How to Become a Welder Inspector?

The art of welding is crucial in many industries such as automobiles, shipbuilding, construction, etc. In fact, welding has become an integral component of our lives. We use welded stuff almost every day. Our cars, furniture and many other things are made up of welded parts.
This makes the job of a welder inspector a very important one. They have to ensure that the best quality stuff is available to the end consumer. If you are interested in certified welding inspector jobs and are planning to make a career in this field, here is all the information you will need.

Welding Inspector Job Description

Following are the major duties of a welding inspector.

  • Carrying out visual inspections of welded products and heavy structures under construction
  • Find and identify defects in welded items such as pits, cracks, holes, etc
  • Take all measurements of welded products to make sure that all dimensions and specifications are being met
  • Carry out stress tests and all other needed assessments on welded items and structures of all types.

Requirements for Becoming a Welding Inspector

In order to become a welding inspector, you need to have a high school diploma. This is the basic requirement to enter the field. After that, you need to acquire specialized welding education and training.
There are a number of technical schools, community colleges and other training schools around the country that offer different welding-related qualifications. These include certificate programs and associate’s degrees. Depending upon your level of education, you will also need some years of work experience to become a certified welding inspector.

Steps to Become a Welding Inspector

  1. Post-secondary welding education

You can start working as a trainee welder straight out of high school and make the transition to welding inspector after gaining the necessary experience. Or you can go for specialized education first. There are a number of certificate and associate’s degree programs to choose from if you decide to do so. The best ones will offer a good grounding in metallurgy, blueprint reading, arc welding, fabrication and other related areas.

  1. Work experience

You will need to acquire the required experience in order to be eligible for a license or a certification. The amount of experience needed will depend on the level of your professional education.
If you have a high school diploma, then you will need at least 5 years of work experience. One the other hand, an associate’s degree holder will need 3 years of experience. Similarly, if you have a bachelor’s degree in Welding Technology or Welding Engineering, then work experience of 1 year will suffice. Try to gain experience of as many welding fields as possible. This will be very helpful in your work as a welding inspector.

  1. Qualify the certification exam

In order to become a certified welding inspector, you need to pass the test administered by the American Welding Society (AWS). This assessment has the following three sections.

  • Welding Fundamentals
  • Practical Applications
  • Welding Code Application

The types of welding certifications available include the following.

  • Certified Welding Inspector (CWI)
  • Senior Certified Welding Inspector (SCWI)

Certified Welding Inspector Salary

As per the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, welders, cutters, solderers and brazers made an annual median wage of $41,380 (May, 2018). Also, Quality Control Inspectors had an annual median salary of $38,250 (May, 2018).

Welding Inspector Career Outlook and Job Growth

The US Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts a 6 percent increase in jobs for welders, cutters, solderers and brazers between 2016 and 2026. This is quite similar to other fields.