Certified Welders vs. Qualified Welders

You might be a welding student, or maybe you’re trying to understand if welding could be a good career fit for you. There are two terms that you will need to be familiar with to make an informed decision about your education or career path: “Qualified Welder” and “Certified Welder.”

You might be a welding student, or maybe you’re trying to understand if welding could be a good career fit for you. There are two terms that you will need to be
familiar with to make an informed decision about your education or
career path: “Qualified Welder” and “Certified Welder.”

Being a Qualified Welder doesn’t have any accrediting agency or exam associated with it. It’s a common industry term that might be used to refer to a welder who has passed any kind of qualification test that might permit them to weld in a professional environment.

The term “Certified Welder,” however, refers to a specific third party
accredited welding certification. One of the most common certifications offered by the American Welding Society (AWS) is the “Certified Welder Program”. If someone states on their resume that they are a certified welder, it likely means that they have passed (and must provide proof of) a third-party accredited test that is accepted widely within the welding industry.

It’s possible to be a Certified and Qualified Welder based on a company’s private exam and the third-party exams available. To be sure, becoming a Certified Welder will more broadly qualify you for positions in the industry, but being specifically qualified on certain niche welding types might get you your foot in the door for a specific job.

What do you need to know for a Certified Welder (CW) test? Here’s a non-exhaustive list of things you likely would be required to do:

  • Perform a sound weld
  • Follow safety protocols
  • Follow all specified welding procedures
  • Assemble joints
  • Use a welding machine
  • Weld in the correct position
  • Have your work inspected by an AWS Certified Welding Inspector

There are a plethora of standards out there that can be found on the AWS certification page. Being able to understand the concepts and execute the welding outlined here is key to your success to pass a CW exam.

Need some welding supplies in Atlanta, GA to practice in order to pass your exam? Shop on our website now to conveniently find everything you need to pass your test. Good luck!