The American Welding Society (AWS) was founded in 1919 as a multifaceted, nonprofit organization with a goal to advance the science, technology and application of welding and related joining disciplines. From factory floor to high-rise construction, from military weaponry to home products, AWS continues to lead the way in supporting welding education and technology development to ensure a strong, competitive and exciting way of life for all Americans.
In keeping with its prime directive the Society offers nationally recognized certifications designed to ensure that welders and welding professionals meet the welding industry’s highest standards. As such, an AWS Certified Workforce can benefit independent welding distributors in many ways. The Society’s nationally recognized, stringent standards guarantee a level of knowledge and skills that can set a distributor’s team apart from the competition.
The American Welding Society provides a national regulatory standard for the welding industry that is recognized around the world. Credentials obtained through AWS Certification Programs are particularly valuable because many employers already base their standards on the American Welding Society’s nationally recognized standards.
An increasing number of states are demanding AWS credentials because they trust the standards set by the Society, which has been acting as a standards organization since 1919. This demand for AWS certified welders will increase dramatically in coming years as contractors continue to realize the shortcomings and liabilities of using “self-certifications,” which, for better or for worse, make them fully responsible for the quality of their welders’ abilities.
Becoming certified means passing tests that require a high degree of knowledge, top-notch skills, and the ability to navigate complex codes. For example, the Radiographic Interpretation Certification includes a detailed general knowledge exam, a test of specific information from the AWS Code book on radiographic quality and interpretation, and a practical exam testing the individual’s ability to read radiographic films.
The AWS Certified Welder program is also demanding. The test includes fit-up, assembly, positioning and deposition of a sound weld that adheres to a Welding Procedure Specification selected from available QC7 Supplements. All welds are inspected by an AWS Certified Welding Inspector (CWI). Qualification tests must be taken at an AWS Accredited Testing Facility and AWS certified welders are required to submit a Maintenance of Welder Certification Form to renew their certifications every six months.
Setting Yourself Apart from the Competition
Over the last decade, internet sales have impacted revenues from brick and mortar operations and helped to level the playing field among many welding distributors. In this extremely competitive environment a CWS Certified Workforce can offer the value-added expertise that results in increased productivity and expanded services; two factors that will set your company apart from the competition.
For example, a cadre of AWS Certified Welders and Welding Supervisors has the knowledge and skills to learn and implement a lean management system designed to increase quality and reduce waste while further enhancing the value of each and every worker. An AWS Certified Welding Sales Representative takes the type of expertise on the road. He has the expertise to help customers improve their welding quality and productivity.
AWS certifies welders, inspectors, engineers, fabricators, radiographic interpreters, robotic arc welders, and sales representatives. To learn more about the American Welding Certification Programs please visit the American Welding Society.