What Does a Certified Welding Supervisor Do?

Certified Welding Supervisors are critical to a company’s productivity and profitability. To be effective, they need to know and employ a wide range of knowledge, including welding safety, supervision, planning, fabrication, inspection, documentation, and economics.

This sounds (and actually is) rather impressive, but if you work with a CWS or are considering becoming one, it’s important to know what the job actually involves.

A CWS’ responsibilities can be broken down into four categories: quality, productivity, cost, and safety. To give you a better idea of the importance of a CWS, these also happen to be the four metrics that are most critical to determining the effectiveness and success of a welding operation.

Quality: The CWS has a hand in selecting the welding procedure that will be used on a job, and then ensures that all welders on a project are capable of performing the required weld to the WPS. As a result, much of the responsibility for the quality of the final weld falls on the shoulders of the CWS. The CWS also examines the final product along with the weld inspector to ensure that the weld meets the quality standards of the selected procedure.

Productivity: The CWS coordinates welding procedures and personnel. This includes proper weld sizing, accurate fit-ups, effective weld station design, proper use of welders, and the elimination of rework and scrap. A CWS also monitors the shop floor, making sure that welders are not overwelding and following the WPS at all times. These activities are designed to produce the desired welds as efficiently as possible. Thus, it is the CWS’ responsibility to increase or maintain productivity without sacrificing quality or safety.

Cost: Cost is directly related to productivity. If successful, the measures that a CWS takes to increase productivity translate into savings. Of course, in order to hold down costs, a CWS has to be familiar with all of the materials and processes that go into making a given product. That is the only way that he or she will be able to realistically estimate how much it costs to make the product and set prices accordingly. A firm grasp of all the production variables and an accurate means of calculating their costs will also allow the CWS to manipulate those variables in order to maximize efficiency without sacrificing quality.

Safety: A CWS has to keep safety in mind when selecting a procedure and preparing an operation. He or she must also make sure that everyone in his or her crew knows and follows safety protocols. Of course, accidents can still happen so it’s the CWS’ responsibility to remain vigilant on the shop floor and keep an eye out for any and all possible safety issues. This is important both to protect the welders doing the actual welding, and in order to maintain the productivity and cost efficiency of the welding operation.

Of course, this is just a summary of the tasks and responsibilities required of a Certified Welding Supervisor. The mix of duties will vary according to industry and company. For a more complete list of the tasks that a CWS may be expected to do, see AWS B5.9 Specification for the Qualification of Welding Supervisors.

However, there is no doubt that a Certified Welding Supervisor is an essential part of any industrial welding process, and the better they do their job, the more their company benefits. So if you’re looking for a rewarding and challenging career, you may just want to consider becoming an AWS Certified Welding Supervisor. If you’re interested in learning more, join us here at American Welding Online in the coming weeks, as we delve into the best reasons for becoming a CWS, as well as tips and tricks for obtaining your certification.

On our website you’ll also find online courses, lectures, a link to our YouTube channel and other digital tools to help you advance your welding career. In fact, a CWS online seminar

Have your own insight or advice for people considering becoming a CWS? Share it below in the comments section.

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