Welding is a trade that impacts everything from everyday tools and components to cars and more. Chances are if you have been in the welding industry for a number of years and are starting to become restless in your position or career, you may be wondering what to do next or rather wha your options are? Generally, the next logical step is to put all that welding experience and knowledge to good use. In other words, it may be time to become a certified welding inspector. Typically, any person with welding experience, who is willing to mee the necessary requirement can become a certified welding inspector.
One of the first you must do in order to qualify as an inspector is to earn a postsecondary education. What this means is formal training isn’t always enough. Beyond your vocational training, it can be extremely beneficial to seek additional schooling – either a 1-2 year technical program in welding or even a 2-year associates degree in welding technology. Not only will additional education ensure that you are more than qualified for the job of welding inspector, but it will also give you time to decide if this is truly the next step you wish to take.
Besides additional education, gaining more work experience is also invaluable. You may have only a few years of welding experience under your belt when you start to wonder what career advances are possible. As we all know, life changes. There may be a variety of reason why advancement appeals to you – growing family, unexpected bills, relocation and so on. Whatever the reason may be, if you do not have a variety of experience in welding i.e. experience in construction as well as aerospace, manufacturing or machinery, it may be time to decide if you should gain more work experience.
Once you feel you have right amount of experience, education and versatility, it’s time to put all that knowhow to good use. With a postsecondary degree and 3-4 years of documented experience, the last step in becoming a certified welding inspector is to pass the welding inspector certification exam. The Cleveland exam covers 3 major topics – welding fundamentals, practical applications and welding applications.