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How to Get a Job As a Welding Inspector

Welding inspectors perform a very valuable service. If you have ever driven across a bridge, been near a gas pipeline or traveled on a plane or ship your safety has been protected by a welding inspector having examined the welds that hold these things together. Welding inspectors earn good money and may find work almost anywhere in the world where a major construction project is going on. Welding inspector jobs can be found in the oilfield, refinery construction, ship yards, high rise construction, municipal projects and more.

What You Need To Get a Job as a Welding Inspector

One of the most recognized certifications is from the American Welding Society or AWS. The certified welding inspector or CWI certification requires different levels of experience based on one's educational background. For high school graduates CWI applicants must document five years of welding experience. For applicants that did not graduate high school but made it past 8th grade, nine years of welding experience is required. For applicants that did not make it past 8th grade, 12 years of welding experience is required to take the Certified Welding Inspector test.

Applicants may be required to submit proof of education including a diploma and also must provide an AWS certified welder ID card or proof that they have passed an AWS qualified welding test.

Applicants must submit the application which includes a detailed list of companies worked for and type of welding duties.

How to Get Started On The Path To Becoming a Welding Inspector

Welding inspectors are expected to have been welders. Otherwise how would they know what they are looking at if they had not done the same job once? You must first start out by taking courses in welding and then attend a certification class from an agency such as the AWS. You may find an employer who will hire you as an apprentice or welders assistant first, or you may take courses and then get your certification. Either way you will have to work as an apprentice in most cases for a number of months before you will be allowed to weld on your own. There are exceptions to this rule with smaller companies in non union states and overseas.

After you have logged the required number of years for your educational background you may apply to the AWS to take the CWI or certified welding inspector test.

After you have successfully passed the test you may work for your present employer (the one who hired you as a welder) or apply to work for a company that does welding inspection. There are firms that specialize in welding inspection only. You may have to work as an apprentice inspector for several months before you are allowed to inspect on your own.

How Much Do Certified Welding Inspectors make?

According to the jobs site the average salary for a welding inspector is about $50,000. This does not take into account overtime, which can be a large part of a welding inspectors salary, especially on jobs that are under a deadline such as bridge construction or pipeline work. There are very few welding inspector jobs in the field that offer eight hour days. Factory jobs may offer a more traditional work schedule and holiday pay.

Location of Test Centers For Certified Welding Inspector

ABB, Inc.
1250 Brown Road
Auburn Hills, MI 48326
Keith Lloyd
(248) 391-8421

Wolf Robotics
4600 Innovation Drive
Fort Collins, CO 80525
Darren Pape
(970) 225-7736

The Lincoln Electric Co.
22800 Saint Clair Ave.
Cleveland, OH 44117
Patricia Kernya
(216) 383-8542

Milwaukee Area Technical College
1200 South 71st Street
West Allis, WI 53214
Lawrence Gross
(414) 456-5454

Comments On This Article:

I am a Welding and Plant Inspector and I have NEVER made less than 150,000 year. The job I'm on right now pays $55.00 an Hour, plus $152 a date per Diem, and a daily payment for the use of my computer, camera, cellphone and printer with is and additional $50 a day plus .52 cents a mile for my vehicle; which comes to $1452.00 a day times 50 paid weeks in a year = you do the math. Furthermore this doesn't take in to account the bonuses. Usually is 25-50$ a day if you work till your laid off. If your are working as a Client Rep/ Project Manager you'll get a percentage of the monies saved on your project plus a $1000.00 a day earlier completion bonus.
   I usually make between 350K and 550K a year total. and pay taxes on about 60% of that in the USA, if overseas I might earn and average of 40% more and pay NO taxes.
   Also: Instead of taking "Welding Inspection Courses" people should save there money for something useful like taking a course on "Instrumentation Technology" because the Welding inspection field is full and over flowing and a person just fresh out of school doesn't have a chance at landing a real Welding Inspection position. They will be the ones that accept a job as a Manufactures QA/QC person and make dirt; never being able to get out of that dark deep hole.
  Without 3 to 5 years of verifiable experience Inspecting in Plants or Pipelines Construction & Maintenance you will not be hired at any real Welding Inspection jobs. Sorry guys and galls that the way it is in the Inspection world.
P.S. Please post this along with the article I am referring to maybe it will save some people from spend their last savings on a fantasy. No need in making it any tougher on the underemployed  and unemployed they probably have children that would really be hurt. 





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