Top 5 Reasons to Become a CWI

Certified Welding Inspectors have a wide range of responsibilities, making them one of the busiest persons in the welding field. So what makes becoming a CWI worth all that hard work, and why CWI one of the most popular welding careers? We spoke to long time CWI Jackie Morris and summed up the top 5 reasons to become a Certified Welding Inspector.

The Paycheck
A CWI is one of the best paid welding careers available. Depending on where you work, as a CWI you can expect to make around $35 per hour or higher. In fact, Morris said CWIs who are willing to move around the country and work as contractors can expect to find pay at rates as high as $75 per hour.

The Benefits
A choice between $35 per hour and $75 per hour may seem easy, but Morris cautions that “there’s a trade-off.” Non-contractor work pays less, but it’s consistent work and doesn’t require travel. That’s a huge upside for CWIs with families. Plus, working for a company in-house usually means extra perks like health insurance, dental insurance, a 401k and other benefits that more than make up the dollar difference.

The Travel
CWIs have the best of both worlds when it comes to a choice between stability and adventure, and Morris doesn’t discount contract work’s opportunity for travel. “I like to travel” Morris said, and as CWIs move between contracts, they get to travel all over the country. For Morris, seeing so much of America is one of the best parts of being a CWI.

The People
“You can’t put a dollar figure on some of the people you meet and some of the things you learn,” Morris told AWO. The welding industry is extremely diverse, and during their travels, CWIs get to experience that diversity first hand. Plus, meeting new people means a chance to add new skills to your repertoire along the way. Which brings us to the 5th top reason for becoming a CWI.

The Learning Experience
Morris made sure to stress that being a CWI is a constant learning experience that helps you grow as a person and a professional. “If you think you know it all and don’t have anything else to learn, then you need to try harder because you’re not learning enough.”

Whether you’re looking for stability or excitement, a big payday or strong benefits, or just a chance to work a job that lets you improve yourself every day, CWI is the right choice for you. So how do you become a CWI? In our next blog post we will break down the process and offer some tips to help you get your certification. Until then, we invite you to explore American Welding Online, where you can find online courses, video conferences and other resources to help you advance your career.

36 thoughts on “Top 5 Reasons to Become a CWI”

  1. . Th,. pls. How much will i spent for rejistration of CWI exams… And are preqaulificatiion of writing of this exam? Thanks!!

  2. I’ve been a welder for about fifteen years and been with national boiler service for that last five . I been look to get a cwi for some time now and if not that then into safety. If you could seems me more info on the different programs that would work around my schedule. Married and four kids. I’m really interested thanks in advance.

    1. Start by reading the multi-part blog series titled “How to Prepare for the Certified Welding Inspector” here on American Welding Online. Then, check out these landing pages for more info about the CWI Seminar and exam:

      Best of Luck!

    1. Start by reading the multi-part blog series titled “How to Prepare for the Certified Welding Inspector” here on American Welding Online. Then, check out these landing pages for more info about the CWI Seminar and exam:

  3. I just qualified as a CWI in South Africa. Got my results and passed with two distinctions from SAIW, who work much to the AWS. Out here, Americans know their welding much more than the EN and Germans.
    I’m looking forward to an interesting career in this field!

  4. I’ve been welding for 10 years. Started in the military and never looked back. I work for a company in Alabama and have had my CWI/CWE for a year now. Would like more information on better job opportunities and support my family. Any info? Thanks

    1. We thank you for your service to our country. We are currently working on a website called AWS WebLink. Among other things, you will be able to create a skills and career profile that will match you with prospective employers. It should be up by the middle of 2015.

  5. Would love more info on becoming an inspector have been welding now for last 20+ years and am looking to expand into this field even more

  6. I am an AWS CWI and it is a great opportunity for anyone, but beware there are other organizations that certify CWI’s! An American Welding Society (AWS) CWI is what you want to be.

    1. Hi,i am interested in this field (CWI)..i would like to know how to go about it in terms of what and what to do …A mentor will be helpful. thanks .

  7. I would like more information on becoming a CWI. Please send any info and steps required to do it. Thanks so much!

  8. Hi folks, I’m 55 years old and have been welding and fabricating for 37 years now. I graduated from a vocational high school. I’m curious what type of employment I could find if I took the CWI course. I’ve been self employed for the past 15 years but I’m curious if I could score some sort of inspector job. Also are there other course I would have to invest in? I’m located in MA. south of Boston. Thanks… DBH

  9. Hi Carlos, I love being a CWI. I want to know can someone applay for welding inspection job after passing the CWI exams with a work experience of 5 years as a”university lecturer in the field of practical and theoritical welding”? Thanks sir.

    1. Yes. Anyone who passes the AWS CWI exam can work as a Certified Welding Inspector. However, the required years of experiece varies from one employer to another.

  10. I am certified welding inspector looking for job on priority basis
    And also guide me for what to plan next in welding after CWI.

  11. I would like to be a certified welding inspector but I have a couple of questions
    1. 4 experience do I need to have a certification or just employment as a welder will do
    2. What kind of documentation is required for me to prove my experience

  12. I’ve been a cwi for almost 3 years,it’s been a very profitable career for me and I’m glad I made this decision.

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