FAQs – Welding Inspection

Is this a certification?

No. AWS B5.1 defines qualification as “demonstrated training, skill, knowledge and experience required for personnel to perform the duties of a specific job or function typically demonstrated by passing a performance test.” Certification is defined as “the act of determining, verifying and attesting in writing to the qualification of personnel in accordance with specified requirements.”

What’s the standard for the qualification of welding inspectors?

AWS B5.1:2013 Specification for the Qualification of Welding Inspectors, available for download here

What’s the standard for the certification of welding inspectors?

AWS QC1:2007 Standard for AWS Certification of Welding Inspectors, available for download here

What’s the difference between these two standards?

AWS B5.1 describes the levels of qualification, the duties and functions of inspectors (welding inspection capabilities), education and experience requirements, visual acuity requirements, and examination requirements – the type of exam and breakdown of exam topics. AWS QC1 refers to AWS B5.1 for the levels of qualification, functions of inspectors, education and experience requirements. Unlike AWS B5.1, AWS QC1 states the minimum number of questions and necessary correct percentage for certification for the examination in the format prescribed in AWS B5.1. AWS QC1 also provides the rules for AWS administration of their certifications, including renewals, and provides a code of ethics and rules of conduct.

What are the minimum education and experience requirements for an Associate Welding Inspector?

According to AWS B5.1, clause 5.1, an Associate Welding Inspector (AWI) must be a high school graduate, or hold a state or military approved high school equivalency diploma (GED), and have a minimum of two years of experience “in an occupational function with a direct relationship to weldments fabricated to national or international standards” and directly involved in one or more specific areas. Alternatives are provided for other both higher and lower levels of formal education.

What are the minimum education and experience requirements for a Welding Inspector?

According to AWS B5.1, clause 5.2, a Welding Inspector (WI) must be a high school graduate, or hold a state or military approved high school equivalency diploma (GED), and have a minimum of five years of experience “in an occupational function with a direct relationship to weldments fabricated to national or international standards” and directly involved in one or more specific areas. Alternatives are provided for other both higher and lower levels of formal education.

What involvement in weldments counts toward this experience?

It is the responsibility of the employer to document experience for those considered for qualification as welding inspection personnel. AWS B5.1, clause 5.5, provides for the following experience, of which at least three must be satisfied:

  • development of procedures, inspection requirements, acceptance criteria, and specifications for weldments
  • planning, control, and application of base metals and filler metals in the preparation and completion of production weldments
  • welder, welding operator, or tack welder in fabrication, manufacturing, or construction
  • detection and measurement of weld discontinuities by application of visual or other nondestructive evaluation processes to a written procedure
  • planning, control, and application of repair welding
  • preparation of written procedures for welding, nondestructive evaluation of weldments, or destructive tests of weldments
  • qualification of welders or welding procedures to various codes, standards and specifications
  • applying welding related codes, standards, or specifications
  • operational techniques and activities used to fulfill quality control requirements for weldments
  • teaching the occupational skill of welding or subjects related to welding; its application, control, materials, and processes.

What visual acuity requirements must be met?

AWS B5.1, clause 6.1, requires welding inspectors of all levels to pass an eye examination, with or without corrective lenses, to prove near vision acuity, in at least one eye, on Jaeger J2 letters or smaller at a distance not less than 12 inches. A color perception test and a contrast differentiation shades of gray test must be taken, but the employer establishes the acceptance for these two tests based on the weld examination being performed.