If you are entering the welding field, you might be wondering "how do I become a certified welder?" This is a tricky question to answer because there is not a single welding certification test that will certify you to weld everything. Most welding certification tests are done under the codes written by AWS (the American Welding Society) or ASME (American Society of Mechanical Engineers.) There is a specific code written for virtually every application of welding. Many welded components are also not required to follow a code; therefore, no certification is required. Unlike the plumbing or electrical crafts, welding certification is not a "license". You will need to know what welding process you intend to use (Stick, TIG or MIG), material types and thickness, as well as what positions you will use in production.
One of the most common welding codes is AWS D1.1 which covers structural steel welding like for a car trailer, a machine support or a handrail. This welding codes states that the "certification" of a welder is the responsibility of that welder's employer. All of the codes allow an employer to conduct welder tests at their own facility. We offer services to provide the required testing and code documents. When we conduct testing of a plate or pipe for welder certification, we sign the appropriate code form, stating that we conducted the testing of that weldment to the requirements of the applicable code. The form must then be signed by the employer, certifying that all the information reported on the form is accurate and in accordance with the code.
Test At Your Own Facility With Our Welder Qualification Kits
Our parent company, Earlbeck Gases & Technologies, has been providing weld certification testing since 1965. We now offer Welder Qualification Kits which supply you with all the materials you need to complete a practice joint and a welder qualification test at your home or place of employment. We provide kits for AWS D1.1- Structural Welding Code for you to complete using your filler metal in either Limited or Unlimited thickness in 1 or 2 positions. Complete the test with the instructions provided, and send back to us for processing. We will notify you with the results via your preferred method of contact within 5-7 business days from the receipt of your test plate. If your test fails and you need to retest, you may purchase a new test kit to complete. If your test passes, we will mail your welder qualification document. If you have questions about the testing process, please call us at (410) 687-8400.
D1.1 testing outlines two options for test plate thicknesses:
- Limited thickness (3/8" Test Plates), which will qualify for fillet welds on any thickness material and groove welds on 1/8"-3/4" material; or
- Unlimited thickness (1" Test Plates), which will qualify for groove and fillet welds on 1/8" and greater material.
D1.1 qualification is also position dependent:
- 1G (Flat) tests qualify you for production flat grooves and flat & horizontal fillet welds
- 2G (Horizontal) tests qualify for production flat & horizontal groove and fillet welds
- 3G (Vertical) tests qualify for production flat, horizontal and vertical groove and fillet welds
- 4G (Overhead) tests qualify for production flat & overhead groove & filllet welds
- 3G & 4G (Two position) tests qualify for production welding in any position
AWS D1.1 also requires that a welder follows an approved Welding Procedure Specification (WPS) when completing a Welder Qualification Test and that a company has its own WPS for production work. Four Prequalified WPS’s are included for you to sign and use for this testing only and cannot be used by you for production work. If you do not have a valid production WPS and would like us to help you prepare one, please contact our Engineering Department at (410) 687-8400.
The included Welding Procedure Specifications are:
SMAW-Limited - 3/8" Plate welded with 3/32", 1/8" or 5/32" E7018 Electrodes
SMAW-Unlimited - 1" Plate welded with 3/32", 1/8" or 5/32" E7018 Electrodes
FCAW-Limited - 3/8" Plate welded with 0.045" or 0.052" E71T-1M Wire with 75% Ar/25% CO2 Shielding Gas
FCAW-Unlimited - 1" Plate welded with 0.045", 0.052" or 1/16" E71T-1M Wire with 75% Ar/25% CO2 Shielding Gas
As the employer is responsible for the information on these documents, providing us with complete and accurate information is very important. We kindly ask that you provide us this information found on the forms provided with your kit.