Though not always visible, welding is important to all kinds of object, from the small to cars and buildings. Because welding affects people’s lives, it is important that inspectors check the work of welders for safety on a regular basis. Welding inspectors also insure that welding jobs uphold the standards set by industry associations. Welding inspectors must fulfill certain qualifications and must have certifications.
Education and Previous Experience
Most employers require welding inspectors to hold, at minimum, a high school diploma. Others require a certificate or associate’s degree. More importantly, employers look at a potential welding inspector’s previous experience. For certified welding Inspectors, the amount of previous experience a welding instructor needs varies depending on the level of education they completed. An associate’s degree or higher requires only three years previous experience. A high school diploma with some engineering or welding training needs four years, and anything below a high school diploma requires nine to 12 years of previous experience. Having a number of experiences in different welding fields benefits inspectors, as they will more than likely be working in several different welding disciplines.
Employers prefer to hire welding inspectors who have certifications such as Certified Associate Welding Inspector, Certified Welding Inspector or Senior Certified Welding Inspector from the American Welding Society. Inspectors start by earning the Certified Associated Welding Inspector designation and work with a Certified Welding Inspector until they can pass the Certified Welding Inspector or Senior Certified Welding Inspector exams. To obtain the certification, welding inspectors must attend a series of classes and then take and pass the certification exam.
The field of welding constantly changes and welding inspectors must keep up with the latest trends and updates to be sure the work they inspect is also up-to- date and current. Every nine years, a Certified Welding Inspector must retake the exam to keep his certification current and up-to- date. Welding inspectors can also opt for continuing education classes that focus on more specific topics such as Testing Welders and Common Inspection Challenges.
Welding inspectors must also fulfill a number of other requirements, including passing a vision exam and for some employers, a background check. Because potential welding instructors take the certification classes and exam over a two-week period, they must be able to study and learn in an intense setting and short time frame. Welding instructors should possess good communication skills, both written and oral, and critical-thinking and problem-solving skills.