you with a competitive salary.

Below, you can discover the salary of a welder in different regions and cities:

  • Darwin, NT: $107,890 per year

  • Perth, WA: $74,068 per year

  • Melbourne, VIC: $68,379 per year

  • Brisbane, QLD: $66,184 per year

  • Sydney, NSW: $64,904 per year

Salary figures reflect data listed on Indeed Salaries at the time of writing. Salaries may vary depending on the hiring organisation and a candidate's experience, academic background and location.

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