General Description

The Certified Welding Inspector Certification Badge indicates that an individual is an AWS Certified Welding Inspector.

How to Earn this Badge

To earn the Certified Welding Inspector Certification Badge an individual must be certified by AWS as meeting the qualification requirements of 5.2, 6.1, and 6.2 of AWS B5.1, Specification for the Qualification of Welding Inspectors. For more detailed information download complimentary copies of the B5.1 Specification and AWS QC1, Standard for the AWS Certification of Welding Inspectors.

NOTE: Link your WeldLink and AWS accounts to add earned badges to your WeldLink profile.

How do I become certified through AWS?

The AWS Certified Welding Inspector certification is an internationally recognized credential that companies have come to rely on to ensure the quality and safety of their products. AWS certification confirms an individual’s ability to direct and perform the operations required of a Welding Inspector in accordance with the high standards encompassed in AWS B5.1 Specification for the Qualification of Welding Inspectors. Therefore, AWS Certification often translates into opportunities for increased recognition, responsibility, and pay.

Here are 8 steps to becoming a CWI:

STEP 1:  Download complimentary copies of AWS B5.1 Specification for the Qualification of Welding Inspector and the AWS QC1 Standard for AWS Certification of Welding Inspectors from the AWS website. Both documents outline every aspect of the CWI program and exam. The B5.1 Specification covers the skills and knowledge required of a CWI, while the QC1 Standard provides a detailed overview of the CWI exam requirements and process.

STEP 2: Compare your knowledge and skills to those required of a Certified Welding Inspector. This can be accomplished in one of two ways:

  1. Complete your WeldLink Profile and add “Welding Inspector” as a career path. This will automatically compare your current skills and knowledge to those of the typical Welding Inspector, and provide you with a career roadmap that includes the additional education, training and experience required to become a CWI; or
  2. Review Table 1 of the B5.1 Specification and perform a self-assessment. Mark the areas where your level of competence compares to a working CWI. Any areas left unmarked will indicate where you will most likely need additional knowledge, training or experience.

Step 3: Determine if you qualify to sit for the AWS Certified Welding Inspector Exam. A combination of education and work experience is required to qualify. For example, if you have a high school diploma with no vocational courses, you’ll need a minimum of 5 years work experience. However, if you have an Associate’s degree in engineering, engineering technology, or physical sciences, you’ll only need 3 years of work experience to qualify. For a detailed summary of the education and experience requirements, review Clause 5.2 of the B5.1 Specification.​

STEP 4: Obtain the skills, knowledge, and experience required of an AWS Certified Welding Inspector. There are many resources available, including your local AWS Section and self-paced, online training programs like the CWI Pre-Seminar developed by AWS Learning.

The CWI Pre-Seminar is comprised of six comprehensive online courses designed to prepare participants for the extensive body of knowledge reviewed in the live, 5-day AWS Certified Welding Inspector Seminar. Each self-paced course is divided into short, interactive modules with quizzes, tests, and learning activities that map to the skills and knowledge points needed to become a CWI.

STEP 5: Register for the Certified Welding Inspector Exam through the online AWS registration system.

STEP 6 (Optional): Once a candidate has met the exam requirements, they simply have to pass it. Prior to doing so, some candidates realize they can benefit from taking a prep course to strengthen their knowledge and skills. The live, 5-day AWS Certified Welding Inspector Seminar reviews the body of knowledge required of a CWI and prepares candidates for the CWI exam given at the end of each seminar week. The Seminar includes on-site books and a 3-year AWS membership.

STEP 7: Take the CWI exam. The exam is split into three parts: A, B and C. Part A is a two-hour exam consisting of at least 150 questions covering all facets of welding processes and non-destructive examination. Part B is a two-hour exam that requires you to use visual inspection tools, plastic replicas of welds and a sample codebook to answer at least 46 questions covering a wide range of topics including welding examination and nondestructive test processes. Part C is a two-hour, open-book exam consisting of at least 46 questions designed to test your ability to locate and understand information in a code book. Successful participants must correctly answer at least 72% of the questions in each part of the exam.

STEP 8: Once you complete the exam, you can expect your test results within 2 to 3 weeks. If you pass, a certificate and wallet card will be mailed to the address on file along with your results.  If you find any discrepancies or have any questions, please contact AWS immediately.


The following resources can help you obtain the knowledge and skills needed to earn the [name of badge]:

Related Badges

Many of the individuals who have earned the [name of badge] have also earned these badges:

  • Certified Welding Supervisor Certification Badge
  • Certified Welding Educator Certification Badge
  • Welding Inspector Career Badge

Common Careers

Many of the individuals who have earned the Certified Welding Inspector are working as:

Related Industries

Many of the individuals who have earned the Certified Welding Inspector are employed in the following industries:

  • Construction
  • Manufacturing
  • Shipbuilding
  • Aerospace