What Does a Certified Radiographic Interpreter Do?

So let’s say you’re interested in a career in welding, but you’re not sure what path you should take. If you’ve been following our blog for the past few months, you probably saw our series about the benefits of pursuing a career as a Certified Welding Interpreter. (If you’ve just joined us, you can read more here.)

A CWI isn’t the only option available though, and this month AWO is continuing its mission of helping you advance your welding career by taking a look at what it means to be a Certified Radiographic Interpreter.

The name might sound intimidating, but radiographic inspection is an essential part of the industry that you should consider if you’re interested in expanding your skills. In fact, radiography is one of the most important, versatile and widely accepted of all the nondestructive examination methods.

So what is a CRI? In essence, a CRI takes radiographs of welds and interprets them to identify the presence of discontinuities. Then, the CRI applies his knowledge of the AWS, API and ASME codes to determine if a discontinuity is acceptable or if it must be rejected as a defect.

Radiograph Images for CRI blogA CRI is trained to identify things like porosity and incomplete fusion within the image. However, it’s not always as easy as it sounds. To the untrained eye, a radiographic image of a weld is just a host of blurry specks or lines on a black background. To the trained and experienced CRI, however, these images provide a wealth of information.

Training and experience carry equal weight in industrial radiography. A CRI must not only be well versed in the science of radiation and the production of radiographs, he or she must also spend many hours reviewing radiographs in order to become proficient at diagnosing welds.

Clause 5 of AWS B5.15:2010 Specification for the Qualification of Radiographic Interpreters lists the capabilities and duties of a radiographic interpreter, but it’s always a good idea to talk to people already working as a CRI in order to get a good idea of what to expect. Check out the NDT Resource Center to get a thorough introduction to radiographic testing.

If you’re not an Certified Welding Inspector, being trained as a CRI is a great way to improve your skill set and expand your employability. Your certification as an AWS Certified Radiographic Interpreter demonstrates your ability to analyze radiographs of weldments, and that you have met the requirements of AWS B5.15:2010, Specification for the Qualification of Radiographic Interpreters. If you’re already a CWI, CRI certification can also exempt you from your next 9-Year CWI or SCWI Recertification Exam.

Check out AWS Radiographic Interpreter Certification to learn more about CRI training and certification. And be sure to join us in the weeks to come as we ask the experts about the benefits of working as a CRI and the best way to go about obtaining your certification.

In the meantime, we invite you to visit  American Welding Online, where you’ll find online courses, virtual lectures, a link to our YouTube channel and other digital resources to help you enhance your welding career.

Interested in becoming a CRI, or have your own advice to share? Tell us about it in the comments below!

9 thoughts on “What Does a Certified Radiographic Interpreter Do?”

    1. It really depends on your current knowledge and experience. If you meet the requirements, you can simply register for the next exam date. However, it’s usually a good idea to familiarize yourself with the body of knowledge covered in the exam, and then make a determination about how you need to prepare for it. You can find the qualification requirements, body of knowledge, and seminar offerings and application on this web page: http://www.aws.org/certification/CRI/

      Good Luck!

  1. II am interested to get this certification. Beyond that, I am more interested in perform very well the interpretations.
    Because of my job CWI, I have had to review many radiographs. However, I have taken the theory given in the standards, books, AWS guides and close technicians’ tips. What is the best way to really learn to interpret a radiograph? since in some countries there is no permanent schools. I have noticed that if you want lo learn about this, you have to be an employee of a RX company where some experienced guy may teach you what to do.

    Thank you so much fir this useful and interesting posts.

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