American Welding Society

CWI Pre-Seminar

Reporting Supervisor colors

The key to certification is preparation.

Studying for the Certified Welding Inspector exam can be a daunting task. A CWI is expected to know a wide breadth of  information, and combine that knowledge with practical experience. So why go at it alone?

The CWI Pre-Seminar is a 57-hour, self-paced interactive online program, which combines six courses into a single package at one low price. 

Participants receive:

Course Length

Approximately 60 hours


Seminar – 90 days


Member: $865
Non-member: $1,150

($750 if purchased in conjunction with CWI Instructor-Led Seminar

The CWI Pre-Seminar provides several critical benefits over self-studying or multiple week classroom courses:

Unequaled quality

AWS spent two years developing the CWI Pre-Seminar, using the experience of the same industry experts that develop the AWS codes and standards studied as part of the CWI program. The CWI Pre-Seminar is not just PowerPoint slides you read through, or an online document. All of our programs are interactive, with high-quality audio narration, high definition videos and phones, professionally created diagrams and graphics, as well as quizzes, test, and learning activities that map to the specific skills and knowledge points needed to become a CWI.

Double the content

The 57 hours of online training that make up the CWI Pre-Seminar more than double the educational materials presented through the AWS Instructor-led program. While other programs can claim to do the same, this is the only CWI program that allows you to complete the first 57 hours online.

Start studying today

With the CWI Pre-Seminar you will gain access to the 57 hours of training almost immediately (if registering online). You do not have to wait for your instructor-led seminar to start studying.

Minimize travel expenses and time away from work

The combination of the instructor-led AWI program, plus the AWO Pre-Seminar, provides 100 hours of training. While other training programs may provide multiple weeks of training for the CWI exam, those programs require additional travel expenses and time away from work.

Learn your way

All AWO courses are designed to maximize learner engagement by presenting materials designed for all learning preferences. While classroom training is generally geared towards one or two learning styles, AWO courses are designed with all learning preferences in mind through the combination of audio and written materials, along with videos, animations, and photographs, as well as interactive quizzes and activities.

Learn at your pace

While instructor-led seminars present materials at a pre-determined pace, with little time to spend on individual student needs, the AWO Pre-Seminar allows you to work through fundamental CWI knowledge at your individual pace. If you already feel comfortable with your level of knowledge about a particular subject, feel free to skip ahead.

If you feel as though you didn’t grasp a concept, feel free to repeat the section or module. Still don’t understand? Attend one of our instructor office hours and have an AWS senior CWI instructor answer your questions.

The AWS CWI Pre-Seminar is a collection of six American Welding Online courses:

COURSE 1 - Welding Fundamentals

COURSE 2 -Safety in Welding

COURSE 3 -Math for Welders Level I

COURSE 4 -Understanding Welding Symbols

COURSE 5 -Metallurgy for the Non-Metallurgist: Fundamentals

COURSE 6 -The Science of Non Destructive Testing

These are the same courses that can be purchased individually, but sold as a package at a greatly reduced rate.

Why did AWS develop a CWI Pre-Seminar?
Over the past two years, AWS surveyed virtually every individual who completed the AWS CWI program and asked them what we could do better. Two answers kept showing up in the results: participants wanted more instruction time and they wanted to study some of the materials (particularly the fundamentals) before attending the seminar. After studying the problem for some time, AWS decided that the most cost effective option for participants (that would provide the highest value) would be to host the initial training online. This would reduce travel costs for participants, as well as their time away from work. Additionally, they can study the materials a little at a time, instead of trying to cram all their studying into a week or two.
Who should take this seminar?
Anyone who is serious about passing the Certified Welding Inspector exam should complete the AWS CWI Pre-Seminar in preparation for the AWS instructor-led seminar. But the pre-seminar is also much more. If you have plans of becoming a CWI in the future, this course can teach you many of the fundamentals needed to be successful.
How long do I have to complete the CWI Pre-Seminar?
Participants have access to the seminar content for a period of 90 days from the date of registration. During this time, they may access the six Pre-Seminar courses 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, from virtually anywhere with an internet connection. Access to the seminar materials will cease after this 90 day window.
How long does it take to complete the course?

In total, the six courses making up the CWI Pre-Seminar contain approximately 60 hours of online training content. If you take into account study time, course practice problems, quizzes, interactive, and the completion exam for each course, users can expect to spend between 80 and 90 hours of total study time completing the CWI Pre-Seminar.

Each of the six courses is completely independent of one another, and will contain their own instructions, quizzes, interactions, and completion exam. Therefore, your total study time will depend on which courses you chose to complete.

Will this course help prepare me for the Certified Welding Inspector Exam?
Absolutely. The CWI Pre-Seminar provides 60 hours of training towards obtaining your AWS CWI, and is best used as a preparation for the AWS instructor-led CWI seminar that focuses on higher level information.
Does the Pre-Seminar take the place of the week-long instructor-led CWI seminar?
No. The CWI Pre-Seminar does not take the place of the instructor-led seminar. We are confident in saying that 40 hours of education is not enough to learn everything a CWI needs to be successful. Many topics covered in instructor-led CWI seminars are general review. The Pre-Seminar enhances the week long seminar by ensuring that participants possess the requisite knowledge to get the most out of the AWS week long CWI seminar.
Do each of the six Pre-Seminar courses grant a credential upon completion?
Yes. Upon the completion of each of the six Pre-Seminar courses, participants will have the option to take a completion exam. The exam consists of a varying amount of multiple choice questions that test the participant’s retention of the basic topics covered in the seminar. The Completion Exam must be completed within a set period of time. Participants that do not attain the pre-set passing score may attempt to retake the same exam a second time. Participants that pass a course’s completion exam will receive a Certificate of Completion along with the pre-determined number of Professional Development Hours. The AWS Certificate will arrive at the address used for registration within 10 to 14 business days from the date of examination. International shipping delivery dates may vary.
Welding Inspection is a complicated topic. How much do I need to know before taking this seminar?
All of the concepts presented in these six courses are presented in clear, easy-to-understand language and easily digestible chunks of information. No previous knowledge is needed to take these courses. We start at the beginning, explain every term and topic, and provide practice questions to ensure you understand the material.
Do I need to purchase any other materials?
No. All the materials and resources necessary to complete the course objectives are provided as part of the online seminar.
Do I receive Professional Development Hours (PDHs) for completing this course?
As participants that finish each of the six Pre-Seminar courses, they will receive a Certificate of Completion and PDH hours.
Welding Fundamentals – 14 Hours
Safety in Welding – 3 Hours
Math for Welders Level I – 18 Hours
Understanding Welding Symbols – 10 Hours
Metallurgy for the Non-Metallurgist: Fundamentals – 6 Hours
Science of Non Destructive Testing – 6 Hours
Can I use these Professional Development Hours (PDHs) for recertification?
Yes. Professional Development Hours (PDHs) earned through American Welding Online courses or Virtual Conferences can be utilized for recertification as long as the PDH’s are gained during the certification period.
In order to fully access the AWO courses and conferences you will need the following minimum system requirements:

ATTENTION Internet Explorer (IE) Users > CLICK HERE

Microsoft released IE 11 late November 2013. There is a known issue when using IE 11 while taking AWS online courses. We are working on a resolution but it will take some time to implement. In the meantime, we request that IE users NOT upgrade to IE 11. Or we request that IE users instead use Google Chrome to view our courses.Google Chrome can be downloaded at It is a free web browser that does not create the known issues noted above.




  • Please note our courses and conferences are not accessible on mobile devices at this time. We are working on making all of our materials mobile-ready by the end of 2014.
28 June,2013